Super Bowl XLIX Sunday and More

Right now, here in our part of Iowa, we have had over 10 inches of snow, and it is still snowing! And it looks like it will be for a few more hours.

until payday

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Seahawks Super Bowl Repeat A Scary Prospect For NFL

Here are some scary thoughts for the rest of the NFL:

A win Sunday will stamp the Seahawks as one of the best teams of the Super Bowl era. And, given Seattle’s makeup and philosophy, the future for the franchise might be brighter than for any other club.

Rarely has a team with so many key young players been so formidable. The last such group might have been the Jimmy Johnson Cowboys of the early 1990s, when Dallas had the Triplets: future Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin.

Seattle has its own trio of All-Pros, but on defense: cornerback Richard Sherman, safety Earl Thomas and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. All are 26 or younger.

They’re complemented by young talent all over the lineup, from Kam Chancellor (26) in the secondary to linebacker K.J. Wright (25) to offensive leaders quarterback Russell Wilson (26), receivers Doug Baldwin (26) and Jermaine Kearse (25 next week), tight end Luke Willson (25) and a bunch of twenty-somethings on the line.

All of them already have experienced the ultimate success on the field, and if they can beat New England for a second straight championship, the D word frequently will be thrown around.

“For us to win the Super Bowl back-to-back years, we definitely could be a team that’s talked about as a dynasty,” Wright says. “I’m glad that the core players of this team are still together. The more we continue to stay around here, the more championships we’ll win.”

Very possibly.

But it’s not just the talent coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have collected, and how quickly Seattle locked up key personnel with contracts; only Wilson and Wagner need to be re-signed among the elite players.

It’s the culture the Seahawks have developed.

Read it all HERE.

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Tom Brady Cannot Stop

Last July, a few weeks before the New England Patriots started training camp, I got a call from Donald Yee, the agent in Los Angeles who has represented Tom Brady since he entered the N.F.L. in 2000. It had been four years since I first told Yee that I was interested in writing about Brady, even though I typically cover politics. I grew up in the Boston suburbs, rooted for the Patriots as a kid and even possessed vague memories of watching the team play at Fenway Park, one of their homes before they settled into the nowhereland of Foxborough, Mass., in 1971. My friend Josh and I once wrote a letter to the team’s young quarterback, Jim Plunkett, inviting him to dinner at Josh’s house. (Plunkett never responded.) Their teams were mostly bad, their owner was an embarrassment, their stadium a dump. Yet the Patriots always retained a lovable haplessness about them, with their cute minuteman logos, their A.F.L. lineage and the identity crisis that comes from being named after an entire region instead of a city or state. (The Seattle Seahawks are not the Pacific Northwest Seahawks.)

Read all of this HERE.

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How the Seahawks Can Crush the Patriots

A mere four months ago, on an unusually balmy night in Kansas City, the New England Patriots seemed destined for a season’s worth of humiliation. The longtime Patriots quarterback-cum-talisman Tom Brady spent over three quarters of the Week 4 game rattled by a speedy Kansas City Chiefs’ defense that kept forcing him to throw a few microseconds sooner than he preferred. After seeing too many of his hastily tossed balls sail inches past his receivers’ hands or straight into the Kansas City safety Husain Abdullah’s appreciative arms, Brady paced the sidelines like a caged hyena who yearns to tear out the zookeeper’s larynx. He was finally benched in favor of his twenty-two-year-old understudy, Jimmy Garoppolo, a second-round pick from Eastern Illinois, who immediately led the Patriots on an eighty-one-yard touchdown drive. (It wasn’t enough to save New England from an embarassing 41-14 loss.) Though such mighty offensive feats tend to happen late in blowouts, when many players’ thoughts have turned to the postgame steaks that await, even the most diehard Brady loyalists had to wonder if they were witnessing the dawn of the Garoppolo Era.

On the eve of Super Bowl XLIX, with Brady having once again proved himself a peerless (and perhaps dastardly) master of the art of quarterbacking, Garoppolo’s brief flirtation with relevance seems like a distant mirage. The Patriots quickly recovered from the Kansas City debacle and won ten of their next twelve games, a streak that guided them to the pinnacle of the American Football Conference standings. On Sunday, they face the Seattle Seahawks, the defending Super Bowl champions and the league’s other top playoff seed—a team on such even footing with the Patriots that Las Vegas oddsmakers are close to declaring the contest a tossup. Yet the Patriots’ loss to the Chiefs was not some inexplicable aberration: the defeat laid bare the team’s lingering flaws, which is why I imagine that the Seahawks’ coaching staff has been using “A Clockwork Orange”-style eye spreaders to watch the game on repeat for the past two weeks.

Continue reading HERE.

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