Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Super Bowl Preview: Defeating Mr. Glass

Super Bowl week is a joyous time of the year for every American. It’s a time to eat heavily, drink heavily, and refuse to go to the bathroom during the commercials. It’s also a time of the year, where recently, I’ve enjoyed comparing head coaches to other fictional characters. It started in 2006, with Sgt. Slaughter (Cowher) vs. Colonel Mustard (Mike Holmgren) and continued in 2007 with McDowell’s, the dad from Coming to America (Lovey Smith). In 2008, I pointed out that Bill Belichick is a Sith Lord. In 2009, I just said that Nobody beat the Whiz (Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt) except on Super Bowl Sunday. And in 2010, I realized that Colts- Saints was Good Guy vs. Good guy (at least for me) and was like Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior.

Which leads me to the most important question of this week:

When will LB James Harrison wake up and scream out, "What have I done?" and realize that he is in fact a super-villain?
James Harrison has always been a ferocious tackler. Nothing wrong with being intense and tough. HOWEVER, there is something wrong with head-hunting and being so reckless that you are injuring others all of the time with no regard for human life.

In October, things reached a new low, for Harrison, as he victimized two Cleveland Browns players in a span of 5 minutes. After being fined heavily, Harrison threatened retirement because:
"How can I continue to play this game the way that I’ve been taught to play this game since I was 10 years old?” “And now you’re telling me that everything that they’ve taught me from that time on, for the last 20-plus years, is not the way you’re supposed to play the game anymore. If that’s the case, I can’t play by those rules. You’re handicapping me."

If there was ever a closer moment to some innocent person realizing they are in fact evil, I can't think of it. Actually Harrison you're not the one being "handicapped" here, it's the players you are tackling in a dirty manner who have the most danger of being handicapped.

After wracking my brain, I realized who Harrison has become... it's Mr. Glass from Unbreakable. Mr. Glass, played by Samuel L. Jackson, (***SPOILER ALERT) honestly believed he was doing good, by searching for a superhero. Of course, Mr. Glass ended up causing a number of disasters himself and became so enfatuated with his childhood fantasy of finding a superhero.... he didn't realize that he himself had become the supervillain. And just like the end of Unbreakable:
Elijah: "... And then one day I see a news report on a train accident and its sole survivor who was miraculously unharmed. And just like that, an idea blossoms into the flower of possible reality."
"A person they believed was put here to protect the rest of us. Guard us..."

...Now that we know who you are, I know who I am. I'm not a mistake! It all makes sense! In a comic, you know how you can tell who the arch-villain's going to be? He's the exact opposite of the hero. And most times they're friends, like you and me! I should've known way back when..."

Harrison should know too... in that in his efforts to be a great defensive player he has also become the "exact opposite of a hero."

Game Analysis
Pittsburgh - Offense = 14th in yards per game; Defense =2nd in yards per game
Green Bay - Offense = 9th in yards per game; Defense = 5th in yards per game

Similar games - Pittsburgh played New Orleans back in week 8 and lost 10-20. The Steelers were stopped on a goal-line stand and on a 4th-down play in Saints territory. However, the Steelers also gave up a couple of long plays to Saints receivers, which overcame an early turnover by the Saints. The Steelers also lost to New England 26-39. The score was 29-10 with 8 minutes to play before a flurry of scoring by both sides.

For Green Bay, I'm not sure if they really played a team like Pittsburgh. Granted, it's hard for me to compare teams to Pittsburgh. Perhaps the Atlanta Falcons? They lost 17-20 to the Falcons during the season but slaughtered them 48-21 during the postseason.

I think the games by Pittsburgh illustrate one thing that has been true, and was also true during Pittsburgh's Super Bowl season in 2008 (when Polamalu was healthy)... their defense is susceptible to passing teams with great WRs. Hell, the Steelers barely survived against the underdog Cardinals mainly because of WR Larry Fitzgerald. I don't really believe that the Steelers are going to be able to prepare for the size and speed of Greg Jennings... AND the other WRs which are all top-notch. This is probably the best bunch of WRs the Steelers are facing all season.

All in all though, I'm very excited about this Super Bowl. Green Bay may have been the 6th seed, but this has been a fantastic team the last couple of seasons and they are absolutely stacked on both sides of the ball. Obviously, the Steelers are a well-oiled machine. This game can go either way based on a number of different factors, but I believe that the skill of the Green Bay WRs will result in the Packers' victory. Despite my analysis, the people at EA sports ran their simulation on Madden, and sadly Mr. Glass triumphs there.

Final Prediction
Green Bay 24, Steelers 17; Mr. Glass will hopefully not be celebrating this year. I hope Madden is wrong!

Finally, A Plea for Another Federal Holiday (first posted this in 2006)
Finally, I’m still shocked out how no political party in America has begun a campaign to make the day after the Super Bowl a national holiday. Honestly, this has to be one of the least productive days of the year, as most people on the East Coast are either tired, hungover, or have indigestion and bowel problems. You could even just call this day “American New Year’s,” and then not change the year until after the Super Bowl. This would ensure that when someone says “the 2005 Super Bowl” they were referring to Seattle-Pittsburgh and not New England-Philadelphia. This would also reduce the amount of violence in America, because no longer would disagreements occur about which specific year belongs to which specific NFL season.

Last week: 2-0
Playoffs: 6-4 (that sucks, I hope I can nail this super bowl).
Super Bowl prediction record (since 2005): 4-2 (missed the Saints and the Giants)

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