First, let me get some bad news out of the way. There’s no more pre-Super Bowl T & A as the Lingerie Football League is no more. In an effort to bring credibility to women's football the powers that be have put the kibosh on the smokin' hot uniforms and have renamed the association, "Legends Football League.” Thanks for nothing political correctness. If you're still interested, the Legends Football League Super Bowl is scheduled for Saturday, August 31, 2013.
On February 3rd it looks as if the eye candy is going to left to the hedgehog cheerleaders of Puppy Bowl IX, which airs on Animal Planet, Sunday, February 13, 2013 at 5pm. This year 63 rescue-ready cuties will be tearing up the field in what promises to be a very athletic, captivating, and indulgent Puppy Bowl. Along with a rookie squad of adorable hedgehog cheerleaders, there will be sideline hot tubs for fatigued pup players who need a breather and a half time show featuring something even Beyoncé couldn't compete with -- kittens!
Keep your eye on early favorites: Min-Pin "Winston,” Catahoula Mix "Fitz,” and Siberian Husky/Retriever Mix "Aurora.” Word in the shelter is that these three have been talking some serious trash, and word on the street is that they can back it up.
Okay, back to humans. Has it been almost an entire year since Peyton's little brother and teammates presented the Lombardi Trophy to the New York Giants faithful? Yes, it has, and here's a re-cap of how the end of the season brought us a Baltimore Ravens / San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl match up
AFC DIVISIONAL ROUND:
Baltimore Ravens 38, Denver Broncos 35. This was a double overtime classic, to say the least. Yes, Denver lost, but Peyton Manning deserves a lot of credit for leading his team into the playoffs after a two-year absence from football due to four neck operations. No one expected The Ravens to beat The Broncos, but they did, thereby giving the team a much-needed boost of confidence.
New England Patriots 41, Houston Texans 28. New England whipping Houston was no surprise. The Texans had been on an absolute tear until the end of the season when they spiraled downward faster than a one-legged cat on a Ferris wheel. Although Texans quarterback Matt Schaub threw for two fourth-quarter touchdowns, the damage had already been done, and The Patriots were able to sit back and move on to the AFC championship with ease.
NFC DIVISIONAL ROUND:
San Francisco 49ers 45, Green Bay Packers 31. This game had odds-makers split down the middle, with The Packers having a slight edge. Unfortunately, The Packers defense forgot to show up for the game. That combined with a coaching staff who failed to make critical adjustments allowed the 49ers to capitalize on Packer sub-par play that not even elite quarterback Aaron Rodgers could make up for.
Atlanta Falcons 30, Seattle Seahawks 28. Many people had not only picked the Seahawks as the clear favorite for this game, The Seahawks were picked by many to be Super Bowl champions. Be that as it may, no one can fault Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson, who gave who gave 110%, but it still wasn't enough to stop The Falcons, who battled back to win on a last-second field goal.
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NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:
San Francisco 49ers 28, Atlanta Falcons 24. This game, once again, failed to answer the question that many have been asking for a long time: Does Falcons quarterback Matt "Matty Ice" Flynn have what it takes to lead his team to the Super Bowl and finally be considered a top rated quarterback? Well, despite having begun the game flawlessly, Flynn and The Falcons defensive line experienced a major melt down by the third quarter, having blown a first quarter 10-0 lead, and second quarter 24-14 lead. Atlanta was quickly coming apart at the seams, and that was all San Francisco needed to see. The Niners turned on the heat, picked up serious momentum and sealed the deal thanks to wide receiver Frank Gore's two touchdowns. At the end of the day, what was clear is that that Matt Flynn does have moments of tremendous talent, but something always goes wrong (think Tony Romo) when he's on the verge of greatness. It's bewildering. Flynn had thrown for an outstanding 396 yards and thrown 3 touchdowns in this game, yet, The Falcons still found a way to lose. This had also been the second week in a row that Atlanta blew a huge lead, which was completely incomprehensible and totally inexcusable. Falcons fans are mad as hell, however, the entire defensive line needs a complete overhaul before Matty "on thin" Ice is sent to the guillotine.
Baltimore Ravens 28, New England Patriots 13. Before this game started, The Patriots had it won. There was no way The Baltimore Ravens could beat Tom Terrific in Foxborough, Massachusetts. But, at the end of the first quarter, reality set in. The quarterback who began to shine was not the one who graces the cover of GQ, not the one who's married to a supermodel, not the one who gets his way on every call. Enter The Ravens Joe Flacco, one of the most overlooked quarterbacks in the league, but also one of the best. Jersey Joe is not a cover boy, but his talent, combined with the rest of the Raven's heart and soul, controlled this game all night, and exposed the glaring "elephant in the room" concerning The New England Patriots. Despite having the potential to do so, they haven't won a Super Bowl title since after the 2004 season, and have been suspiciously mortal since the “Spygate” scandal in 2007, when it was discovered that The Patriots were illegally videotaping private practices of opposing teams. Some might say it's karma visiting the Patriots, others might say they simply had a bad day. Either way, The Ravens clearly outplayed (as well as embarrassed) the Pats.
Now we look ahead to Super Bowl XLVII, a battle of The Baltimore Ravens vs. The San Francisco 49ers on CBS Sunday, February 3, 2013 at 6:30pm at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans. In an over achieving Super Bowl build up, CBS will begin Super Bowl Sunday programming at 11:00 am, in what will be seven hours of Louisiana-flavored entertainment, former Super Bowl highlights, and sports commentary. Don't get me wrong, New Orleans has a lot to offer. The people there REALLY know how to let the good times roll, and there's nothing like describing the smell of fresh beignets that fill the air as you near Cafe du Monde, or the commentary from an NFL player who retired ten years ago…but seven hours of pre-game anything could certainly be considered overkill.
The game itself, between The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, will be a team vs. team battle, rather than a quarterback dual. In that category, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick doesn't begin to compare to Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Kaepernick is, right now, the most overrated player in the NFL. Did I say he wasn't talented? No, relax. Kaepernick's break-out was the NFC Divisional Round when he commanded the field as if he were a mix of Usain Bolt and Joe Montana. But as previously noted, The Packers defense in that particular game was non-existent. For the NFC championship, the 49ers only beat the Falcons by four points and was basically handed the game.
The reality is, Kaepernick has had one exceptional game as a quarterback, and one has to remember that the players around him are very good, which in turn makes him (Kaepernick) look even better. The 49ers are gifted, young, physical spark plugs, run by mad scientist/ coach Jim Harbaugh, who is considered to be one of the best coaches in the NFL by far. The Ravens have the opposite team makeup. There's a lot of experience, maturity, and grit on this team. Quarterback Flacco has been in the playoffs every year he's been in the NFL. He's battle tested, seasoned, and calm. Much of the Ravens season had been uneventful, having been coached almost Zen-like by the younger Harbaugh, John. That is, until the recent announcement of Ray Lewis' retirement. Call it coincidence, but once Ray "The General" Lewis announced this was his final season, a new general emerged (Flacco), and the underdog Ravens went from a team who appeared to play games wanting to win, to a team who now shows up and expects to win--which makes for a very exciting Super Bowl Sunday.
Sunday's musical entertainment will include Alicia Keys, who is slated to perform The National Anthem before kick off, and the gorgeous Beyoncé, who headlines the Pepsi sponsored halftime show.
Miss Fierce has announced that Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland will join her for a Destiny's Child reunion, debuting their new song "Nuclear,” and has promised an appearance from a certain rapper named Jay-Z. A rumor of a Psy (Gangnam Style) performance has thankfully been just that, rumor. This year’s halftime show has youth and swag on it's side, so expect a high energy, modern show with a sexiness factor that'll be off the charts.
Note: If you find that the Super Bowl Sunday (pre-game) program line up isn't your bag, get yourself in the mood by checking out You Tube's array of former Super Bowl commercials, starting with everybody's all time Super Bowl favorite -- the 1980 Mean Joe Greene Coca Cola commercial. Then wipe your sappy eyes and check out other classics such as: 2003 Reebok Terry Tate Office Linebacker (BEST line ever, "Hey Janice!"), 2008 Planters Super Bowl Commercial, and 2009 Pepsi Max "I'm Good". After all, who doesn't laugh at people falling, getting pummeled, or electrocuted?