MARLBORO, NY – The king of the 2018 NFL season will be crowned later on tonight and while I don’t have a horse in this race I, like many, will be rooting against the New England Patriots. For all it’s worth, the Pats are the 1970’s and 1990’s Dallas Cowboys –America’s Team To Hate. It all comes down to people despising a winning culture. Normally I’m here on Sundays giving gambling angles and advice but I’m doing none of that today and just talking about having an entertaining Big Game and one worth watching from start to finish.
Amid jalapeno poppers, chips, dip, pizza and alcohol, or whatever the heck your football party host is serving up, all football fans wish for on this unofficial National Holiday is a
good game good Big Game. But having done minimal research there have been twenty-four Championship Games decided by 14 points or better and another six where the reviled Cowboys and Patriots have won by less than that margin. What do these numbers tell us? Sixty percent (30 of 51) of the NFL’s Final Game have sucked based upon watchability and the hatred of the winning team.
There is hope, however. Whether you want to call it competitive balance (parity?) or the free agent/salary cap era there have been fewer dynasties in the league as opposed to years past. The Pats might very well be the last in this regard but I digress. Since the Millennium, of the nineteen Super Balls, twelve have been one-possession games, with New England always playing tightly contested games. so that bodes well for today.
On the losing side of the ledger there are no Super sad sacks when it comes to the current NFL landscape. Lovable losers like Angry Ward’s Vikings, the Broncos and Bills don’t exist either, and only helps the cause for competitive football. There are a few things we owe to these franchises, relating to what the Big Game has become, rather than sit through lopsided blowouts the day has morphed into secondary entertainment in case the game gets out of hand. One is more Madison Avenue-directed and has to do with advertising and marketing plans making today the Super Bowl of Commercials. We’ll remember the good ones while the horrible disappear from our consciousness in no time flat. Then there’s the halftime show or mini-concerts that have stretched the halftime break into a half hour (which I don’t really care for). So, there really is something for everyone today. There’s ALWAYS gambling to be done, there’s food, and secondary entertainment.
Enjoy the game everybody and if you find yourself points northwest of the city come by the Middletown Elks Lodge and be my guest for the festivities.
Today’s Picks? Los Angeles (+2.5) over New England AND Rams/Pats OVER 56.5
Come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz, who mistakenly published his column yesterday and now has to come up with another. Unlucky! But that’s what he gets for being an Iggles fan.