Observationally Speaking: Two Weeks Out, Seahawks Hold Karmic Advantage…Barely
Reporter: “Have you scouted them or anything?”
Popovich: “No, I don’t do that.”
Reporter: “Do you know anything at all?”
Popovich: “I know that the two sides of an isosceles triangle are equal.”
Popovich was answering questions about the Utah Jazz, but he might as well have been summing up what we know about the Seahawks-Patriots Super Bowl in two weeks. That is: nothing.
Even Vegas is stumped, the two teams with even odds as of today. Now, when Vegas is stumped, I normally turn to karma. Karma, I’ve learned, can play a major factor in sports. You know, if one of the two teams has a karmic advantage, I lean towards them. The Patriots would be in the doghouse because of the ball tampering accusations – they’re said to have deflated the balls in the AFC Championship – but then you have Vince Wilfork getting his good samaritan on, pulling a woman out of her overturned Jeep on the side of the road after the game. So those two look like a push. On the other hand, the Seahawks posted a tweet comparing their comeback to MLK’s struggle for equality. Yeah, not good. But they also have Russell Wilson crying in the post-game interview, saying how much he wishes his dad were still alive to see the game. As I’m sure you’ll agree, there’s no discernable karmic advantage one way or the other so far.
Then there’s how the Green Bay Packers factor into this. ProFootballTalk tweeted this the other day: “Biggest problem for the Packers on Sunday: They lacked the killer instinct. Seahawks did not.” Eh, really? Did they lack it when Aaron Rodgers went for a touchdown, only to have it intercepted by Richard Sherman in the end zone? That was pretty killer instinct-y. Or was it missing when they fed Eddy Lacy the ball at the one yard line and he got stuffed like a turkey, after having ripped off huge chunks of yards on the drive? Sometimes the right play call just doesn’t lead to the desired result. Maybe the Seahawks defense was simply better when it mattered most. I don’t blame the Packers for going up 16 points and thinking they had the game in the bag – at one point in the game, the Seahawks win probability went down to 10 percent. ProFootballTalk is using a familiar narrative – that the losing team lacked a “killer instinct” that would have led them to victory – but the evidence really doesn’t support it. The Seahawks pulled off a really improbable comeback, and part of it was just dumb luck. Or was it?
The Packers might factor into this karmic back-and-forth. Stay with me here. While the Patriots roast under the media scrutiny of #deflategate, Deadspin.com just posted an article that might sway the karmic advantage in Seattle’s favor. In a video they dug up from earlier this season, CBS Broadcasters Jim Nantz and Phil “Got-eeem” Simms recount a pregame conversation they had with Rodgers, in which he talked about over inflating the balls beyond what the rules allow. If true, it partially explains that 16 point Seahawks’ comeback on Sunday – instead of dumb luck, maybe the Packers had bad karma that had been left simmering, waiting to bite the Packers at the worst possible time. Comeback complete.
The Patriots have a history of bad karma biting them in the ass at the worst possible time, too. Remember SpyGate? Yeah, the New York Giants and 18-1 followed. Maybe Wilfork’s good samaritan-ism won’t be enough to counter #deflategate after all. Plus there’s the bad juju from John Harbaugh’s post-game comments after the Ravens-Patriots game. Advantage: Seahawks. Right?
But then there’s Russell Wilson’s post-game comments to Peter King, in which he oh-so-gently-and-discretely blames God for throwing those four interceptions. Hmmm.
Still give the slight nod to Seattle. Patriots, you’ve just accumulated more bad karma than anyone, I’m afraid.
Early prediction: Seahawks win, 23-20.