January 29, 2002
It’s Super Baby, With a Capital S
by Keith Weiland
Seeing as how the Super Bowl this year is smearing into primo college basketball season, I couldn’t avoid the obligatory Dickie V. reference. My deepest apologies go out to all of you.
This column is taking a winter break this week from the excitement of the upcoming expansion and college drafts to take a look at what may be a truly amazing Super Bowl. On one side, the St. Louis Rams enter the game as heavy favorites that have been here before and won. On the other is a New England Patriots team that’s wearing the glass slipper one last time.
Actually, what’s really cool about this year’s Super Bowl is not that its’… well… the Super Bowl, but that it’s the last Super Bowl where Houston has absolutely ZERO chance of making it to the big game. That’s right. The Texans should get odds on February 4th that pit them as say, maybe 1000-1 odds to take home the Lombardi in 2003.
1000-1! Put me down for that dollar.
Please don’t go all Terry Bradshaw on me telling me what a waste of a dollar that is. It’s not, and I know because if the freaking New England Patriots can make the Super Bowl this season, well diaper dandies, the sky’s the limit for your Houston Texans. Remember the Patriots? They’re the team that in this very space last October were called “sorry” and “would own a top ten pick” in the 2002 draft.
Oops. Silly me. Pats fans, I kid only because I care.
Well, who could blame me? The Pats were stuffing a straw in the gut of their franchise quarterback and serving Bloody Mary cocktails when that was written. They were riding the euphoria of a coverboy quarterbacking phenom, albeit one I likened to TV’s Jan Brady. That beginner’s luck would surely fizzle out, right? Maybe not.
Tom Brady led his Foxboro militia to an impressive eight-game win streak en route to Sunday’s big game. Running back Antowain Smith, who went to college in our great city no less, resurrected his career after being left for dead by the Bills. The Pats, spurred on perhaps by patriotic duty following last September’s attack on the American way of life, were a team of destiny. Instant replay would back up that claim by reversing a fumble call on a cold and snowy night against such hedonistic Raiders to the dream.
New England will be presenting the latest example on Sunday of why any team, regardless of how crappy, has a shot at greatness in the NFL today. Wait, any team, that is, except for the Arizona Cardinals. C’mon, I mean seriously. The Cardinals aren’t going anywhere fast.
So how will America’s newest team fare on Sunday? Lousy. The Patriots have been to the Super Bowl twice before, and let’s see they have nothing to show for it, but thanks for playing. And that eight-game win streak the Pats are riding? Their last loss was to the Rams of all teams last November. I’ve already seen these match-ups, and the Rams trounced all over the Pats, in Foxboro no less and on grass. This time the game will be at a neutral site and on turf.
I don’t mean to always be so anti-patriot(ic), but the Rams are to an offense what the Redcoats were to the British Empire. The Rams are a machine. An unstoppable mach
What’s that you say? The Pats beat the Redcoats? Ah, well. Yea, capitalism!
Keith Weiland asks Cardinal fans to please save their emails. Keith gleefully awaits the day next year when the Cardinals face the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XXXVII.