1 Who I Hate
A) Marshawn Lynch - It's weird for a guy to be so polarizing. Buffalo hates him, his non-tipping, pedestrian running-over stint in Buffalo rubbed people the wrong way. Here in Oakland, the native son is just "hyphe" and despite a few West Coast run ins with the law, Beast Mode has behaved himself in Seattle. He is now a sensation.
Buffalo finally got a draft right, and they still got it wrong. I had blamed Nix for trading away someone for character issues, because when you're as bad as the Bills, winning with character isn't a luxury we can afford. This week I learned Lynch asked for a trade. I've defended him for years, but now he's on my hate list, and with his constant BUFFALO? SNOW? routine, he's creeping up the "Willis McGahee's ACLs Memorial" Buffalo athlete hate list.
B) I love/hate Pete Carroll, he is the best coach when he is on your side, as he was during my stint at USC, and he's the worst coach when he's up to his antics when you're against him, like calling a fake punt in a rout last year in Toronto. That said, I ultimately hate Pete Carroll for getting fired in New England and unleashing the Belichick on us. FUN FACT: Pete's first NFL gig was with the Bills in 1984, we didn't make the playoffs. Then from 1990-1994 while Pete was with the Jets, the Bills went to 4 Super Bowls in 5 years. The last time the Bills were in the playoffs, you guessed it, Pete Carroll's final year with the Pats. Somehow his sadness = Bills performance, he must lose.
C) Von Miller for not bring back the saying, "you wouldn't hit a man with glasses". He needs to say that every time he is introduced on Sunday Night Football: "Duke Ihenacho, San Jose State", "Von Miller, you wouldn't hit a man with glasses"
D) I hate that I can't just root for Peyton to win, because him losing is just good fun.
E) Richard Sherman. I for one hate corners who talk. He can talk a lot because he's never in pursuit of the ball carrier, he is never talking at the pile, he's usually found walking around in the perimeter. He gets away with it because the Seattle defense is crazy good, but the thing about fundamentals is, you practice them all the time because you never know when you'll need them.
I'm drawn to the 58-yard run in the 2nd quarter of the NFC Championship game. Colin Kaepernick scrambled right and Safety Kam Chancellor is cut by Frank Gore at the 49ers 43-yard line. Sherman is 20 yards back of the play and has not shed his WR blocker yet, as Kaepernick passes him, Sherman attempts a weak diving arm tackle which Kaepernick easily avoids. Chancellor meanwhile got on his horse and sprinted 50 yards to catch and stop Kaepernick at the 10-yard line. Sherman's fundamental lack of effort may hurt the Seahawks against a Denver team with explosive athletes that can turn short gains into devastating chunks of yardage.
Another loud mouthed DB on the "McGahee List" Donte Whitner, talks a lot, but was very exposed in last year's Super Bowl. Behind every big Baltimore pass, you saw Donte Whitner trailing his blown coverage. Sherman might get exposed on Sunday, not for being a disgrace, a thug or a bad corner, but simply for practicing bad fundamentals.
2 What I'm Eating
Almost everything, but I'm most excited about attempting to recreate a Jim's Steakout Frenchy in Pizza form. If you're talking best non-pepperoni Buffalo pizza, I'm putting my money on Leonardi's Deluxe Pizza and Just Pizza's 3 Cheese Steak Pizza. I'm hoping the deliciousness of the steak pizza can translate well with a mock-up of Jim's special sauce and mushrooms.
3 Outdoor Football
We are very lucky two relatively cold-weather teams are in the Super Bowl.
Outdoor Football Stadium Rankings Based On Weather During Super Bowl XLVIII:
1) Miami 71 and clear sounds real good.
2) Jacksonville 62 and partly cloudy over 3) Tampa 64 and mostly cloudy because I'm an optimist
4) San Diego 55 and mostly sunny, or as a Socaler would say, winter jacket season.
5) SF 48 and Cloudy, & 6) Oakland 48 and Cloudy over 7) Charlotte 48 and light rain because rain is the WORST.
8) Baltimore and 9) Philly with 32 and rain/snow showers. Snow Super Bowl would be awesome so they get a bump over 10) Seattle 36 and showers, 11) Washington 33 and showers.
Side note: 6 years in LA has wrecked my ability to handle cold, however, living in a desert has completely ruined my tolerance for rain. It's the worst, snow has beauty and you ultimately don't get as wet as long as you don't fall down, (and in that case Ice is the real culprit), but rain is the worst.
Proof you can now have the Super Bowl pretty much anywhere:
A very Seattle like gray for 12) NY/NJ 29 and cloudy, 13) Foxborough 26 and cloudy, 14) Pittsburgh 23 cloudy 15) Denver 22 and partly cloudy and 16) Cincy 20 and cloudy.
Getting kinda cold there
17) Kansas City 14 and clear, 18) Orchard Park 13 and cloudy, 19) Cleveland 12 and cloudy.
Rain is really annoying
20) Nashville 29 degrees and rainy. Nothing worse than a freezing rain that refuses to turn to snow.
NO Windy Frozen Super Bowls for you
I said pretty much anywhere, don't have Super Bowls in the following two cities:
21) Chicago 2 and partly cloudy
22) Green Bay -6 and mostly clear.
4 Who Will Win
I hated Seattle before it was cool, but now I'm about-facing. In the 2011 NFL Draft the Broncos picked #2 ahead of the Bills, taking Von Miller from us (probably a good thing).
Side note look at that draft #1 Carolina-Division title in 2013, #2 Denver-Division title in 2013, #3 Buffalo Bills-Last place in Division, #4 Bengals-Division title, #5 Arizona-10-6 in the toughest division in football.
The Bills still beat the Tebow Broncos that year, a 40-14 rout. The Broncos still somehow went to the playoffs and won a game, something the Bills have failed to do in 14 and 19 years respectively.
They then somehow get the best QB in the world who hates playing in the cold, to come to cold thin-aired Denver. It's not fair. This one ISN"T for John, I'm rooting for the Seattle Squawkhawks to win it 30-21.