The 2015 version of the greatest show on turf kicks off in Glendale, Arizona this Monday lunchtime (NZ time).
The traditional build has possibly been the strangest ever.
First up the “Deflategate” debacle. When a whining Indianapolis Colts player intercepted a ball during the AFC Championship game two weeks ago he decided it was not at the right pressure, which is outside the rules of the NFL. How he could have determined this is subject to its own enquiry however rules are rules and an unfair advantage can be gained. Unfortunately for the Colts they were roundly thrashed 45-7 and any ball tampering was irrelevant in the final result. An ongoing debate, denial and investigation is ongoing on a daily basis however it has all taken the sheen off the big game. Nothing will come out pre game so any reciprocation’s will be irrelevant. Did the Patriots actually deflate the game balls? (11 out of 12 were below the correct pressure guidelines) or was it weather related as some sport scientists have suggested ? A future episode of the twilight zone is ensuing.
The Patriots have said all they want to say on it and now “our focus is now Seattle”.
The Patriots opponents created their own on and off field drama – on field they came from a 12 point deficit with 4 minutes to go to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat from the Green Bay Packers in overtime. Onto the build-up week they go and the circus that is the traditional media day. Marshawn Lynch, the Seattle Running Back, and one of the moist dominant players in the NFL has no time for the media. Already fined $120K this season for not talking to the media at various times Lynch was in prime form saying for 4 minutes “I am just here so I will not get fined”. There will be no fines for that – he appeared at least. Why there is so much made of a player who the media have never done any favours earlier in his career is journalism at its worst. Even the TV3 News sports anchor in New Zealand said at the end of the story “What a dick”. That says a lot as to why Lynch has no respect for the sports media who are continually looking for something controversial or for a player to trip up in any interview – time to move on. Well played Mr Lynch.
Onto the actual game which this week seems secondary so far (excuse the defensive pun).
Both teams come in as the best teams in their respective conference and both fitting of meeting in the final. The Patriots appear in a Superbowl under their current coach, Bill Belichick, for the 6th time (winning it 3 times). After reaching the 2008 and 2012 finals they will be looking for victory (they lost to the Giants in the last minutes at this very venue). A win will give both coach Belichick and Quarterback Tom Brady possibly the titles of best ever. Lose and “choke” could be tattoos that they are scarred with forever
Seattle are trying to become one of the rare back to back winners. Only 8 teams have achieved this feat and their fearless defence that is one of the best in the NFL.
Both teams have no real weapon in the wide receiver position and base a lot of their offence around a ground and pound running game.
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