Tag: Peyton Manning

Most Annoying Super Bowl Storylines

Every year around this time, the media does a phenomenal job out beating dead horses and desperately trying to make stories out of things that are non-issues. It’s unspeakably annoying. It’s as if they think a game the magnitude of the Super Bowl needs additional hype or something. Here’s a few that make us want to stab ourselves in the eardrums.

Torsten’s top three:

Number One Scoring Offense vs. Number One Scoring Defense: Ok, we get it. Denver has an explosive offense, Seattle has a sturdy defense. Here’s why it’s crap. Yeah, Denver scored the most points and Seattle allowed the fewest to be scored upon them. Does it make them the best? Maybe, maybe not. Sure, Denver’s offense is great, but their point total is somewhat inflated by the fact that they continued to bomb the ball down the field in garbage time of games that were already blowouts and their opponents had essentially thrown in the towel (See 12/22 vs. Houston). I don’t think there’s anything wrong with keeping the pedal to the medal, per se, but it’s not a matter of debate that this type of philosophy will impact point totals. Additionally, Seattle’s defensive prowess is somewhat inflated because of how brutal the atmosphere is for visiting teams. At home, they’re liable to hang a goose egg on any offense. On the road, where offensive linemen can get off with the snap as opposed to a split second late, they can be run on a little bit, and that makes a difference.  But anyway, this is the Super Bowl! Obviously, any team that gets here is going to be pretty good on both sides of the ball. They have to be. That’s why they’re the last two remaining. 

Richard Sherman: It’s truly ridiculous. He goes on a WWE villain-type rant in his post-game interview after making the game-deciding defensive play, insulting Michael Crabtree, and everyone is quick to call him names, including “thug.” All of a sudden, people jump on the other bandwagon. Oh, Sherman overcame incredible odds to avoid gangs in Compton, demonstrate academic excellence in high school and again in college at Stanford, and look at the genuine distress he was in over NaVorro Bowman’s gruesome knee injury! Come on… having empathy when a colleague, even an opponent, suffers a terrible injury doesn’t make you special. It makes you not a sociopath. And his assertion that being called a thug is just a notch below being called the N-word, well that’s just lunacy. For those of you that care, the word thug originates from circa-13th century India about a nefarious group of scoundrels that gave people a bad time. It was and is commonly used to describe mafia and other organized crime henchmen whose sole purpose was to physically intimidate or harm people who didn’t “play ball.” And yes, it is used in connotation with black gang members as well, but if it’s equivalent to one of the more despicable slurs out there, why did Tupac Shakur start a hip hop group called Thug Life, alluding to thug life being more about overcoming adversity and achieving success? Anyway, what it boils down to is this. I’m not a shrink, but it appears Richard Sherman is an excellent football player, academic and intelligent, a little narcissistic, and perhaps a little underdeveloped socially. But ultimately, who gives a sh*t? He’s just one player, albeit a good one, who is gonna be on the field February 2nd.

The Weed: Granted, this is more of a joke than it is a storyline; the two states who legalized recreational marijuana use are represented in football’s biggest game. But believe you me, there are those people out there (who no doubt have done their fair share of recreational using) who truly believe that it’s some kind of cosmic justice or karma. Really? On the plus side, the topic has come up of medicinal pot use in the NFL, specifically pertaining to the treatment of concussions. Which, if it’s viable, needs to absolutely be implemented. Meanwhile, the joke is old. Let it go already. It’s not like stoners are suffering from a shortage of things that they find funny.

Shaun’s top three:

Before I jump into the three storylines I am sick of hearing, I want to add to one of Torsten’s.  Usually Torsten is the one that loves to throw about conspiracy theories within sports, just ask him about Sepp Blatter or the NFL referees, but he completely missed one.  We are probably all sick of the Peyton Manning and Papa commercials for Papa John’s, but is it really any surprise that main sponsor of the Super Bowl is a pizza company when the two teams that make it to the game come from states that have legalized marijuana?  I think not.  With that said, here are the three storylines I am sick of:

Peyton Manning’s Legacy: Really?!?!  So, if Manning doesn’t win another championship, does that mean he hasn’t been a great quarterback?  As a Patriots fan, I inherently cannot stand Peyton Manning, but there is no debating he is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time.  Dan Marino never won a Super Bowl, but guess what, he was great.  One more championship won’t be enough to catapult Manning over Joe Montana in the eyes of anyone that feels Montana is the greatest ever.  Trent Dilfer has won a Super Bowl.  The NFL’s leader in interceptions thrown last season, Eli Manning, has two rings.  Peyton’s legacy is set as one of the greatest ever, regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s game.

Weather: When it was first announced the Meadowlands would be hosing the Super Bowl, I was really hoping it would be about -20 degrees with 60 mph winds because I feel it is a terrible idea, but now that every sports outlet has a full time meteorologist on staff to let us know what the updated projected high and low for Sunday are every half hour, I no longer care.  The two teams in the game come from dynamic home climates.  One, the Broncos, play their home games at high altitude and cold weather.  Meanwhile, the Seahawks play in the wettest city in America.  Rarely does anyone look at the weather before the first cut to the stadium during a pregame show, so why should we this week?

Media: No, seriously, I am sick of everything on TV and radio in terms of the game outside of outlets that actually look at matchups and breakdown the game.  My phone sent me alerts yesterday (Monday) when each team landed at Newark Airport.  What?!?!  Teams flew to Jersey for the game, the plane arrived, and that is news?  Thank you ESPN, you make me a dumber sports fan one update at a time.  Then there is media day.  A whole event dedicated to the media interviewing players…which they do every day anyway, only media day is held on the field.  Oh, wait, no it isn’t, this year the game is in an outdoor stadium with snow on the ground, so they are hosting media day indoors, you know, kinda like every other interview ever. 

AFC Conference Championsip Preview

New England +4.5 @ Denver (55): The New England Patriots beat the Denver Broncos in overtime, in New England earlier this season, after the Patriots handed over a 24-10 halftime lead thanks to multiple fumbles early in that game.  This game is in Denver, and I don’t expect it to be a sloppy game like the first one.  I do believe the Patriots will pull this game out, but if the line was Denver +4.5, I would tell you to take Denver on the betting line. 

The game will come down to a field goal or less, because, well, why not when you have a matchup of the two best quarterbacks in this generation.  In all the great Peyton vs. Brady mathups, neither has ever won a playoff game against the other on the road, but that changes this weekend.  Denver fans can get loud, but nothing like the Colts fans used to get in the dome, so Brady’s audibles at the line shouldn’t be an issue on Sunday.

The Broncos have lost another defensive back, and that could prove to be the difference.  The Patriots have the biggest selection of unassuming wide outs, Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, and Austin Collie, as any team has ever had, but they are productive.  In addition, the running back depth is impressive, and Shane Vereen can create mismatches all over the field.

For the Broncos to win, they will need to lean heavy on Knowshon Moreno.  The Patriots are thin at defensive tackle and middle linebacker, so a between the tackle running attack is their biggest weakness on defense.  Despite this being a game between two Hall of Fame quarterbacks, the winner will be the team that is able to run the ball more efficiently.

You can follow Shaun Kernahan on twitter @shaunkernahan, add him to your network on Google, and like Shaun on Facebook.

NFL Divisional Weekend – AFC Preview

I will twist Torten’s rodeo analogy, a solid pull by the way, and twist it into the upcoming Olympics.  The Stain is standing atop the podium receiving our gold medals for terrible predictions last week.  Among the eight potential betting lines, spread and over under for each game, I am pretty sure we almost got one right, so if you are in Las Vegas this weekend, be sure to go completely opposite of our choices here.

Indianapolis +7 at New England (53):  As a Patriots fan, and knowing my history in predictions posted online, I am tempted to take the Colts in a blowout, you know, to reverse jinx it, but I have to remain objective here.  The Patriots should win this game, but the seven point spread is huge for this matchup.  With Brandon Spikes hitting IR this week, join Jarrod Mayo and Vince Wilfork, the three best middle defenders, and run stoppers, are now on IR.  Lucky for the Patriots, the Colts are terrible when it comes to running the ball.  The Colts will have to rely on Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton, which is actually a good matchup for them this week.  Aqib Talib is a master at shutting down big #1 receivers, but can struggle against the smaller quicker types, aka T.Y. Hilton.  The Patriots offense is a whose who of who’s that.  Gronk is on IR, and the only household name left is Tom Brady.  Shane Vereen is as versatile a back as there is in football, and the best rusher is a guy best known for decking a guy on Boise State, LeGarrette Blount.  Amendola and Edelman are excellent slot guys, but the big play will need to come from one of the rookie receivers.  Robert Mathis will be in the backfield all game, and Brady will come out of the matchup beat up, but will do enough to win.  I see a high scoring game, 34-30 Patriots. 

San Diego +9.5 at Denver (55.5): San Diego is the hottest team in the NFL, having won five straight, including two against Kansas City, and one against Denver, and will give the Broncos all they can handle again.  Picking against Denver is a terrible idea regardless of the matchup, they are the most talented team in the NFL, and have the greatest offense in NFL history, so, I pick the Chargers to win.  Yup, I am running with the terrible idea, and I feel good about it.  Weather shouldn’t play much of a factor in the game, outside of the wind gusts that should reach about 25 mph, which can cause some trouble for Peyton, but that is not going to be the difference in the game.  Keenan Allen is as good a rookie receiver as there has been in several years.  He seems unassuming when watching the game, and never makes the big highlight plays, but watch a Chargers game, and #13 will be a staple.  He will end each game with near 10 grabs, around 100 yards, and a touchdown or two every game.  Ryan Matthews is running like the first rounder they expected when they drafted him several years ago, and Phillip Rivers might be the second best quarterback in the league right now.  Yes, I just punched myself in the gut after writing that, but he is truly playing the quarterback position as good as anyone not named Peyton Manning.  In order to win the game, the Chargers need to keep the score reasonable, and they will, easily covering the spread, and just coming in on the under.  I pick the Chargers, 28-24.

You can follow Shaun Kernahan on twitter @shaunkernahan, add him to your network on Google, and like Shaun on Facebook.