Archive for February, 2010

Well it’s half-time and the Colts are just about leading the Saints 10-6.

Big incidents so far:

  • Gary Brackett’s goal line tackle
  • Dwight Freeney’s momentum killing sack
  • The lone td from Manning to Garcon – picking on Usama Young
  • The fact the Colts owned Q1 and the Saints owned Q2
  • Garrett Hartley has been money on his 2 field goals – he has been ice cold
  • Matt Stover becoming the oldest man ever to play and score in a Super Bowl

Boy do The Who suck – I have them on mute as I type. Just because Janet showed a bit of nipple we now have all these old bastards.

Lets hope the game gets some more points in the second half.

Still all to play for………………….

This is a pick from the heart not the head.

Super Bowl Sunday – no feeling like it.

It’s history, it’s drama, it’s the personification of the American dream, and above all it’s only hours away.

I had predicted a Ravens v Eagles Super Bowl, and an Eagles win. I did predict the Colts making the final four, but then again I also predicted the Falcons to be playing in the NFC Championship too.

Now we have the most offensive Super Bowl in history, completely smashing into tiny pieces the old adage that ‘offense wins games and defense wins championships’.

The Indianapolis Colts are back in the Super Bowl just three years after they beat Da Bearz, complete with the NFL MVP at quarterback, and around half of the current team boasting a giant ring with a big blue horseshoe on it.

The New Orleans Saints are at the big dance for the first time in their history, having suffered many years of futility, embarrassment and playoff heartache.

Despite the recent history and the post season experiences of both teams this is not a David v Goliath battle, it is a match-up of the two highest octane offenses in the NFL.

Just about the only thing that may slow down the Colts and the Saints from scoring 50 points on each other is the fact the game is being played outside in grass, and not on the speedy artificial surface that the two finalists are accustomed to.

Both teams are equally capable of falling behind by 14 points and then scoring two touchdowns in under three minutes to tie it back up, without even breaking into a sweat.

Both Drew Brees and Peyton Manning can win this game, and both can be ruthlessly efficient. Both have big arms, big hearts and their internal computers are faster than the ones in that room Matthew Broderick broke into in ‘War Games’.

Peyton has a ring and knows what it takes. I don’t think I can recall a Super Bowl with this many game breaking wideouts on both teams (deep breath) Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Lance Moore, Robert Meachem (Saints) and Reggie Wayne, Austin Collie, Pierre Garcon (Colts). We then move onto TEs, and this is where Dallas Clark does outdo Jeremy Shockey.

Joseph Addai was a rookie in 2007 and he was part of a two-headed rushing monster (with Dominic Rhodes) that won the Colts the Superbowl. Addai has not stepped up much further, but that is because he is not asked to do any more than be part of the offense, not the focus.

His support act is rookie Donald Brown, who could surprise today. The Saints have a troop of backs that are built for every situation. Reggie Bush has the hands and the speed, Mike Bell has the nose for a first down, Lynell Hamilton could be a fantasy td thief and we cannot forget Pierre Thomas, who when given bigger responsibility is nothing but business like.

Its gonna be a fun game for sure, and it comes down to two key factors – which defense will cause the most turnovers and who can get a running game to step up and keep the clock running on long drives.

My head says the Colts, but my heart says the Saints. I just have a feeling that the Saints defense will play the game of their lives, with Jonathan Vilma all over the field and Darren Sharper showing his true talent.

My Super Bowl prediction is Saints 33-28 Colts – MVP Drew Brees 3 td passes and 311 yards passing.

It's gonna be hog day here in Birmingham - Congratulations Russ

Seeing the joy on the faces of the Colts and Saints fans two weeks ago made being a Redskins fan even harder.

I was forced to cast my mind back to the 1980s when the Redskins were good, and led by a bunch of men who were affectionately known as ‘The Hogs’.

Some hardcore fans called ‘The Hogettes’ still turn up to Fed Ex Field every season, donning dresses and pig noses, paying respect to this legendary offensive line.

Whilst the Redskins are light years away from a return to glory it is fantastic news that Superbowl Sunday 2010 is going to have a small part of the festivities devoted to Russ Grimm, one of ‘The Hogs’.

Grimm was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1981 draft, and by the end of his career he had played in four Super Bowls, winning three.

Well done Mr Grimm – you deserve your bust in Canton very close to Art Monk’s.

Pierre Garcon could shock the world with an MVP Super Bowl performance

It’s one of those inevitabilities that if a quarterback has a good game and is on the winning side, the likelihood is that they will get the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award at the Super Bowl.

Out of the 43 Super Bowl MVP awards given, 22 have been awarded to qbs. In many cases they have been deserved (Joe Montana, Tom Brady, Doug Williams).

Sometimes the QBs winning the MVP award have not been deserved, and won instead as the result of being ‘the most popular’ or ‘as a reward for their outstanding season’ (Eli Manning, Mark Rypien, Bart Starr’s 2nd Super Bowl).

The QB MVP monopoly has been broken up over the past six seasons by one other position only – wide receiver.

Deion Branch (Patriots), Hines Ward and Santonio Homes (both Steelers) have shown that another position outside QB can be a game breaker. Unsurprisingly the last defensive player to win the MVP award in the big game was Dexter Jackson the Buccaneers safety (2003).

So this lead me neatly to my MVP prediction. As a betting man I have hedged my bets (literally) and put a small amount of cash on the following four Super Bowl XLIV participants to scoop  MVP award;

  • Reggie Bush – Saints running back/returner (Odds I got at Bet Fred 16-1)

Why Reggie? Well he is without doubt the most exciting player to take the field in Miami on Sunday. He can run, catch and return punts. He has raised his game intensity level in the playoffs to an unprecedented level, and has the speed, hips and vision to score from anywhere. If he gets to touch the ball over 20 times he should score twice and the rest could be history.

  • Darren Sharper – Saints safety (Odds I got from Bet Fred 40-1)

Why Darren? Sharper has had one of those once in a career seasons, kind of like Ed Reed has done in the past, by being in the right place at the right time pretty much every game. Sharper is the defensive leader of the Saints, along with Jonathan Vilma, and remarkably this will be his second Super Bowl, having been to the big dance with the Packers (as a rookie).  Sharper gets two game changing interceptions before the 4th quarter and he could be da man in Florida.

  • Pierre Garcon – Colts wide receiver (Odds I got from Bet Fred 22-1)
  • Austin Collie – Colts wide receiver (odds I got from Bet Fred 28-1)

Why Pierre or Austin? With three out of the last five MVP awards going to wide receivers there seems to be a movement to rewarding the speed demons. The growing trend of teams using a ‘running back by committee’ approach has removed running backs from MVP consideration, with the last RB MVP being Terrell Davis (Broncos) in 1998. Under this philosophy Reggie Wayne looks to be the ideal MVP candidate, as he is the #1 WR. Thing is Wayne has had a relatively quiet post-season, and in his place both Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon have stepped up and Peyton Manning has the pair looking like All-Pro starters. Both or one out of Collie and Garcon could easily go over 100 yards and 2 touchdowns before the Super Bowl is over. 9 or 10 catches by either (depending on the coverage they get) could make them MVP winners. With NFL MVP Peyton Manning tossing the pigskin anything is possible.

If I had to go for just one player I’d pick Pierre Garcon. With his Haitian roots and worldwide support, this could be the biggest and best fairytale ending ever (better than Elway and Jerome Bettis’s fabled stories put together).

Cant wait for the game, likelihood is that I wont win a bean, but hey you have to be in it to win it!

Part of my Super Bowl tradition - some M & M's

Here in England most of the people I work with will see Sunday night as the last opportunity to catch some sleep before the inevitable grind that is Monday morning’s commute.

I however will be as excited as a six-year-old on Christmas day by the time it gets to 11pm on Sunday.

Since my first ever experience watching a Super Bowl live on tv (1987 Giants v Broncos) I have had a little routine.

Here goes with what I do….


Place bets on who will score the first touchdown and who will be the Most Valuable Player. Sometimes I also bet on the scoring margin, but only if I think its going to be an ass kicking. Before I was legally old enough I persuaded my mum to go and put the bets on for me!


I have the following items lined up in front of me on a small table:

  • Can of Pepsi (regular) even though its the only can of Pepsi I have all year (I normally drink Pepsi Max)
  • A regular Snickers bar that I cut into small slices like a loaf of bread (don’t ask !)
  • Some toffee popcorn served from an awesome Redskins helmet that doubles as a chips and dips server
  • Doritos (two varieties, usually Sizzling Hot, Ranch or Hint of Lime) with low-fat dips and an extra sour cream dip
  • A big bag of Peanut M&Ms that I sort into colour groups on a tray


I move the sofa directly in front of the tv, so close that my retinas probably want to do a 180 degree roll so they are more comfortable staring at my brain. I make sure I book the Monday off work (as does my wife). Talking of my wife she has a tradition of falling asleep on the sofa before the end of the second quarter. I also like to get in the Super Bowl mood by watching one or two sports movies during the day, something like Friday Night Lights, Any Given Sunday or Invincible.

What do you all do as a Super Bowl tradition?

Gotta admit I am getting sucked in to watching some UFC now and then, and with the NFL season drawing to a close it’s time to latch on a sport until the 2010 NFL draft is near enough to smell.

Listening to the Around the Horn and P.T.I. podcasts I didn’t believe my ears when the likes of Wilbon and Reali stated talking about former Dallas Cowboy and Minnesota Viking running back Herschel Walker becoming the latest sporting name to come into the ever-growing world of mixed martial arts.

Walker has the body of an NFL rookie linebacker, and whilst he does not look as fresh-faced as when he terrorised opposing NFL defenses in the 1980s, he did look fit as a fiddle.

Walker was the Heisman Trophy winner in 1982. Just take a minute to say it out loud…..1982. It is now 2010 and he made a winning debut in the UFC.

Whatever next? Here are a few scenarios that came to mind regarding former NFL running backs…..

  • Barry Sanders takes up boxing and gets in the ring with Manny Pacquiao
  • Jerome Bettis gets down to his undergarments and takes up sumo wrestling in Japan
  • Mike Alstott keeps pumping his legs, but now on a bicycle as he takes part in the Tour de France

Odds on this will be a high scoring Superbowl

I do have to admit that I love a little flutter during Superbowl week.

Betting on who will win the Superbowl or what the winning margin will be is not much fun as the odds are so short.

Instead I like to spend some of my hard-earned cash on two different bets – ‘First touchdown scorer’ and ‘Most Valuable Player’.

The obvious MVP bet is always the quarterbacks, and Manning and Brees will likely be around 3-1 or even 2-1 once the odds get pushed out by UK bookmakers.

I tend to go for wide receivers for MVP as you can normally get 10-1 up to 30-1 depending if you pick a Pro Bowl wideout or a slot man who might just blow up in Miami. I last won big  a few years ago when I predicted WR Deion Branch to be the MVP for the Patriots. I won over £100 and sensibly spent the winnings on a pair of bedside clothes cabinets.

Regarding the first TD scorer, the last time I got it right and won some money was when L.J. Smith the Eagles TE opened the scoring against the Patriots connecting on the end of a Donovan McNabb pass.

So…what are my predictions for fist touchdown scorer for the 2010 Superbowl? Well I always hedge my bets and pick four different potential paydirt magnets. For Superbowl XLIV (44) I bet at Ladbrokes and went for the following:

  • Drew Brees Saints QB (rushing td) – Odds 50-1 – Big odds but he could always go for a surprise 1 yard plunge
  • Lynell Hamilton Saints RB (rushing or receiving td) – Odds 25-1 – The guy is used as a goal-line back go figure!
  • Jeremy Shockey Saints TE (receiving td) Odds 16-1 – Shockey would like nothing more than setting the tone.
  • Donald Brown Colts RB (rushing or receiving td) – Odds 25-1 – Its a toss-up with the Indy running game, I like this rookie however and see him doing something great in this game, so why not the first 6 point score!

I know only one can possibly payout, and there is no science to it at all, but it sure makes the opening few possessions a whole load of fun.

The MVP odds have not been worked out by some UK bookies so I will have to wait until the weekend to place a small wager.

If any of you do decide to match my betting and you win I want 10%! If you lose then I have no idea what on earth you are talking about – what blog post?