Friday, February 1, 2013

My Super Bowl observations and prediction, plus opinions on A-Fraud and James Southerland

                For the first time in a number of years, I haven’t been writing for a media outlet in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. And, to be honest, other than missing the paychecks I would have received for such work, it feels good not to be contributing to the orgy of hype surrounding the Roman Numeral Game.
                Oh, I’ve heard a few of the news stories coming out of N’orlins – such as Ray Lewis’s alleged use of a performance-enhancing drug known as deer antler spray, and how Randy Moss believes he is the greatest receiver of all-time. (Sorry, Randy, but Jerry Rice’s unworldly numbers don’t back your boast.) But other than those tidbits I’ve purposely avoided the wretched excess that gets shoved down our throats each time this year.
                I covered eight Roman Numeral Games in person, including all four Bills losses, Joe Montana’s dramatic comeback vs. the Bengals and the Giants annihilation of the Broncos. I’m glad I was there for those games. But I don’t miss many aspects of the ultimate pack journalism experience, especially herding around like cattle with the media horde. My only interest in going again would be if the Bills – stop that snickering - were to ever make it again. I figured after Wide Right and the other debacles, it would be nice to chronicle a victory for a change.
                That’s not to say I’m not interested in Sunday’s game. I am. But I’m going to avoid all the pre-game bloviations. If you want better entertainment, tune into PBS’ Downtown Abbey.
                I’ve gone back and forth on who I think is going to win. I dislike Ray Lewis as a person, but I couldn’t help but be impressed with the way he and his fellow defenders beat the snot out of Tom Brady and the Patriots high-octane offense in the AFC title game. That said, I going with the 49ers because of quarterback Colin Kaepernick and running backs Frank Gore and LaMichael James. I think ‘Niners coach Jim Harbaugh is going to pull a few tricks out of his sleeve that Ravens coach and older ‘bro John Harbaugh isn’t going to be prepared for. Call it San Fran, 27, Baltimore 19.
                Should my prediction come true (as I’ve cautioned in the past don’t ever risk your hard-earned cash on one of my prognostications) it would give the 49ers their sixth Lombardi Trophy. The precocious Kaepernick clearly is following in the cleat steps of legends. San Francisco’s Hall of Fame QBs Joe Montana and Steve Young combined for 17 touchdown passes and ZERO interceptions during their Super Bowls. Pretty amazing.
                Speaking of over-hyped events and people, has there ever been a bigger drama queen in sports than Alex Rodriguez? And has there ever been a more appropriate and damning nickname than A-Fraud? Hopefully, we won’t have to see shots of him munching on pop corn with his latest bimbo during Sunday’s Super Bowl.
                Syracuse forward James Southerland reportedly will go before a campus review board next week in an effort to be reinstated for the remainder of the season. The Orange basketball team sure could use his outside shot and rebounding skills. But I hope the committee makes its decision based on what’s right for the school and for him, and not because he’s needed on the hoops squad.
              SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: The lineup for the weekly radio show ("A Talk in the Park") that I co-host with Curt Smith includes Red Wings CEO Naomi Silver, Washington Nationals public relations director and McQuaid grad John Dever and New York Daily News Mets beat writer and Fairport alum Andy Martino. You can catch it Saturday at noon on WYSL AM-1040, FM 92.1 or via the internet live or on a podcast at