The Super Bowl is upon us. Soon, the most important football game in the history of western civilization will take place (for this year, anyway), when the New England Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams for the right to be called kings of the National Football League (again, just for this year).
So, who do I think will win Super Bowl LIII? As a writer who comes to you from my one-bedroom apartment in Crafton, Pa., home of the legendary Bill Cowher, it’s likely you were just waiting for my opinion with the proverbial bated breath.
As a die-hard Steelers fan since the moment I watched them vanquish the Los Angeles Rams (ironically enough) in Super Bowl XIV way back on January 20, 1980, I naturally want Los Angeles to win. This would give the Rams their second Super Bowl title and fourth championship in franchise history (yes, some franchises that won championships before the advent of the Super Bowl actually count them—they may even have trophies and stuff). More importantly, it would prevent New England from tying the Steelers with six Lombardi trophies, a point of pride for black and gold faithful for a decade now, even if the Green Bay Packers (13 world championships), Chicago Bears (nine world championships) and New York Giants (eight world championships) are all, “We got your pride right here!”
However, since it’s debatable whether or not pre-Super Bowl championships actually count anymore, let’s stick to Lombardi trophies and the Patriots quest to tie Pittsburgh.
Nobody really wants it to happen. I mean, even in cities without a dog in the fight, people really want New England to lose.
Why? It’s about time the Patriots dynasty crumbles to the ground—something that will happen once Tom Brady actually retires and/or some other team in the AFC East realizes it’s allowed to try and win many games.
Will the dynasty begin to crumble in Super Bowl LIII? Probably not. The Patriots have lost Super Bowls before (take last year, for example), yet it hasn’t stopped them from appearing in more Super Bowls (take this year, for example).
Therefore, I don’t see New England losing to the Rams. Don’t get me wrong, Los Angeles will spend about 90 percent of the game giving you the impression the Patriots are toast (there will be memes posted by halftime declaring the king dead). Unfortunately, much like the Seahawks and Falcons, someone on the Rams will lend New England a helping hand (say, for example, by passing at the goal line, instead of giving the football to Todd Gurley or that C.J. Anderson fella; or taking a sack when you’re in field goal range and only need three points to seal the deal). And if that doesn’t work, the officials will overturn some call without conclusive evidence to do so or uphold some call with clear visual evidence to overturn it—you know which team will benefit in either case.
And if neither of those things happen, some team from the AFC East will show up and play in the Rams place for at least a quarter.
And even if the Bills don’t show up, well, Brady is pretty awesome, as is Belichick (although, he’s more the John Oates of the duo—the franchise quarterback is really the one that makes Super Bowl dreams come true).
I envision a game in-which Los Angeles controls the action for most of the way. Jared Goff will show us that he has what it takes to be one of the faces of the NFL for years to come. Aaron Donald will spend portions of the night being totally unblockable on his way to punishing Brady and making him do that thing where he slams the football out of frustration and then yells at his teammates (only non-receivers are allowed to “lead” in such a fashion). Marcus Peters may even get a pick-six and then proceed to challenge the entire state of Maine to a fight.
Unfortunately, there will come a time when the Rams will have a chance to put the game away—either offensively or defensively—but they won’t be able to do so (maybe because the Jets show up and play in their place midway from the fourth quarter).
And once they fail to close the door on Brady and Belichick (mostly Brady), the Patriots will do that thing where they pull a Super Bowl out either in the final moments or in overtime.
I’m predicting the final moments.
Patriots 34, Rams 31.
And for most of us not living in those New England states—especially very prideful “Got Six?” Steelers fans—I’m predicting......PAIN.