Raise your hand if you believe the
I believe we've heard from Mom and Pop Harbaugh, the brothers and the sister. Unless Manti Te'o proclaims he is now going steady with an imaginary Harbaugh sibling, I think that's it.
No, wait, we haven’t revisited the story that former
Moving right along, raise your hand if you’ve also had enough of the “
But suddenly there comes a storyline that just might become the X factor in the
Obama’s concern centers on head injuries endemic to the game. Researchers recently discovered
Seau's family claimed the linebacker's suicide was the result of the violent hits he delivered and received that went unregulated medically by the NFL. The family's claim ties in with the class-action lawsuit of former NFL players who charge the league with hiding concussion dangers and other medical negligence and conspiracy involving head injuries.
Which brings me to my X factor for this Sunday's game.
But here's the deal: It is exactly that old-school NFL mentality that is being sued for the massive hits. It's is exactly that old-school NFL mentality that could face trebled damages hitting 10 figures.
Baltimore led the NFL with 11 personal foul penalties. Members of the Ravens defense alone racked up eight, more than any other team amassed total. The Ravens have a reputation, and it's not the kind the NFL celebrates the way it did when Buddy Ryan's defense obliterated 13 quarterbacks.
I can see how the thing the Ravens do the best mushrooms into the factor that hurts their Super Bowl chances the most. Given the pressure the NFl is feeling in courts of law and public opinion, I fully expect the league to instruct its officials to throw whatever flags are necessary to maintain relative safety in the Super Bowl. The perception of safety, anyway.
Eleven years ago, the
Those officials could've. Those officials didn't. These officials will.
That’s what I expect from the officials working Sunday’s game. High Lord&Master
This is the league's biggest event -- heck, the sporting world's biggest event. Everybody will be watching, including lawyers for the plaintiffs and members of the prospective jury pool. Better a flag on every play Sunday, the NFL probably feels, than a billion-dollar judgment later.