25 Questions and Answers For Super Bowl 42 (Time To Give Up Those Roman Numerals)

All right, all right. The Channel 3000 Sports Blog will soon get off this football streak. There’s lots of other stuff to write about, from the good (Badgers, despite Saturday’s loss to Purdue) to the bad (Bucks, mired in yet another disappointing season). But for now we’ve got to pimp this Super Bowl game against the mighty Patriots and those pesky Giants. Given that this year’s championship game is the 42nd Super Bowl, here are 25 questions and answers to keep in mind as you watch it on FOX on February 3. I’ll start with the biggies.

1. Will the Patriots cover the spread? No. As of this writing, New England is favored to win by 11.5 points, despite the fact that they beat the Giants by only three on the last weekend of the regular season. New York will make it interesting.

2. Will the Patriots beat the Giants and become the first team to ever finish a season 19-0? Yes. New England 34, New York 27.

3. Will Randy Moss’s postseason lack of production continue? No. Despite catching only two passes total in two games in this year’s playoffs, Moss will torch a depleted Giants secondary that played over its head against the Packers. I look for six catches, 70 yards, and a score.

4. Will Plaxico Burress do his part to back up his talk that the Giants receivers are just as good if not better than the Patriots’ wideouts? Yes, but he’ll still be proven wrong. Wes Welker is to Amani Toomer what Ted Danson is to Hal Linden.

5. Will Bill Belichick honor the biggest game of the year by dressing better than a recently mugged hobo? No. Belichick delights in his status as worst-dressed man on the planet. Which is infinitely less imporant to him than his status as Coach of the Year.

6. Will Tom Brady’s alleged high ankle sprain affect his performance? Yes. He may have to settle for 300 yards and three touchdowns.

7. Will Eli Manning match his brother’s performance in last year’s Super Bowl. No. He’ll do better. Despite being named the game’s MVP, Peyton Manning was solid if unspectacular against the Bears in Super Bowl 41. (25 of 38 for 247 yards, one touchdown, and one pick). Eli Manning’s been hot, and he’ll stay hot.

8. Will Lawrence Tynes make more field goals than he’ll miss? Yes. Arizona promises to be a tad warmer and therefore kicker-friendly than Green Bay.

9. Will Tom Petty’s halftime performance be any good? Yes, although I suspect it will be underwhelming from a technical perspective. I predict Petty will do “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” “American Girl,” and “Runnin’ Down A Dream.”
Overindulgent sidebar: The best 42 Tom Petty songs in no particular order:
1. Listen To Her Heart
2. I Need To Know
3. Refugee
4. Shadow Of A Doubt (A Complex Kid)
5. Breakdown
6. Even The Losers
7. The Waiting
8. Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around
9. You Got Lucky
10. Change Of Heart
11. Straight Into Darkness
12. The Best Of Everything
13. Jammin’ Me
14. The Damage You’ve Done
15. Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough)
16. Free Fallin’
17. I Won’t Back Down
18. The Apartment Song
19. Alright for Now
20. Learning To Fly
21. Kings’ Highway
22. You And I Will Meet Again
23. Mary Jane’s Last Dance
24. You Wreck Me
25. Honey Bee
26. Crawling Back To You
27. Wake Up Time
28. Room At The Top
29. Free Girl Now
30. Have Love Will Travel
31. The Last DJ
32. Anything That’s Rock N Roll
33. Here Comes My Girl
34. Don’t Do Me Like That
35. It’ll All Work Out
36. A Woman In Love (It’s Not Me)
37. Trailer
38. Keeping Me Alive
39. You Get Me High
40. Come On Down To My House
41. You Don’t Know How It Feels
42. Rebels

10. Will this year’s Super Bowl be the highest-rated ever? No. Given the fact that the Patriots are trying to make history against a team from the country’s largest market, I’m tempted to say yes. But a 49.1 rating (1982 Super Bowl featuring 49ers and Bengals) seems impossible to beat in today’s 6 million channel universe. If it falls short, I’ll blame the writers’ strike.

11. If the Patriots win, are they the best team ever? No. There was a lot of crap to come out of the seventies — Zanadu, What’s Happening! — but man, those Steeler teams were good.

12. Will the Giants be able to run the ball on the Patriots? Yes. Although they only ran for 79 yards against them in week 17, the Giants were without rookie Ahmad Bradshaw. With Bradshaw in the lineup, they should be able to get that total over the century mark.

13. Will Laurence Maroney continue his postseason success? No. The Giants shut down Ryan Grant last week and they’ll do a good job containing Maroney. Their success at stopping the run is one of the main reasons the Giants are still playing.

14. Does the post-Super Bowl time slot mean anything any more? No. FOX is running an episode of House, which is notable only for the fact that it’s a new episode. And it’s the last one they have. Good thing the writers’ strike didn’t start any earlier, or the only new programming FOX would have to run after the game would be its new sleazefest The Moment of Truth.

15. Will the Patriots be able to run up the score like they did earlier in the season? No. I look for the Patriots to score plenty, but they won’t match some of their totals from earlier in the season. The Giants are playing too good on defense.

16. Will Tom Brady be the game’s MVP? Yes. Add it to your reasons — good looking, rich, dates supermodels — for hating Tom Brady.

17. Will any of the commercials aired during the game be memorable? Yes. It looks like it will be a good year for advertising. A silent Pepsi spot highlighting sign language has the pre-game buzz, but I’m looking forward to the Bridgestone spot with Richard Simmons. I look forward to anything featuring Richard Simmons.

18. Will the game live up to the hype? No.

19. Will it be a good game? Yes.

20. Is it possible for any game to live up to the unbelievable Super Bowl hype? No.

21. Will “comedian” Frank Caliendo appear anywhere on the telecast? Unfortunately, yes.

22. Will “sideline reporter” Tony Siragusa appear anywhere on the telecast? Fortunately, no.

23. Will Eli Manning finally throw an interception, which would be his first in postseason play? Yes. He will be distracted thinking about the classic Seinfeld rerun he saw the night before the game.

24. Will Tom Coughlin’s sideline behavior be described as any of the following by the FOX announcers: “furious,” “livid,” “beside himself,” “hotter than Tennessee asphalt.” Yes, hopefully the last one.

25. Will the Giants continue to win the battle for field position? Yes. Punter Jeff Feagels is a veteran playing in his first Super Bowl and Domenik Hixon will continually give the Giants good kick returns. A big reason why the game will be close.

Enjoy the game. Yes, the Packers aren’t in it, but come on, it’s the last meaningful NFL game for seven months. You’ll still watch.

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