BOSTON (CBS) — So, here we are. It’s Super Bowl week, and the entire football world has flocked to New York City for the week-long hype session that leads up to the big game. Surely, every angle, every matchup and every bit of off-the-field nonsense will be covered, covered again and then beaten into the ground. And very few of them will be of much interest to die-hard football fans in New England, because the Patriots won’t be involved in any of them.
The Patriots lost to the Broncos just last weekend, though it feels as if the season ended several months ago. By now, reality has set in that the Patriots will not be playing for another Lombardi Trophy, and that no matter which way you slice it, Super Bowl Sunday is going to be a tough one to watch.
Yet the participants — the Broncos and Seahawks — have been determined, and they’re not going to change. So to help sort out your rooting interest, or at least try to figure out which team is the lesser of two evils, here’s a run-through of the pros and cons of a potential Seattle victory. There will also be a few gray areas, because sports aren’t always black and white. We also examined the same for Denver.
Peyton Manning Would Still Only Have One Super Bowl
It’s OK to admit that you just don’t want Peyton Manning to gain ground on Tom Brady in the Super Bowl department. And it’s OK to admit you don’t want folks arguing that Peyton ranks higher on the all-time QB rankings than Tom. Obviously, another championship for Manning would do a lot to even the gap, and many pundits have already said that this win would make Manning the best of all time.
Despite the fact that those people are hallucinating, you get the point. Though Peyton has turned many of his “haters” into fans who can at least appreciate his greatness, that doesn’t mean a lot of people in New England can stomach seeing him winning another championship. A Seahawks victory would, by necessity, ensure that wouldn’t happen.
There Is Literally Not One Thing To Dislike About Russell Wilson
Find one thing that bothers you about Russell Wilson. I dare you.
You can’t. The 25-year-old displays incredible composure on the field in huge moments, and he’s as polished as they come off the field. He’s not unlike a certain young quarterback who rose to fame with the Patriots in the early 2000s in that regard.
There are some who may go overboard with their praise of Wilson’s quarterbacking, which might lead some to say he’s overrated. But Wilson can’t be criticized for what others say about him. He can only be judged on what he does himself, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anything wrong there.
Simply, if you’re someone who appreciates sports, it’s easy to root for Russell Wilson. I’d even let him date my daughter. If I had a daughter.
Justice, Somewhat, For The Super Bowl XL Disaster
Super Bowl XL in Detroit following the 2005 season was a nearly unwatchable game, and a major reason why was the awful officiating. Bill Leavy’s crew was simply terrible, and they negated a Seattle touchdown on one iffy call, and Ben Roethlisberger was awarded a touchdown when it looked like he obviously came up short. Later in the game, a questionable holding call took away another big play for Seattle, and there’s little doubt that the bad calls contributed in a big way to Seattle’s Super Bowl loss.
Even Leavy admitted years later: “I kicked two calls in the fourth quarter and I impacted the game, and as an official, you never want to do that. It left me with a lot of sleepless nights. I think about it constantly. I’ll go to my grave wishing that I’d been better.”
Sounds painful. Seattle fans and the Seahawks organization probably don’t feel too much sympathy though. While a win in Super Bowl XLVIII won’t make up for the zebras’ mistakes that cost them Super Bowl XL, there would be at least a sliver of justice if a few calls go Seattle’s way on Sunday.
Score One For The Chest-Thumpers
Richard Sherman may get the most press (more on him in a bit), but he’s hardly the only showman employed by the Seahawks. After seemingly every play, a Seahawks player is stomping around, smacking his chest and throwing an absolute nutty. Hey, chief, it’s second-and-10. Maybe shut up and get ready for the next play?
Obviously, such behavior is common around the NFL, and even old-fashioned types like Bill Belichick encourage players to show passion and enthusiasm on the field. But the Seahawks manage to go overboard, standing out from the pack as exceptional showboats. It’s unbecoming.
Do you ever get the sense that Seattle fans think they invented football? Are they aware that many, many teams have had a “12th Man” before? Sometimes, I’m not entirely sure.
They’re not bad fans, and I’ll give them a ton of credit for being supportive. They filled that stadium at over 100 percent capacity in 2008 and ’09, when the Seahawks went 9-23. They’re loyal, and I feel for Seattle fans who had the SuperSonics stolen from them. That was certainly a lousy situation.
Still, a Super Bowl victory might push the situation into insufferable territory. The architectural design of your stadium is conducive to maintaining a noisy environment. Congratulations. You’re still not capable of creating earthquakes. You know what I’m saying?
Gray Area (Split Decision)
The All-Pro cornerback is a lightning rod for debate, and he has made himself a central talking point in the weeks leading up to the game thanks to one brief on-field interview. His 30-second tirade with Erin Andrews turned half the nation against him and got half the nation behind him. I’m personally not a fan of an athlete who needs to tell you how good he is. After he and the Seahawks beat the Patriots last year, the then-second-year corner decided to get in the face of future Hall of Famer and living football legend Tom Brady to talk trash. Brady’s face said it all: “Call me when they start sculpting your bust in Canton, kid.”
To me, Sherman is the person I’d point at on the TV and tell my (theoretical) children, “Don’t be like that. Whether you win or lose, and whether you play great or terribly, and no matter what the person on the other team said to you, show respect to your opponent, yourself and your teammates.” The country has focused on the Andrews on-field interview, but really, that was about the 100th time in Sherman’s short career that he’s displayed braggadocio that would make even Terrell Owens cringe.
But there are those who appreciate the spectacle of a showboat, and they respect the fact that he can back it up (as if being able to “back it up” makes it acceptable to act like a jackwagon). And there are many in New England and elsewhere who would love to see him prove he’s a championship-caliber player, and they’d love even more to see Sherman intercepting every Peyton Manning pass thrown in his direction.
Pete Carroll is a fun guy. Sure, he took over a Super Bowl Patriots team and steered them straight into mediocrity, and sure, he abandoned ship at USC just as sanctions for several violations were about to be handed down, but, well, he’s Pete! Good ol’ Pete, always running around, chomping gum and smacking his players on the helmets for a job well done. He’s Pumped and Jacked Pete!
Carroll is another guy who might get a split vote from New England. If it were up to me, he’d be in the Cons list, because I’m not sure I can handle living in a world where Pete Carroll is a Super Bowl-winning head coach. But again, there are others who might think fondly of Pete, because he was always a pretty decent guy.
Check out the pros and cons of a Broncos victory, from a New England perspective, by clicking here.