TAMPA -- I arrived here pretty comfortable about my Super Bowl pick of the Ravens over the Giants. The Ravens have been my team since August and I saw no reason to bail out. But I also think the Ravens have handled pre-Super Bowl week as poorly as possible, at least on the outside. And my once-solid pick now appears a bit shaky.
|Brian Billick focuses the attention on himself Monday -- and off of Ray Lewis.|
The Ray Lewis affair has been no less than a diagram for a disastrous Super Bowl prep week. Lewis himself has been fairly good about the whole thing, making no outrageous statements and keeping a low profile. He has made it clear that he did not kill those two people in Atlanta. He wants us all to know our criminal judicial system is through with him on that matter. But he has shown no contrition, at least not enough in my opinion.
Lewis was on the scene of those murders last year and should have expressed more empathy for the families of the deceased. It's not like he was in Nova Scotia that weekend. And he did plead guilty to obstruction of justice in the matter.
Before Media Day, he had said virtually nothing on the case since he got out of jail. The Ravens should have made him available in the off week of the Super Bowl run-up. But since there was no prior opportunity for the media to broach the topic, we got that disaster on Tuesday.
Ravens coach Brian Billick began the week poorly by expressing outrage over questions that had not even been asked yet. Billick telling the media what to do set a lousy tone for Super Bowl week.
||Like the Giants of 10 years ago, Jim Fassel's squad is methodically taking care of business. Which is really the preferred way to head into the biggest game of the year. ”
With the exception of the lovable Tony Siragusa and Trent Dilfer, whose homecoming story remains an inspiring one, the Ravens have emerged as a bit unlikable.
On the other hand, the Giants have handled it well. This team has more than a few parallels to the last Giants Super Bowl team:
The game is in Tampa.
They are underdogs.
They are facing a phenomenon, though this time it's the brilliant Ravens defense, as opposed to the wonderful Bills offense in 1990.
Like the Giants of 10 years ago, Jim Fassel's squad is methodically taking care of business. Which is really the preferred way to head into the biggest game of the year.
So my pick has grown weaker as the game approaches. I'm not backing down, though.
Ravens -- 19
Giants -- 13