I was in a fairly good mood today when I showed up at the Capitals practice facility in search of some quotage for an upcoming story I was working on. See, I woke up to find my car underneath a good 1/2 inch of ice after what looked to be a run-of-the-mill two inches of snow turned into massive amounts of ice. I'm talking I had to literally pretend like I was surfing just to get down my driveway icy here.
So as myself and a bunch of reporters waited for Caps coach Bruce Boudreau to emerge for his daily talk, I was pretty enthused that I didn't die on my way to work navigating through the streets. (As an addendum for DC folks, here's how you know the Caps have officially become the biggest game in town ... the Washington Post literally had three different people at a practice — four if you include myself since I work for the Post-owned Express).
THis being a gathering of media folk, corny sports-related jokes ensued as we waited patiently. A fellow from the AP said about the only thing icier than DC right now is the buzz going for this weekend's Super Bowl. Now, after I was able to contain myself from doing one of those obnoxious laughs that gets cut off abruptly with a NO (think hahahahahaha ... NO!), I began to ponder about this whole Super Bowl thing. Am I going to watch? Yes. Am I going to care who wins? Not really. Will I be happy to see Steeler fans (not the actual Steelers, who I like a lot) lose to the most unlikeliest Super Bowl team ever? Hell yes!
I wanted to have a proper picture to sum up how unreal it is to have the Cardinals in the Super Bowl. This was the second photo in google images when I typed in "cardinals super bowl unbelievable" and I think it does a pretty good job of conveying the message.
Now don't get me wrong, I think a lot of the hype for this year's game is being manufactured when compared to last season thanks to ESPN and their bizillion crew members down in Tampa. Now every Super Bowl can have storylines such as a team on the cusp of undefeated greatness like last year's Patriots. I think the very fact that a team like the Cards made the Super Bowl should create enough buzz, but like I've said before, it is kind of deflating when you think about how many teams the Cards were worse than ... during the regular season.
And if you haven't noticed, a lot of the biggest news the past couple weeks has been outside of the Super Bowl. Like watching Tomlinson and the Chargers bicker more and more incessantly through the media, in which case if you don't think a divorce is impending, then you've never been in/seen a break-up before. But back to the game, which I think deserves some attention here in a sports-filled universe. I figure I'll list out the things I'm interested in heading into this Sunday:
1) Will Ken Whisenhunt re-create the now-fired Jon Gruden when he made the Super Bowl in Tampa? I'm talking the whole "former coach knows his former team so well that with two weeks of preparation time, his current team is able to predict what plays are coming" storyline?
2) Former Skin, and distinguished member of the Hogs, Russ Grimm used to be an assistant for the Steelers and now works for Whisenhunt as well. Does another Super Bowl win as an assistant get him in the running for a head coaching job, and better yet, does it help his impending Hall of Fame status, which experts put at iffy.
3) Will anyone pull a Eugene Robinson and get caught in Tampa's prodigious strip club scene days (or maybe hours?) before the big game. My money is on Matt Leinart and Santonio Holmes double teaming some broad named Felacio Jones while throwing $20 bills in the air.
4) What about Hines Ward? Is he going to be like Willis Reed, suiting up as little more than a cheerleader or will he actually make a difference on the field. If he isn't the player he usually is, do the Cards just load up on Willie Parker and dare anyone but Santonio Holmes to beat them?
5) Does Lamar Woodley finally elevate himself to superstar status? I don't know if anyone watched his behind the scenes look at who the smelliest and worst dressed Steeler is on Rome is Burning the other day, but the former West Quad resident and current quarterback terrorizer has some charisma. I want to put it up, but it isn't on youtube. And if you haven't been able to tell, I'm going with Lamar Woodley as my early pick for Super Bowl MVP.
6) Can Kurt Warner convert us all to Christianity if he pulls off what I think would be the most unprobable run to a Super Bowl of all time. Seriously, as much as some people want to call this boring, the simple fact that Warner and these Cards could win this Super Bowl has me thinking about going to church. How else can it be explained? Honestly, they aren't that good.