Friday, February 4, 2011

Something Super

Here is the link to my Super Bowl article at Suite 101. It's about being a spoiled NFL fan in the 21st Century (spoiled in a good way!)

At the end of the article is my prediction, but I wanted to touch on The Sports Pinata power rankings from many months ago and how it relates to a subject in the article.

A section of the article is about how obvious parity is in the NFL today, how literally every time has a chance at the beginning of every season. It is rather remarkable.

Back in August in my original NFL Power Rankings, I rated the Green Bay Packers number two overall. They were so talented on both sides of the ball, and even fighting through so many injuries, they hung on and are (reasonably) healthy right now.

(Just imagine what Aaron Rodgers would do if he still had his number one running back and the best tight end in the NFC healthy and ready to roll on Super Bowl Sunday.)

On the other hand, I ranked the Pittsburgh Steelers near the very bottom of the league. They were coming off a poor defensive season in 2009 with Troy Polamalu missing time and Big Ben was going to miss the first quarter of the season. I expected a slow start with a backup quarterback to be too much to overcome even after Roethlisberger's return. I was clearly, very wrong.

Eight weeks later, I updated my rankings at the mid-point of the NFL season. So much had changed in just two months. The Steelers were moved up to the elite tier of teams. The Packers were in the NFC's elite tier, but had dropped from their spot pre-season because of all the injuries.

In the span of one season, the 2010 campaign, we saw both sides of the NFL spectrum. One team, the Packers, had been a favorite coming in, had dropped because of injuries and close losses, and rebounded to make the Super Bowl. The other, the Steelers, had come in with very low expectations, a possible poor year looming, had started off on fire, kept climbing throughout the season, and took the momentum all the way to the big game.

Of course there are also the Chargers and Cowboys of the world who started off on top and plummeted almost immediately, not having "it" this season. That's the NFL for you.

In the end, I guess I was partly right, predicting the Packers would be elite. But really, the bottom line is no one knows anything in regards to the NFL. The only sure prediction is parity will remain, every fan base has hope coming into the season, and being an NFL fan is definitely something Super.

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