The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Let me be Frank: Super Bowl preview

    Everybody seems to be getting pretty excited about the Super Bowl this Sunday, but I’ve got my sights set on another big event that day.

    Of course, I’m referring to the Puppy Bowl. With just a few days left prior to the spectacle, I decided it was probably a good time for me be to be Frank about which canines I am expecting to perform the best. My hypothetical money is definitely on the Chihuahua/Terrier mix named Leroy Brown.

    For starters, anybody who knows anything knows that Leroy Brown is the baddest man in the whole d*** town, and that he’s meaner than a junkyard dog. How many puppies could take on a junkyard dog? Now, those may just be lyrics to a Jim Croce song, but I’ve yet to confirm if they apply to all Leroy Browns.

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    Anyway, according to Animal Planet’s website (, Leroy Brown’s “best sport really is baseball.” Yes, baseball is not football, but that’s still pretty good for a dog. Not to mention, he’s darn cute. Go with Leroy.

    Yes that was kind of a joke, but I won’t lie, I love puppies as much as I love football. Maybe more. So I had to give a nod to the pinnacle of puppy events.

    With that said, I think I’m looking forward to the Super Bowl this Sunday a bit more. Here’s where I think each team has the edge in that bowl:

    Better Defensive Front

    The Giants not only have a better defensive line than the Patriots, but they have arguably the best defensive front in the entire NFL. The trio of Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora is one of the most impressive ever. Yes, I just said ever. The team combined for 48 sacks in the regular season and nine more in the playoffs.

    And the Patriots have … Vince Wolfork? Thanks, but no thanks, Vince.

    Edge: Giants, and not close.

    Better Secondary

    This one is kind of amusing because both teams have terrible secondaries. The Giants had the 29th ranked passing defense this season, and the Patriots were 31st. It’s hard for me to say either one is ‘better,’ but the Giants have stepped it up a bit this postseason.

    Edge: Giants, by default.

    Better Defense

    They both have terrible secondaries and mediocre linebackers. The clear advantage here is the Giants’ defensive line. When they can get pressure on the quarterback, it makes the entire defense better. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look no further than their dismantling of the Packers’ ‘prolific’ offense.

    The entire playoffs the Giants have really been getting pressure at the quarterback, and I look for more of the same against the Patriots.

    Edge: Giants, especially if they get solid pressure on Tom Brady.

    Better Receivers:

    The Patriots only have Wes Welker for notable players that are actually receivers. But anybody who’s watched them play this year has seen that they use their athletic tight ends to fill this void. Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski are both incredible talents and huge mismatches for any defense.

    The Giants have a trio of talented conventional wide receivers in Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham. Nicks led the NFL in receiving yards last year, and Cruz stepped up as an elite option this season.

    Gronkowski had a brutal ankle sprain in their last playoff game, and he remains questionable for the Super Bowl. Even if he plays, I feel like he will be seriously limited by this injury.

    Edge: Giants, because I’m assuming we won’t see the ‘Gronk’ we’re used to.

    Better Running Backs:

    This one is simple. The Giants have two running backs — Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs — that are better than anybody on the Patriots. The Patriots will find a way to get rushing yards, but based on talent alone, this one isn’t close.

    Edge: Giants, for their duo that’s more talented than any Patriot.

    Better Quarterback:

    This one is a lot less simple. Eli Manning was mocked earlier this season when he said to a reporter he thought he was an elite quarterback. Well, Eli shredded defenses all year, and managed to get his team back to the big game. He has shown he is no Peyton and always seems to step up in big moments.

    Tom Brady, on the other hand, is … Tom Brady. This is the fifth Super Bowl he’s led his team to, and even if they lose this game, he’ll always be discussed as one of the greatest ever. Not to mention, Brady is already a Hall of Famer in the professional athletes with hot wives category.

    Edge: Patriots, Eli has been fantastic, but not close to ‘greatest-ever.’

    Better Offense:

    The Giants have a pretty impressive offense, but they still aren’t in the same league as the Patriots. The Patriots have the better offensive line, and even though their running backs aren’t as talented, they always seem to find a way to run just well enough.
    Oh yeah, and they have the Golden Boy running their offense. Brady has been here before and won’t let his team down after struggling a bit in the AFC Championship game.

    Edge: Patriots, but closer than you may think.

    The Winner:

    Well, it looks like I gave the Giants the advantage in five out of these seven categories. A few of them were toss-ups, yes, but the Giants have a deceivingly talented roster.

    I think the Giants have the better all-around team and are really hot heading into the game. It seems like the team with the most momentum during the playoffs — regardless of their regular season record — always has success in the big game.

    I expect this rematch of Super Bowl XLII to come down to the wire just like it did four years ago.

    My Pick: Giants 27-24

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    Let me be Frank: Super Bowl preview