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Tag:Super Bowl XLVI
Posted on: January 27, 2012 5:08 pm
 

Barack Obama's Super Bowl pick: 'I canít call it'

Barack Obama can't make a Super Bowl pick. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

One of the enjoyable things about Barack Obama's presidency (for us anyway) is that he's a big sports fan. (Certainly a bigger fan than his VP anyway.) Barry knows a thing or two about the sports world and he's not afraid to make picks, fill out brackets, whatever.

Except for Super Bowl XLVI, which simply has Obama perplexed.

"I can’t call it. I can’t call it," Obama said in an interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC News. "When the Bears are not involved, I can’t make predictions because I will get into trouble. But both are great teams. Brady obviously one of the best quarterbacks we’ve ever seen. Eli Manning playing as well as he’s ever played, and it’s going to be a fun Super Bowl."

Obama's right. It will be a fun Super Bowl. And there probably won't be any mentions of the first time Brady and Manning played.

The reality is, this is a good one to stay away from. All our experts believe the Giants will win. But that means we're inherently betting against Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. That makes little sense.

Of course, for Obama it would probably mean he hates the Patriots and therefore hates America. Or something. And although we could look at his recent visit to the University of Michigan as a clear-cut sign that he's backing Brady, the more logical explanation here is that's it an election year, and the choice between making a) the state of New York mad or b) the rest of New England mad, well, it's a lose-lose proposition.

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Posted on: January 26, 2012 12:30 pm
 

Belichick: Gronkowski won't practice today

GronkowskiBy Josh Katzowitz

While the Patriots insist Rob Gronkowski’s ankle -- injured when he was tackled awkwardly by Bernard Pollard in the third quarter of the AFC title game -- will allow him to play in the Super Bowl, Bill Belichick told reporters Gronkowski will miss practice today.

“He’s not going to practice today, take it day by day,” Belichick said via the Boston Herald. “Not going to try to forecast where things will be 10 days from now. Take it day by day.”

Belichick, when asked how Gronkowski’s ankle was progressing, he proclaimed it was “good, good.”

At this point, there doesn’t seem to be much concern on the part of the Patriots, and really, the fact Gronkowski isn’t practicing 10 days before the Super Bowl isn’t a big deal. If he’s still not practicing a week from now, OK, Patriots fans will be allowed to feel some concern. Until then, Gronkowski would make more news by actually practicing than not.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 11:11 pm
 

Manning gives well-received locker room speech

ManningBy Josh Katzowitz

When you think Eli Manning, you don’t necessarily think of the phrase “vocal locker room leader” (isn’t that right, Tiki Barber?).

But when Manning has something to say, his Giants teammates take notice, and whatever he speaks about usually makes an impact. And with still 12 days to go before New York faces the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, Manning decided to showcase his leadership skills during a team meeting just before coach Tom Coughlin gave the Giants an off-day on Wednesday.

He decided to talk about -- or maybe just reemphasize -- how the team, you know, really should go about its Super Bowl preparations in a somewhat professional manner.

“I was just telling them just a little bit how to prepare for this,” Manning said, via the NY Daily News. “Just handling all your business with tickets, getting that stuff done. Just a few things on just the mindset of this week. We’ve got to have great preparation. Prepare this week like you’re playing the game this week, because once you get out to Indianapolis, you’ve got to take a bus ride to practice and the whole schedule gets thrown off.

“We’ve got to have everything that we normally have to do during a normal work week, we’re going to try to get it done this week.”

The talk apparently made an impact.

“It was a broad message that needed to be said,” safety Antrel Rolle said. “And it was a message that was heard loud and clear by everyone. Basically this is about business. Let’s go take care of it. Let’s go get it done, at whatever it costs.”

Man, Tiki Barber would be so proud.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 10:25 pm
 

Pollard hopes NYG 'put thrashing on Patriots'

B. Pollard tackles R. Gronkowski (US Presswire).By Josh Katzowitz

If Bernard Pollard wanted to ingratiate himself to the Patriots fanbase -- and really, why on earth would he want to do that? -- he’s going about it the wrong way.

While he was interviewed by KILT radio in Houston (via sportsradiointerviews.com), Pollard was asked his opinion about the Super Bowl XLVI matchup between the Patriots and the Giants.

“I really hope the Giants -- I just hope they just put a thrashing on the Patriots,” Pollard said. “I really do. To lose to a team like that the way we played. We played a good game.”

While it’s true that the Ravens played better than expected -- especially quarterback Joe Flacco -- and the Patriots (especially quarterback Tom Brady) didn’t play quite as well as we would have thought, the simple fact of the matter is … well, Pollard will be watching the game on TV. Because sometimes the team that plays better loses the game anyway.

But he makes a good point about the Super Bowl when he said this, “You gotta look at the experience of the team. What do the Giants have? They got a front four that is relentless. They got a secondary that is really, really good. They got a linebacking core that has been with them. The (Patriots) dinking and the dunking, man? It’s just not going to happen. They are going to have to take shots down the field. I think the Giants watch our film and watch the film of the season. They gotta take away their big time players. [Rob] Gronkowski I think he is coming off that ankle, so I don’t know if he will be 100 percent.”

Chances are, Gronkowski won’t be 100 percent. Even though he’s set to play in Indianapolis, the Boston Herald reported today that Gronkowski sustained ligament damage when Pollard tackled him in the third quarter of the AFC title game.

Speaking of Gronkowski and Pollard, what does Pollard think about adding to his reputation as a Patriots killer (first Brady, then Wes Welker and now, Gronkowski)?

“Oh man, that is fine and dandy,” Pollard said. “It is part of the game and this is what happens. If you don’t like it? So what. I am going to go out there and I am going to play me.”

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 9:00 am
Edited on: January 24, 2012 11:51 am
 

Giants-Patriots is a SB XLII rematch in name only

The uniforms are the same but these two teams most definitely are not. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

The more things change, the more things … change. The uniforms may be the same but four years later, the Giants and Patriots are different teams who, after 20 weeks, find themselves in a familiar position: about to face off in a Super Bowl. Four years ago, in the fortnight leading up to their first encounter in February 2008, the storylines were some variation of: "New England will absolutely obliterate New York."

Predictable, sure. But in much the same way gravity is predictable. Except that night the Giants had no use for immutable laws of nature. (Evidenced nicely by David Tyree's physics-defying grab that set up the winning touchdown.)


The Patriots' offensive firepower led by Brady and Randy Moss didn't matter. And neither did did the Spygate soap opera which served to galvanize the team earlier in the year and perpetuate the "us vs. them" mentality that gave guys like Rodney Harrison Tony Robbins-like purpose. (Harrison was known almost as much for his reliance on the "no respect for motivational purposes" shtick as he was for his tenacious, sometimes dirty style.)

This time will be different. Or least that's the thinking going in. The head coaches and quarterbacks are the same, but Eli Manning has matured and the Patriots' defense has regressed. The difference in talent between these two clubs that was once measured in miles is now better gauged in yards.

Put differently: it only seems like we've already seen this movie.

So before we take a look ahead, we thought it made sense to first take a look back.

The Rosters

The Giants head to Indianapolis with 16 players (nine starters) from the Super Bowl XLII-winning squad. The Patriots, meanwhile, have just seven players (five starters) remaining. You can view the 2007 rosters for both teams below; the players in red are still with their respective teams.



The takeaway from the list above: only one defensive player from Super Bowl XLII remains on the Patriots' roster. Harrison, Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Richard Seymour, Asante Samuel -- all either retired or playing elsewhere -- and just Vince Wilfork, the team's 2004 first-round pick, is left. (Granted, Wilfork saved the best game of his career for last Sunday's AFC Championship matchup against the Ravens, which is timely.)

During the '07 regular season, the Patriots defense ranked 12th in league (fifth against the pass, 21st against the run), according to Football Outsiders. Four years later, and their travails have been well documented (30th overall, 28th pass, 28th run).

The one name that has remained constant: Tom Brady. He doesn't have Randy Moss but he doesn't need him. The offensive may not be as explosive without Moss but it's much more dynamic with Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

On the surface, the 2011 Giants don't seem much different from the 2007 version. They won nine games this season (with 30 percent of the personnel from the Super Bowl XL roster), nine in '07; ranked 12th in team efficiency this time around versus 16th four years ago. But the similarities end there because like Brady in New England, Eli Manning has everything to do with the Giants' recent success.

For almost the entire '07 season, Manning was one of the league's most inconsistent quarterbacks. He ranked 38th in total value among NFL QBs, sandwiched between the likes of Brian Griese and Chet Lemon. Now Manning's fifth behind Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Romo and Stafford. That, more than anything else New York has done this season, is the reason they're playing one more game.

In Super Bowl XLII, the Giants had no expectations. In Super Bowl XLVI there will be plenty. And the question goes from "Can this team avoid embarrassing itself in front of a worldwide audience?" to "Can they play up to their potential and win this thing?"

Pregame Hype: A Look Back

Given these two offenses -- one record-breaking, the other aimless for much of the season -- it wasn't surprising that the Giants were getting Washington Generals-type odds to win this game.

Then:
the Patriots opened as 13.5-point favorites, according to Las Vegas. Five weeks before, in Week 17, New England was favored by 13 to beat the Giants in New York. Instead, the Pats needed a fourth-quarter comeback to eke out the 38-35 victory. (Now: the line opened Sunday with New England favored by a more modest 3.5 points.)

Then: AccuScore ran 10,000 simulations of the Giants-Patriots matchup and gave New York a 25 percent chance of winning. Sounds high -- Manning could throw that middle-of-the-field-Hail Mary to Tyree 100 times and Tyree comes down with it once. Tyree, it turns out, has impeccable timing.

Then: Cold Hard Football Facts called it the "mismatch of the century," complete with subheadings breaking down each individual mismatch ("on offense," "at quarterback," etc…).

Football Outsiders was less definitive, writing that "Most likely, the Giants won't pull a shocking upset like the 2001 Patriots, and they won't get blown off the field like the 1985 Patriots. Instead, they'll end up like a third team from New England's Super Bowl past: the 1996 Patriots, a good team outclassed by a great team. … (The 2007) Patriots will probably dispatch the Giants in a similar fashion, completing their historic 19-0 season. Not definitely. Just probably."

Then: CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco was one of the few national voices to pick the Giants. You don't even have to look it up because we've done it for you:


"I like the +11.5," Prisco said. "I think the Giants -- not only will they cover the number, they may win the game. … I think the Giants could definitely win the football game."

Then: Princess the camel (yep, you read that right -- the terrestrial counterpart to Paul the Octopus) also picked the Giants to win.

"I can't explain it, but her predictions, more often than not, are right on the money," said John Bergmann, general manager of Popcorn Park Zoo where Princess has lived since 2004. "I'm hoping she's right this time because I'm a Giants fan."

Turned out, Princess had a thing for the Mannings more so than the Giants; she picked Peyton and the Colts to win the year before. (Then again, maybe she'd seen then-Bears quarterback Rex Grossman play.)

From the ridiculous to the sublime…

Then: Another national columnist driving the Giants' bandwagon: Dr. Z. He admitted that picking New York was an opportunity to right a past wrong, when he picked the Colts to beat the Jets in Super Bowl III even though he had a feeling New York, 19-point underdogs by kickoff, had a chance to pull the upset. Forty years later, Dr. Z wasn't going to make the same mistake. Here's what he wrote on January 22, 2008:

"And gradually it dawned on me, as I toured the (Giants) locker room (after their NFC Championship game win over the Packers), picking up a quote here and there -- there isn't a way to stop Brady and Welker and Moss and Faulk and Maroney ... the whole riotous bunch. A team just has to be tougher, more resilient, more able to sustain high-level pressure on both sides of the ball for a longer period. And I honestly feel that the Giants can do it. Just look at what this improbable team has done so far."

And that's exactly how it played out.

Now: We mentioned above that the Patriots' defense has just one player from the last Super Bowl team. But much like the Giants' offense during the 2007 season, New England's D has come on of late. But will it be enough?

From CBSSports.com's Clark Judge: No team went to a Super Bowl with a defense ranked lower than 25th. Now you have the league's 27th-ranked unit (the Giants) and its 31st-ranked defense (New England), but, just a hunch, defense makes the difference in Indianapolis. It did when these two met in Super Bowl XLII, with the Giants sacking Tom Brady five times and holding the league's highest-scoring offense to 14 points.


The NY Giants and Patriots will face off in the Super Bowl once again. NFL on CBS analyst Solomon Wilcots joins the Tim Brando Show to discuss how the rematch will play out.

Now:
There used to be a time when you were never certain if Good Eli or Bad Eli would show up from one week to the next, one quarter to the next, and sometimes, one play to the next. Manning has transformed into one of the league's most consistent quarterbacks and now he has a chance to double up his older brother on total Super Bowl rings.

From Prisco's most recent column on Eli's evolution: "it all starts with Manning. He's no longer another star's little brother hoping to become special. He's arrived, which is what's so different from 2007. 'You're right there,' head coach Tom Coughlin said in the locker room late Sunday night (after the win over the 49ers). 'It is Eli. He is special now. He's the biggest difference between the two teams.'

Now: And that leads us to this, from colleague Will Brinson who wrote Sunday about two ancillary storylines could morph into something much larger should the Giants win: Is Eli 1) better than his brother and 2) now in the same class as Brady? 

The Game: What Happened

Obviously, you know exactly what happened. And depending on your perspective, you'll either take great joy in reliving the Super Bowl XLII memories or, as Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Monday, choosing instead to forget it ever happened.

"I’ve never been able to watch it," he said (via ESPN.com), echoing remarks made by quarterback Tom Brady earlier in the day. "I do remember the end of the game, a ball going through our cornerback’s hands [Asante Samuel] that if he had caught that ball and it hadn’t gone through his hands, we would have been able to take a knee and we would have won the game.

"And, you know, that Eli [Manning] doing a great job escaping from that pile of guys that we had on him, and whether the whistle blows and the great catch and all these things. In the end, there are a lot of little things. That was a great game, that was a great team, and we’re looking forward to having the privilege of going to Indianapolis."


Michael Strahan: excited about Super Bowl XLII's outcome.

As for what will happen … well, we'll find out shortly. And if you can't wait, we know a camel...

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Posted on: March 7, 2011 4:24 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2011 4:25 pm
 

Hot Routes 3.7.11 got your DWI updates right here

Hot Routes


Posted by Andy Benoit


LaDainian Tomlinson has not talked to the Jets this offseason, but he says he’d be willing to take a reduced role if that’s what the team asked him to do.


Braylon Edwards’ DWI case is adjourned until May. His attorney needs more time to try to get certain bits of evidence excluded. Edwards’ case was already adjourned once in November and again in January. He was arrested in September. The legal system’s absurd leisureliness once again shines brightest on the highest profile cases…


Oh, and Sergio Kindle’s DUI case has also been postponed. (Attorney scheduling conflicts.)


Looks like not everyone would lose money in a lockout (gotta love T-shirt hawks).



The Indianapolis Super Bowl host committee does not believe Super Bowl XLVI is in jeopardy. They think “common sense will prevail”.


Labor strife isn’t getting in the way of cheerleader tryouts for the Ravens.


The Chiefs are putting cornerback Kevin Ross in their Hall of Fame.


Greg Jennings talks about the “team on my back” video that has gone viral.


One person speculates that Charlie Weis left Kansas City because he knew the Chiefs would be slashing salaries in the event of a lockout.


Former Jets quarterback Ray Lucas is making great strides in his recovery from drug addiction.


Raheem Morris and some of his staff will be visiting the Rays’ camp. NFL coaches like to study baseball training camps in order to pick up some new techniques for how to rest players.


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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com