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Super Bowl Sunday: Peyton's 5th MVP; Epic Meal Time and Chicken Wings; Careful, Pete Carroll
Wow, such a career. Everyone loves you. You say the right thing, basically all the time. Even when you're being a little cocky, you put it just perfectly, like when you indirectly admitted to Richard Sherman that you throw ducks but that it was okay because you threw all those ducks for touchdowns. JUST CLASSIC!
And now, you have your fifth Associated Press MVP. An NFL record, of course. When have you done anything that wasn't an NFL record?
Listen, Peyton. It's clear you have it very, very well. Life's awesome. And your family is football royalty – the southern Kennedy-like Camelot, really.
So, do you really need this Super Bowl? Can't you just let Seattle take the trophy?
You can even throw for 400 yards or whatever. You can play out of your mind and come up just a little short, and it won't even be your fault. And everyone will still love you after.
We never win anything up here, in the Pacific Northwest. And something tells me Seattle wants this real bad. I mean, not this bad, but pretty bad...
Not to dump on the day, but how cheesy is the name of this event... the SUPER Bowl?
Super is as terrible as awesome. And somehow, Super is the most-watched event in America every single darn year. Would hockey have an Awesome Cup?
The National Chicken Council of the United States (at first, I laughed knowing that was a real council, and then I realized it makes sense, because I'm sure it's a big industry) estimates that 1.25 billion chicken wings will be consumed in America during this year's Super Bowl.
This is staggering. This will make that guy with the Ryder sunglasses, push stroller, and Ford Escape with the EcoBoost shake his head with a pompous "What's this world coming to?" smirk.
And if your brain didn't register just how much 1.25 billion is, feast on this nub of knowledge from the NCC:
"To put that into perspective, if 1.25 billion wing segments were laid end to end, they would stretch from CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey (home of Super Bowl XLVIII)... 30 times. That is enough wings to put 572 wings on every seat in all 32 NFL stadiums."
More news from the wonderful world of Wing...
This year is apparently the 50th anniversary of the invention of the chicken wing, which was first cobbled together in a tidy, awkward bundle of delicious crispiness in Buffalo, New York (ahhhhhh, the Buffalo Wing!) at Anchor Bar.
"The current owner of the Anchor Bar told food writer Calvin Trillin in the Aug. 25, 1980 edition of the New Yorker that his mother came up with the recipe when a case of wings was accidentally delivered instead of the chicken backs and necks she used to make her spaghetti sauce.
"Dominic Bellissimo said he asked his mother Teressa to figure out something to do with them.
"She broiled them (the Anchor Bar now deep fries their wings) and tossed them with a blend of vinegar, butter and Louisiana Pete's Hot Sauce. Actually, the Bellissimos have never revealed their recipe, but years of experimentation have produced a convincing facsimile of the original recipe."
Am I the only one who fears Pete Carroll coaching my team as much as I love Pete Carroll coaching my team?
(*Honesty is a virtue, so it's about time I say, Pittsburgh is my team. I'm a Steeler through and through. But the Seahawks are in the big game, and the Seahawks matter right now.)
The last time I saw Carroll in a game with this much hype, it was also the sort of "We've been waiting to see this all year" showdown, a collision built from Day 1 of last year's offseason between two teams that know next to nothing about each other, two teams who have nothing in common and nothing linking one of then to the other.
That would be USC-Texas, 2006. The Greatest Game Ever Played? Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, and Pete Carroll were going for their third-straight national championship, and Vince Young's Texas Longhorns had them in their sights for months. Years, maybe.
It was the championship we'd thought we'd see at that season's start, and the Trojans were the favourites. The Texans were the challengers, duking it out in their own corners, bidding all years for a shot at the belt. Young was stiffed in that year's Heisman voting, and Bush ran away with it. There was a lot of talk and a lot of analysis. Basically none of it mattered or had any consequence, but the script wrote itself.
Carroll's Seahawks are the underdogs today, but something tells me his habit for 4th down gambits – the same play that lost him that 2006 college banner but also won him January's NFC championships against San Francisco – won't fly against the Denver Broncos.
And when I say something tells me, I really mean, "NO, PETE! DON'T DO IT! KICK A FIELD GOAL AND WIN THE GAME IN A BORING WAY, PLEASE!"
Percy Harivn hogs a lot of the bulletin board, what with his 1.5 days of action this season and his world of talent we all keep hearing about but never see. Not because it's not there, but because he hurts almost everything when he puts on a jersey.
Harvin is probably for Sunday, which means he will play.
But the bigger blotch may be Doug Baldwin, the little receiver that certainly could, and who's listed as probable, too.
Baldwin has been a surprise-turned-true-stud for Seattle this season, helping the Hawks overcome Harvin's drama and the season-ending injury to the already disappointing Sidney Rice. Baldwin totaled 778 yards this season in what was originally a limited opportunity, and added 106 yards two weeks ago in Seattle's triumphant effort over San Fran.
Golden Tate's just another guy, most of the time. Percy Harvin will be targeted. Marshawn Lynch will get his touches and yards, but a running back can only do so much, series-to-series.
Doug Baldwin is the skinny stick holding up the window. Seattle, you'd better hope he doesn't break.