• By Josh Flagner

    When I first thought about doing a running diary for Super Bowl XLVI, I sort of figured I’d give up on the idea in favor of getting silly drunk with my friends. I mean, how many Super Bowls have I watched since I was of legal drinking age and been able to concentrate enough to put together a coherent sentence by the start of the fourth quarter? The answer is a resounding I don’t remember. But I needed to file something for More Than a Fan early this week and certainly wasn’t going to be in any kind of mood Monday after staying up late tonight to watch the season premiere of The Voice after the Super Bowl, so here I am.

    I won’t be time stamping the entries, and there’s a chance I might miss something, after all, it’s still 15 minutes to kickoff and I’m opening my third beer. Speaking of 15 minutes to kickoff, holy six hours of pregame, NBC. There’s more fluff in this pregame show than there is behind the scenes of an… Wait. It’s too early to make that joke. Maybe later.

    I picked the New England Patriots to beat the New York Giants by a score of 31-24. Let’s see how I do.

    **

    Still pregame. I can’t wait to see The Helmet Catch again. I’m not even a Patriots fan and that damn video is starting to give me heart burn.

    **

    It’s not a Super Bowl without a Tim Misny commercial here in Cleveland.

    **

    Here’s Faith Hill doing a Hank Williams, Jr. imitation. I’m sure Ryan Isley is ruining a shirt drooling, but I have to disagree with sparkly silver floods. Not even Faith can make those look good.

    **

    Hey, shut up for the National Anthem. You don’t have to like Kelly Clarkson, Barack Obama, either of the Bushes, or the two-party system, but you wouldn’t have that 60” TV you’re watching the game on if it wasn’t for the men and women that honor that song and what it stands for. Now, bring on the commercials!

    **

    Someone buy me tickets to The Dictator.

    **

    Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth are setting the bar for obvious analysis high early tonight. I wonder how long they can last before someone is forced to state an original thought. Sure, I can’t do any better, but I’d sure appreciate the paycheck more.

    **

    KICKOFF!  Eli Manning finds Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks early, but the Giants offensive line gives up two sacks on the way to a Giants punt. Not even a vampire killing Audi commercial could make the first segment of the Super Bowl unpredictable. Let’s see what New England can do.

    **

    SAFETY! That’s the right call, but I’m surprised that the referee threw the flag. Terrible start to the game for the Patriots as every fan in the country is waiting for a two point game.

    **

    Dear Pepsi,

    If you’re going to put someone in a commercial with Elton John, try finding someone the public can pick out of a lineup. Flava Flav was a nice touch, though. I wonder if Flav has any more exes that Shaq can date.

    **

    The Patriots secondary is a mess. A 12-man penalty nullifies a huge strip and recovery. Two plays later, Manning floated a short pass to Cruz for a touchdown against a defense designed specifically to stop the play the Giants ran. My pick is looking rough; I think I need to grab beer #4.

    **

    Bill Belichick is talking on the sideline phone. He’s probably ordering a new hoodie. Grey, no sleeves, slightly faded. Thanks NFLSHOP.com.

    **

    Writing a game diary is harder than I envisioned it would be. I wonder if I should… Deion Branch sighting! Branch makes a big catch for a first down, the most throw back MVP bet is officially alive!

    **

    End of the first quarter: I’ve seen two funny commercials, a dumb play from Tom Brady, and the Giants are looking good. Brady and the Pats are heating up; maybe I opened this beer sooner than I should have. Naw.

    **

    When is Go Daddy going to realize that nobody cares about their ads? They aren’t funny or racy, they’re just over-rated women talking about boobs. Go Daddy might as well just put leather jackets on those hens from The View.

    **

    We’re back to a one score game. Giants are up 9-3 after Gostkowski chips in a short field goal. I mean, does anyone really want game analysis? I should just be making jokes, right?

    **

    Jason Pierre-Paul inspires a song called Down with J.P.P.? I will never figure out why network execs force us to listen to crappy halftime shows in the name of decency then turn around and pay homage to Down with O.P.P. I thought Google was pretty easy to use.

    **

    Vince Wilfork’s helmet just came off during a play and I don’t think anyone could tell. He’s got a lucrative post playing day career as a wrecking ball for hire.

    **

    Patriots defense forces the Giants to punt. I spent the whole drive trying to read my twitter timeline. You people are relentless, I can’t keep up. (I can, actually, I’m just stalling so I don’t have to watch this David Beckham underwear commercial.)

    **

    Tom Brady just threw another pass into J.P.P.’s hands. I know the Giants defensive line is really good at knocking down passes, but Brady is supposed to be good. Right? And now Wes Welker runs a route in front of the sticks. What is going on with New England? At least Chad Ochocinco got on the field.

    **

    Giants are driving again. I’m going to go make a taco. You can live without me for a few minutes.

    **

    I’m still eating, but I can’t help but think that if the Patriots score, or even go into half time only down six, it’s got to be bad news for New York. The Giants have dominated, but the Patriots are staying close and will get the ball back to start the half.

    **

    Smallest guy on the field, representing the smallest college in the game, scores the go ahead touchdown. Way to go Danny Woodhead. Let’s see Woodhead for MVP chants!

    **

    My second half prediction is that New England scores on the first drive of the second half and starts a third and fourth quarter shootout. I really think that going into halftime behind after dominating the Patriots is a terrible omen for New York.

    **

    I’m an unembarrassed fan of LMFAO. You had me at “I work out”, NBC. And Cee-Lo? I’m in. This is the most relevant halftime show in years. I never thought I’d be thinking this. Wow.

    Not the most relevant, ever, but much better than the Black Eyed Peas.

    **

    CHAD OCHOCINCO! But really, that New England offensive line is handling the New York pass rush. And now BenJarvis Green Smith McDonald Griffin Bundy Dunphy Ellis breaks a big run. This is looking like the start of some Patriots revenge.

    **

    BenJarvis Green Trump Romney Gingrich Obama Bachmann Ellis picks up a big first down. I can do this all night, folks.

    **

    Aaron Hernandez gets open and Brady finds him to put the Patriots up two scores to start the third quarter. That’s 175 yards and 14 points in the Patriots last two drives. New England stops the Giants on this drive and it’s over.

    I’m also starting to regret those 16 tacos. I think beer #6 (did I forget to tell you about #5? Oops.) will help with my untimely regret. I can’t afford to be sick, I’ve got a football game to watch.

    **

    I just looked in the fridge. I’m on #7. I knew that.

    **

    Holy mother of hard hits, Batman! Patrick Chung just knocked Hakeem Nicks to the sidelines. That was a huge play by the New England secondary. That’ll be the only time I say that tonight.

    **

    Until Sterling Moore makes a big hit on Mario Manningham to force a Giants field goal. Nicks was back on the field for that play. The Patriots defense coming alive is the last thing the Giants need. And, oh look, John Stamos is in a commercial. Because normal guys aren’t having a hard enough time finding women.

    **

    If this diary only accomplishes one thing, I’d like it to be someone telling Apollo Anton-Ohno that having a soul patch is like… well… having a freaking soul patch. Shave that thing, Apollo, you look stupid.

    **

    That’s a big stop by the Giants to get the ball back before the fourth quarter starts. New York has a great shot at taking the lead after that punt. Patriots offense let me down a little bit there.

    **

    The Patriots secondary covers the Giants receivers long enough for the pass rush to get to Eli and force a Giants field goal. That was a long drive that really should have resulted in more than three points. This game is going to be a nail biter going into the fourth quarter.

    **

    BenJarvis Green Aikman Brown Martin Carter Lombardi Elway Sanders Sanders (Barry and Deion) Montana Payton Ellis with an eight yard run to close out the third quarter. Patriots with the ball heading into Hall of Fame time, someone is cementing a legacy in the next 15 minutes. I’m just hoping to make it to beer #8 and the The Voice.

    **

    Brady pulls a Manning and heaves the ball to Gronkowski. Brady underthrew the ball there, but you can’t be mad about the decision. Brady has to ride Gronk there, it just didn’t work out.

    **

    Jake Ballard going down is huge for the Giants. The new question can be whether the offense can work without a tight end since Beckham is already out for the night. So far on this drive, Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham are making big catches. Things are looking very bright for that Patriots defense.

    **

    Giants offensive organization looks almost as bad as the Patriots secondary. Eli burns a second time out saving delay of game penalties. And now a New York false start backs them up even more. The Giants bog down and we watch Jake Ballard get carried off the field. There have been as many momentum changes as I’ve had beers. I’m due for at least one more.

    **

    Tom Brady put in his application to get his man card back by making a block on a reverse to Wes Welker. The Council of Men is still deciding how many blocks it will take to offset a commercial for Uggs.

    **

    Brady and the Patriots are executing well and running out the clock. Remember the Giants only have one time out left. Well, the Patriots were executing well until Welker dropped a pass on second down and Branch couldn’t haul one in on third. Here we go.

    **

    HUGE play by Mario Manningham. And a bad challenge by Belichick costs New England a time out and the chance to get something right in the next minute and a half if the subject comes up.

    **

    New York gets into field goal range on another big play by Manningham. Collinsworth just dropped a Scott Norwood reference. Sorry Buffalo.

    **

    How crazy. The Giants are going to win this game riding on the Eli Manning’s arm. I bet Ryan is running around his house popping his Manning jersey at everybody. Truth is, a one score, low scoring game is completely opposite what we were both thinking. It’s looking like Ryan was less wrong than me.

    **

    Wow. The Patriots let Bradshaw score the touchdown and he doesn’t take a knee at the one. The Patriots will have 50 seconds and one timeout to win the Super Bowl. My twitter feed is going absolutely nuts right now. I had to shut it down for a few minutes.

    **

    Suspense.

    **

    Two drops in a row, the Patriots receivers are going Cleveland on Tom Brady. And then Brady takes a sack from Justin Tuck. Fourth and 16, 39 seconds, and no time outs.

    **

    First down! Branch makes the catch and gets out of bounds. After a 12-man penalty, Patriots get the ball at midfield to try a hail mary. Holy crap.

    **

    Congratulations to the New York Giants. I’ll be petitioning the NFL to allow the Giants and Patriots to play every Super Bowl until Brady or Manning retires. That’s it for me, folks. Eight beers, 2,100 words, and a new Super Bowl champion is all I can give you tonight.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to be sober by the time The Voice starts.

    Have NFL questions?  Want to argue with me?  Who do you like to win the Super Bowl?

    Email me at JoshFlagner@gmail.com; follow me on Twitter at @RailbirdJ and like More Than a Fan on Facebook.

    Check out the More Than a Fan podcast!  Ryan Isley and I talk sports and crack jokes while sitting awfully close to a beer fridge.

    Josh Flagner (381 Posts)

    Josh was born in Cleveland, lives in Medina, and talks too much. Publisher or the More Than a Fan Digital Network and Host of the More Than a Fan Podcast, he's basically lucky to still be married.


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