The Eagles Fan’s Rooting Guide to Super Bowl XLVIII

The Eagles Fan’s Rooting Guide to Super Bowl XLVIII

By and large, football fans across the country are picking the Denver Broncos to defeat the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII. This is what I could gather from offhand conversations with friends and associates over the past two weeks as well as this super scientific poll on ESPN.com.

Two-thirds of the country apparently believes this is the Broncos’ Super Bowl to win, and it’s probably higher if we remove the opinions of people hailing from the states of Washington and Oregon—also Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island for some reason. Then again, who is going to win and who you’re rooting for is not necessarily the same thing.

Most of you have probably made up your mind by now as to who you’ll be pulling for in the big game, but that’s a mistake, a hugely horrible mistake without first consulting this handy guide.

That’s right, I’m going to tell you who you’re rooting for, and you’re going to like it.

Okay, not exactly. You can still choose your own rooting interest (though I’m going to advise Denver), but I’ve listed some very pertinent data below. Some of it may change your mind. Most of it will not. What’s important is that you consider all the necessary criteria before figuratively or literally putting on another team’s hat on Sunday night.

 

Root for the Seahawks because…

You want to use it as a reason to loathe the Eagles’ organization for not drafting Seattle safety Earl Thomas in 2010. Never mind the person that was most responsible for selecting Brandon Graham is in Kansas City. Never forget.

LeSean McCoy thinks Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno sucks.

You don’t want to see Denver cornerback Dominiqiue Rodgers-Cromartie pick up a ring. DRC has all the talent in the world, but he quit on the Eagles in 2012. Hard to respect a guy like that, and Philadelphia is very justified in rooting against him.

You’re a big Chris Clemons fan. Somebody out there has his Eagles No. 91 in their closet. Signed as a free agent in 2008, Clemons spent two seasons with the Birds, but for various reasons it didn’t work out, as the defensive end registered just seven sacks. He then posted three straight seasons with double-digit sacks for Seattle, although he finally seems to be slowing down with just 4.5 in 2013.

Broncos head coach John Fox was the Carolina Panthers's chief when they defeated the Eagles in the NFC Championship in 2003-04. Jerk.

Seattle fullback Michael Robinson. We are.

You like Richard Sherman. You should like Richard Sherman, even if you aren’t rooting for the Seahawks.

 

Root for the Broncos because…

You don’t like Richard Sherman. But there’s really no reason not to like Richard Sherman.

LeSean McCoy finds Richard Sherman annoying.

Legendary Eagles safety Brian Dawkins will be rooting for the Broncos. Dawk spent his last three seasons in the NFL in Denver, so naturally he’s pulling for the Mile High City. It’s as good a reason as any.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson will get too much of the credit for a Seahawks championship. That in turn would make him come out on top of Nick Foles in head-to-head comparisons, and nobody wants that! (Okay, I’m probably trolling a bit with that one.)

You’re a big Winston Justice fan. Somebody was probably holding out hope he’d develop into a great left tackle for Philadelphia, even after he let Donovan McNabb get sacked eighty-billion times in his first career start back in 2007. Justice was serviceable for the Birds for two seasons, but the former second-round pick was demoted and later traded for pennies on the dollar. He is only depth at this stage of his career.

Temple’s own Terrance Knighton, aka “Pot Roast,” plays defensive tackle for the Broncos.

You don’t want Eli Manning to own more Super Bowl rings than Peyton. I think this is the most compelling argument for Eagles fans because it’s the simplest. Anything that knocks the quarterback of the New York Giants down a peg can’t be a bad thing, otherwise whenever Eli is compared to Peyton throughout history, everybody will remark how much better big brother was, only to point out look who won more Super Bowls. The very thought should be revolting.

Best of NHL: Senators beat Blues, jump Flyers to take over 2nd wild card

Best of NHL: Senators beat Blues, jump Flyers to take over 2nd wild card

ST. LOUIS -- Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone each scored twice to lead the Ottawa Senators over the St. Louis Blues 6-4 on Tuesday night.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Bobby Ryan also scored for the Senators, who won their fourth straight at Scottrade Center for the first time in team history. Mike Condon made 19 saves.

Paul Stastny, Kevin Shattenkirk, Alexander Steen and Patrik Berglund scored for the Blues, who had their two-game winning streak snapped. Carter Hutton made 18 saves.

Stone's third goal in four games at the 2:35 mark of the third period was the winner. Exactly a minute after Steen tied it, Stone stole Jaden Schwartz's pass to score his 14th goal of the season, giving the Senators a 4-3 lead.

With the win, Ottawa is currently in possession of the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, leapfrogging the Flyers, who are idle this week (see full recap).

Stars hold on for 7-6 win over Rangers
NEW YORK -- The Dallas Stars gave up an early goal for the third straight game. However, this time they quickly bounced back, took two big leads and held on for a win.

Patrick Sharp scored twice, Jamie Benn and Patrick Eaves had a goal and two assists each and the Stars got a wild 7-6 victory over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.

Dallas fell behind just 27 seconds in as Derek Stepan scored on the Rangers' first shot. On Monday, the Stars gave up a goal 19 seconds into a 4-1 loss at Buffalo, and Minnesota scored 1:19 into a 5-4 win at Dallas on Saturday night.

In this one, the Stars rallied and led 4-1 and 7-3 before pulling out their third win in nine games (3-5-1) (see full recap).

Dubinsky scores twice as Jackets beat 'Canes
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Brandon Dubinsky hadn't scored a goal since Dec. 9 at Detroit, a 17-game stretch during which he had chances but couldn't find the back of the net. The drought ended Tuesday night, maybe helping Columbus end a team-wide lull in the process.

Dubinsky scored in the second and third periods, Boone Jenner had a goal and an assist and the Blue Jackets beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1.

The Blue Jackets got their third win in seven games since ending a 16-game winning streak and pulled even with Washington atop the unforgiving Metropolitan Division.

"We wanted to reset for sure," Dubinsky said. "We haven't played that well, obviously, in the last six or so games. We wanted to get back to the way we play,” (see full recap).

Matthews caps 3-goal burst, Leafs top Sabres
TORONTO -- Auston Matthews, Leo Komarov and Matt Martin each scored in a nine-minute span in the second period and the Toronto Maple Leafs rallied to beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 on Tuesday night for their 10th win in 13 games.

Toronto came back after trailing 2-0 through 20 minutes, getting its first victory this season when behind after one period (1-8-1).

It wasn't all rosy for the Leafs, though. Top defenseman Morgan Rielly left after the first period with a lower-body injury.

Frederik Andersen made 24 saves for Toronto, and James van Riemsdyk also scored.

Kyle Okposo, Evander Kane and William Carrier each scored for Buffalo. Robin Lehner and Anders Nilsson allowed four goals combined on 32 shots (see full recap).

Best of NBA: DeRozan scores 36 as Raptors down Nets, 119-109

Best of NBA: DeRozan scores 36 as Raptors down Nets, 119-109

NEW YORK -- DeMar DeRozan had 36 points and 11 rebounds, Cory Joseph scored a career-high 33 and the Toronto Raptors beat the free-falling Brooklyn Nets 119-109 on Tuesday night.

Toronto won its fourth straight game and extended Brooklyn's losing streak to 11 in a row. The Nets have not won since Dec. 26.

Terrence Ross added 15 points for the Raptors, who opened the game with an 11-0 run but fell behind after the first quarter.

Brook Lopez had 28 points for the Nets. Caris LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 14 apiece.

Toronto took a 92-85 lead into the fourth quarter and never looked back. DeRozan led the way with 10 points in the third period, equaling LeVert's total in the quarter.

Lopez and Joseph each scored 14 in the second (see full story).

Mavericks edge Bulls, 99-98, for 3rd straight win on late Matthews' 3
CHICAGO -- Wesley Matthews made a go-ahead 3-pointer from the wing with 12 seconds left, and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Chicago Bulls 99-98 on Tuesday night for their first three-game winning streak of the season.

Six players scored in double figures for the Mavericks, including all five starters. Harrison Barnes had 20 points, Seth Curry added 18 and Dirk Nowitzki finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Dallas trailed 98-96 after Jimmy Butler made a long jumper over Matthews with 23 seconds left, but Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle decided against a timeout and Deron Williams drove into the lane before kicking out to Matthews for the 3.

Chicago had one last chance, but Dwyane Wade missed a potential game-winning jumper from the corner on his 35th birthday as time expired (see full story).

Dragic scores 21 and Heat stun Rockets, 109-103, despite Harden's triple-double
MIAMI -- Goran Dragic had 21 points and eight assists, Wayne Ellington scored 18 off the bench and the Miami Heat overcame another triple-double from James Harden to beat the Houston Rockets 109-103 on Tuesday night.

Dion Waiters scored 17, Tyler Johnson had 16 and James Johnson added 15 for the Heat. Hassan Whiteside finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds.

Harden had 40 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for the Rockets (32-12), his 13th triple-double of the season. He shot 12 for 30 from the field and got his triple-double with an assist to Montrezl Harrell with 12.6 seconds left, an uncontested dunk with the Heat simply waiting for the clock to run out.

Harrell had 13 points for the Rockets, who got 12 from Patrick Beverley.

There were 19 ties and 15 lead changes in a game that was back-and-forth for 42 minutes, before the Heat finally took control (see full story).

Leonard's 34 points rally Spurs past Timberwolves, 122-114
SAN ANTONIO -- Kawhi Leonard had 34 points and the San Antonio Spurs overcame a strong start by the Minnesota Timberwolves for a 122-114 victory Tuesday night.

Leonard's fourth straight 30-point game helped him become the first San Antonio player to score 950 points in the season's first half since Tim Duncan in 2003.

Coming off a career-high 38 on Saturday against Phoenix in Mexico City, Leonard was 12 for 17 from the field.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 29 points on 12-for-20 shooting, spoiling Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau's 59th birthday.

San Antonio had difficulty with Minnesota's explosive starting lineup. Karl-Anthony Towns had 27 points and 16 rebounds, and Ricky Rubio added 21 points and 14 assists. Zach LaVine scored 18, Gorgui Dieng had 17 and Andrew Wiggins 10 (see full story).