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Super Bowl XLVIII (01/29/2014)
By Dave DeLano

The long NFL season reaches its conclusion next Sunday when the AFC champion Denver Broncos take on the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks in East Rutherford, New Jersey. This will be the first Super Bowl played in a cold weather environment and maybe fittingly, the weather may affect the game.

Cheeseheads know well that the Green Bay Packers won the first two Super Bowls (kind of). The Super Bowl wasn’t officially called the Super Bowl until the third (Super Bowl) following the merger of the American and National Football Conferences way back in 1966. Prior to then the Packers had won nine NFL Championships going all the way back to 1929. In all, the Packers have won 13 World Championships/Super Bowls. That is far more than any other franchise; hence Green Bay has become known as Titletown, and who can argue with that?

Eighteen of the league’s 32 franchises have won at least one Super Bowl. The Broncos have won twice in six Super Bowl appearances and the Seahawks lost in their only previous Super Bowl in 2005. Super Bowls have been incredibly popular with fans around the world. The least expensive tickets are selling for just under $2,000 each and well over 100 million people are expected to watch the spectacle on television. The Broncos have been established by the gamblers to be a 2.5 point favorite.

I was a kid when Vince Lombardi was hired by the Packers in 1959 to turn the franchise around. He did so starting in 1961 when the Packers became NFL World Champions. The Lombardi Packers won the NFL Championship again in 1962 and again in 1965, which preceded their first two Super Bowl wins. That amazing Lombardi dynasty gave Cheeseheads five World Championships in seven years, something that will never be duplicated. I was among those privileged to witness it all. The Super Bowl trophy is aptly named the Lombardi Trophy after the legendary Packer coach.

So here is how I see the game. The Broncos have a prolific offense led by veteran quarterback Peyton Manning, who is having a season for the ages. He has very good receivers and a feel for the game that only a few quarterbacks have ever had. The Broncos’ defense is missing some pieces. They are not a dominating force but they are disciplined.

The Seahawks have a very tough running back in Marshawn Lynch and a balanced offense led by their capable but relatively inexperienced quarterback, Russell Wilson. The Seahawks’ defense can dominate, especially their defensive backfield, which is why this should be a great matchup against Manning and company.

The weather in most of North America has been atrocious this winter as I am sure everyone reading this will attest. The weather projections next Sunday in New Jersey are for more of the same…. cold and possibly snow. Conventional wisdom would tilt the advantage to the Seahawks, who have the better running game.

The Packer Partisan rarely makes predictions but here goes for the big game. I hope the Broncos win. I still have a bad taste in my mouth about the game the Seahawks stole from the Packers two seasons ago on that horrible official call dubbed the “Fail Mary.” I don’t like the arrogance of Seattle’s head coach. Neither do I like all that “mindless” noise that Seattle fans scream when they play at Seattle. Broncos win 27 – 23 in a close game. 


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