We deserve a break on Super Bowl Sunday, don’t we?
The NFL postseason has been largely awful, and I’m not saying that because the Carolina Panthers weren’t involved. I’m saying it because generally the final possession has just been someone running out the clock with a 20-point lead.
Of the 10 playoff games played so far, eight of them have been decided by 13 or more points. Only two games – Dallas-Green Bay and Pittsburgh-Kansas City – were close. Everything else has been largely a dud.
But I really think and hope that Atlanta and New England will give us an entertaining and high-scoring Super Bowl.
Then again, a beloved former high school English teacher of mine liked to tell her classes that the old McDonald’s slogan – “You deserve a break today” – was part of what was wrong with America. Her point was that most of us really don’t “deserve” a break, and thinking that we always do deserve one leads to feelings of unwarranted entitlement. The “You deserve a break today” song, by the way, was rated the top advertising jingle of the 20th century by Ad Age.
But I digress. I don’t really care who wins this Super Bowl – I just want a good game.
▪ As you probably know, the last time the Super Bowl was in Houston 13 years ago the Panthers were in it. So were Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The 32-29 New England victory was a tremendous game – far better than that 24-10 whipping Denver put on Carolina a year ago – although it is recalled by the general public in large part for Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction.”
What’s not nearly as well-remembered is the streaker who delayed the second-half kickoff. A chubby guy who had cleverly dressed up as a referee climbed onto the field, took all his clothes off until he had only a G-string on and started gyrating in front of Carolina’s John Kasay. It took quite awhile for the security men to go tackle the streaker, too.
As Carolina coach John Fox would say later about the streaker: “It was like nobody would go get him. But this big fat naked guy dancing around? Hey, I wasn’t about to go get him either.”
▪ I made my Super Bowl prediction almost two weeks ago and will repeat it here. While Matt Ryan lit up Green Bay’s defense, New England’s is better. And it’s just so hard to go against the Brady-Belichick combo. My pick: New England 30, Atlanta 27.
Fowler: 704-358-5140; Twitter: @scott_fowler