TL Super Poll: Coaches, media in split decision


For the first time in Times Leader Super Bowl Poll history, a panel of area coaches and media have split the difference regarding a victor in the National Football League’s ultimate game.

Of the 60 responses we solicited, 30 have projected a Giants’ win with another 30 opting for a Patriots’ triumph. Which likely means the first overtime in Super Bowl history.

We attempted to contact Madonna to break the stalemate but the 53-year-old Material Girl was still in make-up and unavailable for input.

As usual, accolades are distributed to a majority of OVAC grid mentors and local radio and TV personalities for weighing in.

As a headline read in a NY tabloid: Supe’s On!

JOHN DURDINES, Bishop Donahue – I like New England’s offense playing indoors. They’ll score just enough to win. Patriots, 28-24.

TIM WEAVER, Bethany College – I’ve got to pick New York considering I was on the same staff at Columbia University with (Giants) wire receivers coach Sean Ryan. Giants, 24-20.

DON SLOAN, WTOV-TV 9 – Eli Manning shines and New York’s offense does just enough to prevail. Giants, 27-24.

RICK DELUCA, Times Leader – Despite all the hype, injury talk, and doubts, its still the New England Patriots and it’s still their game to lose. Patriots, 27-14.

STEVE DALEY, Steubenville Central – New York’s D-Line and pass rush will give New England problems. Also. Giants’ run game is more productive. Giants, 24-17.

LUKE JOHNSON, Barnesville – I’ve got to go with New England. Bill Belichick has the know-how to win this one. Patriots, 28-21.

JUSTIN KROPKA, Harrison Central – I see an even game that may come down to one or two plays. In the end, Tom Brady makes it happen. Patriots, 27-24.

DAVID BLOMQUIST, WWVA 1170 – New York’s front four will be the difference. This win propels Eli Manning into the Hall of Fame. Giants, 20-17.

DOUG TAYLOR, Weirton Madonna – I know they say defense wins championships but New England’s offense will win this battle. Patriots, 27-21.

MIKE ANTHONY, WTRF TV-7 – At some point, New England’s bad defense has to hurt them…right? Besides, I could never pick the Pats. Giants, 27-24.

MARK DIERKES, Times Leader – Eli wins his second ring and makes a late TD connection with Hakeem Nicks for the game-winner. Giants, 29-25.

JOHN MAGISTRO, Westerville Central – I think New York is playing well and will win a high-scoring game. Giants, 38-29.

RYAN WILSON, Clay-Battelle – The combination of Brady and Belichick is enough for me to go with New England. Patriots, 27-24.

RENO SACCOCCIA, Steubenville – New England has a better offense, but in regards to overall team play, I like New York and the pressure its defense will get on Brady. Giants, 27-21.

MIKE BIGLER, Conotton Valley – Brady comes to play and will get enough protection to be productive through the air. Patriots, 31-20.

TODD BRADFORD, Frontier – New York’s on a postseason tear and Manning has the hottest hand. Giants, 35-24.

KIM NORTH, Times Leader – I’m an AFC fan because I root for the Dolphins, but I will be rooting for the NFC today. I just dislike New England. Giants, 30-17.

RICK PRESCOTT, East Liverpool – This should be a dog fight and you can never count out Brady. However, I’m going with New York based on their physical style on defense. Giants, 24-14.

MARK CISAR, Union Local – Tom Brady has not forgotten about his last Super Bowl matchup with New York. I think this could get ugly with Brady throwing for 400-plus yards. Patriots, 45-17.

SHAUNNA DUNDER-HERSHBERGER, Times Leader Lifestyles Editor – Bill Belichick was smiling at the media day press conference. He’s got something up his sleeve. Patriots, 30-24.

B.J. DEPEW, Linsly -Brady out-performs Manning in a game where offenses dominate. It likely comes down to one big break at some point. Patriots, 30-27.

MIKE MCKENZIE, Edison – New York’s pass rush is the difference in a down-to-the-wire outcome. On a last-second field goal. Giants, 30-27.

JAY CIRCOSTA, Monroe Central – New York has the best defensive front in the NFL. In spite of that, I’m going with the Brady Bunch. Patriots, 31-21.

ERIC HUCK, Fort Frye – This will be as close as their last Super Bowl matchup, only with a little more offense. Giants, 31-24.

ROGER WAIALAE, West Liberty University – New York has gotten better week after week. It comes down to the kicking game. Giants, 27-24.

BUBBA KAPRAL, Times Leader Managing Editor – Tom Brady struggled against the Ravens and survived. He is too good to have two bad games in a row. I look for Brady to spearhead a fourth quarter comeback. Patriots, 24-20.

TOM BRUNEY, Brooke – New York’s defense is playing better and will make enough plays to get it done. Giants, 28-24.

SCOTT NOLTE, WTRF-TV 7 – I’m taking New England as Brady and company get revenge for the David Tyree catch in Super Bowl XLII. Patriots, 34-31.

BRENT CROASMUN, Paden City – New York has a better run game and a better defense. Brady usually comes up big in these type games but I’m giving an edge to NY. Giants, 24-21.

ANDREW CONNOR, Indian Creek – New York’s defense is playing well and they’re hitting their stride at the right time. Giants, 27-24.

ROB CALDWELL, Tyler Consolidated – Redemption time for Brady and New England. Pats’ improved defense will come up with a key late stop to pull out a victory. Patriots, 34-30.

MIKE PALMER, Times Leader – New England may be the better team but New York is the hotter team and that could be the intangible on Super Sunday. Also factor in New York’s defense dominating on the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium. Giants, 28-24.

JASON MERRYMAN, St. John Central – New York must be concerned about New England’s tight ends. Look for a big game from Wes Welker. Patriots, 31-20.

JOHN BOWERS, Morgantown High – The last time the Giants went into my Green Bay Packers’ house, they beat New England in the Super Bowl. Besides, this time of year, it’s which team is the hottest. Giants, 24-21.

DAVE CALDWELL, Beallsville – I’ve always liked Brady but I expect New York’s pass rush will create problems. Giants, 21-17.

RICH WRIGHT, Beaver Local – The extra week Bill Belichick had time to prepare makes the difference in another close Super Bowl. Patriots, 28-24.

DOUG SKINNER, Wellsville – If they can stop the law firm of BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Pats’ running back) I like New York win a close one. Giants, 27-24.

SETH STASKEY, Times Leader Sports Editor – Tom Brady etches his name into even more illustrious NFL company with his fourth Super Bowl title. Patriots, 34-27.

TOM WEST, Valley – I’ll take Eli Manning over the Brady Bunch. New York rates the edge based on its defense. Giants, 24-13.

BRETT McLEAN, St. Clairsville – My guy (St. C. grad) Adam Stewart is on New England’s staff. Bill Belichick is the other factor. Patriots, 24-16.

ERIC MEEK, Toronto – Two worthy teams in a game that definitely could come down to the wire. Giants, 27-24.

LORI FIGURSKI, Times Leader Publisher – I expect Madonna’s halftime performance to steal the show. Giants, 24-21.

MIKE YOUNG, Wheeling Central – Experience, coaching and Tom Brady spell victory for New England. Patriots, 28-20.

ROB METZGER, WTOV TV 9 – Last year, the Packers stormed through the playoffs as a wild card to win it all. This year, New York has that same momentum. Giants, 34-24.

TONY FILBERTO, Weir High – New York needs to run more and throw less to win but I’ve got to go with New England. Patriots, 35-24.

RUDY VAVROCK, Bridgeport – I give an edge to New York based on the strength of its defensive line. Giants, 24-21.

JOHN KELLEY, University High – Hard to beat the Belichick-Brady combo. Also, New England has a few more weapons. Patriots, 21-17.

PHIL PEST, Buckeye Local – New England has some seasoned veterans who’ve been in a large number of big games. Plus, their defense will come up big. Patriots, 34-21.

JOHN BLACKMORE, WKKX 1600 AM – New York’s D-line is seven deep and they’ll make enough plays to bail out a suspect secondary. Giants, 27-17.

MIKE HUGHES, Times Leader – New England gets its revenge and Brady ties (Joe) Montana with four rings. Patriots, 27-24.

DAVE BRUNEY, Martins Ferry – I’m going with New York and feel they rate an edge with their run game and better corps of receivers. I also think they have ability to pressure Brady without having to blitz. Giants, 27-24.

RICK GOODRICH, John Marshall – Too much offense for New England. Giants don’t possess enough firepower. Patriots, 34-17.

MIKE FLANNERY, River – I’m going with New England in a tight game as Tom Brady wins number four. Patriots, 31-20.

CHRIS DAUGHERTY, Wheeling Park – New York’s defensive line puts too much pressure on Brady. Giants, 28-17.

JOSE DAVIS, Bellaire – Tom Brady will be ready and better-prepared for the ‘rematch.’ New England’s offense is more efficient. Patriots, 31-23.

ERIC AYERS, Times Leader News Editor – This Super Bowl is a toss-up: Heads, Patriots. Tails, Giants. (Flip). Patriots, 38-35.

JOSH PERKINS, Caldwell – Eli Manning comes into his brother’s house and outduels Brady in a great Super Bowl. Giants, 27-24.

JIM ROGERS, Cameron – Both teams are strong up front which should make for a very competitive Super Bowl. Overtime would not surprise me. Patriots, 24-21.

MARK HOLENKA, Shadyside – ‘Common Sense’ tells you to take the team known as the ‘Giants.’ Therefore, Patriots, 31-24.

RICH GIBSON, Times Leader – Unlike their low-scoring battle in Super Bowl XLII, tonight’s game has more potential to produce points early and often. I look for New England to pull away late and raise the Lombardi Trophy. Patriots, 41-27.

Gibson may be reached at