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Big-money bets aside, point of Super Bowl is to have fun

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Super Bowl. Roman numerals. New England and New York.

Tom Brady and Eli Manning. Bill Belichick. Tom Coughlin. Hoodies. Red face. Super Bowl rematch. Hype. Revenge. David Tyree. Eighteen and one. Giants pass rush. Rob Gronkowski. Hakeem Nicks. Aaron Hernandez. Victor Cruz. Salsa. Wes Welker. Poor defensive secondary coverage.

Turnovers. Don't forget about turnovers.

Indianapolis. Jim Irsay. Peyton Manning. Neck injuries. Multimillion-dollar bonus payments for doing nothing. Little brother. Aw, shucks. Giselle. Legacy. Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul. Osi Umenyiora. Vince Wilfork. Pass protection. Ahmad Bradshaw. BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Run game abandonment.

Radio row. Twitter. Madonna.

Phew. Have you recovered from all the storylines this week?

Good. Let's have some fun.


GIANTS vs. PATRIOTS

Sunday, 5:30 p.m. (NBC)

Line: New England -3

Over/Under: 53.5 points

 

The Gigantic Men

They've won five in a row, including three playoffs games -- two of those on the road against the NFC's top two teams. Offensively, there's nothing to worry about. Eli Manning will be able to move things down the field. They'll be happy to keep it close until the fourth quarter. As everyone knows, the defensive difference starts up front. Four years ago, the Super Bowl was Justin Tuck's coming out party. This time, Jason Pierre-Paul could be ready for his close-up. New England left tackle Matt Light is no slouch, though.

 

The Tricorne Hats

New England's defensive front will decide the game. Write that down. They have to make some noise in the Giants backfield because the pass coverage behind them is not very good. Calling it a secondary is generous. It's more like a 'third-ary' or 'fourth-ary.' On offence, look for Tom Brady to make the following read progression: Welker, Gronkowski, Hernandez, Gronkowski, Welker, Hernandez, nothing there, throw it away. He'll do this about 40 times. The Pats might want to draw up a run play or two, just in case.

 

Over/Under Prop Bet Section

1. Time it takes Kelly Clarkson to sing the national anthem: 1:34

The bet: Over. The game is about four hours long. What's another two minutes?

2. Number of cutaways to Pats owner Robert Kraft during the broadcast: 3.5

The bet: Way over. Easiest play of the day.

3. Longest reception by Giants receiver Victor Cruz: 29.5 yards

The bet: Over. It seems high but Cruz has buttered his bread by toasting guys deep.

 

Underrated Super Bowl party snack pick

Trail mix. I'm not talking about the discount grocery bulk version, either. Get in on the expensive stuff, with the dried pineapple, Smarties, cashews and banana chips. Pick those out first and leave the boring peanuts and raisins for the rest of the group. Do it before someone else does. Also, did you know the official state beverage of Indiana is water? It's important to hydrate during the game.


A thought about the halftime break...

I have no opinion on the choice of entertainment -- you won't be able to please everyone and not every current hot act out there will reach the consumers the way an aging icon can -- so let's not argue about something that no one really cares about anyway. Want something to talk about? Here are my Top 5 Madonna songs:

1. Into the Groove

2. Cherish (the video)

3. La Isla Bonita

4. Lucky Star

5. (tie) Like a Virgin, Live to Tell and Borderline

OK, so basically everything pre-1989 is solid gold. NO ONE DENIES THIS! Tough to exclude 'Crazy For You' from the list, but have you ever heard of a four-way tie for fifth place? That's just silly.

Man, I'm already running out of room. Time for the picks.


Wazny says: Our main man Gary Lawless is in Indy so he probably has a better handle on the vibe. From the outside, the Giants seem to be enjoying 'being there' a little too much for my liking. Concerning. On the field, though, New York has more ways to beat New England. They defend better. Look, I'm a Giants fan. I haven't slept all week. What do you want me to say? Giants 24, Patriots 23

Lawless says: The Giants are the safe pick. They're hot, they won this matchup four years ago and they have the better defence. Most analysts like the Giants. But it's tough to pick against Brady and Belichick. For my money they are the greatest quarterback and coach combo in the game's history and a win on Sunday would remove any doubt on the subject. Brady and the Pats one more time. Patriots 31, Giants 28

 

The results from the conference championships two weeks ago:

Straight up (overall): Lawless 2-0 (173-93); Wazny 2-0 (173-93).

Against the spread (overall): Lawless 1-1 (123-138-5); Wazny 2-0 (128-131-8).

adam.wazny@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 4, 2012 C4

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