Well, we've all seen more of Pitt, by far, and it's important to remember how that influences judgments. We saw the games they absolutely had to win,
just to make the playoffs; Seattle, by contrast, was in the playoffs before Truman beat Dewey, and many of us have seen only their two playoff games,
neither of which was all that exciting. Perhaps that's why we're naturally inclined toward Pitt logically, if not emotionally. Well, that plus the
fact the AFC was obviously a much better conference than the NFC this year.
Seattle beat Washington 20-10, ever-so-barely covering the spread, and then, to my frank amazement, shmooshed the Carolina Panthers. They put up a
great regular season record which cannot entirely be attributed to a weak schedule, then they got it done in their two playoff games. You have to be
impressed with the 20 points they scored against Washington, and any team which can make Del Homme and the Panthers look THAT bad in a playoff game
has really done something. And they didn't have Denver's well-trained zebras or Indi's pet seals there to help them out.
So yeah, Seattle comes from much the weaker conference, but I don't think it's SO much weaker that its #1 seed should be a dog to the other
conference's #6 seed. It's not Pitt's fault those zebras rear-ended New England up in Denver, but if that didn't happen, Pitt wouldn't have been
playing such a desultory version of the Indi team. They have been playing New England in Foxborough, and I doubt anyone here would have taken Pitt,
WITHOUT THE POINTS, to win that game. If they had, I'd have come out of retirement to field a large chunk of action, I'll tell you that.
I give Pitt all the credit in the world for what they've done to reach the Super Bowl. No #6 seed has ever done it before, and for them to beat a #1
seed AND a team of horrible zebras, including a call SO BAD that a Defensive Back didn't get fined for openly calling it corrupt... well, that's
And New England, after about the 4th or 5th zebra screwing, didn't HAVE to react like the Cubs after Bartman's idiocy, lose their composure and
implode, though I can sure understand why they did by that time. It amazes me, frankly, and impresses the hell out of me, that after the historically
atrocious "interception"/"no interception" call on the Polamalu play, Pitt DIDN'T fall completely apart, but they kept it together with a "we can beat
their team AND the zebras" attitude, which New England lost in the second half.
Never thought I'd say THIS, but in that regard, in that crucial phase of these playoff games, Cowher's team was better controlled, showed better poise
and was better coached than Belichik's. And that is why, doubtless to his eternal gratitude, Cowher got to play that bogus Denver team, minus its
trained officials, rather than the two-time defending champs in the AFC Championship Game. Let's say that New England didn't deserve its f---ing, but
Pitt deserved its escape from that matchup.
But I gotta tell you: I think New Englang just plain kills Pittsburgh. And if Dungy's world hadn't been turned inside out by the monstrous tragedy
he suffered, I think the same would have happened with Pitt v. Indi, though obviously that's more speculative, in light of what actually happened.
MY BOTTOM LINE: Pitt has gone on a great roll and done a GREAT job just to get here! And in a manner of speaking, so has Seattle. But I think the
oddsmakers have gone WAY overboard with the penalizing of Seattle for being in the NFC, and the rewarding of Pitt for being in the NFC.
At some point, don't they have to factor in the reality that Seattle was a #1 seed, and Pitt was a #6?
I think it will be one hell of a game. I think either team could win. But I like Alexander much the better of the two star backs, and it's been a
scant year since Roethlisberger fell apart under playoff pressure.
I think the spread of 3 is correct, but the wrong team is wielding it.
NOW: Before you go laying any money on the game because of me (fat chance), just remember: I lost about $6,000 per year in 2003 and 2004, and lesser
but still painful amounts most years from 1979 to 2002.
So my word is the word of... a loser.
But as a very, um, experienced (but retired) gambler, that is why I would happily take Seattle and the 3 points in this game. I think the sports
books and the computer are wrong on this one, and I think the spread is about a touchdown off of where it should be. If you agree with me, that's a