The Fix Is In's "Can I use the term 'Super Bowl' without the NFL suing me for some sort of copyright/trademark infringement?" sort-of prediction for SB48.

(Hmmm....That logo looks awfully Seahawks in color, don't it?)

 

In all honesty, I hate making this page every Super Bowl. Ian Punnett from Coast to Coast AM (you're missed, buddy) got me started on this back with Super Bowl 45 between the Packers and Steelers. I nailed it. The following year...not so good. Then last year, I was right again, but really, so what? If I was 100% dead-on accurate with a prediction, my doubters would just say, "lucky guess" and still not believe half of what's written on this website. And if I'm wrong, well then, "See? The NFL is totally legitimate. (And you're a moron)."

I tweeted this back when the playoffs began:

Somewhat right, somewhat wrong. But picking the Mannings and the Seahawks wasn't that tough, was it? Both were the #1 seeds, and now the two best teams in the NFL are playing the first-ever New York/New Jersey Super Bowl which just also happens to be the epicenter of American media.

So who wins this?

Let me be straight with you: I don't know. I don't work for the NFL. I don't know what goes on behind closed doors at owners' meetings or inside the commissioner's office (99.9% of NFL writers don't, either). I'm not a gambler or a handicapper. What I do is try to decipher these leagues by pointing out their misdeeds - and there's plenty of those to cover...and see get covered-up.

But I can tell you a few things the mainstream sports media won't or hasn't. For one, they can't read my email (only the NSA and maybe CIA can), and I have received somewhere around 100 emails from fans since the start of the playoffs. EVERY SINGLE EMAIL in my inbox has said the same thing:

THE NFL IS GIVING THIS SUPER BOWL TO PEYTON MANNING

That scares me. Has the league become that obvious in their fixing ways? Perhaps, as this has clearly been one of the worst officiated seasons in recent memory...and that includes last year's bane: the replacement referees.

It seems that the media has made this a "Good vs. Evil" battle. Clearly the poster boy for "Good" is Manning and his record breaking offense. "Evil" in some minds has come to be personified by Richard Sherman and his "Legion of Boom" thanks to 30 seconds of post-game interview.

Of course, there's more "evil" on the Seahawks than that. There is, you know, the fact that three members of the Seahawks vaunted secondary were suspended for PEDs, including Sherman (whose four game ban was later overturned). There's also Mr. Beast-Mode himself, Marshawn Lynch, who was traded away from the Bills for a 5th round draft pick because of his legal troubles, including a hit-and-run and a gun charge...and promptly was arrested for a DUI (which is still awaiting trial) when he landed in Seattle.

It's kind of hard to see Goodell happily handing the Lombardi Trophy over to these guys. However, the Seahawks are still owed one from the monumental screw-job that was Super Bowl 40 vs. the Steelers. You know, the one where the guilty referee actually apologized to the franchise a few years later?

If Manning was truly riding off into the sunset after Sunday's game, one would be hard pressed to think any result besides a Broncos win could possibly occur. You can almost picture him and Elway co-raising the championship trophy, and then seeing that picture autographed by both selling for $5,000 on the NFL Shop within the week.

Though the Manning story-line has been a major part of the NFL season since Day 1, he's not 100% retired yet. And the Broncos have their own recent criminal past in Von Miller (he of the falsified urine sample), Julius Thomas's pre-season arrest for failing to appear in court, and two front office members racking up DUIs. Of course, Miller's injured and won't play, and no one really cares about anyone in the Broncos front office besides Elway.

So what's all this add up to?

My guess: At the two minute warning, Manning will have the ball in his hands and one final drive to see who wins or loses. This will appease FOX and its advertisers shelling out $4 million for a 30 second spot.
 

From there, your guess is as good as mine.

But I might follow the advice of all those emails I received and take Manning over Sherman any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Just watch how the flags fly. Or I might follow the "12th Man" and assume this is the Super Bowl the Seahawks are "owed." If the refs "let them play" they way the allowed the Patriots to mug the Rams' Greatest Show on Turf a few Super Bowls ago or if they keep awarding the Broncos first downs on defensive holding and pass interference calls, we'll know where their loyalties lie.

Enjoy the commercials!