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All eyes on Super Bowl XLVI

February 3, 2012
By SETH STASKEY - Times Leader Sports Editor , Times Leader

Whether you're biggest sports junkie to the most unknowledgeable sports person on the planet, you'll be glued to Sunday night's Super Bowl XLVI.

It never fails. The Super Bowl is the ultimate event on the sports calendar every year because there's always something for everyone.

Obviously, the fanbases of the New England Patriots and New York Giants will be anxious for the 6:29 p.m. kickoff for the game aspect. The neutral fan just wants to watch because it's the last professional football game until early August. There's also the gambling fan, who knows the odds on what team will score first and which player will be the first to get injured (and yes, they have odds in Las Vegas on everything you could possibly imagine Super Bowl related).

Then you've got the people who watch for the halftime show because they're huge Madonna fans or they want to see if there is another "wardrobe malfunction" or something of the sort. The halftime entertainment at the Super Bowl has its own press conference during the week, which gives you an idea of the hype that surrounds the event. Along those same lines, people are into the performance of the Star Spangled Banner, which this year is being performed by Kelly Clarkson.

Many of the same people who are strictly watching for the halftime show are also pumped for the commercials. Businesses realize how many people are watching, so they're willing to fork out BIG bucks for 30-second spots during the game. The commercials are such an important part of the game that many radio and television talk shows spend huge chunks of time, both before and after the game, talking about the ads and the impact they've had.

However, let's be honest and call a spade a spade. All of this wouldn't go on if it wasn't for the game itself and this year's game has a chance to be a dandy.

While there are plenty of storylines outside of the game, there are countless avenues to break down and analyze about the game itself.

Obviously, you've got a rematch of the 2008 Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, which the Giants put together a miraculous drive in the game's waning moments, including a catch on the head by David Tyree that kept the drive alive and fueled New York's 17-14 victory.

While many have talked about that game, there are only seven current Patriots who played in that game. One of those is the most well-known Patriot player of them all and that's Tom Brady, who's always part of the storyline.

Brady is headed directly to Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame at the end of his playing career. A victory Sunday would give Brady his fourth Super Bowl ring, making him just the third quarterback in NFL history with four championships. He would join Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana.

Brady is always part of the discussion, not only because of his quarterbacking skills, but also his persona. Whether it's his hair, his marriage to Gislea Bundchin or his endorsement deals, Brady is part of the story.

On the other side, New York's storylines are always plentiful because tabloids like the New York Post and Daily News make it that way. The quarterback is the biggest story for the Giants, too. Eli Manning owns the one Super Bowl ring and will join illustrious company with two and solidify himself as a future Hall of Famer with another crown.

Along with that, Manning would go up by one ring on his much-talked about brother, Peyton, inside Lucas Oil Stadium, which is basically the 'House that Peyton built' in downtown Indy. Kind of ironic, isn't it?

As for the Xs and Os of Sunday's game, it's rather simple. Can the Patriots contain the Giants' pass rush. If Brady has time to throw to guys like Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez and the banged up Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots will prevail.

On the other side, the Giants have been very prolific on offense themselves, while the Patriots' defense has been ranked amongst the league's worst. If Manning can get guys like Hakeem Nicks, rookie Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham involved on the outside, it will open up lanes for the Giants' power run game.

Personally, I am torn on the game. I think it's going to be highly entertaining, much like the '08 version was.

However, I am not sure it'll be as good as halftime show or the commercials. I guess only time will tell.

Since I feel obligated, I am going to pick the Patriots to win, 34-27.

Staskey can be reached at



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