by Rick Langenberg:
Nope, we are not going to lie to you. Super Bowl LI is a definite letdown from last year, when our beloved Denver Broncos were in the big show and squeaked through with an upset victory against Carolina. Shame on you, you idiot odds-makers and hope you are still choking on your dooms-day talk of a Bronco massacre.
Unfortunately, the Broncos suffered a rare meltdown at the end of the 2016 season, and yes, we are stuck with the New England Patriots squaring off against the Atlanta Falcons for the Super Bowl. As a result, rumors are running amok that chief Broncos dictator John Elway may be gearing up to say good-bye, and may enter the political arena as Colorado’s next governor. Fret not Bronco fans, as there is always next year.
And Elway, who has received much criticism for his trade decisions at the end of last year, has a chip on his shoulder, which is good for the Broncos. Big John is a competitor, and hates to lose, whether he is running a football team, campaigning for a ballot issue or playing golf. Look for improvements in 2017, even if John may be headed for the governor’s seat eventually.
But regardless of the rumors, Sunday’s Super Bowl has the makings of a great party, so make plans to view this great occasion at your favorite local restaurant/bar and eatery, or with the comfort of friends and family members. Plenty of enticements are planned at local establishments for America’s favorite party.
Let’s face reality: Both of these Super Bowl contenders emerged as most resilient during the playoff season that surprisingly produced a record amount of one-sided games, with only two real close contests. They deserve to be there, and boy, does that sting to make such a comment. That is from a guy who likes such teams as the Broncos, the Cowboys and Steelers, teams that suffered choke-itis during some part of the season.
Currently, odds-makers are favoring the Pats by about three, but that can change on an hourly basis. The Pats definitely have experience on their side, with their ninth appearance, while Atlanta is making its second showing in the big game. For details
But as usual, we offer a few predictions from TMJ fans and staffers, and other community leaders. Last year, our group of Monday morning quarterbacks were pretty much on the money in defying Vegas picks. We will see what happens this year.
In any case, enjoy the big game.
Jon DeVaux, Woodland Park Business Owner and Planning Commission Chairman and DDA War Veteran
The New England Patriots will win by a score of 27-21. “It’s going to a really close game and won’t turn into the blow-out that some are predicting. But the Patriots will win. Bill Belichick is just too good of a coach for the Patriots.” (Jon has become one of our better Monday morning, arm chair quarterbacks, plus he knows a little bit about adversity, surviving the political football at local Downtown Development Authority meetings.)
Neil Levy, mayor of Woodland Park, restaurant owner and high school baseball coach.
The Atlanta Falcons will win by a score of 30-27. “Atlanta just has the better team this year. They are better than the Patriots.” (Short and sweet, but watch out for this guy. He predicted that the WP baseball team would rebound last year, and we all said dream on Neil, and are now eating our words.)
Elijah and Karen Murphy, owners of the Historic Ute Inn and outspoken proponents of the Patriots
The New England Patriots will win by a score of 49-7. “It will be a slaughter. But you would have to expect us to say that. There is no better team in the known universe.” (In fact, if you want to cheer for the Falcons on this treasured day, you may want to do that without the knowledge of the personable owners of the Ute. Elijah sees the game rivaling, even the sometimes tumultuous session of the WP Downtown Development Authority sessions, when city officials were grasping for air.)
Dr. John Jones, Dallas Cowboy fan addict and TMJ general manager
The New England Patriots will win by 33-10. “Considering that I’m still having nightmares about the Packers beating the Cowboys, my prediction is as follows: Matt Ryan for the Falcons goes down due to a hang nail during practice… Atlanta signs Tony Romo in a desperation move to find a veteran QB for the big game. Romo throws 4 interceptions, has two fumbles, and is sacked in the end zone for a safety in a secret revenge plot against the NFC as Tom Brady and New England wins the big game… 33 to 10.” (We have heard some amazing sports’ theories, but this one may prevail for this year’s Super Bowl.)
Bob Volpe, TMJ Broncos Beat Writer
The New England Patriots will win by a score of 35-28. “My pick pains me because I’m sick of dynasty teams dominating the NFL. Super Bowl LI, though has the makings of what viewers like to see, a high scoring game.” For more details on Bob’s analysis, see related article in TMJ. Bob also some stern warnings against dynasty teams: “The NFL has suffered a decline in viewers over the last year. Fox NFL coverage was down 19 percent and CBS down 13 percent in 2016 according to Forbes. The reason for the decline varies among who you talk to. Some say it is because of protests by players like Colin Kaepernick, some say it is because of over saturation. There are now games on Sunday night, Monday night, andThursday night in addition to the regular Sunday afternoon games. Thursday Night Football suffered the largest decline in viewership dropping 25 percent in 2016, according to Forbes. In my personal opinion, much of the decline is due to the dominance of certain teams who monopolize the game. Unless you are a fan of one of the dominant teams watching a game is pretty much like watching a pack of wolves hunting an elk; you have a good idea who will come out on top before the chase even begins.”
CR Chambers, TMJ Web guru, business owner and area mountain climber
The New England Patriots will win by a score of 38-28. “Patriots by far had the toughest playoff schedule. They beat the Texans who had the #1 defense and beat the Steelers and Big Ben. The Falcons beat a beat up Seattle team that had multiple injuries, a Green Bay team defense that couldn’t stop a Dallas rookie QB and was banged up facing the Falcons at home. The Patriots want this one for Brady. This game is so much bigger for the Patriots on many different levels. Brady will be the Super Bowl MVP (This comes from a guy who know his football. Few people in the community know that Charlie actually played semi-pro ball in Canada, competing with such stars as Joe Theismann, former quarterback for the Washington Redskins and a veteran television analyst.)
Maureen Manhart, Green Mountain Falls resident and a Democratic Party regional leader
The Atlanta Falcons will win by a score of 33-31. “It will be a very close game, but the Falcons will score a clinching touchdown right at the end to come out on top.” In addition, Maureen admits that she can’t possibly support the Patriots for a variety of reasons. “I hate the Patriots and Tom Brady. He is a pig.” And there are a few political concerns with the Patriots, who have a special allegiance to a certain political figure, but we won’t get into that type of talk. This is sports, everyone loves one another.)
Rick Langenberg, TMJ Editor.
The New England Patriots will win by a score of 31-21. “It will be a real close game the first half, and Atlanta may even have the advantage. But in the second half, things will get ugly for the Falcons. Remember General Sherman’s March to the Sea. Similar carnage will occur and viewers will experience another snoozer of a game in the final quarter of play, so enjoy the halftime festivities.”