So we have finally made it to the Super Bowl – please breath a sigh of relief, Roger Goodell.
Of course, we need to play the game, which we will tomorrow evening, but like I have over the past few weeks, allow me to share my “two-cents” on the 2020 National Football League (NFL) postseason with a Super Bowl prediction!
Enjoy the game, everyone – tomorrow’s match-up between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be a great contest.
Get ready for Super Bowl Sunday with some insight – and yes, some thoughts and predictions, too – by listening to the Football Friday Podcast with myself, as well as Andrew Pezzelli and Zach Weiss.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This is the match-up the NFL wanted – if it had been Kansas City and the Green Bay Packers that would have worked, too – but Tom Brady versus Patrick Mahomes seems like the ideal way to cap a pandemic season.
Sunday’s meeting will mark the fifth time Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes have tangled on the gridiron since 2018 – Brady won the first two meetings while Mahomes has captured the last two, including one when the current Buccaneers quarterback was under center for the New England Patriots.
Tampa Bay enters the contest with a great deal of momentum. They have scored three-straight postseason wins, but really found their grove at the end of the regular season with a pair of victories against the Atlanta Falcons, along with a statement win against the Detroit Lions.
The Bucs will be the first team to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium, and will be the initial team to secure a victory in the ‘big game’ on their own turf.
It will be a bit closer than many may anticipate, but in the end, Tom Brady will lead the Buccaneers on a game-winning touchdown drive to secure his seventh Super Bowl championship. PREDICTION: Tampa Bay 31, Kansas City 27
Happy Monday, everyone, and welcome to the first day of February!
We’re expecting a nor’easter to arrive in our neighborhood shortly, so please make sure your car is parked on the correct side of the street as we certainly don’t want complaints of parking tickets flooding our email inbox tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday.
Yet, before the snow, rain, and slush arrive, allow us to kickstart the day with a brand new Daily Noontime for Monday, February 1, 2021.
As usual, be well, stay safe, hold the line, and smile – we’re almost there!
Monday’s Headlines & Links (February 1, 2021)
Let’s start the day with perhaps the biggest news blast (and update) in our email this morning: Theo Epstein, who guided both the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs to World Series victories as en executive for both ball clubs, has joined Arctos Sports Partners, which is a firm that buys minority shares of pro clubs.
As we all know, Rob Manfred is the current MLB Commissioner, but putting Theo Epstein in charge may not be a bad idea as the sport could certainly use his help with being just as innovative as the other professional leagues.
Welcome to Super Bowl week, which promises to be quite different due to the coronavirus pandemic. But as one sports writer – Jay Mariotti – wonders (and writes), is reaching the championship game a win for the National Football League (NFL) or perhaps a sign that our country has turned a blind eye to this deadly virus?
Similar to NCAA D-I college football, the college basketball season has not been pretty – we have seen a lot of starts and stops, along with some programs calling it quits, but don’t be surprised if you see some teams or conferences pull the plug on their respective postseason.
The Los Angeles Rams apparently have a new quarterback for the 2021 season as they sent Jared Goff to the Detroit Lions in exchange for Matthew Stafford. But prior to acquiring Matthew Stafford late Saturday evening, the Rams tried to trade for Aaron Rodgers, but the Green Bay Packers said, “no way!”
Monday’s Podcast Alert 🚨
Today on the Noontime Sports Podcast, Matt Noonan welcomes Scottie Rodgers, who is the director of communications with the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.
Noonan and Rodgers discuss how the sports communication world has changed due to the pandemic, including how Zoom press conferences could be part of the “new normal.” Rodgers also discussed his role (and involvement) with the Racial and Social Justice Initiative Planning Committee and Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
You can listen to today’s interview, as well as past shows by visiting our Anchor page!
We’ll be back with more later today, but for now, be well, stay safe, and smile, everyone!
Two days ago, Central Connecticut State University announced that they would not participate in the 2021 Northeastern Conference (NEC) spring football season.
CCSU interim Director of Athletics Tom Pincine said Wednesday’s decision is in “the best interest of our University and football program,” while Ryan McCarthy, who is the coach of the Blue Devils, echoed the statement but also added that the team can “focus solely on returning to spring practice and preparing for the Fall 2021 season.”
The Blue Devils have not competed since 2019 when they posted a school-record 11 victories and secured a spot in the opening round of the NCAA FCS postseason.
While Notre Dame did compete under the ACC umbrella last fall, the Fighting Irish will return to being an independent for the 2021 college football season.
The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) held its ‘digital media day‘ today ahead of the league’s spring football season, which is scheduled to commence – or should we say kickoff? – Saturday, February 20, 2021.
It’s going to look a bit different, but there will be a high school football season in Massachusetts, beginning next month. The state’s Fall II season will run from February 22 to April 25, but there will be no Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) postseason.
Everett (Mass.) will have a new football coach for Fall II, according to Danny Ventura of the Boston Herald. Congrats to Rob Diloreto for being named the new leader of the Crimson Tide!
The Detroit Lions have named Rob Zimmerman of DeWitt High School as their High School Football Coach of the Year. Zimmerman’s Panthers captured the Michigan High School Football Division III state championship with a 40-30 win over River Rogue.
I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed the beautiful weather – it is very nice outside today!
And speaking of the great outdoors, the New England Patriots will be outside later today when they visit the New York Jets. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m.
Fans of the Patriots – and yes, the Jets, too – can watch the game on ESPN.
New England enters tonight’s contest with just two wins – they have not won a game since late September when they beat the Las Vegas Raiders at home. Can they snap their four-game losing streak against the winless Jets? Hopefully, but if we have learned anything over these past few weeks, anything is possible these days in the National Football League (NFL).
Noontime’s Week Six Power Rankings (Oct. 14, 2020)
1. Seattle Seahawks (5-0, LW: No. 2): Somehow, the Seahawks pulled out a win on Sunday evening against the Minnesota Vikings.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (4-1, LW: No. 1): The Chiefs suffered their first setback since last November, which seems or sounds crazy, right? Maybe the loss was exactly what coach Andy Reid and his team needed.
3. Green Bay Packers (4-0, LW: No. 3): The Packers were idle this past weekend, but they have looked pretty good through four weeks. This week, Green Bay will visit Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in what should be a decent matchup.
4. Baltimore Ravens (4-1, LW: No. 4): Baltimore’s defense shined against Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, but the offense seems to be inconsistent.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-0, LW: No. 6): The Steelers are really good at drafting receivers.
6. Tennessee Titans (4-0, LW: No. 7): The Titans returned to the gridiron last night for the first time in a few weeks and looked really good. And we mean, really good!
7. Buffalo Bills (4-1, LW: No. 5): Did the Bills come down to earth last night or are they still pretty good?
8. Cleveland Browns (4-1, LW: No. 14): Something is different about this Browns team than previous years. Maybe this is finally the year the Browns officially turn the corner and establish a winning culture?
9. New England Patriots (2-2, LW: No. 8): It’s been a chaotic past few days for the Patriots, but let’s hope things start going in the right direction, especially with today’s news about Cam Newton returning to the practice field tomorrow.
10. Los Angeles Rams (4-1, LW: No. 11): The Rams returned to their original form from earlier this season with a runaway win over the Washington Football Team this past weekend. Their early season success should continue against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night.
11. New Orleans Saints (3-2, LW: No. 10): The Los Angeles Chargers did not make things easy for Drew Brees and the Saints on Monday in Louisiana.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2, LW: No. 9): Can someone please tell Tom Brady that there are four downs in football, not five!
13. Carolina Panthers (3-2, LW: No. 16): After starting the season with back-to-back losses, the Panthers have bounced back with three-straight wins. Is it time to consider them a contender for the NFC South?
14. Las Vegas Raiders (3-2, LW: No. 19): Whatever the Raiders did this past weekend against the Chiefs, they must do going forward.
15. Chicago Bears (4-1, LW: No. 15): Did you know the Bears have won four of five contests this season? Are they flying under the radar with Nick Foles?
16. San Francisco 49ers (2-3, LW: No. 13): Injuries are piling up and the 49ers are looking like a one-hit-wonder (in our minds!).
17. Dallas Cowboys (2-3, LW: No. 17): The Cowboys secured the top spot in the NFC East last week with a much-needed divisional win over the New York Giants, but did lose Dak Prescott to a season-ending injury. Ouch!
18. Indianapolis Colts (3-2, LW: No. 12): Maybe the three-game winning streak from the earlier this season was a fluke?
19. Arizona Cardinals (3-2, LW: No. 18): The Cardinals have beaten the following teams: San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, and the Washington Football Team. And they have suffered setbacks to these teams: Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers. So, how good is this team?
20. Miami Dolphins (2-3, LW: NR): The Dolphins came close to beating the Seahawks two weeks ago, but did score a much-needed win over the 49ers on Sunday. Is something cooking in South Beach that we don’t know about?
On the Rise: Los Angeles Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles