Help for the undecided
Here are five reasons why the (insert name here) will win
Posted: Sunday January 30, 2000 10:22 AM
By John Donovan, CNNSI.com
ATLANTA -- The game is here, and you still haven't made up your mind.
Is it going to be the St. Louis Rams and their light-it-up offense? Or do you like the Tennessee Titans, with their slugging running game?
The favored Rams and their weepy-happy head coach Dick Vermeil, or the always-underdog Titans? Kevin Carter or Jevon Kearse? Marshall Faulk or Eddie George? Kurt Warner or Steve McNair?
Georgia or Bud?
It's a dilemma all right, picking the winner of Super Bowl XXXIV. But it's simple, really, when you break it down.
The Glance, in its swan song for the wackiest season in NFL history -- what, we're not allowed a little hyperbole? -- is here to help.
Why the Rams will win
Marshall Faulk . The Titans have stopped a similar-type back -- one who can do everything -- in Indianapolis' Edgerrin James, but they haven't stopped a back like this and had to stop ...
The receivers . Just too deep. Isaac Bruce, Az-Zahir Hakim, Torry Holt. The last two times these teams played, the Rams ran 25 plays with four receivers and 20 with three receivers. That's out of 71 total plays. That's a lot of pressure.
Dick Vermeil . The Rams players have responded to their hyper-emotional coach this season and want badly to get him the title.
Kurt Warner . Why not finish one of the most improbable personal seasons in NFL history with a win in the Super Bowl and the MVP?
The defense . It's really not bad, and they have a lot to prove, playing under the shadow of that offense. All they have to do is stand up to the pounding.
Why the Titans will win
Eddie George . The pounding starts with him, and early. St. Louis will try to stack the line against him and force QB Steve McNair to pass, but George will get his touches.
Steve McNair . No matter what he does, he gets ripped. He's not happy about it. The Rams will have to watch the edges, so don't be surprised to see McNair run up the middle a lot.
Jevon Kearse . He can wreck an offense by himself. A blink-quick defensive end who never lets up on a play, Kearse has to be accounted for on every play.
The old guys . Bruce Matthews has been playing for 17 years, and this is his first Super Bowl. Al Del Greco has toiled for 16. There are others who may not get another chance.
Destiny . Both teams talk about it. The Titans, after their Music City Miracle, make the more impressive case.
There. It's as simple as that.
On to the final edition of The Glance 1999-2000, which ends with a rather self-indulgent question: Who is going to win this tilt?
The answer: How can you bet against the Titans? Every time you do, you lose. So the answer is simple. You don't bet. That said, we'll say this: The Rams 31, the Titans 27. But we're not putting a dime on that.
| Freezin' |
The freezing rain that hit the Atlanta area and made ice rinks of the interstates is supposed to let up by gametime. It won't affect the game, but the pre-game fun and frolic is going to be limited to the hotel lobbies.
| The toe |
It's OK, all right? Steve McNair's toe is just fine, finer than it has been in weeks. So, unless he screws it up on the Georgia Dome turf early in the game, it won't be a factor in Super Bowl XXXIV.
| Counting down |
One of the most difficult parts of preparing for the Super Bowl is holding the team back, after a hyped-up week, to play on Sunday night. Teams will sleep in, get a little breakfast, try to relax and get to the Dome hours before the game. They can't help but being a little worked up at kickoff.
| Your team can, too |
This is the Hope Bowl, with two previously hopeless teams slugging it out for the title. That's why this may be one of the more interesting games in a while. And why The Glance is looking forward to a Cincinnati-New Orleans matchup in Tampa Bay next season.
| Flag -- Jesse Jackson: |
We've come out for Jackson before. We like that he's trying to force the issue of hiring minority coaches. But the "white supremacists" remark he made to Peter King of Sports Illustrated was a bit too much.
| Flag -- The Patriots: |
We can't help but think that giving up a first-round pick and more for Bill Belichick -- Bill Belichick! -- will turn out to be a bad, bad move for New England.
| Flattery -- The Super Bowl organizing committee: |
Don't blame the weather on the committee. The members made the best of it, working around the wrecked schedules to pull off the week with as little pain as possible.
| Flattery -- Tampa: |
Central Florida is going to look like heaven next season compared to this.(Average high in January, 70 degrees, average rainfall, 1.99 inches, average days of freezing rain, 0.0).
| Flag -- Atlanta drivers: |
Better hope they clear the streets to get the players to the Dome. Otherwise, some moron doing either 15 or 85 will run them off the slippery streets.
| If Sunday's game comes down to a field goal, we'll take Al Del Greco. |
| If the Rams get out to an early lead ... forget it. |
| Steve McNair could silence many of his critics with one nice, long bomb. |
| There is no better postseason than the one in the NFL. |
| 1.) Super Bowl winners get a cool million for their efforts. |
| 2.) The most runs by a player in a Super Bowl game is 38. |
| 3.) The most passes attempted in a Super Bowl game is 58. |
| Answers below. |
| Our daily look at a key matchup in the game |
| The MLBs -- Barron Wortham, Tennessee vs. London Fletcher, St. Louis . Two, as you'd expect, hard-nosed guys who love to play football. Wortham is not as good as coverage as Fletcher, the word is, and Fletcher is a notorious run-stopper. |
| "There's no ice on this freeway." |
| Intriguing. And refreshing. A wild season, where down is up and the Rams, for goodness sakes, are the Super Bowl favorites ends in this. Everything points to a close, physical game, especially if the Titans have their say. But there ought to be enough fireworks from the Rams' side to make everyone happy. |
T-F answers: 1.) False. It's only $58,000, which is why they're all saying they're playing for the ring. Fifty-eight K is chump change. 2.) Yep, John Riggins in 1983. If Eddie George runs that much, it's good for the Titans. 3.) Yep, Jim Kelly in 1992. If Steve McNair throws that much, it's not good for the Titans.
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