So here we are on the brink of another Super Bowl Sunday. I don’t really care who wins since my underachieving, self-destructive Dallas Cowboys have been as much of a spectator as I have been since the outset of the postseason tournament.
I suppose if I have to select someone to root for in this match-up, it would have to be the Arizona Cardinals — even though teams should represent cities rather than states — since they are the underdog (about +7 last time I checked). Plus it’s all about NFC solidarity, the fact the Pittsburgh Steelers have branded more painful memories into my psyche with those Super Bowl triumphs over Dallas in the 1970s, and that since I moved to the East Coast (from Los Angeles to Charlotte in 2006) I have been bombarded by as many people showing off Steelers gear as I was by those donning the Cowboys star in L.A. Sometimes I think maybe the black and gold own Charlotte as opposed to the Carolina Panthers (doh! another one representing a state, or is it states?). Some clown whose son played on the same flag football team as my 4-year-old son’s even showed up at every game decked out head to toe in a Steelers sweat suit and cap, and my neighbors on either side are under the spell of the Steel City’s gridiron gang. It’s cool if they are lifelong fans, but two things I abhor are bandwagoners and fair-weathered fans. But I digress, as I am wont to do.
Back to the big game … it’s mind-boggling that a team that went 9-7 (talking about the Cards for all you novices and casual fans who are probably more interested in the halftime performance by Bruce Springsteen and million-dollar commercial spots) in the regular season and was especially dreadful on the road is even vying for the NFL championship. Therefore, I fully expect the defensive-minded Steelers to add another title to their storied history by beating up on the offensive-oriented Cards, who will be overwhelmed in their first trip ever to the big dance. However, while it’s true that Pittsburgh has a punishing defense, lead by NFL Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison at linebacker and All-Pro Strong Safety Troy Polamalu, and an established pedigree, there are a couple of things Arizona has playing in its favor. One is Quarterback Kurt Warner, who has won a Super Bowl before with the St. Louis Rams (coincidentally where the Cardinals used to play), and the second is the game is being played in a climate (Tampa) that favors Arizona’s high-octane passing game, which is paced by Wide Receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin — perhaps the game’s best tandem.
Pittsburgh is more accustomed to slogging it out in the mud and snow against divisional foes that did not exactly light up the scoreboard this season. The Steelers will be in trouble if the game turns into a track meet. Further, if Arizona can hold its own against Pittsburgh’s running game, get some pressure on Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and minimize turnovers and penalties, then the Cards could become one of the greatest surprises in Super Bowl history. But I don’t see it happening.
My prediction: Steelers 31, Arizona 21. My main wish (especially since I have not even found a pool to participate in) is that it is at least competitive as so many of the Super Bowl match-ups have been anything but super, with blowouts more often the rule than the exception. But hey, what do I know; both these teams defeated the Cowboys this season!
The big game is only a few days away, so hurry and post your predictions below and show us who the electronic security industry’s greatest sports mind is. I am already counting down the days until next season when the Dallas Cowboys get another fresh start and open play in their brand new, state-of-the-art stadium (did you just get chills also?). There’s nothing quite like NFL football is there?
As always, thanks for reading.
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