Michael Sam Cut by Rams

Best Possible Landing Spots

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Roger Goodell must have made a deal with the devil.

After years—I mean years—of concern about the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather city being socked with disastrous conditions, the temperature for kickoff on Sunday was downright balmy.

Players warmed up in shorts. Some fans didn't even bother bringing winter coats. The media actually complained the auxiliary press box was too hot for them, because the NFL put in so many heat lamps to account for the cold that the place turned into an incubator when the temperatures ended up being so mild.

It rained a little bit in the second half, which was a friendly reminder that conditions could have been worse, but all things considered—and the NFL certainly considered all things, including the potential of moving the Super Bowl to another day this week if the weather was too bad to play the game on Sunday—the day was perfect.

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Super Bowl XLVIII was billed as one of the most memorable title clashes in NFL history before the game even started. New York City, the weather, the best offense against the best defense. It was going to be a game for the ages.

Until it wasn't.

The weather was a complete non-factor. The city was a fine host all week, but once the game began, the New Jersey stadium had zero impact on making the game more memorable. For the casual fans, or diehards without a rooting interest, Super Bowl XLVIII was a disaster from the opening kickoff.

Denver fell behind after an errant snap forced a safety on the first play of the game and was never able to recover. The game felt more like the Broncos' Super Bowls of the 1980s, when Denver got blown out by NFC stalwarts, than the victorious trips in the 1990s.

That's the thing about Super Bowls. All the hype in the world can't make a game close, and blowouts never go down in history as all that memorable. Historic, sure. The Seattle victory over Denver is one of the most historic victories in the Super Bowl era. We will certainly remember the outcome, especially with Peyton Manning losing another Super Bowl, this time in his brother Eli's building. So, sure, we'll remember the result, but the game itself was ultimately forgettable, save a few huge plays that made the difference.

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Jack Dempsey/AP Images

As the old saying goes, history has a tendency to repeat itself. I'm wondering if that might be true about the Super Bowl this year.

With two teams so seemingly well matched in Super Bowl XLVIII, picking a winner between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks feels harder than most seasons. Can the best defense in the game today stop one of the best offenses in history? Will the Seattle offense be able to outplay the Denver defense? Which of these two great teams is going to win on Sunday?

We can toil for hours studying film, breaking down each position battle and analyzing coaching strategies. Hell, we could put both logos on a board and throw a dart to pick a winner this year. Or, perhaps, we can take a look at history.

Can past Super Bowls tell us anything about this year's game? Can history tell the future?

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"Dumb questions for a smart man." That's how CNN's Rachel Nichols described the litany of queries Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman faced during his time at Super Bowl Media Day.

This isn't a case of media ripping media, mind you. The questions Sherman answered in the 30-plus minutes I sat next to his podium were really dumb, even by Media Day standards.

There were two questions about Justin Bieber. There were questions about fashion, his hair and the women of New York City, and at one point, singer Michelle Williams came up to do a duet with Sherman and handed him an Xbox for finishing her lyrics.

As each question came in—and yes, there were some good ones, too—Sherman answered with thoughtfulness, respect and a giant smile on his face.

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The Winter Olympics are just days away, which means it's time, America, to pull those brooms out of the garage and get sweeping. Curling is back!

Curling, the Olympic sport where competitors alternate sliding round stones down a sheet of ice to earn points for whoever gets closest to the middle of a large target area, took the world by storm four years ago during the Winter Games in Vancouver.

Curling has everything you would want in a winter Olympic sport. Every throw—is it a throw or a toss…or a push…a slide…? I should probably know this—provides drama, especially as the competitors near the completion of each end*.

(*A quick primer/reminder: Each match consists of 10 ends, which is similar to an inning in baseball. Teams alternate sliding eight rocks down the sheet to see which team finishes closest to the center. Every stone closer to the center than the opponents' nearest stone earns a point. The team with the most points after 10 ends wins.)

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We are just two weeks away from the start of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Thousands of athletes, trainers and jingoistic supporters from around the world will descend on the glistening resort community in the southwest corner of Russia that borders the Black Sea, which leaves me wondering one thing...

What are you people, nuts?

The stories surrounding the Sochi Games are downright post-apocalyptic, from harrowing tales of terrorism and "black widows" to disheartening stories of a nationwide crackdown on homosexuality to ridiculously viral nonsense like bathroom stalls with multiple toilets.

Seriously, double toilets are the least of the concerns in Sochi, and that's the story that got the most attention online this week, distracting too many of us from freaking out about the suicide bombers on the loose. It's as scary as anyone can imagine.

It's so scary, in fact, that at least one Canadian journalist is happy about that region becoming the sporting equivalent of a military base during the Games. From Canada.com's Bruce Arthur:

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Stay up late. Wake up early. Do whatever you have to do to get in front of a television in the wee hours of Friday morning. Roger and Rafa are going at it again.

It was nearly 10 years ago—late March of 2004—when 22-year-old Roger Federer stood across the net from a teenage Spaniard named Rafael Nadal during the early rounds of the ATP Masters series in Miami. Federer was in the midst of one of the best years of his career, having won his first three tournaments, including the 2004 Australian Open, to start a season that year that featured 11 victories in 17 tournaments, three of which were majors.

Nadal was, in tennis terms, a nobody. The new kid on the block. Wait, is that guy wearing Capri pants?

Nadal beat Federer in straight sets that day in Miami, one of just six losses in 80 matches for Roger that calendar year.

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AP Images

The Super Bowl is the most hyped sporting event in America, and the confluence of circumstances surrounding the game this year has created a potential for Super Bowl 48 to be the most hyped event in the league's history.

The game features the two best teams in football, with the best offense in forever going up against the best defense in some time.

The game has a Manning brother, and not just any Manning brother, but the one that moves the needle the most. The game has a villain; Richard Sherman made certain of that after his NFC Championship outburst.

The game is in the media capital of the world, if you haven't heard, and on top of that, there is a good chance it's going to be "football" weather outside.

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Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

If Richard Sherman ever flames out in the NFL, wrestling promoters will be lining up around the block for his services.

The self-proclaimed best cornerback—best player?—in the game cut one of the greatest postgame promos you will ever see in his brief but memorable interview with Fox sideline reporter Erin Andrews after his Seattle Seahawks came from behind to beat the San Francisco 49ers Sunday night in the NFC Championship Game.

"Well, I'm the best corner in the game," a vociferous Sherman told Andrews.

Can't really argue there, as he has proven that he is one of the best at that position in quite some time. Plus, the guy did just come up with an amazing game-saving play to seal the victory—and a spot in the Super Bowl—for his team.

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Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

Someone should take Percy Harvin's helmet away…forever. Someone should snap a photo of the Seattle wide receiver and print it 32 times to post outside every NFL stadium in America.

DO. NOT. ADMIT. THIS. MAN.

Harvin was removed twice from the Seahawks' NFC divisional round victory over New Orleans after taking a couple of wallops to the head, the second of which has put his availability for the NFC Championship Game in jeopardy.

I feel like at this point in his injury-riddled career, removing Harvin from the game—not a game, but the game—may be for his own good.

Harvin missed almost the entire regular season for Seattle after hip surgery, playing in just one game in November before eventually making it back for the playoffs. He was traded to the Seahawks in the offseason after playing in just nine games for Minnesota in 2012, as an ankle injury forced the Vikings to put him on injured reserve.