>>> Balls to the Wall
By staff writer Dan Opp
February 1, 2006

After a six-week hiatus that included a college graduation, a company generous enough to hire me, and a subsequent move to Connecticut, I’m back with a vengeance. Just when you thought you’d gotten rid of me for good, I return with a greater sense of permanency and a hopefully more tolerable temperament. Now that I’m done comparing myself to a herpes outbreak, I’d also like to mention that I plan on getting even more pussy than before. The ambiguity of that sentence is downright magical.

Anyway, onto the article.

Unless you’ve been living in a hole that for some reason has internet access and allows you to see this website and nothing else, you already know full well that the Super Bowl is this coming Sunday. The Super Bowl is far and away the world’s biggest sporting event that Americans care about and, in the tradition of American greed, countless millions could be better spent on—oh, I don’t know—ANYTHING, will be wagered on a game of football. So, in an effort to combat this reckless disregard for wealth, I’ll be wagering less money than most.

Fortune 500 CEOs!! Up high!!!

“After all the controversy kicked up over a single boob, I expect gains in momentum to be the only televised snowballing at the Super Bowl for quite some time.”

To make this a little more interesting, I’ll be pitting myself against one of the most consistent gamblers in history: a quarter. Anyone who’s been following along to my playoff picks (posted in the comment box of Nate’s blog) will realize that this will sadly be a challenge for me. All lines were taken from Monday night’s lines on the greatest sports betting website ever created: VIPsports.com. This shameless plug is absolutely unrelated to the fact that they’re a PIC sponsor.

The Spread

Pittsburgh is a 4 point favorite over Seattle. To translate for those new to sports betting, Pittsburgh has to win by more than 4 to beat the spread. Seattle has to win outright or lose by fewer than 4. I totally understand why everyone’s in love with the Steelers all of a sudden, but I think the Steelers’ accomplishments have caused many people to overlook the Seahawks. Nearly everyone, myself included, loved Carolina until the NFC Championship, when Seattle ripped them limb from limb in a manner reminiscent of the chicken that goes into every Slim Jim, mechanically separated. (Seriously, if there’s ever a contest for “best ingredient of all time,” mechanically separated chicken would have to be a finalist at the very least.)

Pittsburgh is the first team to ever beat the top 3 seeds on their way to the Super Bowl. Seattle has the most potent offense in the league. Troy Polamalu blah blah blah. Shaun Alexander yadda yadda yadda and so on. I’m convinced that if you just throw in enough terminology and statistics, you can sound reasonably intelligent justifying almost any pick, unleth you have a lithp. Tho I’ll thkip the bullthit and take the Theahawkth.

My Pick: Seattle, getting 4

Employing the complex algorithm of Heads: Steelers, Tails: Seahawks, the quarter takes the Steelers.

Quarter’s Pick: Pittsburgh, giving 4

The Over/Under

The over/under is set at 47, meaning that you are betting on whether the combined score for both teams at the game’s end will be higher or lower than 47. The Seahawks and Steelers have two of the best offenses in the NFL, averaging a combined 53 points per game including the playoffs. Both teams also boast two of the stingiest defenses in the league, giving up fewer than 33 points a contest combined. Judging strictly by these numbers, the under would seem to be an easy pick. However, when a Super Bowl gets out of hand, it gets WAY out of hand. Momentum snowballs rapidly on the world’s grandest stage. After all the controversy that was kicked up over a single boob, I expect gains in momentum to be the only televised snowballing at the Super Bowl for quite some time.

My Pick: Over 47

Heads: Over, Tails: Under.

Quarter’s Pick: Under 47

The Coin Toss

In any normal circumstance, it would be absurd to provide analysis for a coin toss pick. The difference here is that, although Seattle will be making the call, the venerable Jerome Bettis will be at the 50-yard line to potentially screw it up for Pittsburgh. Maybe Seattle will defer to Bettis so he can call “Hays” again. You never know.

My Pick: Seahawks

The quarter would like to use this space to remind you of his favorite pickup line: “If I flip this quarter, what are the chances that I get head?” Unfortunately for anyone who uses this line, the answer is somewhere around zero percent.

Heads: Steelers, Tails: Seahawks.

Quarter’s Pick: Seahawks

Shaun Alexander scored 28 of the 102, or better than 1 in every 4, touchdowns these teams put up during the regular season. VIPsports is giving 6 to 1 odds that Alexander will score the first touchdown. While I may not have instilled your confidence in my sports acumen by competing against currency, you should at least seriously look into heeding the following advice. Go to your local bank. Withdraw everything you own. Bet it on Shaun Alexander to score the first TD.