Super Bowl XLIX between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots will end one of the most contentious seasons in the NFL. Between scandals around domestic violence, and then lack of response to such scandals, and now deflated balls, the league has to almost be breathing a sigh of relief that it is coming to an end.
The early lines on the game had it fairly even and that has held through the two-week run up to Sunday. New England will likely be the favorite at kickoff thanks to two-thirds of the early money coming in for the Patriots and shifting the line to Seattle +2. There is probably a large combination of overenthusiastic fan base and actually smart bettors in there. Any late money is unlikely to push it anywhere but toward the center.
Of course, everyone will still be talking (well, everyone other than Marshawn Lynch) about the deflated balls that New England used in the AFC Championship Game. The only joy I get out of hearing about it at this point is listening to reports ask questions that feature the phrase "handle the balls". Yes, I am 12.
But seriously, if we think this 1 PSI made a difference in a giant blowout like this, we are fooling ourselves. And while this is just another mark against the Bellichek regime in New England, you still have to be impressed with how they have been able to win again and again with the team changing time and again.
And as for Seattle, you have to wonder if they are the team of destiny right now. That comeback against Green Bay was unbelievable. And consider that at one point this season there was a later debunked rift between Russell Wilson and his teammates. And while it may not have been 100 percent true, you have to believe that there was something going on.
No matter what, this should be a good game. I will be watching for the commercials.
HOW TO WATCH
Super Bowl XLIX: New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks
When: Sunday, February 1, 2015
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
Time: 6:30 p.m. EST
TV Announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya
Online Streaming: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports Live Extra
Radio: Westwood One (nationally), KIRO (97.3 FM, 710 AM) Seattle, WBZ (98.5) New England
Odds: Seattle +2, New England -2
Over/under: 47.5 points
ESPN Pick Center Concensus Computer Prediction: Seattle 24, New England 22
SB Nation blogs: Field Gulls | Pats Pulpit