This is the end, beautiful friend
This is the end, my only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
-The Doors

Jazz: At the beginning of each season I look forward to this day. But inevitably, when it finally arrives, I can’t avoid feeling some sadness. Part of that is the seemingly inevitable fact that, despite my fervent beliefs each and every August, the New York Jets wind up not being involved in the Superbowl aside from possibly getting good seats to watch it. The other part is that football is the only American sport I enjoy any more, and I soak it up as much as possible. It makes me sad when it ends, though all good things must. This season has been a tough one for picking winners against Ed, but it was all in good fun and I hope we can continue for years to come.

Ed: I share in Jazz’ melancholy over the end of the season. It’s been a blast picking against Jazz this year, and having fun talking football. Mainly, though, I’m melancholy over the fact that I can’t bring myself to root for either of the two finalists. Pittsburgh dropped out in the first round, and Green Bay gave the game away in the fourth quarter. Indianapolis and Denver disappeared in ignominious fashion. That leaves … the Patriots and the Seahawks. I’m just wondering whether we can root for Katy Perry instead.

Jazz: Asking the experts about this game is nearly useless in my opinion. ESP got 48 of their top notch prognosticators together and 25 of them took the Seahawks while 23 took the Pats. Nearly all of them had the scores held into the twenties for both teams. Everyone has a slant on the outcome. Tom Brady has been sick. Marshawn Lynch is too much of a distraction for the hawks. LeGarrette Blount is the secret weapon which will bring down Seattle. Deflate-gate has derailed the Pats. Deflate-gate has put a chip on the Pats’ shoulders and they will play their hardest. Defense is the key. Defenses are overrated.

Here’s what I know… I took the Seahawks last year because in a shootout such as this, the defense really is the key. They win more big games than a flashy, pass heavy offense does. Plus, I have the added inspiration of the Patriots being in the game. I wouldn’t pick the Patriots if they were playing the local high school team. I shall not pick against them because I love Seattle. I am picking the Seahawks to win this thing 28-21 because I could get drunk for weeks on the bitter tears of New England’s fans. There you have it. I am a terrible person.

Ed: Look, even if you don’t like the final two teams, there’s little doubt that we’re seeing two of the best teams in the league right now. This should be an epic battle, perhaps one of the greats in Super Bowl history. Neither team is at their historical peak, but they were good enough to dominate this year at times, and that should be enough to avoid the kind of blowout we saw two weeks ago in the Pats-Colts game.

Here are the matchups by league rank:

pats-hawks-chart

The imbalance looks decisive, but Bill Belichick is a factor here, too. One has to account for his undeniably superior coaching. That still doesn’t look as though it will be enough, not when the Seattle rushing attack will likely dominate possession time, especially since the Seahawks secondary could tie up Tom Brady’s hands, assuming that their injuries don’t hamper them too much.

With all of this in mind, I have to also go with the Seahawks, but perhaps in a higher-scoring game — 35-27. As to the question of who I’ll be cheering in this game, it’s … Bill Vinovich.