The Voice Behind the Pinstripes

Posted: April 13, 2014 in Phillies

harrykalas

In the world of sports, legendary broadcasters become like family to their team’s fan base. For whatever reason, the connection baseball broadcasters have to their team’s fans is different than in other sports.

The Chicago Cubs had Harry Caray, the St. Louis Cardinals had Jack Buck, the Los Angeles Dodgers have Vin Scully, the Detroit Tigers had Ernie Harwell, and so on. I could go on and on and name many more, but you get the idea.

In Philadelphia, there is one name that was synonymous with Phillies baseball; one name that, when someone said the word “Phillies”, it was the first thing that came to your head.

Harry Kalas.

In 1970, Phillies broadcaster Bill Campbell, who, along side By Saam, called Phillies games since 1963, left and was later replaced by Houston Astros broadcaster Harry Kalas. He was not welcomed warmly due to the popularity of Bill Campbell, but it did not take him long to win over fans with his smooth baritone voice and passionate love of the game of baseball.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Harryinhisearlyyears

Though many fans were accustomed to By Saam and Bill Campbell, it didn’t take long for Harry to win over Phillies fans.

Kalas remained the tv play-by-play voice for the Phillies for the next 38 years until the afternoon of April 13, 2009, 5 years ago today.

Kalas was preparing to call a game between the Phillies and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington D.C when he collapsed in the broadcast booth and died shortly after.

In a matter of just under two hours, the voice of Phillies baseball for nearly four decades, and, for some fans, generations,  went silent. Kalas was 73 years old.

Kalas’ sudden death was met with an unbelievable amount of shock and sadness. “We lost our voice today.” Phillies owner David Montgomery said, soft-spoken and visibly shaken, shortly after news broke of Kalas’ death. Former Phillies pitcher and current radio color commentator Larry Andersen tearfully spoke about Harry leading the 1993 team in “High Hopes”, the song he would often sing in celebration after a big Phillies win.

As a tribute to Kalas, Tom McCarthy and the rest of the Phillies TV broadcasting team remained silent during the first inning of the Phillies – Nationals game in Washington DC which took place the day he died. There was a brief uncertainty as to whether or not the game would be postponed. However the Phillies all agreed that Harry would  have wanted the game to go on as scheduled. So, after a moment of silence was observed before the game, that’s exactly what happened.

A heavy-hearted Philliees team played as scheduled on the day Kalas died. The Phillies went on to win 9-8.

A heavy-hearted Phillies team played as scheduled on the day Kalas died. The Phillies went on to win 9-8.

A memorial service was held at Citizens Bank Park and his casket was placed behind home plate, an honor that only Babe Ruth and longtime St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck had received prior to this. Thousands of fans showed up, many in tears by the end of the ceremony.

Every Phillies fan has their memories of Harry and their favorite calls of his. One memory in particular sticks out to me when it comes to Harry Kalas and it happened back when I was around 12 years old.

My dad, a dentist, had gone down to Clearwater, Florida that spring during Spring Training to examine some of the players and coaches regarding chewing tobacco and oral cancer. Later that season, a group he worked with was presenting a check along with a couple of players before the game and my dad was one of the people who was on the field at Veterans Stadium (“The Vet”, as fans called it) presenting the check.

My mom and brothers were also there and we had press box seats for the game. During the game, I had to go to the bathroom so my dad and I went to the bathroom and as I was finishing up, an older man walked up next to me to use the bathroom. He turned and said “How are you doing son?” When he walked in, I recognized him, but I wasn’t entirely sure it was him until he turned and said hello in that familiar baritone voice.

When I left the bathroom, I turned to my dad and said, softly, “Dad, that was Harry Kalas.”

It lasted all of about three minutes, but I will never forget it.

He had such a tremendous impact on Phillies fans and players, past and present, that when he passed away, it almost felt like you had lost a member of your family. His legacy lives on through his three sons, as well as at Citizens Bank Park, where the TV broadcast booth is named in his honor.

Many fans and current and former Phillies alike remember Kalas for his love of baseball, his legendary baritone voice that was the sound of many summers, his singing of “High Hopes” and his long list of memorable quotes and calls from some of the Phillies’ most memorable moments.

His most famous call actually started with Phillies shortstop (and later manager and coach) Larry Bowa and batting practice. Kalas, who was in his early stages as Phillies broadcaster and still in search of a famous “catch phrase” for home runs, was standing behind the batting cage as Greg “The Bull” Luzinski took batting practice. Luzinski, who was known for his mammoth home runs, crushed a ball into the upper deck of The Vet. Larry Bowa reacted in amazement and said “Wow! That’s way outta here.” Kalas thought that “it had a nice ring to it”.

Just like that, Harry had a catch phrase and continued to use it up until his death.

Having heard Harry say in excitement “That ball is OUTTA HERE!” many, many times, I have to say, and I think I speak for every Phillies fan, it does have a nice ring to it.

Perhaps his best call came in October of 2008 in Game 5 of the World Series.

In 1980, the Phillies defeated the Kansas City Royals 4 games to 2 to win their first ever World Series Championship. However, due to broadcasting rules at the time, local announcers were not allowed to call the game. So, despite the Championship, Kalas did get to call the final out.

HarryTheKWorldSeries

Not only did Harry Kalas get to finally call a World Series Championship for his Phillies, but he was right in the middle of the celebration, singing “High Hopes” after the game. Of course, where else would he be for a moment like this?

Fast forward 28 years to 2008. At long last, Harry Kalas finally got to call his beloved Phillies “World Champions”:

“One strike away; nothing-and-two, the count to Hinske. Fans on the their feet; rally towels are being waved. Brad Lidge stretches. The 0-2 pitch — swing and a miss, struck him out! The Philadelphia Phillies are 2008 World Champions of baseball! Brad Lidge does it again, and stays perfect for the 2008 season! 48-for-48 in save opportunities, and let the city celebrate! Don’t let the 48-hour wait diminish the euphoria of this moment, and the celebration. And it has been 28 years since the Phillies have enjoyed a World Championship; 25 years in this city that a team that has enjoyed a World Championship, and the fans are ready to celebrate. What a night!”

Those are just two memorable Harry Kalas moments. If you were to ask 100 fans about Harry Kalas, many would have similar favorite moments, but all of those fans will have their own individual memories and memorable moments of Harry. They all paid tribute in their own way.

On a personal note, I want to thank Harry for bringing us Phillies baseball in a way no one else could. My early years as a Phillies fan were during a 14-year playoff drought. Harry made those “dark years” that much brighter. Whether I am playing an MLB video game or playing wiffle ball with friends, I would often imitate his home run call in my head (and even out loud as well.)

It just goes to show you: Harry Kalas may be gone, but he has never, and will never, be forgotten.

Take it away Harry:

It’s Up To DeSean Now

Posted: April 2, 2014 in Eagles
Former Eagles Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson signed a three-year $24 million contract with the Washington Redskins today.

Former Eagles Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson signed a three-year $24 million contract with the Washington Redskins today. (Photo courtesy of the Official Washington Redskins Twitter account).

 

To say that DeSean Jackson has had an eventful week is to say that Jerry Rice is an OK receiver.

Less than a week after being released by the Eagles, Jackson agreed to a three-year, $24 Million contract with the Washington Redskins. Many were critical of the Eagles for releasing their best receiver, and a receiver who is coming off of his best season of his career no less.

Many questioned the move and many have their reasons why.

Some people have even questioned the Eagles decision to cut DeSean Jackson, yet keep, and even give a  contract extension to, Riley Cooper. Cooper of course is now infamous for being caught on a cell phone camera using the N-word while drunk at a Kenny Chesney concert at Lincoln Financial Field.

If you are one of those people, just stop now.

Listen, there is absolutely no excuse for Riley Cooper doing what he did at that concert. Cooper was embarrassed by it, as he should have been. Having said that, he was awarded a new contract because he stepped up when he needed to last season after Jeremy Maclin suffered a season-ending knee injury and he provides some height in the red zone and is a physical presence when it comes to blocking.

But I digress. There are many theories and different reasonings regarding why Jackson was released, and none of those really matter.

What really matters is the Eagles’ reasoning as to why they parted ways with Jackson.

When Chip Kelly came to Philadelphia, he brought with him a new system and a new style of how the team will be run. At the end of the day, DeSean, who was on thin ice years before Kelly’s arrival, did not fit into Chip Kelly’s way of running the team.

After unsuccessfully trying to trade him, and ultimately not wanting to simply leave another team with dealing with the baggage that comes with him, the Eagles released Jackson, which freed up a sizable amount of cap space.

As DeSean prepares for a new beginning in DC, the fact remains:

His career is now on the line.

Even with a slight benefit of the doubt with him entering his first year with a new team, the pressure is on. On the field he will produce, but if his off the field issues rear their ugly head and he has an unceremonious exit from Washington, it will be extremely difficult for him to find another team willing to deal with him. Worse,  it could mean a short career for a promising and talented young receiver.

Will it happen? Who knows.

It’s all up to DeSean Jackson.

 

The Curious Case of DeSean Jackson

Posted: March 28, 2014 in Eagles
The Eagles released three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson today, ending his six year tenure in Philadelphia.

The Eagles released three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson today, ending his six year tenure in Philadelphia.

 

The Eagles made quite a splash today, although not the kind of splash they wanted.

It was announced today that the Eagles released Pro Bowl – receiver DeSean Jackson after six seasons in Philadelphia.

Many fans were surprised with the move, as Jackson is coming off of his best season of his career.

Jackson, who was in the third year of a 5-year $51 Million contract, finished the 2013 season with 82 receptions for 1,332 yards and 9 touchdowns. He was also selected to his third Pro Bowl of his career.

Ultimately, as is the case with many other high-profile players who are released despite being among the best in the league at their respective position, it was his activities off of the field that led to the Eagles cutting ties with the 27-year old.

A story was published on NJ.com about two hours before news broke of Jackson’s release that talks about Jackson’s involvement with members of the Crips, one of the most infamous street gangs in Los Angeles, who were suspects in a 2010 murder. His name was also mentioned in connection to another gang-related murder that took place in 2012.

Although Jackson was nowhere near the crimes and has never faced any legal action because of it, the fact that he knew members of the gang was what many saw as the red flag. The fact is that the NFL does not have any more patience for this kind of stuff, especially after the murder trial of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. Because of this, teams are not taking any chances either.

Now it’s not just “the Eagles released DeSean because he knows a guy who knows a guy.” Jackson was seen multiple times flashing a sign for the Crips during games after he scored a touchdown. It also is more than just that. There were issues during training camp and his attitude was sometimes off-putting to his teammates. Not to mention, he was asked not to come back to several Philadelphia night clubs not too long ago.

Apparently, the Eagles front office knew something the fans didn’t when they released him today.

So now that DeSean Jackson’s time has ended in Philadelphia, how will his Eagles tenure be remembered? Personally, I always respected his speed and talent. With the exception of Terrell Owens’ brief tenure, a top-notch receiver was hard to come by in Philadelphia.

That was until they drafted Cal wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Since his arrival, he has had defenses changing the way they play because of him.

However, the pros were not without the cons.

My biggest complaint I had about DeSean is that he did a little too much talking and had several lapses of judgement as far as taunting and things like that. For example, during a Sunday night game two years ago against the New York Giants, he returned a  punt to the 50 yard line, only to get flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for taunting after tossing the ball at Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. The penalty negated the return and the Eagles started from deep in their own zone.

Things worked out that night as the Eagles went on to win that game, but DeSean Jackson was fined $10,000 for the unsportsmanlike penalty.

There were many times where I found myself saying “DeSean would be so much better if he would just shut up and play.” And to be honest, he would have been looked at differently if he let his play do the talking for him.

At any rate, the Eagles will move on from this and so will DeSean Jackson. After the news broke, there were already teams expressing interest in Jackson.

However, as more details emerge, it could be an interesting ending to The Curious Case of DeSean Jackson.

billion-dollar-bracket-challenge-ncaa-2014-quicken-loans

 

The NCAA Men’s Tournament is underway and after the second round, only 16 teams remain.

Every year, millions of fans celebrities, sports writers and TV hosts alike fill out their own bracket and predict who will be national champions.

While many of those brackets are part of a pool that wins you money, billionaire Warren Buffett really upped the ante this year.

In a contest sponsored by Quicken Loans, Buffett agreed to give $1 billion dollars, yes billion with a “b”, to anyone who finished the tournament with a perfect bracket, correctly predicting every winner of every matchup in the tournament.

To put things into perspective, the odds of finishing with a perfect bracket are approximately 1 in 9.2 quintillion (a quintillion is one followed by 18 zeros), as calculated by DePaul University math professor Jeff Bergen.

Approximately 11 million brackets were entered in the contest and after the first day of opening round games, there were just over 41,000 perfect brackets remaining. Unfortunately, my bracket was not one of them; it didn’t make it past the first few games.

After the first round, there was just one perfect bracket remaining. That bracket belonged to Brad Binder of Oak Grove, Illinois, who, though he filled the bracket out on Yahoo.com, did not enter Warren Buffet’s billion dollar contest.

Binder correctly predicted the first 36 games before 11-seeded Dayton’s 55-53 upset over #3 – seeded Syracuse busted the only remaining perfect bracket.

Binder, who became a viral sensation after his bracket was the only perfect one remaining, tweeted “And that was the closest I’ve ever come to not winning a billion dollars.” after his bracket was finally busted.

downgoescuse

Just when you thought Dayton’s upset of Ohio State was big…

hi-res-16486b94f15e11078264a6acd16c71c0_crop_north

The 14-seeded Mercer Bears toppled #3 seeded Duke later in the opening round.

Aside from busted brackets, the other main theme of this year’s tournament, as is the case each year, is upsets, and there have been plenty of them thus far.

It started in the first round when 14-seeded Mercer University upset the heavily favored #3-seeded Duke Blue Devils to advance to the second round.

This loss came two years after Duke lost to 15-seeded Lehigh University in the opening round of the 2012 tournament. Duke head coach Mike Kryzyzewski went into Mercer’s locker room following the game to congratulate the Bears on their win.

The upsets kept coming in the round of 32 when 11-seeded Dayton and 10-seeded Stanford upset #3-seeded Syracuse and #2-seeded Kansas respectively, setting up an unlikely sweet sixteen matchup between the two schools.

Also in the second round, #8-seeded Kentucky upset the #1-seeded, and previously 34-0, Wichita State Shockers to advance to set up a sweet sixteen showdown with longtime rivals Louisville.

With my pick as champion (Kansas) and my favorite team (Villanova) both out, I am pretty much rooting for what is left of my bracket. Since half of my Final Four (Kansas and Wichita State) is also out, that means Michigan State and Arizona.

The NCAA Tournament resumes tonight when the #6-seeded Baylor Bears take on the #2-seeded Wisconsin Badgers at 6:47 pm, followed by the #4-seeded Sand Diego State Aztecs facing the #1-seeded Arizona Wildcats at 9: 17 pm.

 

Red White and Blah

Posted: February 21, 2014 in Flyers

anothersilverforusamen Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Women's Ice Hockey Canada vs USA gold medal game

The US Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Team both fell to Canada for the second straight Winter Olympics.

Aside from the fact that both teams fell to Canada, both teams’ gold medal droughts continue. The women’ s team has not won gold since the 1998 games, which were the first to feature women’s ice hockey. The men’s team has not won Olympic gold since the 1980 games in Lake Placid, New York.

And as if losing wasn’t bad enough, they way the men’s team and women’s team lost was extra salt in the wound.

jessievetter

The women’s team led Canada 2-0 with just under four minutes left in the third period when Canada battled back to cut the score to  2-1. After the US narrowly missed sealing the game and the gold medal (and by narrowly I mean an inch to the right), Canada’s Marie-Philip Poulin tied the game with less than a minute remaining.

Poulin struck again in overtime when she scored after Canada went on the power play to win the game 3-2 and in the process their third straight gold medal. The US would settle for the silver medal and, while the medals themselves weigh about a pound each, those medals felt like they weighed a ton each for the US women. Many tears of sadness and disbelief were flowing, as were tears of joy for the Canadians.

benngoal

The next day the American and Canadian men took to the ice in a semi-final match-up. Canada’s Jamie Benn (of the Dallas Stars) re-directed a shot past Jonathan Quick (of the LA Kings) early in the second period, which wound up being the lone goal of the game. Meanwhile, the Americans were unable to put the puck past Carey Price, despite peppering the Montreal Canadiens’ goaltender with 31 shots.

Simply put, in that game on that day, Canada was the better team. The US could not put together quality scoring chances in the offensive zone and a lot of the shots they did put on goal were into the maple leaf on Carey Price’s jersey, making it easy for Price to make the saves. To the Canadians’ credit, they did a great job of shutting down opportunities for the Americans.

The Americans also spent too much time in the defensive zone. Even though Jonathan Quick was spectacular today, he faced 37 shots. As good of a goalie as Quick is, he can only do so much when he doesn’t have much help from his defenders.

As the women continue to try to move on from their disappointment and the men prepare for their bronze medal game tomorrow against Finland, who lost to Sweden in the other semi-final game, American fans are once again left wondering. How does the women’s team blow a 2-0 lead with less than four minutes left? How does the men’s team play so well leading up to the semi-finals and then get outplayed considerably by a far from perfect Canadian team?

At any rate, it will be four more years of bragging rights for the Canadians. Also, as per the rules of a friendly bet  between Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and US President Barack Obama, Obama owes Harper two cases of beer (one for the men’s game and another for the women’s game).

As for Team USA, the two disappointing losses means that Sochi 2014 adds to the list of Olympics that have come to a disappointing and early end. This will be something that will continue to eat at them as they work towards the 2018 games. If nothing else, this should serve as motivation to never let this happen again.

One thing is for sure, the four-year wait for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea will be an extremely long one for USA Hockey.

As far as the 2014 US Men’s and Women’s hockey teams go, one can only wonder “What if?”

Walking Together Forever

Posted: February 14, 2014 in Flyers

USAHockey

Heading into Game 6 of the 1974 Stanley Cup Finals in Philadelphia, the Flyers held a 3 games to 2 lead over the favored Boston Bruins in the series. Before the game, Flyers head coach Fred Shero, who was never the type of coach who would give big “rah-rah” pre-game speeches, simply had the following written on a chalk board as the players came into the locker room:

“Win together today and we walk together forever.”

Aside from being one of my all-time favorite sports quotes, this quote came to mind as the Men’s Ice Hockey tournament got underway on Wednesday at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The Americans have the opportunity to make this a truly historical Olympic games for them on multiple levels.

Team USA, which is coming off of a heartbreaking overtime loss to Canada in the gold medal game back in 2010, is in Group A this time around. Also in Group A are Slovakia, Slovenia and host country Russia. After cruising past Slovakia 7-1 in their opening game, the US faces Russia tomorrow afternoon, which can be seen live at 7:30 am and will probably be aired again later in the day.

Any time people talk USA Hockey, three words will almost always come up: “Miracle on Ice”. That is, as many people know, in reference to the 1980 American team that upset the heavily favored Soviet Red Army team in the semi-finals of that year’s Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York.

Let me take a second to put that upset into perspective.

This was a group of college kids and amateurs (Team USA) facing off against a team made  up of guys who basically did four things: eat, sleep, breathe and play hockey (Team USSR). Keep in mind it was not until eighteen years later in 1998 that NHL players were allowed to participate in the Olympics. Not to mention the last time the US and Soviet Union met in an exhibition match, the Soviets crushed the Americans 10-3.

Team USA captain Mike Eruzione’s goal midway through the third period wound up being the game-winning goal as the United States upset the heavily favored Soviets. 34 years later, this is still widely regarded as the greatest, and defining, moment in American hockey history. With the win the US advanced to the gold medal game where they beat Finland to win the gold medal.

That was the last time the United States won men’s ice hockey gold at the Olympics.

This 2014 US hockey team has a chance to cement themselves into the history books. In an interview conducted with Amy Robach, US captain Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter, whose father Bob Suter was a member of the 1980 Olympic team, both spoke about tomorrow’s showdown against the Russians. Suter mentioned how his father told him to win gold “so people will stop talking about us.”

Truthfully it is hard not to compare any US team with the 1980 team. That being said, it’s hard not to be excited about the team’s chances in Sochi this year. Personally, I have four teams in mind that I think are legitimate gold medal threats: USA, Canada, Russia and Sweden (with Finland being my “dark horse” team).

So far the US has looked the most impressive in their opening games. It’s not just because they won 7-1, but the team started to gel more and more as the game progressed and looked very complete as the game ended.

There is no question that no team has more pressure on them that host country Russia. Any time the host country of the Winter Olympics is a hockey powerhouse, in this case Russia, the pressure on them to win gold increases ten-fold. Four years ago it was on Canada and this time around the pressure is  on the Russians. There is also a ton of pressure on Canada, the defending gold medalists, to repeat as well.

However, as much pressure as the Canadians have on them, so too do the Americans. They have not won gold in 34 years and in their last three Olympics have won two silver medals with a disappointing eighth-place finish at the 2006 Olympics in between.

An American victory over the Russians tomorrow, which would be the first on Soviet/Russian soil, would be a huge first step towards a gold medal, which would be the first since 1980.

And, if the Americans win the gold medal in Sochi, they, like the 1974/75 Flyers and the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team, will walk together forever.

Super Bowl XLVIII

Posted: January 28, 2014 in Eagles

super-bowl-48-broncos-vs.-seahawks

Ah yes, Super Bowl Sunday.

Episode 48: The Irresistible Force Meets the Immovable Object.

This Sunday, in a match-up of who many consider to be the NFL’s two best teams this season, the Seattle Seahawks will take on the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.

The contest will pit the league’s number 1 offense (Broncos) against the league’s number 1 defense (Seahawks). It will be interesting to see how Peyton Manning fares against Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” secondary consisting of Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and the always outspoken Richard Sherman.

Why the Seahawks can win:

Seahawks NFC Champs

The Seahawks were the number 1 team basically since the beginning of the season, and it’s certainly no fluke that they are representing the NFC in the Super Bowl. 

Their defense has been seemingly unstoppable all season, consistently ranking near the top of the league week after week. Even though it’s not a home game for them (they’re even the designated away team), that won’t matter, nor will the cold weather.

This is a defense that has given the likes of Drew Brees fits not one, but twice. Not to mention Marshawn Lynch is a better than any running back the Broncos have. He has been one of the difference makers in their Divisional Round win against the Saints and in their Conference Championship win against the 49ers. Their passing game is still not where they need it to be, but that could very well change on Sunday.

It’s cliché, but it’s true; Peyton Manning is one of the all-time greats. However he will be tested on Sunday like he has never been tested before. The only defenses that really came close to the Seahawks that he has faced are the Patriots and 49ers. Although the Broncos beat both of those teams, who knows how he will fare against the “Legion of Boom”?

Why the Broncos will win:

Broncos AFC Champs

They say that the best defense is a good offense. Well, no offense has been better this season than the high-scoring Denver Broncos. With Peyton Manning as the field general and Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, and a two running back attack that features Knowshon Moreno and rookie Monte Ball at Manning’s disposal , this Broncos offense averaged 37.9 points a game in 2013. Hell, it took all of one game for Peyton Manning to break yet another record when he threw 7 touchdown passes against the Baltimore Ravens on opening night, a mark that was later matched by Eagles QB Nick Foles against the Oakland Raiders. (I had to throw that in there – no pun intended).

While all of the attention was on the Broncos offense, their defense was pretty solid as well despite being without linebacker Von Miller for multiple games due to injury. I wouldn’t say that they are better than the Seahawks defense, but they have more than held their own on multiple occasions this season.

Not only that, but this is not Broncos head coach John Fox’s first time around when it comes to the Super Bowl. Fox coached the Carolina Panthers to Super Bowl XXXVIII where they came within a field goal of defeating the New England Patriots. I am not going to go so far as to place Fox among the elite head coaches of the NFL, but his experience could very well make a difference. Pete Carrol on the other had a pretty awful head coaching track record with the New England Patriots and New York Jets before returning to the NFL after a successful 8 year tenure as head coach at USC.

The Verdict:

This one was tough to pick, which is in part why there was a little gap between this post and the last one.

A big part of me wants to see the Seahawks win, at the risk of another team winning their first Super Bowl before the Eagles do. I was actually rooting for them in the NFC Divisional Round and the NFC Championship as well. I mean let’s face it, they are a pretty fun team to watch. Their passing game needs to be better, but you can assure that the Seahawks defense and running game will be in full “beast mode.” 

However, that same part of me that wants the Seahawks to win can’t help but think that the Broncos are going to come away with the Lombardi Trophy. It’s hard to go against Peyton Manning and with the weapons he has, who knows how many points that Broncos offense will score.

It’s going to be a close game, but at the end of the day, the Broncos defense will help their offense more than the Seahawks offense will help their defense.

denver-broncos-logo    28-24 Broncos