When your team isn’t in the Super Bowl, it’s devastating. Not only because it means your season is over or has been over and there’s no hope at winning the Super Bowl, which should be every fan’s aspiration every season, but because the two weeks between Championship Weekend and Super Bowl Sunday are the two most painful weeks in sports and the conversations and hype won’t involve your team.
The last two weeks have revolved around Richard Sherman’s postgame rant, Marshawn Lynch’s decision to not entertain the media’s unnecessary questions and Peyton Manning’s legacy. If it weren’t for these topics, Radio Row would have spent the last two weeks only reciting weather reports and forecasts. And even with the top-rated offense and defense and the two No. 1 seeds meeting, the weather managed to be the most talked about storyline.
Those who don’t attend the Super Bowl are kept in the loop by the media who do. And when you’re a media member who’s given a free all-expenses-paid trip at the end of January/beginning of February, of course you don’t want to go to New York/New Jersey. You want to be in Miami or New Orleans or San Diego or Tampa or somewhere with a dome and climate control. You want to be able to enjoy the week or two on the company dime and not have to worry about how you’re going to fit coats, jackets, fleeces, hats and gloves in your suitcase or wondering how many pairs of socks you need to wear to go do your job. But it’s a “job” (sort of) and every media member who complained about the weather since arriving in New York/New Jersey should be embarrassed the way those who complain about the quality of coffee on Amtrak should be.
But aside from whether Richard Sherman was out of line or if Marshawn Lynch owes it to anyone to talk about football or if Peyton Manning HAS to win this game or if it will be cold and windy at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, there’s something more important: the last pick of the season.
Looking back at my 2013 picks season is probably something I will only do this once, or rather something I should only do this once. I’m sure Eli Manning doesn’t want to be relive his three INTs in Week 1 or his four INTs in Week 2 or his three INTs in Week 5 or his three INTs in Week 6 or his five INTs in Week 15 and I don’t want to relive this mediocre season. As I said several times throughout the season, my picks season mirrored the Giants’ season, so let’s look back at how I did during the regular season in comparison to the Giants’ scores.
Week 1: Cowboys 36, Giants 31 (3-12-1)
Week 2: Broncos 41, Giants 23 (7-8-1)
Week 3: Panthers 38, Giants 0 (7-8-1)
Week 4: Chiefs 31, Giants 7 (7-7-1)
Week 5: Eagles 36, Giants 21 (5-9-0)
Week 6: Bears 27, Giants 21 (5-9-0)
Week 7: Giants 23, Vikings 7 (9-6-0)
Week 8: Giants 15, Eagles 7 (7-6-0)
Week 9: BYE (6-6-1)
Week 10: Giants 24, Raiders 20 (9-5-0)
Week 11: Giants 27, Packers 13 (5-8-2)
Week 12: Cowboys 24, Giants 21 (4-10-0)
Week 13: Giants 24, Redskins 17 (8-7-1)
Week 14: Chargers 37, Giants 14 (9-7-0)
Week 15: Seahawks 23, Giants 0 (10-5-1)
Week 16: Giants 23, Lions 20 (OT) (3-13-0)
Week 17: Giants 20, Redskins 6 (10-6-0)
So far this postseason, I’m 3-6-1 in the 10 games. And along with the regular season, that’s 265 picks down. One to go.
DENVER -2.5 over Seattle
This pick is more about me wanting Peyton Manning to win than wanting the Broncos to win or the Seahawks to lose.
Four years ago, I rooted hard for Peyton to win his second Super Bowl (not just to make sure that Sean Payton and Jeremy Shockey didn’t win, though it was a large part of it) but for Peyton to cement his own legacy (there’s that word again) as the best quarterback ever. This was for personal reasons created during my time living in Boston in college. But Peyton didn’t win Super Bowl XLIV because of a Pierre Garcon drop, an onside kick and his own pick-six. The following year he was knocked out in the first round by the Jets, the year after that he missed the entire season and then last year his season was ended by a 70-yard, game-tying touchdown pass and a field goal in double overtime.
Peyton Manning is 37 years old and even though he might be getting better with age, he isn’t getting any younger and the number of potential trips to the Super Bowl is dwindling and championship trips aren’t likely to come with as much ease as this one did (Hello, Tom Brady). And with rumors and reports that this could be Peyton’s last game (win or lose, I don’t believe it) because of his neck and health, this might be his last chance to take the title of The Greatest of All Time.
If Eli can’t defend the Manning name on his own field then the right man to do so is Peyton.
Last week: 0-2-0
Regular Season: 117-138-10