The Only Super Bowl LI Post You’ll Ever Need To Read – Volume Two

Green. Color of money. The Super Bowl dumps a gigantic amount of green into a local economy, which is why NFL owners compete behind the scenes for it to be held in their neck of the woods. The Houston Chronicle reported recently one study expects $350 million will flow into “Space City” next month. However the same report indicates not only do two earlier forecasts differ greatly – one up, one down – but the upcoming financial windfall for any mega-event ultimately depends on what revenue any company’s auditors choose or don’t choose to figure in.

Figures.

Green. Color of real grass. I want my Super Bowls played outside on real grass. Neither will happen for Super Bowl LI. The roof is retractable but the NFL usually keeps the lid on. They used to have real grass at NRG Stadium but that quickly became known as the league’s worst field and they grudgingly switched over to fake grass.

Former Ground Crew - Houston Texans (Image Credit Universal Pictures) (Image Credit Universal Pictures)

Former Grounds Crew – Houston Texans

(Image Credit Universal Pictures)

I do believe grass is greener on the other side. I know this because for eleven years I’ve watched winter dump upon our property and development. The way our house is positioned almost half our lawn and driveway each receive zero sun this time of year. None. Across the street similar properties bask in glorious sunshine from dawn on (when it’s not snowing, icing or sleeting obviously). Those properties obtain residual heat which then rejects future precipitation, certainly during smaller storms. A fair share of our lawn…more importantly our driveway…retains every single, blessed grain of snow, ice or sleet as some kind of trophy from hell souvenir regardless of the size of the storms…or for that matter what sporting event is being played. There have been a few Super Bowls I’ve had to venture out after the game’s final drive to start warming our drive for the next day’s drive. And…the grass is greener on the other side.

But I digress…

Green. Lots of it. Super Bowl telecaster Fox is reportedly asking between $5-5.5 million for a 30-second ad spot this year. For many, commercials are the best part of the day. What would make my day? If this year or in future years the NFL, its broadcast partners and their sponsors all worked out an arrangement where a fair portion of this obscene amount of money got off everyone’s ledger sheets and really lent a real hand to the less fortunate in our country. Charities continue to scramble for money to help the poor, the disabled, the homeless. The Super Bowl should not just be historically entertaining but historically life-changing.

To this weekend’s games…where every Divisional Round game will be a rematch – the first time in six years.

Seattle at Atlanta – Seattle held on to defeat Atlanta at home in Week 6 by 26-24. No, really. They actually held on. Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman grabbed Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones’ arm late in the game to deny Atlanta a shot at a game-winning field goal. Jones and likely league MVP quarterback Matt Ryan lead a Falcons offense that is very balanced and very powerful. He has thrown at least one TD pass to 13 different players, an NFL record. Seattle is hurting on defense with DB Earl Thomas’ season-ending hurt. One note from their win over Detroit last weekend…Lions’ QB Matthew Stafford, even with a disheveled digit that kept him from passing effectively, managed to get several balls into the target area of wide-open receivers. Unfortunately his receivers treated the passes like hand grenades with pins pulled. The Seahawks secondary were struggling early on against the Lions. Atlanta’s defense has its own issues, allowing the 6th most points in the NFL this season. Interesting since Head Coach Dan Quinn used to be a defensive coordinator…with Seattle. The good news for Falcons fans is the Seahawks are not likely to light up the scoreboard. Seattle’s running game isn’t fixed just because they ran wild against Detroit. Their offensive line has been ravaged by inconsistency. And…QB Russell Wilson can’t (injury earlier in the year) or won’t (protecting against further injury) scramble. He just doesn’t look comfortable to me regardless of whether or not he took his knee brace off recently. The game comes down to how well Seattle can keep Ryan, Jones, the other pass-catchers and the Falcons’ running back tandem all under control. Matt Ryan is 1-4 in post-season appearances. The one win? Against Seattle. In Atlanta. History repeats. WINNER – ATLANTA

Houston at New England – New England toyed with Houston 27-0 at home in Week 3 with a third-string quarterback operating in Tom Brady’s Deflategate absence. For me the game is also notable for how Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien curled up his offense into a collective fetal position and simply prayed his defense could score instead. Brutal. The Patriots are healthier than they’ve been in a long time – long ago compensating for injured tight end Rob Gronkowski. New England has won seven straight games. Houston was 2-6 on the road this season. Brady is on a revenge mission to win a Super Bowl (28 touchdowns, 2 interceptions) and the Patriots haven’t failed to make the AFC Championship in the last five postseasons. Houston’s QB is Brock Osweiler. Houston, you have a problem…actually, too many to count. WINNER – NEW ENGLAND

Pittsburgh at Kansas City – Pittsburgh destroyed Kansas City 43-14 at home in Week 4. The score is indeed reflective of how badly the Chiefs were beaten. Kansas City, who fans normally associate with great defense, has given up the 7th most rushing yards per game in the NFL this season. Kansas City, who fans normally associate with having a great home field advantage, lost to both Tampa Bay and Tennessee at home in the second half of the season. As well…this is a franchise which has lost four straight playoff games at home. Maybe this isn’t as daunting for visiting Pittsburgh – winners of eight straight – as one might think? Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger may be less mobile after a late-game injury vs. Miami last weekend but that’s never stopped Big Ben before. Running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown helped him overwhelm the Dolphins early and if these three start out like that this week it’s over early again. Kansas City’s defense has thrived off of takeaways this year – the team led the NFL in turnover differential – and that’s their formula for winning a bunch of games. It is a formula they’ll need to win this game. The Steelers simply need to take care of the ball and not hand KC ultra-short fields to work with. The Chiefs simply don’t have the firepower to hang in a shoot-out…although rookie wide receiver/returner/game breaker Tyreek Hill is a great weapon Kansas City Head Coach Andy Reid desperately needs going forward…next season. WINNER – PITTSBURGH

Green Bay at Dallas – Dallas went into Green Bay in Week 6 and whipped the Packers 30-16. The two star rookies on the Cowboys offense, quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott, were complimented at that time for showing so much poise with so little NFL experience. They now have a whole season under their belts and anticipating postseason regression isn’t on my radar. Both teams have pass defenses that waved the white flag of surrender on several occasions this year. Two of Dallas’ three losses this season came at the hands of the New York Giants, who just got done getting burned by Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers has led the Packers to seven straight wins with a stat line of 2,029 passing yards, a completion percentage rounding up to 70%, 19 touchdowns…and zero interceptions. One glaring issue for Aaron to contend with…bestie wide receiver Jordy Nelson will certainly be hampered – if not outright inactive – after taking a horrible shot to his side last weekend. Rodgers’ success rate is much healthier when a healthy Nelson is on the field. In order for Dallas to win they’ll wish to run Elliott early and often behind a powerful offensive front, using a lot of clock and lulling Green Bay to the line of scrimmage to make it easier for Prescott to throw…keeping in mind Dak’s longest pass completion to a receiver or tight end all season was only 56 yards. I see Elliott being able to run at will. I see Rodgers being able to throw at will. Whoever has the ball last advances. WINNER – DALLAS

Enjoy.

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About sportsattitudes

I'm Bruce. Born, raised and still outside Philadelphia PA. Managed (so far) to visit a dozen US states (most just one time each) and Canada (twice). 50-plus years - married 30-plus years. Love massive quantities of sports, television and movies (viewed in a movie theater).
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31 Responses to The Only Super Bowl LI Post You’ll Ever Need To Read – Volume Two

  1. Meg Sorick says:

    Here we go Steelers! 😃 My concerns about that game, the condition of Roethlisberger and Reid’s record after a bye week. On the other hand Reid is a crunch time choker so there’s that. I just hope we don’t have to watch the Cowboys in the SB because we’ll be talking about it for-everrrrrrr. 😏

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I have faith Andy’s postseason coaching “habits” will be present and accounted for this weekend. Hard to have been in Philly throughout his career and seeing him seeing his way to another Super Bowl. Dallas in the SB? I’m not going to bet against that just yet so get your “talking points” ready just in case. 🙂

      Like

  2. Paul says:

    I’m itching for New England vs. Dallas in the Super Bowl just so we can see Jerry Jones sadly look on from his private box, and so Roger Goodell can present the trophy to his best friends Brady and Belichick.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those two images are compelling television indeed. That would likely keep many fans watching late into the game even if it was a New England blowout. Watching Roger give out the trophy always gives us all a “warm and fuzzy” about the NFL too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Laura says:

    I’m for the real grass. I could be wrong but I think Green Bay has a combination of real grass and plastic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Green Bay has a very cool system from what I understand. Heating coils underneath, a sand base, some plastic fibers thrown in for good measure. They also have a mobile lighting system that provides all the illumination necessary day and night to keep the field as strong…and green…as possible.

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  4. J-Dub says:

    The only way I can watch the NFL anymore is if I have a lot of real grass.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. George says:

    That Super Bowl idea about giving back and being life changing is the most obviously brilliant one I’ve heard. Not surprising the NFL isn’t buying into it.
    I agree with all your picks except Pittsburg. I just have a hunch on KC this year. It wouldn’t shock me if they end up in the Super Bowl.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As you can imagine it is very difficult for a Philly fan to see Andy getting anyone else to the Super Bowl…Heaven knows we only got there once in all those years here. That being said the weather in KC looks poor and if they get their usual amount of turnovers they could at least defeat the Steelers. Thanks for the kudos on the Super Bowl giving as much as taking.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jennie says:

    No, you don’t digress at all. Green grass is football, regardless of the weather. So, why should that change in the Super Bowl? Some of the most exciting games (the New England snow game) are played on real grass. As to your predictions, right on!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I too, will go with the Falcons, just think they’re better and they’re home. It’s a shame really, but it’s going to be another year without the home team playing in their stadium during the Super Bowl. The Patriots are like a cat playing with a mouse—An incredibly big mouse. What a defense!—but the Texans are no match. Until Alex Smith steps up and wins this kind of game—Andy Reid too—the Chiefs (good as they are) will not be taken seriously—except maybe in Kansas City. I feel the Steelers (and Ben Roethlisberger… broken and all) will probably win this one. I like Prescott, and I believe the Cowboys are better, but for some reason I think the Packers are peaking at just the right time. And, even though the game is being played in Dallas, I’m leaning towards Green Bay in this one. Bruce, I loved your wish for the NFL and their sponsors to spread some of that wealth with charities. They certainly could afford to do so. One last thought: I hate the fact that the Chargers are going to move to L.A. but I hate the new logo (and color change) they’re making as well—even more. Yuck! Spanos continues to tamper with what many people (I included) feel is the best looking logo (those powder blue and yellow uniforms are classic—they used to have orange pants with yellow lightening streaks, too) in the NFL. Loved the clean looking white helmet with the yellow lightening bolt on it (I always wished they would have gone back to having the uniform number in black under the bolt on it as well), but Spanos—who must be senile—went dark blue on the helmet, which was ugly enough, and has now gone completely MAD, with an L and an A. I feel the NFL needs a real wake up call—with owners like Spanos, Davis, and the Yorks (not to mention a lam-ass commissioner) and continuing criminal off field activities, stupid replay calls, and ridiculous rule changes—or they deserve to see more empty stadiums and even lower TV ratings to send a message to wake up and get back to playing the game the way it was—AND PLEASE RETURN THE ORIGINAL LOOK OF THE TEAMS. Okay, not pre-seventies, but stop tampering with what worked before, or they’ll just continue to fail. Hell, college football has become the better product—and they appreciate tradition, too. Wow, have I been talking that long? Better get off my soap box. :O)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul, I can’t blame you for going Packers. Rodgers is playing out of his mind. If Nelson was healthy I might have tipped the other way. I know the NFL provides for charities but I think it would make a statement to take some of this ridiculous ad money and make it truly relevant. Can’t sign on fast enough to your ideas about the running of the NFL and in particular the uniforms. It has saddened me to see how casually the entire league has thrown away tradition in this area. I think most everyone I know loves the old AFL look of the Chargers…which explains why it was permanently relegated to “throwback” status. You just knew when they went to LA they would have to “rebrand.” The city that doesn’t need one team now has two. Beautiful. Did you see they’re playing at the Galaxy’s soccer stadium the first two years? Gonna seat all of 30,000. Let’s see if in Year 2 they’re still sold out. 🙂

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      • Well, I know the Rams weren’t supported well (which explained the move-in part-to St Louis in the first place) in L.A. Although, I feel they will get initial support, because of a new stadium, I feel sure that will erode over time—especially if they don’t win. As for the Chargers, well Spanos, I feel, will wear his welcome out, and if he was counting on a following to drive up from San Diego for games, I think he may have another think coming—particularly after yesterday. Again, as with the Rams, I suspect initially they’ll do well, but it won’t last. As for the new look: real fans will be disgusted with it, and as always, the people of L.A. will continue to support the Trojans and Bruins at the expense of the Rams and Chargers. Serves both NFL teams right for deserting their fan bases in L.A./St Louis, and L.A./San Diego in the first place. And should the Raiders ever desert the mudflats of Oakland again, for the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas (and I love Las Vegas), then a pox upon them, too—seeing as they left Oakland for L.A. for Oakland again, and then for Las Vegas! Hell, they’d be nothing but a fricking (excuse my quasi-French) road show. The NFL has become such a joke, and I fear their future looks bleak.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You and I have both raged against the machine that is the NFL but to no avail. They aren’t listening to either of us…as well as most fans and media. These owners are drunk for money and would sell relatives off to get even more. SoCal is all about USC and UCLA as you noted. Two NFL teams? One team? How about no team? Been there and done that NFL. The Raiders are up next. Let’s go for THREE teams in LA. Officiating, replay system, what the hell (PC quasi-French) is a catch, bad coaching and player behavior on and off the field, concussions, Thursdays, uniforms. You knew they had to peak sometime but I too suspect the trend downward will be a bit faster than anticipated.

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  8. Stat of the day right there with that rematch info. I have been reading this post to Paul – thanks for the ‘on the way to work’ amusement!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. aFrankAngle says:

    Oh my my … is the Super Bowl ever green! Recently heard several ad regulars will not be buying this year. As for the winners this week, I’ll tune in … well, some … when I do it will be fun to watch …. but no favs as my team isn’t playing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A few of the traditional ad players are indeed sitting out this year. Hard to read minds to know why but let’s start with the cost. Maybe the ROI really does matter to some now? I know of that whole my team isn’t playing feeling. I also know the feeling of my team getting to the game before the Big Game and losing. Sometimes I wonder which is worse…not making the playoffs at all or making it only to lose the game that would get you into the Super Bowl. Losing the Super Bowl is a unique feeling all its own…the whole fan experience to me is so surreal it doesn’t seem to feel nearly as bad as not making it in the first place.

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  10. Troy says:

    Hope the Falcons get it done against the Seahawks. I have a feeling they will in the dome. I’m not hoping they win because of my dislike of a divisional rival, but because I’m hoping Matt Ryan will get his MVP. I know Rodgers led the Packers on a nice comeback, but Matty Ice has been doing his thing since day 1 of the season.

    With Dallas and Green Bay, I think of it this way: which team does the most things ‘best’? Dallas’s offensive line, running game, receivers and even their defense — I’d like to think — is better than Green Bay’s, but Aaron Rodgers is the thing Green Bay has going for them. The absence of Jordy Nelson (like you mentioned) is going to hurt them, and I think Dallas will add to their magical season. The real MVP of the NFL is their collective offensive line.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matty Ice has as you noted been doing it from the start of the season. He should get the MVP. Pretty much spot-on how I saw GB-Dallas also. If the game is won in the trenches…and no Jordy Nelson…advantage Cowboys. We have seen that Packers offense when Nelson isn’t in there and it hasn’t been pretty at all at times…Rodgers included.

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  11. Please make it happen soon. Super Bowl. Totally sick of it and the hype around here. Last time the Super Bowl was here they made a big deal of players working with Habitat for Humanity – and were red faced when everyone found out they players showed up to hold a shovel for photo ops and then disappeared. They NFL has been scrambling around town like crazy trying to give the impression of “giving back”- like creating a Pollinating Garden at the zoo for migrating bees from Canada..the effort other wise known as a living room sized area with a few yellow flowers – usually the zoo does a better job, but after they game and people leave town it can be fixed….and then there’s the planting of thin trees in a park to provide a “generational impact”…OKk trees are nice, but they should put barbed wire/give the trees guns if they want them to last longer than the photo op there..
    Like I said – sick of it. They keep showing the number of days until the big show all over . Will it please be over?
    (Saw an early release of a Super Bowl commercial – if I’d paid that for that commercial, I’d be packing up and leaving town…bad – and the price of the TV slot om top of that? Run…)
    I hear ticket prices went down once Houston and Dallas were knocked out. (Atlanta surprised me – they look good. Ditto on Green Bay )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your valued comments here serve as this site having a “correspondent” on the ground in Houston keeping readers up-to-date on what’s REALLY going on behind that NFL curtain. In a couple more weeks it really will be all over. Hang in there. And no peeking at any more SB commercials ahead of time. You have to be instantly disappointed in them during the game like the rest of us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’d really like the current video illustrating how NFL players are working with building character programs in schools…Big player in front of video screen showing 2 players nose to nose at the line. “See, he’s trash talking me. I have to just shrug it off ’cause that’s what you need to do, right?” He turns to the neatly dressed kids in desks…90% little girls who all nod their heads up and down….
        You just have to laugh

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Steph McCoy says:

    Years ago I’d only watch the super bowl for the commercials but in recent years they haven’t appealed to me much. I like your idea of the NFL, broadcast partners and sponsors helping those organizations who help citizens who need a hand up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know a lot of people who just watch the game for the commercials and they certainly haven’t been thrilled with what the creative gurus have put forth in recent years. It costs so much just to put them on the air perhaps they are already over their “budget”…money which we agree should be re-directed in some part to the less fortunate who have bigger issues than watching a Super Bowl.

      Liked by 1 person

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