Back when the 2002 season started, Steve and I discussed the prospect of the Buccaneers playing the Raiders in the Super Bowl. You see, that was the season that Jon Gruden was traded to the Bucs. Both teams were pretty talented going into the season, but if the teams played each other in the Super Bowl, that would just be a little too perfect, right?
This led to a comparison of the NFL to professional wrestling. We envisioned a world where games were organized to advance story lines. Eventually, teams would develop their own persona, like Jacksonville becoming the Tehran Jaguars and becoming the most hated team in the league. Games would be interrupted by third teams running on to the field with folding chairs. Referees would be distracted and easily influenced. It was a pretty funny conversation that I can’t really portray accurately 10 years after the fact.
Then, the Buccaneers and Raiders played each other in the Super Bowl, and all the jokes freakin‘ stopped. Was the NFL fixed? Why do I bring this up this year? When the Harbaugh brothers are squaring off as head coaches in this year’s Super Bowl? Hmm… What could I be implying?
Ok, all right, I don’t believe that the NFL is actually fixed. But I still hate this Super Bowl, because of the built in story lines outside of the games. I would rather focus on good games between good teams (which I will later in the week).
Just to be on the safe side, though, I’m picking the Tehran Jaguars to reach the Super Bowl next year.