John Meo looks at the world through tar-covered glasses. A pragmatist and realist, Meo will debate cultural and social topics with Tim Malcolm, an optimist and idealist.
Meo: Only three days and several excruciating, overblown pre-game shows before the start of Super Bowl XLII. So, the big question is, Philly boy: Do you care?
Malcolm: Sure the Patriots are playing (how I’d love to see perfection plummet), and the Giants are playing (how I’d love to see Big Blue blow up), but I absolutely care about the Super Bowl. It’s one of the best days of the year.
Meo: I’m pulling for perfection. I’m a baseball guy first, but I dig the NFL. Time and natural causes haven’t done enough to kick those cork-popping Dolphin blue hairs from the national spotlight. Someone needs to tell Mercury Morris mediocre running backs aren’t entitled to opinions — especially ones that go on for 30 years.
Malcolm: You mean to tell me you’re pulling for the Patriots because you loathe the Mercury Morris’ soapbox that much? Gosh, Wally, you weren’t even born when the ’Fins went streaking. Of course, for me, picking a team to root for during this game would rival pulling bicuspids, but I have my reasons. No. 1: Super Bowl XXXIX. No 2: We Philadelphians very much dislike the Giants. If I had to cover my eyes and point to the globe, heck, I’d probably go with the Giants. I mean, I love New York as a city, the Giants aren’t as loathsome as those star-wearing crybabies down south and those Patties are just dang wrong. I can’t root for those elitist snobs.
Meo: Here’s me ignoring your shot at my Simpsonian Cowboys. It’s not Morris as much as it is the yearly celebrations of the last undefeated team losing. It smacks of desperation. You went undefeated. Fine. Now shut up and do whatever it is 60-year-old football players do. Maybe complain about pensions or do Nutri-System commercials. Hey, Shula already does those! As for the teams, I loathe the Giants.
Nothing fills me with glee more than the look on Eli Manning’s face after he throws an interception in the red zone. Frankly, I think once the Colts got bounced, Peyton stole a jersey and hopped a flight to Big D. I’m sure weeks from now we’ll find little Eli hanging in a locker by his undies. Bill Belichick’s complete disregard for human decency and I-tailor-my-clothing-with-a-machete fashion sense have me firmly seated on the Pats bandwagon to perfection.
Malcolm: Which is why you’re evil. Look, football is about respect. Sure, when the cleats are digging in the muddy field and those hulking hands are gripping onto a shoulder of pads and polyester, it’s all about brutality. But the game itself is filled with respect, tradition and glory. Don’t hate the Dolphins — they only have one thing to glorify, and that’s the 1972 season. The Patriots have a GQ quarterback, an all-world receiver, “good guys” on defense and a Hamburglar’s ransom of Lombardi trophies. They don’t need the perfect season. They don’t deserve the perfect season. They’re not what football is about, they’re what “Madden 2008” is about, what with their “pick the same out-route every other play to score more points” mentality. Balderdash.
Meo: What’s “deserve”? No one deserves anything. What the Patriots have, they earned this season more so than any other. And your tradition, glory and honor are nice until you’re at the bottom of a pile, fighting for the ball and some dude’s trying to chew your finger off — or worse. Herm Edwards said it best: “Hello! You play to win the game.” The Patriots win the game. What’s more deserving of respect than that?
Malcolm: Well, I’d rather a team with heart, personality and desire break the Dolphins’ record. It’s a better story. Now, if you’re going to ask: Who will win the game? Well, that’s easy: The Patriots are winning the game. As much as I don’t want them to win, face it, they will win. Because that’s the way it works.
Meo: And the Dolphins have embodied humility these last 30 years? Anyway, winners have arrogance, confidence. That’s why they win. But I agree, there will be rending of garments and gnashing of teeth in the Big Apple come Feb. 3. And I will love it. Patriots in a rout.