Usually we reserve our guest columns for Saturday. But seeing as this is Super Bowl Sunday, and we're a bunch of nerds, we figured it couldn't hurt to ask the guys from the hilarious sports blog, With Leather, to stop by and tell us who's going to win the big game.
You've analyzed the rosters. Pitted strengths against weaknesses. But you still don't know if Pittsburgh's secondary can contain Larry Fitzgerald, or if Kurt Warner can make a hot read faster than James Harrison can get to him off the edge rush. In fact, you may not know what most of those words mean.
Here's the thing: none of it matters. The Super Bowl almost never turns out the way the experts say it will. Some ridiculous development always intervenes to render everyone's predictions moot. So we've taken a look back at the most unexpected news stories in Super Bowl history to try to predict this year's unpredictable winner.
The Guy Who Wins the MVP Award While Hung Over
The Green Bay Packers' Max McGee didn't expect to play in Super Bowl I, so he violated curfew to get hammered the night before the game. Hurting on the sidelines, he told fellow wideout Boyd Dowler, "I hope you don't get hurt. I'm not in very good shape." Dowler then separated his shoulder, forcing McGee to borrow a helmet (he had left his in the locker room). McGee somehow finished with seven catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns.
Super Bowl XLIII contenders:
Ben Roethlisberger, Anquan Boldin
Boldin, an All-Pro receiver who rushed back this season after a concussion and fractured face forced him to get a steel plate in his head, was visibly sullen--and apparently jealous of the offense's focus on Larry Fitzgerald--on the sidelines in the NFC Championship, even as the Cards locked up their ticket to the Super Bowl. Sounds like a guy who needs a drink, right? The right combination of anger, motivation and tequila could make him the next Max McGee.
Roethlisberger is famous in sports blog circles for the drunk pictures snapped on a return to the Miami of Ohio campus during his rookie year, plus he already has experience playing like he's hung over in a Super Bowl: He went 9-of-21 for 123 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions in Super Bowl XL--by far and away the worst performance in history by a championship-winning quarterback. And Trent Dilfer is on that list. Wow. Drink up, Ben.
The Guy Who Gets Arrested the Night Before for Soliciting a Prostitute
Living it up like Max McGee shouldn't be considered a recipe for success. Eugene Robinson was the leader on the Falcons defense going into Super Bowl XXXIII in New Orleans, then he got arrested for soliciting prostitution from an undercover cop. Atlanta would lose the game, 34-19. Said one Atlanta player after the game, "Instead of getting mentally ready for the Broncos, we were talking about Eugene. The Broncos beat us, but anyone who says what happened to Eugene was not a factor is lying."
Super Bowl XLIII contenders:
Jeff Reed, Matt Leinart
Reed, given the self-portrait of his freshly-shorn manhood, drunken bar pictures and uber-douche peroxide Troll-doll hair, makes Andy Dick look like someone with judgment. Leinart has his own history of questionable decision-making, but years of scoring college girls for free make him less likely to offer to pay for it. Also, we can't imagine that his teammates really care what he does.
(Note: Since this is a negative trait, Reed's win counts for Arizona)