Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Super Bowl 48

In just a few days, the football will be kicked off to start Super Bowl  XLVIII at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, across the Hudson from New York City. In its supposed wisdom, the National Football League decided to try a game in the colder climate. That decision has been called into question, especially considering the type of winter that has been experienced thus far in North America. For the record, I have always maintained that there must be a roof on every stadium north of the Mason-Dixon Line. All games that are designed for fair weather should be played in fair weather situations.

The Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos will simply have to deal with it. Naturally, the quarterbacks will be the players most involved in the game. Both Peyton Manning from the Broncos, and Russell Wilson from the Seahawks have experienced nasty weather conditions in their careers. But this is the big game, on the big stage, and the quality of football should not have to suffer at the hands of Mother Nature. Rest assured, it will. Balls that should be caught will be dropped, there may be some slipping and sliding on a frozen turf, punts will not behave normally.

                                                                   Peyton Manning

We are now in the second week of anticipation before the Super Bowl. I am certain that most players are chomping at the bit. Enough media coverage. Enough practice. Enough of the inane questions often irrelevant to the game. Fans have their chip bowls full, the fridge is packed with favourite bubbly, all of the squares on the pool sheets are full. There is more anticipation for this championship game than any other, considering the time lapse between the semi-finals, and the big game.

The Seahawks are highly touted as the best defensive team, the Broncos as an offensive threat. That will make things interesting. In most similar circumstances, the opposite occurs once the game gets under way. The Hawks defense will suffer lapses, and the Broncos offence will stutter. It always happens that way. The teams are drilled by a large number of coaches, and they are prepared for almost all eventualities. The game will be won by the team that gets the most breaks, the team that makes the fewest errors, the team that shows some ingenuity.

                                                                  Russell Wilson

Ingenuity comes in the form of quirky calls and unintended plays. Punters fumble snaps, look downfield and find open receivers. Disaster is averted, resulting in first downs. Receivers tip balls into the arms of other players, hopefully ones who wear the same coloured jersey. Fumbles squirt along slippery fields into the arms of friends and foes. Defensive backfielders appear out of nowhere, snatch errant passes, and head to the end zone. Hopefully, the game will not become a comedy of errors due to the playing conditions. But I would not rule that out.


Both quarterbacks are brilliant, and will be responsible for the success or failure of their teams. But there are 10 other players with them on every play, and they are important as well. The Hawks are led in their ground game by Marshawn Lynch, and quarterback Wilson, always a threat to run. The Seahawks hope to have Percy Harvin in the lineup, recently plagued by injury. The Broncos are in the hands of Manning, tossing to the likes of Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, and Willis McGahee out of the backfield.

One last thing. I do hope that Roger Goodell and his henchmen will look at the kickoff rules after the game. The purpose of the kickoff is to start the game, usually with some fanfare. More often than not, receivers down the ball in the end zone for a touchback. Dead play. No fun. Fix that, Mr. Commissioner, when you have a moment.

January 28, 2014 

James Hurst 

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