Finneran: Super Bowl 53

Friday, February 01, 2019
Tom Finneran, GoLocalWorcester MINDSETTERâ„¢

The fever is upon us.

Therefore, you’ll have to forgive me for jumping on the pig-pile of pre-game commentary. More serious topics will have to wait their turn while millions of Americans focus on football and commercials.

Random thoughts:

  • I am grateful beyond words, indeed I am ecstatic, that Joe Buck will not be announcing this game. He is an egotistical bore. He never shuts up. He never allows the game to come to the fans. It’s the game that counts, not his endless recitation of intern research and related drivel. He is insufferable. A spoiled brat. Good riddance.
  • The Patriots have played two superb games in a row. They are playing their best football of the season, much like last year’s Red Sox playing their best baseball in October. The game of course has yet to be played and the Rams are a good team, certainly capable of testing and beating the Patriots. But deep down inside, the Rams must be nervous about facing the Brady/Belichick juggernaut. Who really wants to play against B and B in January or February?
  • An early sack or two by either team can have an outsized effect. Quarterbacks get happy feet and make sloppy throws when they feel rushed. If there’s a clean blitz which levels either quarterback or a bull rush which grinds him to the turf, the game can turn very quickly. Neither quarterback is immune to happy feet. Watch this closely.
  • Brady of course has mastered a particular antidote to these football facts of life. He gets rid of the ball in about two seconds, causing enormous frustration to the enormous men who wish him harm. The Chargers game was a clinic and Brady was a virtuoso.
  • Regarding the NFL announcers, they all carry some degree of pomposity. They should have a flashing light which reads “less is more”. Let the game itself, and the crowd, speak to us. That said, Tony Romo’s anticipation of Brady’s play-calling against the Chiefs was prescient. I don’t like to use the word “brilliant” in this context but Romo was indeed brilliant.
  • Most Super Bowl halftime shows are crap. Here’s a suggestion for next year’s game: have the top two college marching bands go head-to-head against each other, 10 minutes each, and watch the crowd get into it. I know that some of the historically black colleges field some awesome bands. Let them rip and let their schools be seen and be proud.
  • I refuse to fall for the NFL’s use of Roman numerals for the Super Bowl. We are not talking about World Wars here. We are not talking about Popes. We’re talking about a football game, the hype of which is insane. Drew Bledsoe’s father had the right perspective on the overblown hucksterism of the day. Drew’s Dad talked about coaches and teachers, and mentors as being far more important than a Roman numeral carnival. Mr. Bledsoe was a wise man.
  • Prediction: Patriots win this game comfortably and on the merits. Their wins against Atlanta and Seattle were gifts from the other teams. Terrible play calls—thank you Pete Carroll—and terrible game management—thank you Falcons—gave the Patriots two Lombardi Trophies. Sunday’s victory will be legitimate and earned…….Patriots 31 Rams 17.


Pass the chips! Pass the salsa! Enjoy the game.

Tom Finneran is the former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, served as the head the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, and was a longstanding radio voice in Boston radio.

  • Tom Brady’s Record 9th Super Bowl

    XXXVI: Patriots 20, Rams 17

    XXXVIII: Patriots 32, Panthers 29

    XXXIX: Patriots 24, Eagles 21

    XLII: Giants 17, Patriots 14

    XLVI: Giants 21, Patriots 17

    XLIX: Patriots 28, Seahawks 24

    LI: Patriots 34, Falcons 28 (OT)

    LII: Eagles 41, Patriots 33 

    LIII: Patriots vs. Rams (Feb. 3, 2019)

  • Tom Brady’s Big Awards

    14 Pro Bowls

    Five All-Pro selections

    Three MVP awards

    Two Offensive Player of the Year awards

    Comeback Player of the Year

  • Tom Brady’s Last 16 Playoff Games Are Nearly an MVP Season

    W-L                    12-4

    Pass Yards         5,284

    TD-Int                 32-14

  • Brady in the Clutch

    Game-winning drives: The Patriots haven’t always needed Brady to rescue them, but he’s always up to the task when the time calls for Touchdown Tom. He needs just two more to tie Manning’s 56 and three more to pass him. Brady averages about two or three a year, so he could realistically top Manning in 2018.

    Source: SB Nation

  • NFL Records Owned by Brady

    Regular season wins by a starting quarterback (207)
    Most passing yards, regular season and playoffs (81,431)
    Most passing touchdowns, postseason included: 590
    Most touchdowns thrown to different receivers (71)
    Division titles (16)
    Playoff games started (39)
    Playoff wins (29)
    Playoff touchdown passes (73)
    Playoff passing yards (10,917)
    Super Bowl appearances (9)
    Super Bowl wins (5)
    Super Bowl MVPs (4)
    Super Bowl touchdown passes (18)
    Super Bowl passing yards (2,576)

    Source: SB Nation

  • The NFL’s Highest-Paid Players 2018 — Forbes

    Tom Brady is the 8th highest compensated player currently in the NFL -- for both salary and endorsements.

    1. Aaron Rodgers

    Total Earnings: $75.9 million

    Salary/bonuses: $66.9 million

    Endorsements: $9 million


    2. Matt Ryan

    Total Earnings: $57.5 million

    Salary/bonuses: $52.5 million

    Endorsements: $5 million


    3. Jimmy Garoppolo

    Total Earnings: $43.1 million

    Salary/bonuses: $42.6 million

    Endorsements: $500,000


    4. Khalil Mack

    Total Earnings: $41.8 million

    Salary/bonuses: $41 million

    Endorsements: $750,000


    5. Aaron Donald

    Total Earnings: $41.1 million

    Salary/bonuses: $40.9 million

    Endorsements: $250,000


    6. Alex Smith

    Total Earnings: $41 million

    Salary/bonuses: $40 million

    Endorsements: $1 million


    7. Drew Brees

    Total Earnings: $40 million

    Salary/bonuses: $27 million

    Endorsements: $13 million


    8. Tom Brady

    Total Earnings: $29 million

    Salary/bonuses: $15 million

    Endorsements: $14 million


    9. Odell Beckham Jr.

    Total Earnings: $28 million

    Salary/bonuses: $21.5 million

    Endorsements: $6.5 million


    10. Kirk Cousins

    Total Earnings: $27.5 million

    Salary/bonuses: $26 million

    Endorsements: $1.5 million

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