Crude Observations

Super Duper

It’s the most wonderful time, of the year! It is, isn’t it?


That’s right, Super Bowl Sunday! The day of days. The culmination of all the hard work I have done since September. Forcing myself seemingly day after day to watch football games, read football news, talk about football, PVR football and bet on football. And let me tell you, I am a master of all of these. Except the betting part. That really didn’t go as planned. Fortunately, all I lost was a couple of Bitcoins and some NVIDIA stock, so I’m all good.


At any rate, if you know me, you know I am a sports lunatic. It is unusual, I know, to have one wife, two daughters and two cats and still be able to obsess about, let alone watch, football as much as I do, but somehow it works. I mean it’s not like I have two footballs in my office, or have written entire blogs about Tom Brady or do an annual NFL preview or look for any excuse to weave football into this weekly missive, right? FINE! Guilty as charged. Whatevs!


But you know what? Zero apologies.


Quite often, a sporting event and its buildup goes a long way to serve as a relief valve for tension that has built up elsewhere, as a result of things that have nothing to do with the fact that Buffalo decided to reenact their most embarrassing playoff loss by missing wide right – Karma for all the front-runners I guess. Or relief that some “musician” has chosen to insert herself into the conversation about football because of a “boyfriend”. I really just need to Shake It Off. The playoffs of course started off splendidly with the Aaron Rogers led Packers dispatching the Cowboys like a ball of dryer lint. Wait, It wasn’t Rodgers? It was … Jordan Love? Wow, that’s something that the Green Bay fans didn’t have in their Wildest Dreams! Then there are the Houston Texans with the rookie QB who may be the second coming of… I don’t know – CJ Stroud, who plays like he is Enchanted. Meanwhile the big bad Baltimore Ravens appeared to take it all for granted until they came up against the “team that’s been there” Kansas City Chiefs who shot down all the chirping about regular season MVP Lamar Jackson with their defensive dominance and some Mahomes-Kelce magic – you could hear Travis muttering Look What You Made Me Do on his way out of the stadium. Not to be outdone, everyone’s favourite punching bag, Mr Irrelevant, drafted at #28972 in the 35th round, the boy wonder himself Brock Purdy led his entirely too dominant 49ers team to two epic come from behind wins against the upstart Packers and the sentimental favourite, rebuilding since 1957 Detroit Lions. This much-maligned Anti-Hero would be the story of the Super Bowl if only someone with more Style wasn’t going to be there with her Lover.


But all that aside, we can and should look past that and appreciate the Super Bowl for what it is. The grandest spectacle there is in sport, run by the one of the most powerful brands in existence (the NFL) and the best excuse ever for reckless chicken wing consumption ever invented.


Plus, it’s an opportunity for one beautiful afternoon to take all the garbage in the news that has been bothering myself and everyone else and put it in a box, forget about it for a blissful 10 hour marathon of pre, actual and post game and simply appreciate the raw and savage elegance of a game that is a crypto-fascist metaphor for nuclear war.


I don’t know about you, but I can use the escapism. Because as usual there are a lot of things bothering me. Some of them you know, some of them, well, they’re just obvious. Others you may not have realized they bug you until you start to think about them. All of them are blog-worthy so I won’t waste words this week and save them for the dog days.


But enough digression


Super Bowl LVIII!


No Patriots! No Tom Brady! San Francisco Chowder in a Sour Dough Bowl vs Kansas City Ribs! A Blank Space!


It’s here and the food is going to be awesome. I will make lots of wings. You are all welcome to join me. I may also roll out the smoker for ribs and for fun will have some sourdough and Campbell’s Chunky Clam Chowder at the ready, it’s going to be epic.


To begin, a few words about the matchup. Then some awesome prop bets and a prediction.


This year’s matchup features two massively talented and enigmatic teams. And if you bothered to read my Fearless Forecast you would know that I picked neither of these teams to win, let alone even make it to the final.


I had Dallas beating Buffalo in a matchup of two supremely talented yet snake-bit franchises. Buffalo got Swift-boated at home by a Kansas City team of destiny while Dallas got embarrassed by a QB who couldn’t hit water out of a boat with the ball at the beginning of the season!


Instead, we have the Kansas City Chefs as 2 point underdogs to the San Francisco 49ers (this time with an actual QB!) in a rematch of Patrick Mahomes first Super Bowl triumph a mere four years ago. That game was won in a comeback from 10 points down, so there is a revenge factor. Like some real Bad Blood.


To get to the Super Bowl, San Francisco took a fairly conventional path. First they sat at home and watched as the Dallas Cowboys got whipped by the Packers and suddenly had to game plan for a completely different opponent. Unprepared and playing in a downpour, the 49ers almost gave it away on home turf, but were rallied by their afterthought quarterback and survived a scare. The next game, they faced the Detroit Lions and spotted them a 17 point lead just to see if they could trick uber-aggressive coach Dan Campbell into calling a bunch of ill-advised 4th down plays and come back off those momentum swings. It was a bold strategy that worked, and the kid who couldn’t lead a comeback did just that, dominating with both his passing and timely rushes to put the 49ers over the top. Gorgeous.


Kansas City on the other hand managed to annihilate the Miami Dolphins at home in one of the coldest games I’ve ever watched from the comfort of my easy chair before going on the road as an underdog (something which has never happened to Mahomes previously in the playoffs) and beating the Bills and then the heavy Super Bowl favourite Baltimore Ravens to advance to their unfathomable 4th Super Bowl in 5 years. There may have been some magic involved. It’s like they are Enchanted.


The Matchup


Kansas City is quarterbacked by Patrick Mahomes who has done nothing except win for his entire career and, with Tom Brady moving on, is now the subject of a concerted campaign to be promoted as the GOAT of his generation. Even in a down year, Mahomes is defense’s nightmare, a master of finding open receivers (who have finally stopped dropping passes) and, when all seems lost, a magician at creating touchdowns out of chaos or finding his favourite target 7-12 times every game for big plays. A former MVP, Mahomes is destined to win multiple Super Bowls and he already has two. And those aren’t Paper Rings – he earned them.


San Francisco is “game-managed” by the unassuming Brock Purdy. The former Iowa State Cyclone Quarterback was taken with the last pick in the draft in 2022 to back up Jimmy Garoppolo and number one overall pick Trey Lance. Two injuries later the rookie had to take off his Cardigan and was thrust into the starting lineup and hasn’t looked back. He went to the NFC Championship last year but got hurt.


This year he hasn’t done much for an encore, just lead the league in virtually every statistical category, guide the 49ers to the number one seed and now the Super Bowl all while being the most disrespected quarterback in the league.


His career record as a starter is 17-4 regular season and 4-1 in the playoffs.


His annual salary is 1/68th of Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs QB.


He is the 5th lowest paid player on his team. His backup, Sam Darnold, makes $4.5 million.


The dude is a bargain.


But more importantly, he is good. And he is a winner.


He is cool as a cucumber under pressure and is reportedly one of the smartest QBs in the league.


Look, I’ll be the first to admit he’s not Joe Montana or Patrick Mahomes or Tom Brady. If you are looking for a comparison, move down the rankings a bit – a young Joe Theisman, Kenny Anderson, former 49er and Kansas City Chief ALEX SMITH.


Regardless, he is a revelation for someone drafted so low (262nd) and thrust into such a prominent role. 2022 was a weak year for the QB draft with only a few making it as starters, but the 9th QB chosen is the best.


I know we are all on about Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes and GOATs. But Purdy. Mr Irrelevant. He is the story of the Super Bowl.


Both teams boast otherworldly casts of offensive weapons.


On the Chefs side there is the veteran and maybe greatest TE ever Travis Kelce-Swift, three serviceable wide receivers who run fast and occasionally catch the ball. At running back we have Isiah Pacheco – a Crash Bandikoot-like human wrecking ball with 4.2 speed. On San Francisco, in addition to Purdy there is the best running back in the NFL – Christian McCaffrey, two all-NFL receivers in speedster Brandon Ayuk and the steamroller that is Deebo Samuel. Oh, and the hippy tight end George Kittle.


On defence, the 49ers are stacked. They’ve got a blend of veterans and youth on the defensive front including the QB wrecking sackmaster Nick Bosa and an under-rated pair of Javon’s on the DL. They also boast the best linebacker in the NFC in Fred Warner and a ball-hawking secondary. That said, they are vulnerable to the run. While in the two previous games it felt like the defense was taking plays off, it won’t happen this time. Expect a lot of Pacheco, play-action and Travis Kelce over the top. The Chefs have an equally stacked defence, including playoff stud Chris Jones who almost single-handedly wins every game he plays. That said, the Chefs will have their hands full with Christian McCaffrey and if Purdy gets rolling with Deebo Samuel, it could be a long game. First score will matter a lot here – both teams like to play downhill.


On the coaching side, the 49ers have Kyle Shanahan. He has been to the Super Bowl twice before – once as an offensive coordinator (the Atlanta-New England 28-3 comeback debacle) and as a head coach four years ago with the 49ers. He has yet to win. But his turn is coming. The Chefs have big old Andy Reid, the every-man coach who for years was the guy who “couldn’t get it done in the big spots” (see Kyle Shanahan) and now is the guy with the golden QB who seemingly can’t lose. Both are great coaches with talented teams. It’s what you want to see.


So, lots of intrigue. Offence vs defense. Magician and GOAT in waiting vs “Mr. Irrelevant”. 4th Super Bowl appearance in 5 years for the Chefs. A return to glory for a storied franchise that hasn’t won since 5 years before their QB was born. Taylor Swift.


It’s going to be a good game I think. Unless it’s bad. I thought Broncos-Seahawks was going to be competitive, I am known to get things wrong.


And did I mention chicken wings?


Okay, before I make my prediction, it’s time for some prop bets and odds.


Don’t know what prop bets are? Those are the bets that are done on in-game outcomes or other things surrounding the game, like, over/under on the length of the anthem (124 seconds); will Usher be wearing sunglasses to start the halftime show (“yes” pays out at 150; no at 50).


Or more serious things like will the first score take less time than the anthem, heads or tails, first advertiser, will a fan run out onto the field. You get the point.


Anyway, since I will be running a small prop book at my house for the game (only way to keep the family engaged) here are a few of my own.


The numbers show what the payout is for winning – so a 150 means a $1 bet pays $1.50


  • Total points scored more than/less than the price of Western Canada Select (58!). (160/80)


  • Will the total amount of turnovers in the game be more than the current number of trials Donald Trump is facing (4). This pays at 125/185.


  • Will total sacks of Patrick Mahomes be more than the closing price of NYMEX ($1.86) on Friday. Pays 150/125


  • Most awkward Super Bowl tweet – Me 4/3; Justin Trudeau 7/4; Danielle Smith 12/5; Joe Biden 8/1; Roger Baker 50/1


  • Over/under on the Reba McEntire National Anthem at 86.5 seconds (90/145)


  • Will Taylor Swift be shown during the National Anthem (20/280)


  • Which iconic Las Vegas landmark will be seen on the broadcast first during the game — LAS VEGAS “WELCOME” SIGN or BELLAGIO FOUNTAINS or LUXOR PYRAMID/SPHINX or MGM GRAND LION or THE SPHERE or STRATOSPHERE TOWER or THE HIGH ROLLER FERRIS WHEEL?


  • Will the number of TD passes thrown by Patrick Mahomes exceed the number of LNG projects currently in actual development in BC (currently at 2 that I know of) (120/180)


  • How many Super Bowl ads will have been designed by AI like Chat GPT (estimate 4) (60/150)


  • In what quarter will my family have all stopped paying at least marginal attention to the game (1/2/3/4 pays 120/100/20/80)


  • How many times will I think about politics/Energy prices/offensive policy/food during the game. The over/under is 1 and the pay is 0/1000.


Game Prediction?

Okay, here it goes. As an Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos fan, I don’t actually have a proverbial dog in this proverbial fight, so it’s a hard one to pick.


I checked with the family to see where they are leaning. My wife informs me that she doesn’t care, but she likes Taylor Swift. My youngest daughter picks the Chefs because she likes food and Taylor Swift. My oldest daughter reminded me that I had yet again forgot to pay her allowance and told me to go away. And that she likes Taylor Swift. I never ask the cats. For the record, they like Taylor Swift.


When faced with this dilemma, I like to go for the story.


I’ve already given you the Brock Purdy one. Here’s another one – the first Super Bowl I vividly recall was Super Bowl 16 in 1982, when the Joe Montana led 49ers beat the Bengals, 2 weeks after the “Catch”. The Catch is the moment that really propelled me on my NFL journey.


Two weeks ago, Brandon Ayuk and, you guessed it, Brock Purdy connected for another epic “catch” that propelled them to victory. Niners were my team until they traded Joe Montana to Kansas City – then I hated both of them because I liked Denver. Football is complicated. For a while I thought We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. Then the 49ers and Colin Kaepernik completely destroyed Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay, which I loved.


And Kansas City has won too much. We know it All Too Well.


All things considered, I think I gotta go niners. For old times sake.


Last point. And this time I am going to let Taylor Swift guide me.


What is Taylor Swift’s favourite number (aside from 89)?




Anyone significant in this game wear number 13?


Yup. Brock Purdy.


I’m betting in his Wildest Dreams he never thought he’d win. Or that Taylor Swift would be the reason. It’s almost like he’s a product of a Tortured Poets Department.


Don’t Blame Me. Are you … Ready For It ?


Niners by 3. Purdy MVP. Is it Over Now?

Crude Observations
Sign up for the Stormont take on the latest industry news »

Recent Posts