Blowin’ out the wind

The Buffalo News‘s Larry Felser thinks that a boring Super Bowl is likely, because the game has so often been a blowout. Problem is, over the last fourteen years, it hasn’t. The era of consistent blow-out Super Bowls ended, I think, with the 49ers’ 49-26 pasting of the San Diego Chargers in SB XXIX; in thirteen games since then, there have been only two Super Bowls that I would consider blowouts: SB XXXV (Ravens 34, Giants 7) and SB XXXVII (Buccaneers 48, Raiders 21).

Now, how do we define a blowout? I personally consider a game to be a blowout if the margin of victory is more than seventeen points — and sometimes, not even then. Basically a blowout occurs when the losing team is never really in the game, so a blowout doesn’t necessarily have to be a 55-10 laugher like the 49ers drubbing of the Broncos in SB XXIV. Some games feel like blowouts but kind of aren’t: Denver’s 34-19 win over Atlanta in SB XXXIII was a borderline blowout, and I remember thinking during SB XLI that the game was either the most lopsided close game in history, or the closest blowout in history. Final score that day was Colts 29, Bears 17, but after the first quarter was over — after Chicago ran back the opening kick for a TD and after Peyton Manning calmed down — the game never felt close again, and I remember the TV guys talking at halftime about what the Bears needed to do to “get back in the game”, when they were only down by two points.

Yes, the Super Bowl was usually a boring affair for a long time, but looking back over the history of the game, virtually all of the big blowouts came during the NFC’s long era of dominance from 1985 to 1997; that era really did see blowout after blowout, with final scores like 38-16, 46-10, 39-20, 42-10, 55-10, 52-17; but even then, some of the games considered now to be boring blowouts really weren’t, in my view: the Bills’ 30-13 loss to Dallas looks like a blowout, but it was a competitive game followed by a collapse, and Green Bay’s 35-21 win over New England wasn’t a blowout either, with the Patriots hanging in there a while before the better team pulled away late.

Anyway, I haven’t seen a truly boring Super Bowl since the afore-mentioned 49ers-Chargers game, and I see no reason to expect a laugher today, either.

(And I might not even watch the game, seeing as how I’m in the Pacific time zone right now which puts the game in the middle of the afternoon. That feels weird!)

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