Thursday, January 28, 2010

44 Stops to Super Bowl XLIV: No. 21-25

The "44 Stops to Super Bowl XLIV" is a series that will feature stories, stats and interesting trivia that you can use to act smart as you prepare for Super Bowl XLIV. I've done this on SPORTZASSASSIN.COM for Super Bowls XL, XLI, XLIII and for AOL's FanHouse for Super Bowl XLII.

#21-WEARING WHITE IS THE KEY: Since the Indianapolis Colts are designated the home team, they will be wearing their home blue jerseys for the Super Bowl. That means the Saints will go with their white jerseys. In fact, the team that has worn white uniforms has won the last five Super Bowls (Steelers, Giants, Colts, Steelers, Patriots). Indy is trying to become the first team to win a Super Bowl while wearing a blue uniform since the New England Patriots beat the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

#22-THINGS NON FOOTBALL FANS CAN SAY TO BLEND IN: Look, I know that there are people in America that will be attending Super Bowl parties because ... well, they love to party. Some won't know who's playing in the game until they get there. I've also come to find that there are actually guys out there that get dragged to Super Bowl parties because of their women (that's sad). Don't worry. So the diehards around the party who actually care about the game won't think you're a wuss, I'm here to help.

Here are a few vague quotes that you can use so you fit in among the football fans. You don't have to engage in a conversation with these, just drop these in from time to time the rest of us don't make fun of you once you leave. Just print this out, study it and you will at look somewhat less wimpish around the real men at the Super Bowl party.

"The Saints just need to limit turnovers and control the clock if they want to pull the upset."
"Didn't Peyton Manning just win his 4th MVP award?"
"New Orleans seems like they are a team of destiny."
"You just gotta convert those third downs!"
"Don't sleep on Reggie Bush!"
"Whomever said defense wins championships would cry about this Super Bowl!"
"Third and long? I'd blitz."
"It's amazing the Colts are here with a rookie head coach."
"I got a few bucks on this game."
"Damnit! I left my squares sheet at home!"
"Drew Brees has had one hell of a postseason!"
When there is a penalty called for holding, just say, "yeah, he was tackling him!"
"You think Brett Favre is gonna really retire?"
"Where did these Indy receivers come from?"
"Dallas Clark is a jack of all trades."
"Hard to believe New Orleans is in the Super Bowl instead of the Super Bowl being in New Orleans."

#23-DON'T WIN THE COIN TOSS: The team that wins the opening coin toss is just 20-23 in the game. That averages out to ... well ... the flip of a coin. However, the coin toss winner has been the Super Bowl loser in 10 of the last 13 games.

SB-43: Cardinals won the toss, lost the game
SB 42: Giants won the toss ... and the game
SB 41: Bears won the toss, lost the game
SB 40: Seahawks won the toss, lost the game
SB 39: Eagles won the toss, lost the game
SB 38: Panthers won the toss, lost the game
SB 37: Buccaneers won the toss ... and the game
SB 36: Rams won the toss, lost the game
SB 35: Giants won the toss, lost the game
SB 34: Rams won the toss ... and the game
SB 33: Falcons won the toss, lost the game
SB 32: Packers won the toss, lost the game

SB 31: Patriots won the toss, lost the game

A little aside to this is that last year the Arizona Cardinals won the toss and deferred to the second half. The Steelers chose to receive which means the Cards were the first team in Super Bowl history to win the coin toss and kickoff.

#24-NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE UNDERDOG: Okay, the New Orleans Saints aren't favored to win this game. Don't fret! We all know that NO ONE was picking the Giants to win Super Bowl XLII.

Here is a short list of huge upsets:
Super Bowl III: The Baltimore Colts came in as 18-point favorites. They left watching the Jets' Joe Namath fulfilling his prediction of an upset.
Super Bowl IV: The Kansas City Chiefs spanked the Minnesota Vikings, despite being a 12-point underdog.
Super Bowl VII: Oddly, the undefeated Miami Dolphins entered the game as 1.5-point underdogs to the Washington Redskins.Super Bowl XXV: The Buffalo Bills would begin their four game Super Bowl losing streak by succumbing to the Giants, who were 7-point dogs.
Super Bowl XXXII: The Denver Broncos, an 11.5-point underdog, ended the AFC's thirteen game losing streak by beating Green Bay.
Super Bowl XXXVI: These New England Patriots began their dynasty by beating the St. Louis Rams, who were 14-point favorites.
Super Bowl XLII: The 12-point dog Giants ended the Patriots perfect season with a magical game.

See, it can happen. Just because we all think one way doesn't mean we cannot be shocked. After all, those 2001 Rams were juggernauts who were former champions and were heavy favorites. They left without the trophy.

#25-BUT DON'T DISMISS THE FAVORITES: Yeah, there are upsets, but don't count on them. The favorite has won eight of the last 11 Super Bowls. In fact the favorite is 30-13 in the Super Bowl. Teams favored by at least 7 points are 19-6.

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