NFC/AFC Championship today. 3 out of the 4 teams were all in the same place last season. For all the talk of “parity” we get a rematch of Patriots/Ravens and the 49ers are back again after losing to the Giants a year ago. Both games are tough to call, so I could 2-0 or 0-2 pretty easily.
Ravens at Patriots
Baltimore always plays well against New England. Steam rolled them in the playoffs 4 years ago. Almost beat them a year ago to make the Super Bowl. The Week 3 game where Baltimore won in Foxboro was one of the ‘replacement ref’ games. Which I haven’t heard one person mention this week. A win is a win, but that game was one of the worst games when it cames to the officials. The game dragged, it was on national TV Sunday Night with the announcers pointing out the bad calls. And at one point the crowd started a “BULLSH*T” chant after a call. What crowd gets that riled up about Week 3? And Bill Belichick grabbed an official after the game. It was that bad.
Saying that, I am picking New England. Pats easily beat Houston last week. And they had a first round bye. Usually that can help a team, but Baltimore is also coming off a Double Overtime game. A game where running back Ray Rice said it was one of the toughest games he’d ever been in with the cold conditions. I see their run of playoff wins coming to an end.
No way I’m picking a team that messed up like that. Atlanta was up by 2 so a long Seattle field goal would’ve won it for the Seahawks. 49ers are better coached than that.
Super Bowl Edition of ‘Carnell Knowledge’. Is that a pun? It’s what I call the NFL picks during the regular season. A listener once came up with that title so credit to Cat in Connecticut.
Sports is international. On Thursday night during the Queen’s-RMC hockey broadcast we found out from Queen’s Athletics there was a listener online in New Zealand of all places. Where it would’ve been Friday morning with the time difference. Like me watching the Australian Open at 3:30am. Which since I’m on midnight shift isn’t that unique.
Done this blog post for the last couple of years. Just me doing a Super Bowl pick by myself would be boring. So get others to give some as well.
Before we start, a video from Gillette Stadium in the cheap seats when a certain Ravens kicker missed a field goal in the AFC Championship. They are slightly excited. Gives a good idea what it’s like during an NFL playoff game.
Before we go to the picks I will go back to the January 16th blog post. I wrote what the Super Bowl storylines might be before the NFC and AFC championship games were played. Decided to mention something about Tom Brady.
“And your little known fact, Brady was drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1995. As a catcher. Witness to ‘The Catch’ and could’ve been a catcher. Maybe someone else will pick up on that if there is a 49ers-Pats Super Bowl.”
Well, San Francisco didn’t make it. But according to Google, Tom Brady and the word “Expos” appear in over 300 news articles earlier this week. Many linking to this Globe and Mail story.
Amusing when I predicted a story almost 3 weeks ago. Super Bowl week tends to do that since most players have their talking points for any questions that arise. No one wants to give Bulletin Board material so the media is stuck. Luckily the Colts and Peyton Manning soap opera has given them plenty to talk about.
Onto the picks.
First up 2 people who have helped out each year. Andrew Bucholtz who runs Yahoo Canada’s CFL blog ’55 Yard Line’. Queen’s Alumni who worked at the Queen’s Journal.
“I’ve got Giants 24, Patriots 21.”
Jody Vance, from Breakfast Television in Vancouver. Also helps out with Sportsnet, like the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament last week. She picked Giants over Patriots in a newspaper column in 2007 before they played in that Super Bowl. This time she’s going with the Patriots.
Julie Stewart-Binks, sports anchor at CTV Regina. Former intermission reporter at CFRC. Might’ve seen her on TVCogeco during Frontenac games as well.
Matt Bisson from CHED Edmonton and former play by play of Golden Gaels Football at CFRC.
“My heart says New England, but my head says the Giants momentum is too strong, and they will lift the trophy.”
Chris Lund. Writer-at-large. Work for theScore, write for Hardball Times, founded AlwaysOUA. Interned at The Hockey News.
“I like NYG. Say 30-22.”
Jaime Stein, who is leaving his position as the CFL’s Manager of Digital Media. Former sports host/play by play here at CFRC.
“I’ll go with New England.”
Jaime wrote a blog about his time with the CFL, worth checking out.
Steve Maich, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Sportsnet Magazine. Who I didn’t know was a CFRC Alumni until we were chatting on Twitter.
“Giants 24, Patriots 20”
You can read a few articles from past issues of Sportsnet Magazine here. Long form articles on Gordie Howe, the decline of the Montreal Canadiens and the late Sarah Burke. Picked up a few issues and worth a read if you are a sports fan. Especially if you are at work during a slow time and it’s 4am. Which is probably nobody reading this except me.
Next two from a couple of women who aren’t football fans. Nancy Slater, Midday announcer on Classic Rock FM96 in Kingston. She’s on the air from 10am-3pm. Nancy plays some Open Mics around town and put up a few songs on YouTube you can check out.
“I like cheering for the underdogs, so I’ll go with the Giants. Fingers crossed for the upset.”
BJ Stewart, producer from The Weather Network’s morning show. Tweets during the show and posts on Facebook as well. One of the multi-taskers. She likes hockey, not into football. Still got a pick, which was I believe mostly based on their uniforms. Whatever works.
“Go Patriots! 🙂 ”
Natalie Thomas from The Weather Network, who beat me last year in NHL Playoff Picks here on the blog. However we did both pick Boston to beat Vancouver. On the sports side she played US College Basketball for Appalachain State. And recently playing basketball got her 1st technical foul ever….. for calling a timeout when the team didn’t have one. Still counts as a technical. [EDIT: Forgot to mention her team still won the game when her sister scored, so it’s not a Chris Webber situation]
“I am taking the Giants solely because I am in NYC all next week. So if there’s a Super Bowl champions parade…I’ll get to be there for it!”
Out to St. John’s, Newfoundland with Kevin Kelly. Senior Editor of The Newfoundland Herald, Host ‘On The Scene’ on OZ FM’s Jigs & Reels. And a Habs fan but I don’t hold that against him.
From East Coast to West Coast with Amar, a video editor in Vancouver. Who realized there wasn’t a great choice either way as a Canucks fan. He mentioned last year Stanley Cup Final which would’ve leaned him towards NY. Until I said “I know you are picking the home of the 1994 Stanley Cup, New York”. Stuck between a rock and a hard place.
“I’m picking Mr. Gisele’s team then.”
One of the more well known CFRC Alumni Chris Cuthbert helped out too. Chris started out doing play-by-play for Queen’s Football as a university student. Today he’s at TSN/CTV doing CFL and NHL games. Called the last few Grey Cups. Also part of a sports blog that started a few months ago.
“Not my area of expertise but I’ll take Brady and the Patriots. #revenge”
For me, this one can go either way after looking at the games they played 2 weeks ago. Patriots had a bad performance from Brady where he himself said “I sucked”. Giants’ offense had a stretch of 11 possessions with 10 punts against the 49ers. Yet, both of those teams are in Indy.
One of the stranger facts from this season. My team the Redskins who finished 5-11 beat the New York Giants, TWICE. Patriots played Washington this year and New England won. If they couldn’t beat Rex Grossman I can’t pick them to beat Tom Brady.
Not everyone will be watching the game, while Jody will be watching the game another of BT Vancouver gang will be busy. Dawn Chubai is doing a concert on Sunday afternoon. Jazz singer before getting into television, where she’s on BT Vancouver. Never hurts to give a plug.
Jazz Vespers, Dawn Chubai Quartet: St. Andrew Wesley Church at 4:00pm
Back to the opposite coast as my friend Toni Marie Wiseman doesn’t like football either, but the Super Bowl is on NTV so that means she gets off work early. If it’s like past years she should be doing some news updates during the time they air the long NBC pre-game show. No 6pm news in St. John’s this Sunday.
Like others in this blog she’s more busy than me. ‘NTV news anchor, entertainment reporter, and senior weather host. I’m also a new mom.’
Kickoff for the game is 6:30pm EST on NBC and CTV. Or you might watch it through ‘other means’ as Brady was quoted; “Last year, I was rehabbing my foot in Costa Rica watching the game on an illegal Super Bowl website and now I’m actually playing in the game, so it’s pretty cool”.
I’ll be watching the game on TV, first time I’ll see it from start to finish in 3 years. With my weird work hours the last three I’ve woken up and watched the 2nd half. Which honestly has worked well. This time I thought I’ll see the entire thing. Not the pre-game shows. Even I draw the line with those. Longest is NFL Network’s 8 1/2 hour one. I wish that was a typo.
Enjoy the game if you are watching it.