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Fischer’s Friday Five

I’m Fischer..it’s Fri…TIMEOUT…time to call an audible. (WARNING:  Before getting to this week’s Friday Five, you’re going to be subjected to a brief Super Bowl preview, complete with a prediction that you should probably bet against.)

Coming off the heels of the last two Super Bowl, which were exciting nail biters, this has a lot of to live up to, which scares me a little.  Giants/Patriots was supposed to be all about the Pats quest for perfection and many didn’t expect a close game.  Steelers/Cardinals never felt like it would be close as many didn’t give the Cards any chance, but they were seconds away from the upset.  But now, we’re faced with two teams that combined started their seasons 27-0, who both thrive off of their explosive offenses with their star QBs and who both get by with mediocrity on the other side of the ball.  So basically, anything short of a 45-41 final score has the potential of coming off as a disappointment.

That’s the bad news.  The good news is, I think we’re going to see something very close to a 45-41 score.  But who will win?

First off, this is great for the city of New Orleans.  If you don’t believe that sports and entertainment can’t heal wounds, then you haven’t been paying enough attention.  As a former New Yorker and a lifelong Mets fan, I remember that first game at Shea after 9/11 and the overall impact it had on me as well as the city of New York.  The Yankees making the World Series that year was also an uplifting boost for morale.  After the Katrina aftermath, the city of N’awlins turned to the Saints for comfort and more importantly for hope.  The first game back in the Superdome was mesmerizing.  The energy, the passion, the overall sense of an entire city coming together and celebrating for the first time after such a tragedy was just a joy to watch, even if it did make you sad to remember why they were so joyous.

The Saints aren’t a franchise you can loathe (unless you really don’t like guys named Bobby Hebert).  They’re the nice guy in your group of friends, the one who never has anything bad to say about anyone else, and even if things are going bad for them, they still remain optimistic.  The problem here for the Saints though is that they’re playing the one team in the AFC who also has the “likable” tag on them as well.  Plus that other team, has arguably the most respected player in the game.  Anyone who says that they hate Peyton Manning is just a damn fool.  They probably also sided with the bubonic plague, Hitler, and the producers of Gigli.

However, luckily for the Saints and their loyal fan base, unless you are a die-hard Colts fan, everyone will be  rooting for the Saints and the city of New Orleans to win.  Seriously, I mean everyone.  Even Archie Manning will be rooting against his son (come on, he played for the Saints most of his career, you can’t believe he’s not going to secretly be rooting against his son).  Even Eli Manning will be rooting against his brother, as not only does he want to be tied in career Super Bowl wins with big bro, but also he still holds the title of “Last Manning to win a Super Bowl.”  Cooper Manning is most certainly rooting against Peyton.  It’s bad enough he’s already the “Manning who shall not be named because he can’t play any sports professionally,” but he really needs Peyton to lose just to feel better about himself.  Wouldn’t it be great if we found out a few weeks from now that Cooper has a seriously gambling problem and put $10k down against his brother?  Eh, who am I kidding, Cooper Manning doesn’t have $10,000.  And on some way down there level, I have to believe even Peyton Manning, being the good guy that he is, wouldn’t mind seeing the city of New Orleans claim their first Super Bowl title and help continue the city’s revival.

The one factor I have a hard time overlooking is the location of the game.  Being in Miami, the same place it was in three years ago when the Colts were last in the big game, has to be a little demoralizing for those who played in that first game.  Part of the excitement of the Super Bowl is it being in an exciting location (except when held in Jacksonville and Houston), and if I were guys like Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Antoine Bethea, I’d be a little bothered that I’m back in the same place as three years ago.

If I wasn’t about to be snowed in for the weekend, I don’t think there’s a better place I’d rather be on Sunday than down in the French Quarter, that place will go nuts if the Saints can pull off the win.  Heck, they’ll go nuts if they lose – since the city is throwing them a parade on Tuesday regardless of the outcome.  Ironically, Tuesday is also one week before Fat Tuesdays, so let me begin by giving mad props to those in charge of clean-up duty in New Orleans the next couple of weeks.   More importantly, I’d love to see that city have a twice the reason to celebrate and see how they’re able to pull off a 2-week party.

So yes, I am basing my entire prediction on the biggest game of the year on emotion and absolutely zero on-field statistics or game plan.  We know what to expect from both teams on both sides of the ball.  We know what Peyton Manning is capable of, we know of Dwight Freeney’s injury, and we know that if this was any other game, the Colts would probably handle the Saints for four quarters.  But this isn’t just any game, and this isn’t just any underdog.  The Colts may have the better 11-on-11 squad on the field, but the Saints will have the 12th man at the game, and the 13th, and the 14th and so on.  And for one day, I’ll also be a big Saints fan.

PREDICTION
New Orleans 45
Indianapolis 41

——————–

Thanks again to everyone for great feedback last week. Just as I anticipated, I anger the fans of The Wire, but since I haven’t had any trouble sleeping at night since then, I feel justified in my decision.  Although special shout outs go to Sons of Anarchy and One Tree Hill, two shows that I did omit from the honorable mention group last week.  Also, could those two shows be any more opposite from one another?  They should cross-promote on each other’s shows.  Have a biker gang come thru Tree Hill, NC one week and then the following week, the Tree Hill Ravens play a basketball game in Charming, CA against a local gang only Lucas gets stabbed when going in for a dunk.  I’d watch that.

So with it just two days away from the big televised event (no, not The Biggest Loser marathon on NBC), I can’t help but think of a better theme for this week’s Friday Five then remembering some of the great moments in SB history. None of which are Jason Sehorn’s pants falling down as he got beat by Brandon Stokley for a TD in Super Bowl XXXV.

I’m Fischer, it’s Friday, and here’s my top five…

FIVE BEST SUPER BOWL MOMENTS OF ALL-TIME

Again before anyone yells at me for this, just know that I am only counting those Super Bowls from which I actually remember watching.  So anything before 1979 is automatically eliminated since I couldn’t get TV reception inside my mother’s womb.  Plus everything from 79-84 is also ruled out, mostly because I was young enough where I probably rooted for ever touchback and timeout, not knowing what they meant.  Also, these are individual moments from games, not the games themselves, and they encompass a different array of special reasons personally.

So here’s what was the best the Super Bowl has had to offer over the years…

Honorable Mention: Falling asleep at the beginning of the Bears/Pats Super Bowl XX (my first Super Bowl I remember) only to wake up at the end of the game, watching my dad break a vase with a pillow after the Broncos took the lead briefly against the Giants at XXI, John Elway’s helicopter in Super Bowl XXXII, Kevin Dyson tackled at the 1-yard line to end Super Bowl XXXIV (ruined by the fact that I thought classes would be canceled the next day because of the ice storm that day…classes were not canceled and I was terribly hungover), Ty Law’s pick six for the first score of Super Bowl XXXVI and netting me the best $5 bet win of my life, and everything involving Ray Lewis and Media Day for Super Bowl XXXV – especially including Disney opting to not use Lewis (the game’s MVP) for their “I’m going to Disney World” campaign.

James Harrison’s 100 yard interception return for a TD – Super Bowl XLIII

Sure, it’s fresh in my head, and it may be the silver medalist play to Santonio Holmes tiptoe touchdown to win the game, but this was the best play I’ve ever seen to end the first half in any sport.  Sure, a full court buzzer beater to end the first half of a basketball would be a great sight to see, but it’s only 3 points out of 200 or so that’s scored throughout the game.  Harrison’s TD was a momentum changer.  The Cardinals were driving down the field and inside the redzone looking to score and take the halftime lead (or at the very least, tie it with a field goal), when Harrison stepped in front of the Kurt Warner pass and basically ran the 100 yard dash in just over 6 minutes, or so it seemed.  From a personal point of view (read: gambling), I had the 7/7 in the Super Bowl Squares pool, and figured with Pittsburgh up 10-7 and Arizona about to score, that I had no chance of winning the halftime square.  But every yard Harrison got closer to the end zone, I found myself cheering louder and louder, and almost hoping to run beside him and block whatever Cardinals that got in the way of my potential winning square.  When he finally made it (read: collapsed) into the end zone, the Steelers were celebrating and I was bouncing around like a 6-year old after eating 3 pounds of Halloween candy.  And if the interception return wasn’t exhilarating enough, now I hate to wait for the officials’ review of the play to make sure the touchdown counted.  Upon further review (and a Jeff Reed extra point), I was $600 richer and couldn’t have been happier.

Don Beebe vs. Leon Lett (Super Bowl XXVII)

It’s not very often that you see an amazing play late in a game when a team is trailing by FIVE touchdowns!  But thanks to Don Beebe (winner of least intimidating football sounding name), he prevented his team from having to mount a six touchdown comeback.  With the Cowboys leading 52-17 in the fourth quarter, just about all Super Bowl parties were wrapping up, people putting their coats on, getting ready to leave a little early since there wasn’t much more of this massacre to watch.  Then Leon Lett of the Cowboys picked up a fumble around midfield and rumbled (when you’re near 300 pounds, you rumble when you run) towards the end zone.  Everyone couldn’t believe that the Cowboys were about to go up 59-17 and break a SB record for most points scored.  Even Lett started celebrating prematurely, holding the ball out and casually rumbling the last 10 yards.  Out of nowhere on the left hand portion of our bubble TV screens (no HD then, these were ancient times), Beebe was the lone Bills player who hadn’t given up on the play or the game, and inches before the goal line, he knocked the ball out of Lett’s hands thus negating the record-breaking touchdown.  This provided everyone with a great message in an otherwise lopsided game, that no matter what, you play until the final whistle, and you play hard.  It may not matter in the stat book or on the scoreboard, but that sort of hustle and no-quit attitude can go a long way, in not just gaining respect of your teammates and fans, but also sets a great examples for those same teammates and for anyone watching the game.

Bud Bowl III (as part of Super Bowl XXV)

Yes, I’m putting the Bud Bowl in my Top 5, and no, I haven’t started drinking yet.  This was the Bud Bowl during the Giants/Bills Super Bowl.  Sure, as a Giants fan I could have put the Scott Norwood missed field goal as one of the best moments ever, but I’ve seen a lot of missed field goals in my time.  What I haven’t seen is a thrilling contest between Budweiser and Bud Light.  It’s been nearly 20 years and STILL I remember these Bud Bowl commercials, more than I remember the actual game (except the Norwood kick of course).  It’s a shame that Budweiser stopped making these Bud Bowl’s a couple of years after this one, but this was the BB at its best, especially the final play of the game (Ralph?).  Take the time to have a trip down memory lane and watch the entire BB3 video.

Power Comes Back On Mid-Way Thru 1st Quarter (Super Bowl XXXVIII)

This Super Bowl will forever be known as Nipplegate, thanks to a certain wardrobe “malfunction.”  But to me this game will forever be known as something more special.  In 2004, I was living in a terrible, dirty, college house in College Park, Maryland.  Don’t get me wrong, I had fun living there, but seriously, you couldn’t pay me to reside there now.  For the Super Bowl that year, we had a house party.  If memory serves me correctly, we even ordered a platter of Chik-Fil-A nuggets ahead of time, since they don’t exist on Sundays.  There were probably about 25-30 people there that day, even though we had just been hit with snow and ice that weekend.  Everything was going great, everybody was having fun, eating nuggets and other assorted goodies with just about 30 minutes left until kickoff, and then BAM!  The power went out!  The whole neighborhood and as far as we could see.  And it stayed out.  The game was about to start and still no power.  Normally at this point, I’d yell for everyone to panic and take all the belongings with them and run like heck out there, but there was an eerie calm amongst myself and everyone there.  Instead of freaking out, we all instantly turned into wannabe MacGuyver’s.  Luckily one person had a generator in their car for tailgating purposes, another person had extension cords, and everyone started making room for our plan b of running the generator from outside and up through the house and to the big screen TV.  I’m not entirely sure this was the case, but I believe the generator wasnt powerful for that TV, so again, with kickoff just seconds away, we were again stuck with staring at darkness.  Then, another roommate ran downstairs and brought up his little (i’m guessing no more than 25-inch TV) which we placed on top of the regular big screen TV and connected the generator to it.  SUCCESS!  Literally just in time for the opening kickoff.  Now instead of everyone hanging back and watching the big game on a big tv, you had 25-30 people huddled around a small little 1980s television.  And no one seemed to care.  We were all just so excited to be watching that the situation in which we were watching was almost irrelevant.  Then about 3 minutes into the game, the power came back on and 25-30 cheered, but only for a few seconds as then the power went back off and 25-30 booed.  Then it came back on, yay, then it back off, boo.  This went on for a few minutes, until a few minutes left in the first quarter when the power came back on for good.  The rest of the night we were treated to a great game, and even almost saw an almost-boob, but to me, I’ll never forget the memory of so many people huddled around a TV like homeless people to a garbage can fire.

The Helmet Catch (Super Bowl XLII)

No more words are needed.  The image says it all.  Greatest play ever, in the greatest game ever.  Period.

That's using your head.

9 Responses

  1. I agree that house was gross!

  2. Yeah, so I think you meant to say luckiest play with most no-calls ever, right?

  3. One of the top 5 greatest Super Bowl moments has to be Earl Morrel not seeing a wide open Jimmy Orr for a TD in Super Bowl III. If they score on that play, Colts may have won and merger may not have happened as soon.

  4. […] Filed under: Random Posts « Fischer’s Friday Five […]

  5. I’m still sticking with Colts 34 Saints 24. Very little defense. The difference will be a Brees INT at a very crucial spot in the game. Man, you’re taking this blog to another level right out of the gate. Niiiiiiiiiice!

  6. “Fisching For Fun” would be a great title for the blog

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