I work in New York City, and let me tell you, folks are very excited about the city hosting Super Bowl XLVIII. And by excited, I mean completely blase about it. Because, darn it, we’re New Yorkers. Even if we haven’t been-there-done-that, we sure act like it. And besides, it’s not like Peyton Manning or Richard Sherman are walking down Broadway posing for pictures every day. We have bad knock-off Elmos and Statues of Liberty for that.
Besides, technically New Jersey is hosting the game. New York is just the window dressing. As it should be — nothing can distract from the fact that, whatever the venue and the weather, this is going to be one heck of a game.
The Denver Broncos have a record-setting offense with a future Hall of Famer at quarterback, and they’ll be going up against the league’s top-rated defense. That right there is pretty cool. On the flip side, the Seattle Seahawks have themselves a pretty good offense too, and they’ll face Denver’s pretty good defense.
I admit, my loyalties are torn on this one. Peyton Manning is just fantastic. Plus, he’s an upstanding guy who works his butt off to be as excellent as he is. Seeing him win a second Super Bowl just cements his legacy as one of the best — if not the best — quarterback to ever play the game. Plus, I don’t want to see this face, because it scares me:
Seriously. I’m weighed down by crushing ennui and heartbreak just looking at him. (And let’s just take a moment to recognize that it took three years for me to post my first .gif on this blog.)
On the other hand, I used to live in Seattle once upon a time, when I was with AP covering Microsoft and Amazon. I even interviewed Lou Pinella once as a fill-in for a vacationing sports writer. It’s a great sports town, and they deserve to win the big one. Plus, if that defense can actually stifle Manning, then they seriously have a shot.
If I were voting with my heart, I’d pick Seattle. Manning still has another season to pick up that trophy and ride off into the sunset, whereas Seattle hasn’t proven it’s consistent enough to return to the playoffs over and over again. I want them to seize the moment, run with it, and have an awesome parade through downtown Seattle, right past Pike Place Market and the hammer guy in front of the art museum. I want Pearl Jam and The Presidents of the United States of America (interviewed them once, too!) playing at the CLink for the celebration. I want the Spoonman himself keeping time and Paul Allen doing a happy dance.
But stopping Manning is a tall order, and he has been en fuego all season. I mean, seriously, he broke all the single-season records this year. At age 37. Plus, if any of his teammates let him down at any point in the game, he will show that face and drive laser-eyes through their hearts.
So if my heart’s with Seattle, my head says: Broncos. Either way, I’m making pulled pork with homemade BBQ sauce and I’ll probably crack open a Westmalle dubbel to go with it. So it’s all good.