Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bob Lobel: The Road to the Super Bowl Begins Saturday

By Bob Lobel  @boblobel

Sometime tomorrow we will be eager to learn something that has no relevance to anything.

Yet, for some bizarre reason we talk, argue, moralize and preach the merits of who does or doesn’t deserve to get into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Easier to get into heaven than the Hall of Fame.

Actually, getting into heaven seems to be a more rational and widely understood process than the one that gets former players into Cooperstown. The process is so screwed up, through the fault of no one but father time, that the board of directors, and they have the power, need to revamp the qualifications and voter eligibility to make this a more sane and deserving process.  

It’s up to them. Do it. Make it right.

It’s too big a deal in our sporting consciousness to leave it to the flawed system that now exists. And we are just at the tip of the PED iceberg. I cannot and will not preach as to who should or should not be there. I will only say I’m for inclusion over exclusion. It’s a simple concept. I am not the keeper of the game. The best players get in. Is that too difficult a concept? 

Not for me, but I only can sit back and bitch and moan when I think people have been screwed by the moral blanket some voters use to justify stupid things they do. 

Now, on to Foxboro, and back to the future. Here again, Lord Almighty, here again. So many players have been beaten up this year that by the time they play 16 games and begin the post tournament, there is not much left. Just a few elite, over-protected quarterbacks seem to be left standing.

That and the Patriots’ running game. Remember the sacred words of reverend Belichick. One week’s performance and outcome have nothing to do with the week before or the week after. All games are independent moments like blank canvases to be filled.  What I’m trying to say, nicely, is what the Colts did last week has nothing to do with this Saturday night, except getting them there.  

It’s why the wiseguys have us as 7-plus-point favorites. Seems like a lot to us, but for the most part they are uncanny in what they put out there. Since we think Peyton Manning in Denver can win when it’s below 40 degrees, rest assured that weather in both places, here and Denver, should be a relatively comfortable 40+. 

Let the games begin with the players that are left standing. I am on record, whatever that means, saying the Patriots are going to New Jersey and winning their fourth Super Bowl. The NFL is going to add another playoff wild card team next year, meaning they are getting much closer to the National Hockey League than they know.  

It’s more difficult to not make the NHL playoffs than to get in. Soon the NFL will own that. By the way, it was twenty years ago that I had to cover (Because no one else was available) the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan fiasco. 

I hated that story. First of all I know nothing about figure skating. No one was available to provide any information and I had to stand outside in freezing Detroit weather and give individual reports to 30 some stations around the country about something I knew nothing about.

Just shoot me, please. 

Compare that with our two week coverage of the 1983 America’s Cup in Newport, which I loved doing, but also knew nothing about. Now that was an assignment.

By the way, if you have seen any recent interviews (ESPN this week) with Tonya Harding, remind her to have a salad now and them. The role of Honey Boo Boo’s mom has been filled, unless Tonya’s posse wants to whack her. 

The holidays are over, people are unhappily back to work and the traffic is worse than ever. It brings out the worst in me too!

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