It’s expensive to throw a Super Bowl party. Snacks, beer, sheets of graph paper for that awful squares game, homemade turducken, etc. It’s not expensive to just drink alone while simulating the game on whatifsports.com, read the box score, and pretend that’s what actually happened.
And since the overarching themes of Hamsterdam so far appear to be living in fantasy worlds and drinking alone, that’s what we’re going to do. So pardon me while I crack my second Simpler Times of this paragraph, it’s time to do some serious football simulating.
We’ll simulate each Super Bowl contestant against a common opponent, and compare the margins of victory (or defeat) to predict who will win the actual big game. This is, of course, science. We’ll also throw in a few prop bets for those of you with a serious gambling problem (Google Analytics tells us that is 100% of our non-mother readers). This week’s opponent is the 2007 Patriots, a team that needs no introduction but they would LOVE to give you one anyway.
The ‘07 Patriots are widely regarded as the most efficient offensive and arrogance machine in modern NFL history, with mind-bottling passing and hubris statistics. When they weren’t setting numerous NFL records including passing touchdowns, points scored, and many others, the Patriots busied themselves with cheating, running up the score on hapless franchises, and generally acting like dicks.
I don’t want this all to sound like sour grapes or anti-Patriots vitriol. Because those Patriots were fucking awesome. They were really good at football, and they knew it, and then every Sunday they decided to remind you just how goddamn good at football they were. They ultimately failed to become the first team with no mustaches to go undefeated for a full season by losing to the New York Giants in a stunning Super Bowl upset, one of the biggest in history.
(Before we get to the simulations, we’ll pause here for Ripatranzone to give himself a high-five.)
This is actually what it looked like. Ripatranzone is a male Liz Lemon, and he’ll take that as a compliment.
2007 New England Patriots 31, 2010 Green Bay Packers 7 (-24)
The Patriots took a 13-7 lead into halftime, then a scoreless third quarter was followed by an offensive explosion. The Patriots scored twice on the ground in the final quarter, completing their undefeated season despite a mediocre line from Tom Brady (12-23, 152 yards, 1 TD). The Patriots defense was the story here, intercepting Aaron Rodgers three times and mimicking his spazzy little championship belt dance at least twelve times (you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Vince Wilfork do a championship belt dance, or at least imagined it). If you had Andrew Quarless as the first Packer to score a touchdown at 14:1, you won! I hope you put a lot on it, turn that Simpler Times into Dom Perignon.
This dance is way, way worse than videotaping opponents’ practices.
2010 Pittsburgh Steelers 19, 2007 New England Patriots 16 (+3)
I don’t really know where to start on this one. I guess with Charlie Batch leading the first Steelers touchdown drive in the 2nd quarter. No details are offered, but I have to assume Ben was nursing a sore throwing shoulder on the sideline? Or maybe he was busy raping Tom Brady because clearly something was wrong: only 19 of 30 for 240 yards and 1 interception. With just under a minute left in the game, the Patriots kicked a field goal to tie it at 16, before a furious Roethlisberger drive set up a game-winning, buzzer-beater field goal (!!) from Shaun Suisham (!!!!!!) from 53 yards away (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). And hopefully you took Mike Wallace at 8:1 for Super Bowl MVP.
So that wraps up the playoffs for us here at Hamsterdam’s Presumptive Football Reviews. Thanks for reading this garbage and another tip of the hat to Carson Cistulli of fangraphs.com, who, as far as I can tell, basically invented this genre of “sportswriting” last fall. Remember kids, don’t drink and gamble. Actually, never drink, what are you, like twelve? And never gamble, put that money in a Roth IRA or something. Christ.