As I drove home yesterday, I could feel something stirring inside of me. You know the feeling – sweaty palms, nervous stomach, unfocused energy. It took me a few seconds to realize that I was in this practically giddy state because the Super Bowl was mere days away.
I don’t have any dogs in the fight (my team is the Chicago Bears), but I still can’t help but get excited come Super Bowl time. And though it’s entirely unrelated to the blog, I felt a desire to do a little Super Bowl preview post here on Beneath the Tangles, along with help from a few blogging buddies. So come join us as we talk about the greatest quarterback of all time, build a better (anime) halftime show, and give our picks for the big game!
GOAT (The Greatest of All Time)
One major storyline in the weeks leading up to the game is how it’ll effect the legacy of each starting quarterback. If Eli Manning wins, he’ll start being mentioned favorably alongside of his brother, and in the opinion of many (this writer included), will all but secure his place in Canton. Tom Brady, on the other hand, will be going for an even bigger crown with the win – that of the greatest quarterback to have ever played.
But going into Sunday’s game, who is it that currently holds that distinction? Emily of the wonderful blog, The Untold Story of Altair and Vega, and Tommy of the dynamic blog, Anime Bowl, which discusses almost as much football as anime, were gracious enough to join me:
Tommy’s Pick: Bart Starr
I know I’m biased being a Packers fan and all, but he is the only quarterback to win 5 NFL championships, and he did it in a 7-year span. Starr has the highest quarterback rating in playoff history among retired quarterbacks, and his statistics came in an era when passing was not nearly as prolific as it is today.
TWWK’s Pick: Joe Montana
I wanted to say my pick was easy – I grew up idolizing Cool Joe. The first game I ever watched was the come-from-behind victory he engineered against the Bengals in the Super Bowl. And the case for Montana is more than compelling: he was incredibly accurate and retired as the top rated quarterback in history. In fact, no other QB was close in rating when he retired; since then, a pass-happy league has developed, leading to overvalued passing statistics.
But more than statistics (and Montana’s still remain among the best), the reason why Montana is number one relates to his moniker. “Cool Joe” is the best playoff quarterback ever. He’s tied with Brady for most playoff wins and was able to win ugly (Remember “The Catch”? It was a poor game for Montana until that miracle of a play.) and pretty (55-10. Enough said.), close games and blowouts. Only he and the much-lesser quarterback, Terry Bradshaw, have four Super Bowl rings. But it’s not just the number – it’s how he did it. Montana’s QB rating was over 100 in each of the four games and he won three Super Bowl MVP trophies (another record). Oh, and all without tossing a single interception. Ridiculous.
However, if the Patriots wins this weekend, I might hesitantly change my position – Tom Brady would have the stats and four rings – but Joe will always be the greater player in the big games.
Emily’s Pick: Johnny Unitas
I agree with Charles’. It’s hard to argue against someone who played at such a consistently brilliant level that not only did he win four Super Bowls, but threw interceptions in none of them. As an aside, it’s also consistency that pushes Tom Brady (who Charles also spoke of) into the conversation; 358 consecutive passing attempts without an interception is certainly not something I ever thought that I would see, but Brady did it.
In spite of not arguing against Charles’s pick, I’m going to go a different route and pick a quarterback who is usually in everyone’s top ten lists, but never seems to make that top spot: Johnny Unitas.
Unitas’s career began with a bit of a rocky start; his first professional pass was returned for a touchdown and he fumbled the ball on his second play. He would later end the season with a rookie record in completion rating. The rest of his story, as they say, is history. His most astounding record is 47 games with at least one touchdown pass; a record that has yet to be broken.
However, the reason my vote is for Unitas is not because of the statistics or any records that he left behind, but because of the way he changed the game. Playing in a time when quarterbacks went down far more regularly than they do today, Unitas tore through the NFL with his attack-style passing offense. Without him, we wouldn’t have the airshows we see today with Brady and Brees. In the end, I’m someone who loves a passing offense, so I suppose my opinion is a bit biased, but I’m sticking with it: Johnny Unitas, innovator of the passing game.
Super Bowl Halftime Festivities
Much has been made this past week about how Madonna, once the bad girl of entertainment, was a safe pick for halftime at the Super Bowl. We’ll see. But more importantly, I feel that she’s a boring pick. Besides a few recent headliners, I haven’t been entertained much by the halftime show – I don’t think this year will be any different. Instead, may I submit to the Super Bowl my suggestion for next year’s halftime show:
TWWK’s Selection: Girls Dead Monster
That’s right! Everyone’s favorite afterlife group would be perfect for the Super Bowl. Think of marketing – GirlDeMo crosses between cultures, countries, and even life and death! Want to have more women watch the Super Bowl? GirlDeMo is your answer. Plus, unlike with Van Halen, this is one band in which having two singers helps – the grittiness and talent of Iwasawa could switch off with the hyperness of Yui.
The band would open with “Day Game,” an energetic romp with lyrics suited for a sporting event and short instances of group vocals tailor made for choreographed sequences involving hundreds of young people. Follow that up with a favorite in “Alchemy” and then the ripping guitars of “Hot Meal.” The show will conclude with another favorite, “Crow Song.” Before we know it, the band has disappeared (for good?!) and we’re left wanting more music than football.
I’ll take that over Madonna any (given) Sunday.
Ace Railgun’s Selection: Persona Halftime Extravaganza
Ace Railgun, a relatively new aniblogger whose site of the same name I closely follow, offers up suggestions for a different type of halftime show:
If I had the power to create the halftime show for the Superbowl it would surely be one hell of a show and it would probably also freak out half the crowd simply because anime would be a very foreign concept to them. On the plus side I have picked something with is readily available in most western countries so it should have quite a decent following by this stage. Persona, to keep the anime trend I would start with Persona 4 The Animation. Both Skys the limit (First intro) and Beauty of destiny (First ending) would be great live. I believe once these songs were finished it’s totally okay to jump into the vocal tracks from the games. I would then have them perform Mass destruction from Persona 3 and Reach out to the truth from Persona 4. I’d make sure to get all the original performers/composers together for this project so that would include Shōji Meguro, Lotus Juice and Yumi Kawamura amoung others.
Tommy’s Selection: Mari Iijima
Tommy’s selection is simple and sweet, as he seems to prefer a more subdued affair:
Mari Iijima of Macross fame. She’d start with some of her newer songs, Echo, Can I Be Your Lover and Unrequited, before finishing with Do You Remember Love.
Krizzlybear’s Selection: Celebration J-Pop: Collaborations Galore!
Last, but certainly not least, Krizzlybear, the talented blogger behind Baka Laureate, offers this great idea for a show:
To imagine and plan out a Superbowl performance around the artists and performers of anime, manga, and J-Pop, is to be a kid at an otaku candy store. When I think halftime show, I always think of live collaborations between talented pop artists, medleys, and unique song covers. In my vision of an Otaku halftime show, I see a giant medley of different female vocalists covering each other’s songs, concluded by a supergroup-style performance. The setlist would be a medley of TV-sized versions of the following songs:
1) Lia’s Tori no Uta (AIR Opening), performed by LiSA
2) LiSA’s Oath Sign (Fate/Zero Opening), performed by Elisa
3) Elisa’s Euphoric Field (Ef – A Tale of Memories Opening), performed by Lia
4) Lia and Elisa’s A Whole New World God Only Knows (The World God Only Knows S2 Opening), performed by LiSA and Marina
5) Kalafina’s Magia (Madoka Magica Ending), performed by LiSA, Lia, and Elisa
The New England Patriots and New York Giants each go for their 4th Super Bowl victory in what should be a matchup for the ages. Tom Brady threw for the 2nd-most yards in NFL history this season, and the Patriots’ defense has mightily improved in the postseason. But the Giants are on fire in very similar fashion to last year’s Super Bowl champions, the Green Bay Packers. Look for Eli Manning to continue his torrid run through the playoffs and claim Super Bowl MVP, as the Giants become the first ever 9-7 team to win the Super Bowl.
Giants 27, Patriots 23
My thoughts are that the team with the most momentum going into the Super Bowl is usually the team that wins, so I think that the Giants will win, although it’s my fervent wish that they don’t. In addition to being from the Boston area (although the Patriots are not “my team”) I dislike Eli Manning very strongly.
Giants 27, Patriots 24
Everything, including my heart, seems to be skewing toward the Giants. And rightly so – despite the discrepancy in records, the Patriots simply aren’t as talented as New York. But their offense is certainly high-powered, and Brady’ll come out looking to show that his down game against Baltimore was a fluke. I see the Patriots going up early, perhaps as much as 17-3. But the Giants will chip away behind Eli and that terrific group of receivers, while I also expect Ahmad Bradshaw to play well. The Giants defense will overcome the initial charge of the Patriots offense, and New York will pull it out in another thriller.
Giants 24, Patriots 23
All three of us picking the Giants with similar final scores must mean something, right? What are your predictions for the game? What do you think the final score will be?
Whatever the outcome Sunday, I just hope we’ll have a terrific game likes most of those in the last few years. Have fun!
Note: Special thanks to Emily, Tommy, Krizzlybear, and Ace Railgun for helping out today. Check out some of my favorite recent posts by these wonderful bloggers on their sites:
- Unmasking Mamoru Chiba: A Character Study [The Untold Story of Altair and Vega]
- Death…. Of a Blog [Ace Railgun]
- A Culture of Hate [Anime Bowl]
- Meedley Meedley Meedley MEEEEE!!! Guitar Solos in 2011 Anime Songs [Baka Laureate]