It seems the voters are on board with the dynasty.
This week’s Seattle Sidelines poll is about the big game, as Super Bowl LIII takes place Sunday at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium between the AFC champion New England Patriots and the NFC champion Los Angeles Rams. This is a classic case of old tradition versus new blood. New England is playing in its ninth Super Bowl in 18 years, with all nine featuring the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady coach/quarterback duo. Meanwhile Los Angeles, behind its 33-year-old coach and offensive wunderkind Sean McVay, is playing in its first Super Bowl since losing to New England in Super Bowl XXXIV — which happened to be the first of those Belichick/Brady Super Bowls for the Patriots.
Therefore, this week the readers were asked to predict which team would win this year’s Super Bowl. Here’s how you voted:
POLL: Which team wins Super Bowl LIII? Full context, including a look at the team’s involved, here: https://t.co/5w0AuouX0Q
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) January 28, 2019
Add the two up and 58 percent of the voters went with the Patriots, while only 42 percent chose the Rams.
On one hand, this makes sense. New England remains a 2.5-point favorite, and it’s hard to pick against a Patriots machine that always seems to be the smart bet.
However, the Patriots’ dynasty didn’t prevent the voters from stumping for Philadelphia against New England in last year’s poll. And given there seems to be a natural desire to root against any dynasty — and in this specific instance there’s the added emotion fueled by the Seattle Seahawks’ heartbreaking last-minute loss to New England in Super Bowl XLIX — I find it somewhat surprising the Patriots were favored by 16 percent in the poll.
Maybe it has to do with familiarity. Los Angeles is the Seahawks’ NFC West rival. Not only is there a natural animosity toward a division rival, Seattle played the Rams twice this season and could have won both times, so we saw first-hand Los Angeles’ vulnerabilities. This could be a simple case of familiarity breeding contempt.
Of course, there’s also those who feel this way:
Should be New Orleans and KC . Just saying lol
— REF BOB (@REFBOB_72) January 29, 2019
Indeed, the officiating calls that were and weren’t made in the NFC and AFC championship games continues to be the main topic of discussion around the football world, with the pass interference non-call in the game between the Rams and the New Orleans Saints being the flash point, though a handful of calls and non-calls in the game between the Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs also received scrutiny.
Perhaps I should made the question, “Which team should win the Super Bowl?” and included New Orleans and Kansas City. That may have provided greater illumination on where the readers’ minds stand.