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Super Bowl XLII Open Thread

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17 vs 14
Justice. Is. Served.

We'll take a day's break from our Buffalo Bills coverage to commemorate the last big day of the 2007-08 NFL season: Super Bowl XLII. I can't remember being this hyped up for a Super Bowl in quite some time (I certainly wasn't the past two years, when beatings by the Steelers and Colts were expected). But this year, we've got a game where we know a blowout isn't likely - Week 17's 38-35 Pats victory proves that. That game was easily the best non-Bills-victory regular season game of 2007, in my humble opinion.

Y'all know the story lines: Spygates I & II; Plaxico Burress' guarantee; the birth of another Brady vs. Manning; we won't get into all of that here, because it's covered everywhere else. But the story lines this week have been edgier and much more controversial than in recent years - and it's built up the excitement even more. How will the Giants back up Burress' guarantee? How will the Patriots respond, again, to cheating allegations? The resulting clash could be an instant classic.

There is a surprising amount of connection between the two teams to the Bills. Patriots RB Sammy Morris, who is on IR and won't participate in this game, started his career with the Bills. The Giants are much more connected. Wideout Domenik Hixon, the Giants' kick returner, has an obvious connection with Bills TE Kevin Everett. DT Manny Wright spent a glorious 17 seconds on Buffalo's roster before being waived, then picked up by the Giants. Two Giants coaches - head coach Tom Coughlin and offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride - have Bills connections. Bills head coach Dick Jauron worked directly under Coughlin as defensive coordinator when the two were in Jacksonville, while Gilbride was Buffalo's offensive coordinator under previous head coach Gregg Williams. The Giants' Director of College Scouting, Marc Ross, is in his first year in that position after leaving Buffalo's scouting department for that job last off-season.

Prediction Time
I've waffled on this prediction several times. Clearly, logic, history and "you'd be an idiot not to" arguments say pick the Patriots. They're undefeated, have the best offense in football, have three championships under their belt, and a chip on their shoulder. But I can't shake the feeling that the Giants are about to shock the world. They've won 10 (ten)... yes, ten... straight road games, including a playoff-clinching victory in Buffalo, a huge win over division rival Dallas, and a championship victory at Lambeau Field. This team is on a roll, and they're one of only a handful of NFL teams that actually match up well with the Patriots. Don't discount this team - if any team has the makings of pulling an upset as monumental as this, it's the New York Giants.

So why not pick the Giants? If I'm wrong, I'm wrong; just another bitter, jealous Bills fan tasting vomit as the Patriots hoist the trophy, insides boiling at Bill Belichick's arrogant grin, Junior Seau's insipid gyrations and Tom Brady's glittering teeth. But if I'm right, I can proudly say that I picked the greatest upset in Super Bowl history - I believed it could happen. So that's what I'm doing, right now. Believing. I encourage you to believe with me, and post your predictions in the comments. And if you're looking for Bills fans to chat with during the game, this is the spot.

Final Prediction: Giants 34, Patriots 31.