by Thomas U. Tuttle
They’ve about finished with the Super Bowl preliminaries, shut down most of the free buffets around town, and defrosted a few of Minnesota’s short-term SB guests who have been wandering around town, bundled up, trying to find the music shows and the parties.
While they cope with current temperatures, you can practically hear the West Coasters checking their flights as they prepare to leave our most-hospitable ice box. And they still have to brave the freezing elements to get to the game, and then stand in line (outdoors) while clearing what is sure to be a stiff security check.
The NFL has assured us an expedited yet thorough screening process, which it had better be…
Once the upset is complete – I mean, after the game is over – the Super fans still have to get back to their hotels, or rented mansions, etc… without contracting frostbite. It’s going to be well into the evening and colder than bejeezus, so even finding the limo is going to be tough.
All of this should make you feel better as you sit in front of the big screen, with the giant money you didn’t pay for a ticket still in your pocket and warm food at your disposal.
But of course, I digress Big-Time. The Super Game is upon us, and the moment has arrived to make the important calls. My friend Vito Pastrami has informed me that New England’s Patriots have been installed as 5 point favorites (up from 4 in the last 24 hours) as late professional money is wagered on New England.
The pro’s know that Tom Brady has been The Man, and it doesn’t take a long memory to recognize that fact. Just last year he came back from trailing 28-3 to defeat Atlanta in the fourth quarter, a comeback of such scale never accomplished in the 50-plus-year history of the game.
Yep, he’s amazing…and he’s Going Down this year! Philadelphia’s Eagles have had things lined up well this playoff run and will win Super Bowl LII outright, easily covering the spread and sending Tom Terrific into his 41st birthday with a few new doubts about the future.
Philadelphia, to put it simply, has been tough, durable and resilient in the face of daunting adversity via key injuries. To lose your league-best quarterback (Carson Wentz) at the end of the season and still cruise to playoff victories? Sweet indeed, and not without great skill and performance.
Quarterback Nick Foles is not the only recent starter to step up, just the most obvious. Don’t forget clutch running back Jai Ajayi, who was acquired at just the right time to fill the big shoes of injured star Darren Sproles. And the defense has had to replace star LB Jordan Hicks and rugged lineman Jason Peters, among other moves.
The football mantra at every level is “Next Man Up” which really only carries water when you have the horses to make that cliche work. Nick Foles has been the best QB in these playoffs and Ajayi is, in my mind, one of the keys to knocking out the Champs on Sunday. It is a tribute to Philadelphia’s veterans and coaching staff, as well as the players themselves, that things have worked out exceptionally well.
The Eagles do play better defense than they are given credit for, and their front line – led by the warrior Fletcher Cox – are going to pressure Brady all day and make him pay for everything he gets. Harassing Brady, as noted in a previous column, is the best thing a defense can do against the clutch superstar. In fact, it’s a key to victory
He’s going to show his advancing veteran status this SB as he goes for his 6th ring. If he doesn’t, then New England can pull it off once again. If his offensive line can protect him well, and I mean better than they have all year, Brady can win this game.
After all, the Patriots return over 30 men from last year’s winners. They have done this before, which means a lot. And they win close games, having only outscored their opponents in their seven SB’s 169-157.
And they won five. Pretty amazing.
But Philly has destiny on it’s side and will win it’s first NFL Championship since 1960 in Chilly Downtown Minny. They need this, they deserve this, and they will finally get a TITLE.
Eagles 35, Patriots 21
PS – take the over (48)
(For Recreation Only)