Please, I have heard enough about Deflate-gate! The publicity surrounding this issue is enough to take the air out of the Super Bowl; but thank goodness there will be a game to go along with the unparalleled hype.

After two weeks of hoopla, the Super Bowl kicks off on Sunday (3:30 PST) in Glendale, Arizona. On this day, millions of North Americans will be partying, eating food, sitting in front of large screen televisions, and of course, enjoying the most anticipated football game of the year.

Yes, whether you live in Prince George. B.C., Victoria, B.C., Victoria, Ontario, Victoria, Texas, or any other city, this four hour spectacle (including the lengthy half time show) has evolved into a North American tradition. Indeed, this is a time when fans and non-fans alike will tune in, some just to catch a glimpse and experience the excitement.

It is nearly impossible for this New England-Seattle game to live up to its advanced billing, especially since it is the biggest extravaganza in North American sports.

Yes, double digit outcomes have decided 29 of the 48 Super Bowls while 36 of the games have been decided by five or more points. Interestingly, overtime has not factored into any of these contests.

This is only the third time in the last 15 years, all since 2009, the #1 seeds from each Conference will play in the Super Bowl.

Last year football fans thought it was a dream match-up of Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos against Seattle. Vegas odds makers opened the line at pick-em but by kickoff Denver was favored by 2 1/2. As we all recall, the Seahawks won handily 43-8.

This year, Seattle was initially a one-point favorite but the line quickly turned to pick-em and now sits New England favored by one with an over-under of 48 points. Is this a good omen for the Seahawks since the line moved in a similar fashion in 2014?

Although the Patriots strength lies on offence and the Seahawks on defence there are striking similarities between these two teams. Both are 14-4 including a close home win and a double digit home win in the playoffs. New England and Seattle both lost in Kansas City and beat Denver at home in the regular season.

This match-up brings more passion from fans than most other Super Bowls because New England is arguably the NFL’s most despised or loved team. There doesn’t seem to be much in between. Trash talking Seattle has quickly become that NFC team where emotions sit at either end of the spectrum.

The jabs from the Seahawks started early. Seattle defensive back Jeremy Lane, taking a page from teammate Richard Sherman, was asked what makes Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski so good. His response: “Yeah, I actually don’t think he’s that good.” That sums up the vaunted Seattle defense. They exude confidence that could be suggested as cocky.

On the other hand, the Patriots have been so successful under the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era that their distractors love to point out that scandal, large or small, seems to follow this team around. This is New England’s 6th Super Bowl game in the last 14 seasons. Belichick and Brady have won three together and attempt to match the four Super Bowl victories by the Steelers’ Chuck Noll and Terry Bradshaw.

There will be suggestions that if the Patriots win, they were motivated by the mentality of us against the world (that followed the deflation of the footballs). If New England loses, there will be suggestions the team was not able to handle all of the distractions. I’m not buying either theory. I don’t support any rhetoric of pre-game hype with these experienced big game teams.

Throughout the season, I have maintained that Seattle has the best rounded team. As defending champions they have shown resiliency when pressed to the limit. On the other hand, New England, when playing its best, looks unstoppable.

The game comes down to many factors including: how much protection for Brady; the Patriots running attack against the superb Seahawks defence, Russell Wilson’s scrambling ability and, of course, the Marshawn (‘I’m here so I won’t get fined’) Lynch ground attack. Turnovers often decide a winner.

On paper, this Super Bowl should come down to a last second field goal, but my sense is to expect the unexpected. This is one game a strong case can be made for either team scoring the W.

Yes, there’s still time to dissect, analyze, scrutinize, study, evaluate and examine every little detail about these two teams but I’m sure you will agree that kickoff cannot come soon enough. It’s fair to suggest, the Patriots aren’t the only ones “pumped up” for this one.

The Pick: Seattle by 4

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Here are some “out of the ordinary Super Bowl facts”:

Just one in 20 people will watch the game alone.
The average number of people at a Super Bowl party is 17.
35% of people who attend the game write it off as a corporate expense.
Super Bowl Sunday is second in food consumption behind only Thanksgiving Day.
On the Monday following the Super Bowl, an average of six percent of the workforce calls in sick.
On the same Monday, antacid sales show a 20 per cent increase.
More drivers are involved in alcohol-related accidents on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year (except St. Patrick’s Day).
One out of every 12 people viewing the game on television only does so to see the commercials.

Source: http://www.yumsugar.com/Super-Bowl-Fun-Facts-125068

Here is one last stat to digest. For every NFL game, a study shows there is only about 12 minutes of real game action. Therefore, the game may not last long, but the hangovers sure will.

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Patti Knezevic won’t be in her hometown for the start of the Canada Winter Games. Instead, she will be joining her teammates, 3rd Kristen Fewster, 2nd Jen Rusnell and lead Rhonda Camozzi in Moose Jaw proudly wearing B.C. colors at the National Scotties Tournament of Hearts Feb 14-22.

Knezevic showed perseverance, dedication and resilience in winning the B.C. Ladies Curling Championship in Maple Ridge. She knew the heartbreak of being a Provincial runner-up after finishing 2nd in 2005, 2007 and 2013 but her rink made the biggest statement in 2015 with a 5-0 record, including a 5-3 win in the final in an extra end; one of three victories against Sarah Wark of Victoria.

Knezevic is well respected in the curling circles as she shared the Kay Giles Sportsmanship Award at the Provincials along with Camozzi. Patti was at Nationals last year as a 5th for Team B.C., but this year will fulfill a lifelong goal of calling the shots on the biggest stage.

From the Quote Rack:

Last minute addition to the Super Bowl halftime show—how about Air Supply?

Former Olympic figure skaters Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski will join NBC’s Super Bowl coverage. With all that’s going on with Deflategate, wouldn’t former Olympic figure skaters Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding be more appropriate?

Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

This will be Tom Brady’s 6th Super Bowl appearance. His “Air Apparent” is Jimmy Garoppolo who was drafted last year.

Marshawn Lynch’s grandfather in Sacramento made him happy by baking him a Lemon Cake and sending it to him in Phoenix. Since Marshawn has a weak spot for baked goods, does he go into “Yeast Mode”?

Comedy writer TC Chong of Vancouver (http://alwaysfunny.com/)

Marshawn Lynch, unhappy about recent fines, tweeted that he was “embarrassed to work” for the NFL. Hmm. If he wants to be really embarrassed, Lynch could sign a free agent deal with the New York Jets.

Fed Ex has delivered the Super Bowl Lombardi trophy to Arizona, where it is now on display. If the Patriots win, will they put a little dent in the football?

Contributor Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

I really don’t know much about ball pressure. Except it’s why I decided to wear boxers.

A Super Bowl irony: For New England’s defence to contain the Seahawks, the Patriots need to put more pressure on Wilson than they put in their Wilsons.

Comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

Baja Men are going to be performing their new song at the Super Bowl: “Who Let The Air Out?”

The hottest item at Super Bowl parties this year are puff balls.

Comedy writer Marc Ragovin

And in case you missed it:

I’m from New England and my wife is from Seattle. That means no matter who wins the Super Bowl, I lose.

Conan O’Brien of TBS

Hartley Miller is the sports director and morning news anchor for 94.3 the Goat. His column on myprincegeorgenow.com appears on Fridays. Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca
Follow him on twitter: @Hartley_Miller