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200 Miles From the Citi


February 6, 2011 6:55 AM

Super Sunday

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Sunday Paper (Year 3, Volume VI)

I used to live for the Super Bowl.

For a long time I was able to recite winners and losers of all of the games...and I could make a pretty good run at naming all of the MVPs as well.

All of the credit goes to my Sports Illustrated free gift from around 1992 - a Pro and College Football Almanac.  The Super Bowl stats in that book were the ones my mind glommed onto.

Maybe because for a long time the idea of the Jets in the Super Bowl was pure fantasy.

It still hasn't become reality...but they've certainly gotten a lot closer.

And the closer the Jets have gotten, the more distance it has created between me and the game.


Instead of something I anxiously await, the Super Bowl has become a representation of my disappointment in the Jets - none more than the past two years, where the Jets came as close as you could get to the Super Bowl.

It's funny, then, that this year's game features the Green Bay Packers - for so many years my NFC team growing up in those Jets lean years.

And this year, at least in the post-season, the Packers were the exact opposite of the Jets.  Sure, they were both 6 seeds and the Packers didn't exactly knock anyone's socks off during the regular season, reminding you of the Jets...but where everything with the Jets in the post-season was a nail-biter (even their big win over New England never seemed tremendously secure), I can't remember the last time I saw a team look as dominant in the post-season as this year's Green Bay Packers.

It started with a win in Philadelphia where the Eagles made a couple of runs to get close, but the Packers pretty much controlled the entire game.  That was followed by pure domination by the Packers in Atlanta, where they didn't even punt.  And it was just a 7-point win in Chicago, but how that happened is a mystery - the Packers should have won that game by 21 - they were that much better than Chicago.

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I don't see how that doesn't continue in the Super Bowl.  Maybe I'm shorting the Pittsburgh Steelers in this game - their quarterback has, after all, already won two Super Bowls - but the Packers are playing better football.  I think they roll in this game:

*So not only is a younger version of me happy about seeing the Packers in the Super Bowl (I hope you're happy you idiot), but I'm also thrilled we have a new matchup.  The Steelers are in their eighth Super Bowl...the Packers are their sixth different matchup.

*And thanks once more to the Southern Bureau for the artwork.  He's been pretty good with his picks this post-season, so I don't think he'll mind me telling you that he likes the Steelers in the Super Bowl; funny because he's been all about the Packers these playoffs.  He makes a good point, saying that the NFC Playoffs were like watching AAA baseball, while the AFC was like the majors.  The Jets fan in me appreciated the sentiment.

*For what it's worth, when my wife was in Las Vegas, she put some money down on the over in the Super Bowl.  It's 44.5.  It's not a lot of money, but it's notable because other than pools, it's the only time in my life I've ever bet money on a single game outcome.  (This may come as a surprise to those of you who know me, but it's true.)  Outside of the myriad pools I've entered in my life, my only other significant bet was a "just for the heck of it" bet on the Mets winning the World Series in 2007 or 2008 when a cousin went to Las Vegas.  (Incidentally, I put down money on two teams winning the 2011 World Series as well through my wife...more on that as the baseball previews come out.  OK, you got me, one was the Mets.  Her idea, not mine.  But stay tuned for the other...)  I can't wait until the day I make my Vegas debut.  I doubt I'll venture outside of the sports book.

*In case you rely on me for this sort of thing, here's the latest on the Wilpon/Madoff/Mets situation.  Friday the details of the lawsuit were made public, and the details about how the red flags that the Wilpons should have been aware of were revealed.  A popular opinion going around this weekend is that the Mets would be better off with the Wilpons selling the team (which is where I stand as well), and selling the team might be the only way for the Wilpons to come up with the finances to defend themselves in this lawsuit.  Meanwhile, Mets' ownership sent me (and other Mets fans, in the interest of full disclosure) an e-mail insisting they are just as much victims in this whole thing as everyone else...plus they suffered the betrayal of a friend.  As a person, I feel badly for the Wilpons, I really do.  But as a baseball fan, and from that business angle, I'm a little upset at their, at best, ignorance, and at worst, negligence.  I can't see myself spending money on the Mets knowing that it's going to people who don't know how to handle millions of dollars.

*Also, thanks to my friend Brendan back home in New York who weighed in with some accounting information after my article last week:

I went to a forensic accounting class last year taught by a guy working for a firm tracking down the Madoff money.  The more we went into it the more it looks like these people/institutions with hundreds of millions of dollars invested should have known something was up when Madoff had these big gains no matter if the market was up or down. 

I like the idea of a forensic accounting class.

*I've made no secret of the fact that I no longer follow the NBA as closely as I did when I was younger...but with my passion for sports streaks, it's inexplicable that I didn't realize until Saturday morning that the Cleveland Cavaliers had lost 23 games in a row.  (And I do know that after Saturday night that streak stands at 24.  You'd better believe I'll be watching it from now on.)

*One other note about Curtis Martin, which I failed to mention in my argument for him to make the Hall of Fame - the way he ran.  Part of his unassuming persona, in my opinion, was his gait.  He wasn't quite six feet tall (he's listed as 5' 11'') , but Martin always seemed tall when he ran, like he was crouching under a short doorway.  He never seemed extremely fast or powerful, but he was effective.  And unfortunately, he'll have to wait at least another year for enshrinement, as he didn't make the final five of the voters on Saturday.  An interesting note was brought up after the vote - next year Bill Parcells will be eligible...wouldn't it be fitting if Parcells and Martin go into the Hall together.

*I'll probably do some tweeting during the Super Bowl.  It might be worth your while to check out @200miles_citi.  I'll do my best to keep you entertained.

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