A ‘D’-licious matchup

By the

January 18, 2001

Alright, I admit it. It’s a little sad, really. In fact, some people (read: psychologists) might think it’s a bit odd.

I’ve been asked in probably a hundred assignments to remember all the way back, and I don’t mean to the days when NASCAR mattered not, the NHL was an orgy of offense, and Howie Long was a on-field beast causing QBs to run screaming on a bootleg, not an on-TV loser causing viewers to run screaming for the remote. I mean all the way back, to my first memory ever. And lo and behold, it’s sports.

Football, to be exact. New Orleans Saints. New York Giants. I think I was maybe 3. It was on the TV. Someone on the Saints is recovering a fumble.

So football, dear friend, has been with me since the very beginnings. I’ve always loved it, from my Friday morning BS sessions in high school with my team’s coaching staff (“I feel the run and shoot could be effective at the high school level”) to my useless Saturdays watching Michigan, through my useless Saturday nights at 3 AM watching PAC-10 football; it’s been a glorious ride.

That ride was cruising into another station around 6 AM last Saturday night, when I lay wide awake in my bed, staring at the ceiling, trying desperately to fall into the arms of Morpheus. Sheep had long since failed, so I was now attempting to count leaping Brian Billicks.

Yes, I have a problem.

And then the games came and went; and then we arrived back here; and then I was assigned this column; and when I realized that SportsView only occurs every four weeks; and the Super Bowl is in two; I figured, eh, why not?

Time to start the hype early, folks, and by that I don?t mean 10 AM on Super Bowl Sunday- CBS has that down quite adeptly. It’s time for the Ted Bauer Guide to the Supa Bowl.

Basics are simple. You ever watch one of those NFL films videos, and at the beginning it?s always Zach Thomas stretching on Pro Player Field yelling “We gotta come to play” or “There is no next weekend” or something like that? The Super Bowl is one giant NFL Film. There is no next weekend. Two teams come in, one team goes out, as the entire crowd has no idea what?s going on because it?s all corporate seats and no real football fans; so as a million Nokias brighten the piercing darkness over Tampa, boys become men and dreams are accomplished.

In corner one, wearing the Blue Trunks, and weighing down the hopes of New Yorkers for the past six years, is the New York Giants. Defensive juggernaut, yes; offensive spectacle, no. Although last weekend?s record-setting performance against da’ Vikes, a team well know for its firepower and apparently also for playing parapelegics in the secondary, was surprising. Kerry Collins, once known as a racist alcoholic after a promising early career with the Panthers, is now being “redeemed” in the eyes of the media, known in laypeople’s terms as “pulling a Webber.” Collins has a decent backfield of “Thunder” (power runner/ex-Heisman winner Ron Dayne) and “Lightning” (sweetness of Tiki Barber). Lightning has unfortunately been playing with a broken arm for the past two weeks, thus preventing a true extension of his stellar regular season. The Giants’ WR duo reminds no one of; well, anyone. They’re just not that good, although against Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder as the Vikings’ CB, they tore it up.

The Ravens, pretty simple breakdown. Defense, defense, and more defense. Ray Lewis is insane; the man kills people on and off the field. When Eddie George got the ball in their game against the Ravens, you could swear on the replay Lewis began to salivate through his helmet before running up to deliver the crushing blow. On the offensive side of the ball, Trent Dilfer is awful and returning to the place where he was made awful, although no one will think to boo him because they’re too busy making post-game plans on South Beach.

Someone tell me why I can’t get Super Bowl tickets?

So anyway, the Giants cannot do what they did in the NFC Title game against the Ravens. ‘Tis simply impossible. And the Ravens, despite a handy offensive knack for finding Shannon Sharpe for one big play per game, cannot do anything against the Giants front of Hamilton, Strahan, and Sehorn. You like offense, wait for the Halftime Show; Backstreet should provide enough of that. You want good, defensive football and a baseball final, you’re in the right place.

It’s gonna be like 7-3, probably in favor of the Giants, and the entire world will be set on its axis about a lack of big plays and marquee offense in the sports world today, probably leading to simultaneous comebacks by Joe Montana, Wayne Gretzky, and MJ; the 80s will be upon us again.

Come to think of it, that makes sense; Bush in the White House, bad clothing trends, crappy music, Giants good, Georgetown good.

OK, forget that. Ravens, 42-35.

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