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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Mac Weekly sports staffers make Super Bowl picks – why the Cardinals will win…

By Pete Steele

Super Bowl Sunday is rolling around again. As we do every year, it is time to sit back, crack open containers of our favorite junk food, and say “may the best team win.” This year, that team is the Arizona Cardinals.

Actually, scratch that.

The Arizona Cardinals may well not be the best team in the Super Bowl this year. However, they are the team that is going to win. In recent years the deciding factor in the Super Bowl has been something less tangible than a team’s talent level or prior experience. Rather, It’s a thing that some might call destiny.

As most recently happened with the New England Patriots in 2008, the team widely considered the best heading into the big game has often fallen to a substantial underdog.

Guided at quarterback by a previously unknown first year starter named Tom Brady, the Patriots had advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs, where they faced the Oakland Raiders. All seemed lost for New England after a fourth quarter fumble by Brady. That is, until the call was changed because of the obscure “tuck rule”, a reversal forever canonized as the “Immaculate Incompletion”. This turn of events showed that New England was a team of destiny, to be sure. They proved it by going on to defeat the heavily favored St. Louis Rams in 1999, a team whose offense was so potent it was dubbed “The Greatest Show on Turf” by football pundits. An offense led by current Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner.

Now rewind back to 2006. The Pittsburgh Steelers had been a mediocre 6-5 with 5 games left in the regular season. However, led by a very young quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger, they won each of those last 5, doing just enough to grab the final spot in the AFC playoffs. Once there, they knocked off the top three seeded teams in the conference (all on the road). A Cinderella story such as this could hardly be rewarded with anything but a Super Bowl victory, which came 21-10 over Seattle.

Which brings us back to Sunday’s game. The Cardinals could also be called a team of destiny. They have for many years been the laughing stock of the NFC, an organization whose ineptitude at winning championships (61 years since the last one) is rivaled only by that of baseball’s Cubs. They are the kings of the rubbish heap, sneaking into the playoffs with a mediocre 9-7 record by winning football’s weakest division-the NFC West. They were only 3-7 in games outside that division. In the penultimate week of the regular season they got spanked 47-7 by New England, a team that didn’t even qualify for the playoffs. Were they to win it all, it would be the kind of rags-to-riches, meek-shall-inherit-the-earth story that periodically seems to bring balance to the professional sports universe. And that is precisely why they will win.

Of course, destiny is nothing unless it’s backed up by at least marginal talent. But rest assured-Arizona has that. Warner has been to the Big Game before and performed well in it, winning the Super Bowl MVP award in ’99 with the Rams. Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has proved in the first three rounds of the playoffs that he can do anything humanly possible on a football field, and then some. And Arizona’s defense, led by defensive end Bertrand Berry, has stepped it up against both the run and the pass this postseason.

This is why I have enough confidence to go with my gut this time rather than a strict analysis of X’s and O’s. The best team doesn’t have to win.

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    Joe RobertsonSep 10, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    It’s really a nice and useful piece of information. I am glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  • A

    Anthony HemmingsSep 9, 2019 at 2:30 pm

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