AND THE WINNER IS… TAILS
There. I just saved you four hours of your life, but unfortunately you also lost three thousand dollars. Well, not all of you. For those of you who aren’t insane and will not be betting on the coin toss, I encourage you to continue reading.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS 17, GREEN BAY PACKERS 14
Allow me to dampen my prediction with a disclaimer. I hope I’m wrong about the outcome of this game for several reasons. If the Steelers win, it likely means that defense prevailed and the game was unbearably boring. A Steelers win would mark their third Super Bowl championship in seven years, another boring premise. My personal reason for rooting against my prediction is that I like Green Bay, and they are the team I decided to root for when the playoffs began. At a base level, however, I only root for entertainment and controversy.
SUPER BOWL MVP: Hines Ward. Ward has effectively faded into the background despite being one of the faces of the Steelers for over a decade. I think the added attention drawn to rookie Antonio Brown and sophomore Mike Wallace will open the door for a sneaky performance from Ward.
BOOM: Troy Polamalu. The word is pretty much out on Polamalu, but the few that don’t know him will learn his name by the conclusion of the Super Bowl. Polamalu will have at least one play that takes our breath away.
BUST: Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers will play well at times, but nothing close to his performance against the Falcons. Rodgers has set the bar very high for himself, and he is likely to struggle against a defense of Pittsburgh’s caliber and on a stage with the magnitude of the Super Bowl.
AND, OF COURSE, THE SUPER BOWL DRINKING GAME…
Many of you will file into sports bars or attend Super Bowl parties on Sunday, so instead of simply telling you what to watch for – let’s have some fun with it:
1. Every time someone besides Aaron Rodgers does the “belt” celebration, take a drink.
2. Whenever the announcers mention rookie James Starks’ difficult path to the NFL, take a drink.
3. Every time the announcers mentions the hair of Troy Polamalu or Clay Matthews hair, take a drink.
4. Every time James Harrison is flagged for an illegal hit, take a drink.
5. Any time a commercial actually makes you laugh out loud, take a drink.
6. Whenever someone you’re with says, “I only watch for the commercials,” take a shot.
7. Every time the cameraman zooms in for a close-up of Bret Keisel’s beard, shotgun a beer.
8. Every time Bret Favre is mentioned, finish your drink.
NOTE: The preceding Super Bowl Drinking Game is intended for your reading amusement only. Should you foolishingly decide to actually play the game, please lock your car keys away prior to kick-off – even if you’re watching at home. Jesse Jacobs and Nippertown.com will not be held responsible for your actions.
Sunday’s Super Bowl is sure to entertain regardless of your level of football fandom. Enjoy the commercials, parties, game and last few hours of bliss before you return to work on Monday. As usual, be sure to check back for my thoughts on the game – right here at Nippertown.com.
Story by Jesse Jacobs, who also writes for The Ballston Journal
JESSE JACOBS’ COMPLETE NFL PLAYOFF ROUND-UP: THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD TO THE SUPER BOWL:
WEEK TWO: Divisional Playoffs
Divisional Playoff Predictions
Pittsburgh Steelers 31, Baltimore Ravens 24
Green Bay Packers 48, Atlanta Falcons 21
Chicago Bears 35, Seattle Seahawks 24
New York Jets 28, New England Patriots 21