Sunday, February 6, 2011

Obligatory Super Bowl Post

I don't wish to be a killjoy, but when people ask me who I think is going to win a pro football game I always answer that such prognostications are just guess-work and that I have no idea. Predictions amount to little more than a statement about which team a person thinks would win most often if the two teams played each other 10 times in a season. Trying to pick the winner of any particular game is futile given that many, perhaps even most, pro games are decided by four things, none of which have much to do with talent and coaching - turnovers, penalties, in-game injuries and biorhythms - and none of these are predictable.

I don't mean to suggest that talent and coaching are irrelevant, only that, unless the disparity between the two clubs is great, they're often of secondary importance in deciding the outcome of the game.

A team whose biorhythm is peaking will often clobber an equally talented team whose biorhythm is tanking. In fact, an inferior team at its biorhythmic peak will often defeat a more talented squad whose biorhythm is ebbing. That's why there are stunning upsets. That's why a team can lose badly to an opponent in one game and play them again later and beat them.

So tell me which team in today's Super Bowl will have significantly fewer turnovers, significantly fewer penalties, fewer injuries to key players, and a biorhythm on its upward swing, and I'll predict that that team will probably win. But who can tell those things?