Posts Tagged ‘John Elway’

Gronk wont be playing in the Super Bowl regardless if the Pats win on Sunday

Gronk wont be playing in the Super Bowl regardless if the Pats win on Sunday

Five Super Bowl performances in the last eleven seasons is pretty remarkable, all led by the same quarterback and head coach combination is mind-bending.

Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots franchise stand on the verge of a sixth Super Bowl berth in the last dozen seasons, which if they do succeed means they have represented their conference in 50% of Super Bowls since 2002.

They face a Baltimore Ravens team this weekend in  a rematch of last years AFC Championship, a game the Patriots triumphed 23-20.

The Ravens are now in their third conference championship in five years, hoping that it’s third time lucky.

There are many many storylines and matchups to look out for:

– Can Ray Lewis fire up his team enough or will his final NFL game be a heartbreaking defeat?

– Can the Patriots live without the man-beast Rob Gronkowski?

– Can the Ravens pull-off a third playoff win in a row against a fresher team who will have a huge home field advantage?

– Can the Patriots secondary live with the speed of Torrey Smith – will it be Aqib Talib marking Smith to leave Anquan Boldin to have a big game?

– Will there be a Ravens player do a ‘Lee Evans’ and drop a game winning touchdown?

I have to say I love the way the Pats have taken the two tight-end set into a different stratosphere, which is why it’s such a shame that Rob Gronkowski re-broke his arm last weekend and will next suit up in anger in about six-months. I do expect a big game from the ‘other’ tight-end Aaron Hernandez.

Regardless of Hernandez’s stat-line, or the lack of the Gronk, the Patriots are 60 minutes away from their eighth Super Bowl, and for me a seventh time watching those silver helmets take on an NFC opponent.

When you are a supporter of such a dominant team then you are hoping the Super Bowl performances are never-ending, but when you are a fan of one of the other 31 NFL teams you just hope that there are some new teams losing their Super Bowl virginity.

As a neutral it has been a lot of fun seeing the likes of the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals reach (and in the first two cases win) a Super Bowl.

It’s not so much fun watching the same teams keep going back. The irony is not lost that we have the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL Championship as I grew up watching Joe Montana and Steve Young win three Super Bowls over a seven year stretch.

I do have very clear memories of the Ravens winning their only previous Super Bowl appearance, and likewise the Falcons somewhat flat performance against the John Elway led Denver Broncos in 1999.

As long as the Patriots are held out of this Super Bowl I really don’t mind who wins out of the 49ers and the Falcons. You have to love the dynamism of Colin Kaepernick and then the emotional high that would be experienced if Tony Gonzales the future Hall of Fame tight-end would get if he could somehow play his last game in the Super Bowl.

Just don’t think I can stomach another two-weeks of hype led by Tom Brady’s face and the grey face of Bill ‘the Emperor’ Belichick.

Come on Ray & Ray you wouldn’t want to let down your international admirers would you?

Advertisements

Now the NFL promised to bring a Superbowl trophy to Wembley to be at the official tailgate party. A real gleaming Vince Lombardi Trophy. Now both my wife and I thought that the NFL would conveniently forget to pack the shiny silver mounted ball, and instead bring a giant cardboard version.

We queued up outside the Hall of Fame tent and after just about ten minutes we were shuffled into a crowded room. Inside were some of the most incredible NFL exhibits you are ever gonna clamp your eyes upon.

Items on display included the shirt Brett Favre wore when he broke the NFL passing record, the fake foot/boot Tom Dempsey wore when he originally set the record for the longest NFL field goal, a helmet worn by John Elway, a shirt from AFL 1960s San Diego Chargers legend Lance ‘Bambi’ Alworth, and a shirt worn by Baltimore Colts god Johnny Unitas.

Normally you have to go all the way to Canton, Ohio to see such amazing sights so thumbs up to the NFL – WOW.

Ill let the pictures do the talking here, as my words will not do justice to these unbelievable pieces of history.

DSC08637

This was the shirt worn by Peyton Manning as a rookie

 

 

 
 
DSC08680

He winds me up but Brett Favre broke the NFL passing record in this shirt

 

 
 
 
DSC08659

This weird black object is the boot that kicked a 63 yard field goal for Tom Dempsey

 

 

 
 
 
DSC08653

Good to see an old skool John Elway Denver Broncos helmet

 

 

DSC08656

I was quite emotional seeing a shirt worn by Baltimore Colts legend Johnny Unitas