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Super Bowl Preview Edition

Time to get your seat on the bandwagon, and I would claim mine, except I don’t see why this New England/New York Giants Super Bowl game should be any different than the December 29th New England/New York Giants game, the one the Patriots won 38-35. In other words, the outcome is likely to be close and the game could go either way.

For players, the Super Bowl is a good Giants bet. New England has covered the spread once in their last eight games. The Giants have covered five games straight. The Super Bowl draws citizens to the betting window like no other athletic event; most of that once-a-year money will be on New England.

The happiest man playing in Super Bowl XLII has got to be New England’s wide receiver Randy Moss. Born in Rand, West Virginia, he was All-Everything in high school. As befits an All-Everything, he signed a letter of intent with Notre Dame. Probably a bad time to get into a fight (some participants were hurt). Moss pleaded guilty to battery, which caused Notre Dame to release him. Still a gold-plated prospect, Florida called, he enrolled, but had to red-shirt for one year. Not a good time to be busted for marijuana, particularly since he’s still on probation from the aforementioned fight. Farewell, Florida.

He turns up in Marshall University, a Division I-AA football school near his hometown. And that’s the profile; everywhere Moss goes coaches say he’s the best athlete they’ve ever seen, and everywhere he goes he’s busted for a low-rent, no jail-time crime.

Marshall goes undefeated his first year there and wins the national 1-AA title. Moss sets an obscene amount of Division 1-AA records. The next year, Marshall moves up to 1-A and wins the Mid-American Conference. Moss catches 25 touchdown passes and is a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. He’s back.

Minnesota acquired him in the first round of the 1998 draft, but he’s still working the same dance. He’s a great player — made the Pro Bowl five times in seven years with Minnesota, but attitude and mouth eventually made him unwelcome, and in 2005 he was traded to the Attitude and Mouth franchise (aka the Oakland Raiders). Unfortunately for Moss, by then Al Davis had lashed himself to the team’s helm. The Raiders went 6-26 while Moss was in residence.

He was kicked out of Oakland in 2007, traded for a fourth round pick…basically the first hitchhiker you happen across, in this case the 110th man selected in the 2007 draft. Moss was not only judged worthless by the Raiders but was publicly bad-mouthed by the organization on his way out the door. Moss was old, lost his speed, was selfish and unreliable, they said.

Happily, and incredibly for Moss, he wound up playing for New England. Since that glorious day, the Pats have been undefeated, Moss set the single-season record for touchdown passes (23) and is on his way to the Super Bowl with an

18-0 team going for what passes as NFL immortality. Al Davis sits alone in an unlighted hotel room watching his fingernails grow.

The second-happiest man in the NFL must be Junior Seau. There were years when he was the only player worth watching on the Chargers roster (the forgoing is an exaggeration, but not by much). Seau has intelligence, Hall of Fame athleticism, and the heart of a samurai. He played for the Chargers 13 years, voted into 12 consecutive Pro Bowls. Seau made it to the Super Bowl one time (1995). San Diego was thrashed by San Francisco, 49-26. A great, great player.

And a local boy, born in San Diego, attended Oceanside High School, college at USC. Seau is a gentleman off the field, keeps his private life private, and his public life without controversy. He still lives in San Diego, owns a restaurant in Mission Valley, oversees his charitable foundation and more.

The Chargers, thinking he was done, traded him to the Miami Dolphins for chump change in 2003. Seemed like they were right, Seau never saw a December in three years playing for Miami. He was always on injured reserve in November.

He signed, as a free agent, with New England in August 2006 and sure enough, was on injured reserve before November closed. That makes four years in a row.

Belichick is a pig and also a great football coach. He saw something and signed Seau for 2007. And here we are ten days from Super Bowl XLII. It does feel like the gods are determined to do justice this time and allow Seau his Super Bowl ring. If I could help, I would.

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Time to get your seat on the bandwagon, and I would claim mine, except I don’t see why this New England/New York Giants Super Bowl game should be any different than the December 29th New England/New York Giants game, the one the Patriots won 38-35. In other words, the outcome is likely to be close and the game could go either way.

For players, the Super Bowl is a good Giants bet. New England has covered the spread once in their last eight games. The Giants have covered five games straight. The Super Bowl draws citizens to the betting window like no other athletic event; most of that once-a-year money will be on New England.

The happiest man playing in Super Bowl XLII has got to be New England’s wide receiver Randy Moss. Born in Rand, West Virginia, he was All-Everything in high school. As befits an All-Everything, he signed a letter of intent with Notre Dame. Probably a bad time to get into a fight (some participants were hurt). Moss pleaded guilty to battery, which caused Notre Dame to release him. Still a gold-plated prospect, Florida called, he enrolled, but had to red-shirt for one year. Not a good time to be busted for marijuana, particularly since he’s still on probation from the aforementioned fight. Farewell, Florida.

He turns up in Marshall University, a Division I-AA football school near his hometown. And that’s the profile; everywhere Moss goes coaches say he’s the best athlete they’ve ever seen, and everywhere he goes he’s busted for a low-rent, no jail-time crime.

Marshall goes undefeated his first year there and wins the national 1-AA title. Moss sets an obscene amount of Division 1-AA records. The next year, Marshall moves up to 1-A and wins the Mid-American Conference. Moss catches 25 touchdown passes and is a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. He’s back.

Minnesota acquired him in the first round of the 1998 draft, but he’s still working the same dance. He’s a great player — made the Pro Bowl five times in seven years with Minnesota, but attitude and mouth eventually made him unwelcome, and in 2005 he was traded to the Attitude and Mouth franchise (aka the Oakland Raiders). Unfortunately for Moss, by then Al Davis had lashed himself to the team’s helm. The Raiders went 6-26 while Moss was in residence.

He was kicked out of Oakland in 2007, traded for a fourth round pick…basically the first hitchhiker you happen across, in this case the 110th man selected in the 2007 draft. Moss was not only judged worthless by the Raiders but was publicly bad-mouthed by the organization on his way out the door. Moss was old, lost his speed, was selfish and unreliable, they said.

Happily, and incredibly for Moss, he wound up playing for New England. Since that glorious day, the Pats have been undefeated, Moss set the single-season record for touchdown passes (23) and is on his way to the Super Bowl with an

18-0 team going for what passes as NFL immortality. Al Davis sits alone in an unlighted hotel room watching his fingernails grow.

The second-happiest man in the NFL must be Junior Seau. There were years when he was the only player worth watching on the Chargers roster (the forgoing is an exaggeration, but not by much). Seau has intelligence, Hall of Fame athleticism, and the heart of a samurai. He played for the Chargers 13 years, voted into 12 consecutive Pro Bowls. Seau made it to the Super Bowl one time (1995). San Diego was thrashed by San Francisco, 49-26. A great, great player.

And a local boy, born in San Diego, attended Oceanside High School, college at USC. Seau is a gentleman off the field, keeps his private life private, and his public life without controversy. He still lives in San Diego, owns a restaurant in Mission Valley, oversees his charitable foundation and more.

The Chargers, thinking he was done, traded him to the Miami Dolphins for chump change in 2003. Seemed like they were right, Seau never saw a December in three years playing for Miami. He was always on injured reserve in November.

He signed, as a free agent, with New England in August 2006 and sure enough, was on injured reserve before November closed. That makes four years in a row.

Belichick is a pig and also a great football coach. He saw something and signed Seau for 2007. And here we are ten days from Super Bowl XLII. It does feel like the gods are determined to do justice this time and allow Seau his Super Bowl ring. If I could help, I would.

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