ErnBlog College Football Picks Begin in Earnest!

IMG_2520

Here we go!  It’s time for BigErn’s favorite sport to kick-off again!  College Football 2013!  Let’s do this!!

ErnBlog has a new spin this season.  For each of the season’s 15 weeks, the Big Ern will select his favorite 10 College Games, and then pick against the spread (based on Las Vegas data from www.collegefootballpoll.com).

And notice how Basic Cable gives you access to 9 of the following 10 games, unlike with the NFL, which requires you to “buy” games you want to watch – on television!!

So, what does Week 1 have in store for us?  It all starts Tomorrow Night!

2013 College Football – Week 1 :

Thursday, August 29, 2013:

North Carolina at #6 South Carolina (11.5 fav)                                6:00  ESPN

Ern’s Pick: Gamecocks 31, Tar Heels 17

 

Mississippi at Vanderbilt (1.5 fav)                                                    9:15   ESPN

Ern’s Pick: Commodores 24, Rebels 17

 

Friday, August 30, 2013:

Texas Tech (2.5 fav) at Southern Methodist                                     8:00 ESPN

Ern’s Pick: Red Raiders 27, Mustangs 20

 

2012 Heisman Trophy Winner - Johnny Manziel has consistently been in the headlines, leading right up to College Football '13.  On Saturday, his Aggies will host Rice. Source: www.bloguin.com

2012 Heisman Trophy Winner – Johnny Manziel has consistently been in the headlines, leading right up to College Football ’13. On Saturday, his Aggies will host Rice.
Source: www.bloguin.com

Saturday, August 31, 2013:

Rice at #7 Texas A&M (28 fav)                                                         1:00     ESPN

Ern’s Pick: Aggies 46, Owls 17

 

Massachusetts at #23 Wisconsin (45 fav)                                         Noon  Big10-TV

Ern’s Pick: Badgers 42, Minutemen 13

 

Temple at #14 Notre Dame (24.5 fav)                                               3:30    NBC

Ern’s Pick: Fighting Irish 31, Owls 14

 

#1 Alabama (18 fav) vs. Virginia Tech (in Atlanta)                            5:30    ESPN

Ern’s Pick: Crimson Tide 34, Hokies 20

 

#5 Georgia at #8 Clemson (2 fav)                                                     8:00    ABC

Ern’s Pick: Bulldogs 17, Tigers 16

 

#12 Louisiana State (5 fav) at #20 Texas Christian (Arlington, TX)  9:00  ESPN

Ern’s Pick:  Tigers 27, Hornfrogs 21

 

Monday, September 2, 2013:

#11 Florida State (10.5 fav) at Pittsburgh                                         8:00 ESPN

Ern’s Pick: Seminoles 28, Panthers 13

 

 

 

ErnBlog’s NFL Experts Release 2013 Season Picks

Big Ern and his pal Oggie sat down for some delicious buffalo wings at Newton classic – “Buff’s Pub” in early August, and engaged in some thoughtful discourse on the upcoming 2013 NFL Season.

The Result – We each established Blueprints for how the 2013 NFL Season will unfold, including our predictions for which teams will advance to the League’s first New York Metro Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2nd, 2014.

Then, a week later, Mike Brown chimed in from San Jose, California!  The following week – Mike Greene bestowed his Selections upon us from the site of his sister-in-law’s Wedding in South Florida!  Then – the third PVHMS Mike – Gallaher (also living in San Jose) weighed in on NFL ’13.  By the 2nd Annual Kappotis Lamb Roast Spectacular on August 10 –  Brian “Brick” Brickley officially announced his Selections!

In the days leading up to NFL ’13 – we finally scored a moment with Counselor Ryan Dunn – Esquire – soon to become first-time Dad to another new Irish Boston Girl!  And let’s just say, he had his own ideas on the final tally for the upcoming Pro Football Campaign.

So – Seven Experts – Seven Different Outlooks for NFL ’13.

Before we get into the specific results, it looks like our Six Experts only have 2 things in common – they all like Denver to win the AFC West, and New England to take the AFC East for the fifth straight season.  But in terms of Super Bowl XLVIII, these guys’ thoughts run the gamet.  We have everyone from Atlanta, Denver, New England, San Francisco, Green Bay, and get this one … The Giants, winning the Lombardi Trophy.   Imagine that – you get Six of the NFL’s premiere Prognosticators together for one ErnBlog Preseason Post – and you end up with Six different Super Bowl Title Predictions.

So let’s take a look.

But, please remember that while you view these Selections, of course, that all logos used today by ErnBlog are the exclusive property of the National Football League, and all logo rights are Reserved by the NFL.

But enough of the details – Here we go!

AFC EAST:

ERN:                                                                                   

Patriots logo

OGGIE:

Patriots logo

BROWN:

Patriots logo

GREENE:

Patriots logo

GALLAHER:

Patriots logo

BRICK:

Patriots logo

DUNN:

dolphins new logo

NFC EAST:

ERN

Redskins logo

OGGIE:

Redskins logo

BROWN:

Redskins logo

GREENE:

ny GIANTS LOGO

GALLAHER:

Redskins logo

BRICK:

cowboys logo

DUNN:

Redskins logo

AFC WEST:

ERN:

broncos logo

OGGIE:

 

broncos logo

BROWN:

broncos logo

GREENE:

broncos logo

GALLAHER:

broncos logo

BRICK:

broncos logo

DUNN:

broncos logo

NFC WEST:

ERN:

49ers logo

OGGIE:

seahawks logo

BROWN:

49ers logo

GREENE:

49ers logo

GALLAHER:

seahawks logo

BRICK:

seahawks logo

DUNN:

49ers logo

AFC SOUTH:

ERN:

Colts logo

OGGIE:

texans logo

BROWN:

texans logo

GREENE:

texans logo

GALLAHER:

texans logo

BRICK:

Colts logo

DUNN:

texans logo

NFC SOUTH:

ERN:

Falcons logo

OGGIE:

Falcons logo

BROWN:

Falcons logo

GREENE:

Falcons logo

GALLAHER:

Falcons logo

BRICK:

saints logo

DUNN:

Falcons logo

AFC NORTH:

ERN:

ravens logo

OGGIE:

bengals logo

BROWN:

Steelers logo

 GREENE:

bengals logo

GALLAHER:

bengals logo

BRICK:

Steelers logo

DUNN:

bengals logo

NFC NORTH:

ERN:

vikings logo

OGGIE:

Packers logo

BROWN:

Packers logo

GREENE:

Packers logo

GALLAHER:

Packers logo

BRICK:

Packers logo

DUNN:

Packers logo

AFC WILD CARDS:

ERN:

texans logo

Chargers logo

OGGIE:

ravens logo

Colts logo

BROWN:

Colts logo

dolphins new logo

GREENE:

Steelers logo

Colts logo

GALLAHER:

Colts logo

ravens logo

BRICK:

bengals logo

untitled (2)

DUNN:

Colts logo

Patriots logo

NFC WILD CARDS:

ERN:

Packers logo

cowboys logo

OGGIE:

saints logo

49ers logo

BROWN:

seahawks logo

ny GIANTS LOGO

GREENE:

seahawks logo

saints logo

GALLAHER:

49ers logo

saints logo

BRICK:

Falcons logo

49ers logo

DUNN:

seahawks logo

DUNN!  YOU’RE REALLY GONNA MAKE ME FIND THE CAROLINA LOGO?

REALLY??

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:

ERN:

Falcons logo

OVER

49ers logo

OGGIE:

seahawks logo

OVER

Redskins logo

BROWN:

49ers logo

OVER

seahawks logo

GREENE:

ny GIANTS LOGO

OVER

Packers logo

GALLAHER:

Packers logo

OVER

Falcons logo

BRICK:

seahawks logo

OVER

Packers logo

DUNN:

49ers logo

OVER

Falcons logo

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:

ERN:

Colts logo

OVER

ravens logo

OGGIE:

broncos logo

OVER

Patriots logo

BROWN:

broncos logo

OVER

texans logo

GREENE:

broncos logo

OVER

bengals logo

GALLAHER:

broncos logo

OVER

Patriots logo

 BRICK:

Patriots logo

OVER

broncos logo

DUNN:

Patriots logo

OVER

texans logo

SUPER BOWL XLVIII:

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2014

MET LIFE STADIUM (EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY “MEADOWLANDS”)

ERN:

Falcons logo

OVER

Colts logo

OGGIE:

broncos logo

OVER

seahawks logo

BROWN:

49ers logo

OVER

broncos logo

GREENE:

ny GIANTS LOGO

OVER

broncos logo

 

If Greene’s Super Bowl Prediction comes true, the NFL Championship Game would pit brothers Peyton and Eli Manning (both already Super Bowl MVPs) against one another for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.  Greene’s Pick would also mean that the Giants would be the first team in the Super Bowl Era to win the Lombardi Trophy at its current Home Stadium.  The San Francisco 49ers did win Super Bowl XIX over Miami at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California; but the Niners did play and continue to play their regular season home games at Candlestick Point in San Francisco. 

GALLAHER:

Packers logo

OVER

broncos logo

Gallaher’s Super Bowl would be a rematch of Super Bowl XXXII in San Diego (one of the greatest NFL Championships in history) – won 31-24 by Denver.  In that game, John Elway won his first of two Lombardis, and running back Terrell Davis was named Super Bowl MVP – despite playing the game under the duress of massive migrane headaches

However, in Gallaher’s scenario, the tables would be reversed, with the Pack (this time) hoisting Lombardi.

BRICK:

Patriots logo

OVER

seahawks logo

DUNN:

Patriots logo

OVER

49ers logo

 

TEAM WITH WORST RECORD:

ERN:

Jets logo

OGGIE:

Jets logo

BROWN:

RAIDERS LOGO

GREENE: 

untitled

GALLAHER:

RAIDERS LOGO

 BRICK:

RAIDERS LOGO

DUNN:

untitled

WHICH BIG ACQUIRED FREE AGENT WR WILL GET INJURED AND MISS A GAME FIRST?:

     – WELKER OR AMENDOLA?

ERN:

Broncos WR Wes Welker (source: thepenaltyflagblog.com)

Broncos WR Wes Welker (source: thepenaltyflagblog.com)

OGGIE, BROWN, GREENE, and GALLAHER:

Patriots WR Danny Amendola (source: David Butler II from USA Today Sports)

Patriots WR Danny Amendola (source: David Butler II from USA Today Sports)

2013 NFL MVP: 

ERN:

The Colts are familiar with selecting their QB from the Number One Overall Position on Draft Day.  Here, Andrew Luck (right) receives his Indianapolis jersey from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (left) back in April. (Source: pigskinbuzz.com)

Ern expects Colts QB Andrew Luck (right) to have a special Sophomore season in 2013.
(Source: pigskinbuzz.com)

OGGIE:

Robert Griffin III of the Redskins is the new Young Gun in the NFC East.  (Source: guysnation.com)

2nd-year phenom Robert Griffin III of the Redskins is the new Young Gun in the NFC East. (Source: guysnation.com)

BROWN and GALLAHER:

Propelled by the incredible talent of Running Back - Adrian Peterson, the Vikings have surprised the NFL with a 6-4 record and a push toward an NFC Wild Card Spot.  (Source: newsday.com)

The Vikings sensational Running Back – Adrian Peterson – Reigning NFL MVP.  (Source: newsday.com)

 GREENE:

Peyton Manning eyes another trip to the AFC Championship Game. Source: bleacherreport.com

Peyton Manning eyes a third trip to the Super Bowl in 2013.
Source: bleacherreport.com

 BRICK:

Drew Brees (REUTERS photo by Sean Gardner)

Drew Brees (REUTERS photo by Sean Gardner)

DUNN:

ARIAN FOSTER – RB FOR HOUSTON TEXANS

Arian Foster of the Texans is poised to propel Houston to another AFC South Title. (Source: sportsillustrated.cnn.com)

Arian Foster of the Texans is poised to propel Houston to another AFC South Title.
(Source: sportsillustrated.cnn.com)

 

 

 

 

ErnBlog Top 20 Hits – Summer 2013

All right, I’m back with ErnBlog’s Top 20 Hits – for the Summer of 2013.  This list in no way compares with last summer’s blockbuster collection featuring Taio Cruz, Katy Perry, One Direction, and Nicki Minaj.  This summer’s young female artists (Ke$ha, Avril Lavigne, and Angie Miller) could not differ more in style, appearance, and personality.  But, one thing’s for certain – Big Ern’s got Twenty Dollars in his pocket!

Here we go with your 2013 Summer Hits:

1. One More Night by Maroon 5

Maroon 5's Adam Levine (Source: fanpop.com)

Adam Levine and Maroon 5 are still topping the Charts.  “Daylight” and “Love Somebody” join “One More Night” in the ErnBlog Top 20.  (Source: fanpop.com)

2. Some Nights by Fun

 3. Hall of Fame by The Script

 4. Troublemaker by Olly Mars/FloRida

 5. Live it Up by Jennifer Lopez/Pitbull

 6. It’s Time by Imagine Dragons

 7. Die Young by Ke$ha

 

Ke$ha (source: Cork, Ireland's www.redfm.ie)

Ke$ha (source: Cork, Ireland’s www.redfm.ie)

 8. Home by Phillip Phillips

 9. I Cry by FloRida

10. Cruise by Florida Georgia Line with Nelly 

11. Thrift Shop by Macklemore/Ryan Lewis

Source: marshu.com

Source: marshu.com

12. Ho Hey by The Lumineers

13. Just Give Me a Reason by Pink

14. Here’s to Never Growing Up by Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne (source: www.fanpop.com)

Avril Lavigne (source: www.fanpop.com)

 

15. Daylight by Maroon 5

16. Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

17. Love Somebody by Maroon 5

18. Hey Pretty Girl by Kip Moore

19. Radioactive by Imagine Dragons

20. Who U R by Angie Miller

Angie Miller (source: www.bostonmagazine.com)

Angie Miller (source: www.bostonmagazine.com)

The Bruins – a HOMEtown TEAM

Gnome Jan 2012

From the Boston Sports Fan perspective, our Bruins tend to fly under the radar in community circles.  Local residents say they run into some of the younger, single “B’s” in coffee shops and convenient stores around the city, blending in with the masses.  Let’s face it – if 6’10” Kevin Garnett walks down Hanover Street looking for an Italian Bistro, you’re gonna notice him.  If Tom Brady’s rolling down Boylston Street in an Audi you’ve only dreamt about (and didn’t realize actually existed), he’s gonna draw some attention.  Even mild-mannered Jon Lester is shown on TV enough that if he walked into the same office elevator as you, you’re gonna say, “Hey Jon!  Nice start last night!”  But, Andrew Ference of the Bruins grabbing a couple scoops of ice cream on a hot day?  Sorry – he’s gonna seem like a regular guy.

NHL players are less identifiable than their MLB, NFL, and NBA comtemporaries.  Think about it –  you watch an NHL game, even on a state-of-the-art HD LED, and all of the players wear helmets and faceguards, and are constantly moving.  Kind of tough to get a good glipse of them.  This is the exact opposite of those old days when fans could memorize every obsessive-compulsive iteration of Nomar Garciaparra’s at-bat “preparations”, from pulling the gloves to adjusting the helmet.

When an NHL team scores one precious goal, it is frequently the result of hard hitting and precision passing.  Very rarely do you see a breakaway in which stars like Sydney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin steal the puck and go the distance for the unassisted score.  And unlike baseball (in which teams are often propelled to victory by power-hitting sluggers with extra-base hits or flamethrowing starting pitchers amassing multiple strikeouts), so often does a hockey goal result from a deflection by a player, who didn’t even shoot the puck, in the right place at the right time.  Such is life.

Our current version of the Bruins is on the verge of another run toward Lord Stanley’s Cup (which would be their 2nd in 3 years).  Since I moved into my First Own House 4 years ago, several of Boston’s pro sports teams have performed on Championship Stages.  The Celtics took Kobe and the Lakers to the 7-Game Limit in 2010 before falling short.  In February 2012, the Patriots led the Giants in the second half of yet another Super Bowl before again succumbing to the New Yorkers.  But, the only World Championship to be earned in the ErnHouse Era is the Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup.

We all remember the tale: Seven heart-wrenching games against rival Montreal followed by redemption against the Philadelphia Flyers (the team that had rallied back from a 3-0 Series deficit and 3-0 Game 7 deficit to eliminate the Bruins in 2010).  Then, Seven more chapters against a UMass-Lowell kid (goalie Dwayne Roloson) and the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals.  Finally, the 3-2 Cup Finals deficit to Vancouver, the Boston Beatdown of the Canucks in Game 6 at the Garden, and then the icing on the cake with the Game 7 clincher in British Columbia!  The heroes: Tim Thomas, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Brad Marchand.

It’s been a different story this time around, with new stars – Goalie Tuukka Rask, a more seasoned Tyler Seguin, a healthy Nathan Horton.  And when Dennis Seidenberg went down to injury, the young prospects have stepped up – Dougie Hamilton and Torry Krug.  The B’s are one step away from a Dream Matchup against Sydney Crosby, Evgeny Malkin, and the Pittsburgh Penguins.  It would bring back flashbacks of the 1990 and 1991 Conference Finals against Pittsburgh – the battles between Ray Bourque/Cam Neely and Mario Lemieux/Kevin Stevens/Jaromir Jagr.  Then, could we even speculate on a Stanley Cup Finals against the defending champion LA Kings – with the Big Ern’s BC Orientation buddy Rod Scuderi?  Or even a matchup against former Bruin star Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks?

Perhaps the Big Ern’s getting ahead of himself.  But, relax, it’s Memorial Day Weekend, and the Big Bad Bruins are deep into Lord Stanley’s Playoffs.  Our HOMEtown TEAM!

The Proposal

The longest dinner of my life was the 2.5-hour Valantine’s marathon at The Hardcover in Danvers.  Although it wasn’t literally the longest, I knew that I would present a Diamond Ring to Jen afterwards at my house.  That made the meal figuratively the longest!  However, no criticism of The Hardcover (one of my favorite restaurants on the North Shore).  My crab-stuffed haddock was excellent.  Jennifer enjoyed lobster casserole with some sirloin and was also awarded a red carnation.

So after I opened by Valentine’s Presents (Celtics tickets and Hershey Kisses) from Jen, she began opening her Gifts from me: an Alex & Ani “Peace Sign” bracelet [also a consolation prize for Northeastern losing the Beanpot to BC 🙂 ]  and rich chocolates from Boston-based “Au Chocolaut”.

Jen Engagement

So now Jen commences to examine the chocolate, determining which piece her Mom would like and my Dad’s potential favorite.  Next, she starts pointing at different pieces, asking, “Ernie, what do you think is in this one, cocunut?  Caramel?”  I quickly answered, “Cocunut” as I bent down on one knee without her noticing.  “Really, cocunut?” she suspiciously inquired.  “Do you really think that piece of chocolate would go with cocunut?”

“Jen” … , I interrupted the Cocoa Bean Analysis, “Look, there’s one more present here!” acting almost surprised.  I placed a heart-shaped Lenox jewelry box into her line of sight over the chocolate box.  As she started to admire that, I think she thought the Lenox box was the present!  “Hey Jen, why don’t you open that?”  I urged.

“Is there something inside?” she wondered.  “I think so,” I suspected.  “Oh my God!” she exclaimed as she caught glimpse of the shimmering contents of the box – a white gold ring with diamonds.

“Jennifer Maria Ataide, will you marry me?” I asked.  “Yeah?” she utterred in confused shock.  “Yeah?” I checked, clarifying the response.  “Yes!!” she exclaimed.  And the rest is history!  The best Valentine’s Night ever!

ErnBlog’s Top 25 NFL Teams of the Super Bowl Era

 

Source: nflnetwork.com

Source: nflnetwork.com

 

Some of you may have noticed that the NFL Network aired its 25 Top Ranked Episodes of “America’s Game: The Super Bowl Champions” this past weekend.  It made for excellent Blizzard TV.  Well, of course after I clawed about 9 inches of snow and ice off the DirecTV Dish!  The NFL Network allowed the fans to vote for the Top 25 Episodes and there were some surprising results:

– The 1985 Chicago Bears (18-1) was the 14th-ranked Episode.  The ’85 Bears shut out both of their opponents (Giants and Rams) in the NFC Playoffs and then only allowed 10 points to the Patriots in Super Bowl XX.

– The 1989 San Francisco 49ers (17-2) was the 13th-ranked Episode.  The ’89 49ers won regular season games started by 3 different QBs (Joe Montana, Steve Young, and Steve Bono) and destroyed their postseason competition, defeating the Vikings (41-13), Rams (30-3), and Broncos (55-10) (Super Bowl XXIV).

– The 2007 New York Giants (14-6) was the Top-Ranked Episode.  This is of course the Giants team that derailed the Patriots “Perfect Season” attempt.  Now it should be noted once again that the Fans voted for their “Favorite Episode”, which is very different than voting for which Team they thought was “The Best”.  And I have to admit that the ’07 Giants “America’s Game” Episode was pretty funny, especially the parts when Eli Manning pokes fun at his older brother Peyton.  The theme in that jabbing is that Eli is better than Peyton at all sports except for football.  Michael Strahan also makes fun of almost everything Eli and the other Episode Narrator – Giants Coach Tom Coughlin say during the Episode in a Reality TV-style manner.  So I can see how the Tri-State Population combined with this humor would make this Episode so popular.

But all of this got me thinking: Who were the Greatest Super Bowl Champions of All-Time?  And further: Who were the Greatest NFL Teams of the Super Bowl Era?  Is it possible that some Teams that Didn’t Win Super Bowls were better than Teams that Did?  The Answer to that Question is undoubtedly Yes.  The 2007 Patriots (18-1) and 2001 Rams (16-3) immediately come to mind.  If this year’s 49ers put up 34 points on the 2012 Champion Ravens, how many points might have the ’07 Pats or ’01 Rams scored?

So here’s my best shot: ErnBlog’s Top 25 Teams of the Super Bowl Era:

(Super Bowl Losers in Italics)

1. 1989 San Francisco 49ers

When Joe Montana added Jerry Rice to the high-powered 49ers offense in 1985, the result was a San Francisco Football Dynasty in the 1980s. Source: woodypaige.com

When Joe Montana added Jerry Rice to the high-powered 49ers offense in 1985, the result was a San Francisco Football Dynasty in the 1980s.
Source: woodypaige.com

The 1989 San Francisco 49ers rolled through the Postseason, defeating Minnesota 41-13; the Rams 30-3; and finally Denver 55-10 in Super Bowl XXIV in New Orleans.

 

2. 1984 San Francisco 49ers

Joe Montana, one of the Super Bowl's all-time Top Performers, had his chance to flourish at the Superdome in Super Bowl XXIV. Source: sportscoma.com

Joe Montana, one of the Super Bowl’s all-time Top Performers, had his chance to flourish at the Superdome in Super Bowl XXIV.
Source: sportscoma.com

The 1984 San Francisco 49ers only lost one game (vs. Pittsburgh).  They beat the Dolphins in Dan Marino’s only Super Bowl appearance at Stanford Stadium.   

3. 2007 New England Patriots

The injection of Randy Moss into the Patriots receiving corps made New England a scoring machine in 2007. Source: bleacherreport.com

The injection of Randy Moss into the Patriots receiving corps made New England a scoring machine in 2007.
Source: bleacherreport.com

The 2007 Patriots won their first 18 games, mostly in convincing, overwhelming fashion before narrowly dropping Super Bowl XLII to the New York Giants, 17-14.

During the regular season, the Patriots scored over 50 points twice and only scored less than 30 points four times, all obviously victories.

 

4. 1985 Chicago Bears

Even defensive prodigy William "Refridgerator" Perry got to carry the ball for Da Bears in Super Bowl XX, shown here barreling over the Patriots into the end zone. Source: ellenpatton.blogspot.com

Even defensive prodigy William “Refridgerator” Perry got to carry the ball for Da Bears in Super Bowl XX, shown here barreling over the Patriots into the end zone.
Source: ellenpatton.blogspot.com

The 1985 Bears only lost one game (at Miami with Dan Marino).

5. 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers

 Chuck Noll is the only Head Coach in NFL History to win 4 Super Bowl Championships.  Terry Bradshaw was the Steelers QB for all of those World Titles. Source: sportsillustrated.cnn.com


Chuck Noll is the only Head Coach in NFL History to win 4 Super Bowl Championships. Terry Bradshaw was the Steelers QB for all of those World Titles.
Source: sportsillustrated.cnn.com

6. 1976 Oakland Raiders

With offensive linemen like Hall of Famer - Gene Upshaw (left) blocking QB Ken Stabler, Raiders Coach John Madden directed Oakland to the 1976 Vince Lombardi Trophy.  Source: coacheshotseat.com

With offensive linemen like Hall of Famer – Gene Upshaw (left) blocking QB Ken Stabler, Raiders Coach John Madden directed Oakland to the 1976 Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Source: coacheshotseat.com

The 1976 Oakland Raiders only lost one game (at New England).

 

7. 1972 Miami Dolphins

The 1972 Miami Dolphins are the only team in NFL History to go Undefeated in a Season/Postseason with at least 17 games.  Coach Don Shula’s Dolphins finished a Perfect 17-0.

8. 1991 Washington Redskins

9. 1977 Dallas Cowboys

Running back Tony Dorsett was one of the PrimeTime Players for Tom Landry’s Cowboys who came to be known as “America’s Team”. 

10. 1967 Green Bay Packers

QB Bart Starr (MVP of each of the first 2 Super Bowls lunged over guard Jerry Kramer, into the end zone as time expired to beat Dallas in Lambeau Field’s infamous “Ice Bowl” – known as the coldest pro football game ever played.  After that conquest, the Oakland Raiders were no match for Vince Lombardi’s Packers Dynasty in Super Bowl II. 

11. 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers

Only the second team in NFL History to win back-to-back Super Bowls, the Steelers pulled away from Dallas in the second half of Super Bowl X. 

12. 1995 Dallas Cowboys

This was Dallas’ last of 3 Championship Editions from the 90’s.  They added Deion Sanders for this Title Run.

13. 1994 San Francisco 49ers

MVP QB Steve Young got the “Monkey Off His Back” against San Diego in Super Bowl XXIX in Miami (a properous Super Bowl venue for San Francisco, who also beat the Bengals there in Super Bowl XXIII).

14. 2004 New England Patriots

The last of Bill Belichick’s 3 Patriots Super Bowl Titles in the 2000’s decade.  Belichick transformed this Patriots Championship Edition from a defensive-oriented squad in 2003 to an offensive jaugernaut behind Tom Brady and Corey Dillon in 2004. 

15. 1998 Denver Broncos

The 1998 Broncos started 13-0 before losing two of its last three games of the regular season.  But when the Playoffs began, Denver put the hammer down on Miami, the Jets and the Falcons to claim the Lombardi Trophy in John Elway’s last gallop.

16. 1992 Dallas Cowboys

The Triplets: QB Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith, and wideout Michael Irvin – all Hall of Famers who wanted the ball and got the ball with the game on the line.

17. 1997 Green Bay Packers

Although they lost to Denver in Super Bowl XXXII, this Packers squad won some tough games in 1997, including a victory at San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game.

18. 1987 Washington Redskins

After trailing 10-0 to Denver early in Super Bowl XXII, the Redskins scored a Super Bowl Record 5 touchdowns in the 2nd QUARTER to bury the Broncos.

19. 2001 St. Louis Rams

Coined “The Greatest Show on Turf”, the 2001 Rams shredded competition, including the Patriots in Foxboro in November.  Although St. Louis (led by MVP QB Kurt Warner) only dropped 2 games the whole season, they were ultimately devoured by a defensive concoction formulated by Dr. Belichick and New England in Super Bowl XXXVI. 

20. 2003 New England Patriots

Shutting out three opponents during the regular season (Miami, Buffalo, and Dallas), the 2003 Patriots had a knack for making big defensive plays when it counted most.  They earned Homefield Advantage throughout the AFC Playoff by stuffing Indianapolis at the Goal-Line in November and then handled the Colts again in the AFC Championship Game, intercepting NFL MVP Peyton Manning 4 times.

21. 2006 Indianapolis Colts

The 2006 Colts went on the road to beat Baltimore in the Playoffs before returning home to overcome an 18-point Halftime deficit to defeat New England for the AFC Championship.  Then, Peyton Manning withstood the worst weather of any Super Bowl (torential rain in Miami) to overwhelm the Chicago Bears for Peyton’s first and only Lombardi Trophy.

22. 2010 Green Bay Packers

QB Aaron Rodgers proved that the Packers could succeed in the post-Brett Favre Era, winning all 3 of their NFC Playoff Games on the road before edging out the Steelers in a thrilling 4th Quarter of Super Bowl XLV.

23. 1973 Miami Dolphins

The 1972 Dolphins were Perfect, but the 1973 Miami Edition was certainly no pushover, wining Super Bowl VIII over a strong Minnesota Vikings team that would lose Super Bowls to 3 of the Teams on this List (also the ’75 Steelers and ’76 Raiders).  Nick Buoniconti led the Dolphins blistering 1973 defense.

24. 1968 New York Jets

“Broadway” Joe Namath lying on Miami Beach, predicting victory over Johnny Unitas and the powerful Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III and then following through for the AFL (“AFC”)’s first Super Bowl Title.  What else can I say?

25. 1996 Green Bay Packers

In 1996, the Packers were the best team in Football from start to finish.  NFL MVP Brett Favre earned his shining moment in New Orleans as Green Bay won its first Super Bowl in 29 years.

 

 

ErnBlog’s Super Bowl XLVII Outlook

SB

Ray Lewis was a rookie with the Baltimore Ravens back in 1996 when he recorded his first NFL sack by pulling Indianapolis Colts QB Jim Harbaugh to the Hoosier Dome turf.  On Sunday night in New Orleans, Lewis will take the field with the Ravens for the final time against now Coach Jim Harbaugh’s San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.

Jim Harbaugh will glance across the field not only at the ominous Lewis, but also at his much more familiar older brother – John Harbaugh – Head Coach of the Baltimore Ravens.

Family and historical facts aside, Super Bowl XLVII will pit two teams who each failed in the 2011 Conference Championship round against one another for the 2012 World Championship.

Ravens QB Joe Flacco took Baltimore within a dropped pass of Super Bowl XLVI.  He will try to direct the 2012 Ravens to Super Bowl XLVII.  (Source: zimbio.com)

QB Joe Flacco and the Ravens will try to hoist the Franchise’s 2nd Vince Lombardi Trophy on Sunday night. (Source: zimbio.com)

The Baltimore Ravens have finally passed the Patriots in the AFC power struggle.  For anyone looking for evidence of Baltimore’s postseason grit, soak in these 2 facts:

– the Ravens have beaten New England in Foxboro in the Postseason Twice in the last Four years, both times convincingly

– Joe Flacco is the only QB in NFL History to have won 6 Playoff Road Games.

NFL experts will say that it takes Risk to win Championships, and John Harbaugh took a major gamble when he fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron late in the season and replaced him with former Colts Head Coach – Jim Caldwell.  Caldwell reformatted Baltimore’s offensive line and Flacco has reaped the benefits.  The extra second in the pocket has allowed the Ravens’ QB to connect on deep, accurate passes to wideouts Torry Smith and Jacoby Jones.

49ers Coach - Jim Harbaugh (Source: gridironfans.com)

49ers Coach – Jim Harbaugh
(Source: gridironfans.com)

Little brother Jim Harbaugh has been just as risk-averse in San Francisco.  The younger Harbaugh stuck with QB Colin Kaepernick in favor of recovered former starter Alex Smith, who led the 49ers to the 2011 NFC West Title.  While Smith is accurate with a high completion percentage, Kaepernick alters the entire dimension of a football game with his ability to run for first downs and execute college-style option plays, one of which resulted in him racing 50-plus yards for a touchdown against the Packers in the Divisional Round.

So how does ErnBlog evaluate the Super Bowl Matchups?:

Ern thinks that Baltimore can score against the quick San Francisco defense.  Although Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith, and company can wreck havoc on an opposing offensive line, I expect the Ravens linemen Michael Oher, Matt Birk, and Bryant McKinnie to contain the 49er blitzes on an overall basis and minimize the sack total.

Ern expects that the Ravens defense can slow down the high-powered San Francisco offense in the first half, but may tire into the second half.  I look for a big day for 49ers tight end Vernon Davis.

So, here it is: Ern’s Super Bowl Selection: 

Super Bowl XLVII: Sunday, February 3rd

6:30 PM at Louisiana Superdome      (CBS)

San Francisco 49ers (3.5-pt favorites) vs. Baltimore Ravens

Over/Under: 47 points

Ern’s Pick: 49ers 31, Ravens 21

52 Total Points are Over the 47 projected in Las Vegas

MVP: Vernon Davis

 

 

 

 

New Orleans: The NFL “Super” City

On Sunday, February 3, 2013; the NFL will stage its World Championship Game in New Orleans for the 10th time in Super Bowl XLVII.  The Louisiana Superdome (now officially sponsored by Mercedes-Benz) will host the Super Bowl for the 7th time.  Come on BMW!!!

The first three Big Easy Super Bowls were played at Tulane Stadium, otherwise known as the Old Sugar Bowl – the site of the annual college Sugar Bowl Game before that event too moved to New Orleans.  Let’s take a look at the History:

Super Bowl IV: Tulane Stadium, January 1970

Kansas City Chiefs defeated Minnesota Vikings

Hank StramSource: kcconfidential.com

Hank Stram
Source: kcconfidential.com

New Orleans first Super Bowl pitted a team that played in the Inaugural Super Bowl – the Kansas City Chiefs coached by the affable Hank Stram against the Minnesota Vikings coached by stern-faced Bud Grant.  The Chiefs, in the bright red jerseys that they still wear today, relied on the running of Mike Garrett in a decisive victory over the Vikings.  While Bud Grant would guide three more Minnesota teams to Super Bowls in the 70’s, the Chiefs have not made the trip since Super Bowl IV.

 

Super Bowl VI: Tulane Stadium, January 1972

Dallas Cowboys defeated Miami Dolphins

Roger Staubach Source: sportsthenandnow.com

Roger Staubach
Source: sportsthenandnow.com

 

This was the Cowboys first World Championship, back before they became “America’s Team”.  This Game involved two of the greatest coaches in NFL History (Dallas’ Tom Landry and Miami’s Don Shula) and two of the premier Quarterback on the 1970s (Dallas’ Roger “The Dodger” Staubach and Miami’s Bob Griese).  Staubach, the 1963 Heisman Trophy Winner from the Naval Academy, earned his Nickname for his ability to elude defenders during mad dashes out of the pocket.

The Cowboys and Dolphins became two of the NFL’s best teams in the 1970s – combining to win Four of its Ten Super Bowls (Two each).  Although Miami would lose this battle in New Orleans, the Dolphins would win the next two Vince Lombardi Trophies, going an Undefeated 17-0 in 1972 (the only team from the Super Bowl Era to achieve such a feat).

 

Super Bowl IX: Tulane Stadium, January 1975

Pittsburgh Steelers defeated Minnesota Vikings

"Mean" Joe Greene was one of Coca-Cola's biggest endorsement figures of the 1970s.  Here, in a "Classic" commercial, he shares a Coke with a fan after the Steelers win the Super Bowl. Source: jimmyrayeyouthfoundation.org

“Mean” Joe Greene was one of Coca-Cola’s biggest endorsement figures of the 1970s. Here, in a “Classic” commercial, he shares a Coke with a fan after the Steelers win the Super Bowl.
Source: jimmyrayeyouthfoundation.org

Super Bowl IX represented the beginning of one NFL Dynasty (the Steelers) and the continuation of one franchise’s Era of Disappointment (the Vikings).  With this victory in New Orleans, the Steelers would begin a run that would produce Four Championships in the 1970s – all directed by their Hall of Fame QB Terry Bradshaw.  The Vikings, on the other hand, who had lost the previous Super Bowl (VIII to the Dolphins), would lose another (XI to the Raiders) to conclude an 0-3 Record in 1970s Super Bowls.

Although Terry Bradshaw was in the spotlight of Super Bowl IX, the Steelers defense, led by pass-rusher “Mean” Joe Greene, carried Pittsburgh to victory, holding Minnesota to only 6 points in the 16-6 final outcome.

 

Super Bowl XII: January 1978, Louisiana Superdome

Dallas Cowboys defeat Denver Broncos

Even more than their Silver Star, Tom Landry (with his fedora hat and gray suit) continues to be the most recognizable symbol of "America's Team" - the Dallas Cowboys.Source: coacheshotseat.com

Even more than their Silver Star, Tom Landry (with his fedora hat and gray suit) continues to be the most recognizable symbol of “America’s Team” – the Dallas Cowboys.
Source: coacheshotseat.com

Super Bowl XII was the first NFL World Championship Game to be played in a dome.  At the time, the new Louisiana Superdome (home of the Saints) was being nicknamed “The Eighth Wonder of the World”, the first domed structure to reach a higher summit than Rome’s ancient Pantheon.

Super Bowl XII was also the first World Championship appearance for the Denver Broncos, led on defense by the ferocious Lyle Alzado and Tom Jackson (an ESPN star for the past 25 years).  “Orange Crush” (as they were called) demolished their way through the AFC, finally dispatching their rival Raiders for the AFC Title.

This Game would be the crowning achievement of Cowboys coach Tom Landry’s Hall of Fame career as his “Doomsday” Defense (with Ed “Too Tall” Jones) suppressed the Broncos.  A young running back from the University of Pittsburgh – Tony Dorsett ran all over the Denver defense, leading the Cowboys to their 2nd World Title of the 1970s.

 

Super Bowl XV: January 1981, Louisiana Superdome

Oakland Raiders defeated Philadelphia Eagles  

Even though both of his parents were blind, Jim Plunkett had a stellar college career at Stanford, was selected First Overall in the 1971 NFL Draft, and then led the Raiders to 2 Super Bowl Championships. Source: sportsillustrated.cnn.com

Even though both of his parents were blind, Jim Plunkett had a stellar college career at Stanford, was selected First Overall in the 1971 NFL Draft, and then led the Raiders to 2 Super Bowl Championships.
Source: sportsillustrated.cnn.com

The Philadelphia Eagles aren’t much a part of Super Bowl History, only competing in 2 of the 46 World Championship matchups, losing both.  But Coach Dick Vermeil and QB Ron Jaworski (another current ESPN mogul) made the trip in 1980.  The story of this Game was as much Political as Football.  It was announced on Game Day that the American Hostages (featured in the current motion picture Argo) would be returning home from Iran.  The American public heard the announcement of the Hostages’ Return on Superdome locker room telephone from newly inaugurated President Ronald Reagan, after he congratulated Raiders Coach Tom Flores and Owner Al Davis on winning the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

In terms of the fooball that day, Raiders QB Jim Plunkett controlled the Game for Oakland, earning MVP Honors in the 27-10 victory.

 

Super Bowl XX: January 1986, Louisiana Superdome

Chicago Bears defeated New England Patriots

Even defensive prodigy William "Refridgerator" Perry got to carry the ball for Da Bears in Super Bowl XX, shown here barreling over the Patriots into the end zone.Source: ellenpatton.blogspot.com

Even defensive prodigy William “Refridgerator” Perry got to carry the ball for Da Bears in Super Bowl XX, shown here barreling over the Patriots into the end zone.
Source: ellenpatton.blogspot.com

New Orleans has become known for hosting an NFL Team for its first trip to a Super Bowl (Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, and Philadelphia Eagles).  So it was no different when the Big Easy welcomed both the NFC Champion Chicago Bears and one of the most unlikely teams – the New England Patriots for Super Bowl XX.  Although staffed with some recognizable NFL names (Coach Raymond Berry, Pro Bowlers – John Hannah and Steve Nelson, cornerback Raymond Clayborn, and wideout Stanley Morgan), the Patriots were no match for Mike Singletary’s “Monsters of the Midway” – the Chicago Bears, who “shuffled” their way to a 46-10 lambasting of New England.  The 36-point differential was by far the widest to-date in Super Bowl History.

Bears Coach Mike Ditka later confessed that, amidst the assault of Chicago forced turnovers and touchdowns, he should have put Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton into the Game to score one of those several touchdowns.  Payton, who was at the end of his career playing in his only Super Bowl, died in 1999 of liver cancer.  Ern wore Payton’s famous Kangaroo sneakers (sleak black ones) in First and Second Grade.  The sneaks featured a velcro tongue pocket, convenient for storing quarter for lunch.  Remember, back in 1986, 75 cents could score you a Super School Lunch!

 

Super Bowl XXIV: January 1990, Louisiana Superdome

San Francisco 49ers defeated Denver Broncos

Joe Montana, one of the Super Bowl's all-time Top Performers, had his chance to flourish at the Superdome in Super Bowl XXIV.Source: sportscoma.com

Joe Montana, one of the Super Bowl’s all-time Top Performers, had his chance to flourish at the Superdome in Super Bowl XXIV.
Source: sportscoma.com

 

Joe Montana put his stamp on Super Bowl XXIV from start to finish, throwing some of the most beautiful passes in Super Bowl History.  One memory from this Super Bowl came from my brother Eric in recent years: “I remember John Madden kept saying that John Elway (the Broncos quarterback) was throwing the ball so hard that his receivers couldn’t catch it!”

While Elway thought he was still on the Stanford pitching mound, Joe Montana gracefully floated the ball to his star wideouts – Jerry Rice and John Taylor, who raced up and down the Superdome turf.  The 49ers 55-10 thrashing of Denver eclipsed the Bears destruction of the Patriots four years earlier as the biggest wipeout in Super Bowl History; and gave Joe Montana his 4th Vince Lombardi Trophy – tying Terry Bradshaw for the most ever.

 

Super Bowl XXXI: January 1997, Louisiana Superdome

Green Bay Packers defeated New England Patriots

No one in New Orleans celebrated more after Super Bowl XXXI than Southern Boy - Brett Favre.
Source: fanpop.com

The First Half of Super Bowl XXXI was one of the most exciting 30 minutes in Super Bowl History.  The two young gunslinger QBs (Brett Favre of the Packers and Drew Bledsoe of the Patriots) drove their teams up and down the field on scoring drives.  Although Green Bay led 27-14 at Halftime, the Patriots had shown the ability to move the ball quickly and were coached by one of the League’s best Second Half Planners – Bill Parcells.  Patriots tailback Curtis Martin electrified the Superdome with a touchdown run, cutting the Packers lead to 27-21 in the Third Quarter.  But in the end, the “Minister of Defense” Reggie White proved too much for Drew Bledsoe, continually sacking him en route to a 35-21 Green Bay victory.

Another ESPN standout – Desmond Howard came up big for the Packers in Super Bowl XXXI, returning a third quarter kickoff for a key touchdown.

 

Super Bowl XXXVI: Louisiana Superdome, February 2002 

New England Patriots defeated St. Louis Rams 

Tom Brady celebrating the Super Bowl XXXVI Championship in New Orleans.  February 2002.  
(Source: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

MVP Quarterback Kurt Warner and the 16-2 “Greatest Show on Turf” rolled into the Superdome to face another unexpected Patriots AFC Championship Edition, this version coached by the introverted Bill Belichick.  Long under the shadow of Bill Parcells, Belichick (the team’s former Assistant Coach) had a “heart-to-heart” talk with Pats Owner Bob Kraft on the flight home from New Orleans following their Super Bowl XXXI loss to Green Bay – a flight that Parcells elected not to take as he instead headed directly to The Meadowlands to accept the Head Coaching position of the hated Jets.

The Big Story leading up to Super Bowl XXXVI (the Star-Spangled Super Bowl following September 11, 2001) was who would play Starting QB for New England – the team’s Franchise Player – Drew Bledsoe or 24-year-old second-year Tom Brady, who directed the team to the AFC East Title following serious injuries sustained by Bledsoe.  When Brady was knocked out of the previous week’s AFC Championship Game in Pittsburgh, Bledsoe filled in admirably as the Pats defeated the Steelers.  But a few days later, Belichick made the decision to hand the ball back over to Brady for the Super Bowl.  Bledsoe would never throw another pass for New England, finishing his career in Buffalo and Dallas (to ironically be coached by Parcells again).

In Super Bowl XXXVI, the Patriots applied intense pressure on both Kurt Warner and the Rams receivers, forcing key turnovers – including a memorable interception returned for a touchdown by Ty Law.  With the game tied with a minute left, FOX commentator John Madden recommended to the World that Belichick should “run out the clock”.  Instead, Brady started throwing screen passes and then hit Troy Brown with a pass play out of the Joe Montana/Jerry Rice Super Bowl XXIII Playbook.  Adam Vinatieri kicked a perfect 48-yard field goal as time expired, and the Patriots were Super Bowl Champions for the first time.