Buehler's Blog at Super Bowl XLVII Day 4

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Day 4

Last night’s media party produced some memories, and that includes forgetting everything that happened after one of Pat O’Briens’ infamous Hurricanes.

But when I woke up this morning and headed into the NFL Films studios to be interviewed about the “Greatest 49ers of All Time” and the “Greatest Steves In NFL History,” proudly wearing my “Ms Young” jersey, I realized all the memories I acquired from years of watching Young, dressing up as him for Halloween at 11-years-old and falling in the love with the game because of how he played, would be what I relied on for this monumental opportunity with NFL Films.

Although I disagreed with some of the placements of the players on the list and thought some head coaches should have been included in the “Greatest 49ers” conversation, I enjoyed reliving how “8” showcased his passion for the game on the field and helped ignite a passion for the game in me.

And that’s what this week is REALLY about. Sure there’s the Ray Lewis angle, the retirement and the PEDs. And yes, there’s stats and matchups and strengths and weaknesses to outline and dissect. But what it boils down to, is the raw passion for the game, the instinct to keep going against all odds, the chess match against your opponent, against circumstance.

That’s what this week is really about. Celebrating a championship.

If the Niners are victorious Sunday, it will be a cherished event for sure. But regardless of what happens, as much as losing would require significant concessions of personal style on my part, it will still be a week to remember for the passion of the game everyone in New Orleans shares.

Thanks to Swat Fuel for keeping me going from NFL Films to Buehler’s Day Off and now to the Moves’ Magazine party and to Pizzeria Villagio for setting the bar so high, I’m not impressed by mediocre cuisine. 

 

Buehler's Blog at Super Bowl XLVII Day 3

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Day 3

The idea was to ruffle the Ravens’ feathers. See if I could get them to drop the guise and show their true colors heading into the biggest game of their collective lives. So I wore my Niners jersey and asked various players, not the big names, but the guys no one else was talking to, about the Niners media bias. But instead, I found solidarity, unity and a bunch of nice guys who were willing to play along on Media Day.

Doesn’t make for a “juicy” story, but it does say a lot about the team. Usually, the leaders of a team will be well acquainted with what to say, rarely are players with limited media experience united in a common message. But the message I got from the Ravens was: A) They enjoy being the under dog. B) They are going to let their play on the field dictate their message to Niner fans.

Which, if you’re a Ravens fan, is exactly what you want to hear. While I still think the matchups favor the Niners, the Ravens have enough matchup problems on both sides of the bal to make the game interesting and if it’s close, and the game comes down to a field goal, I don’t think a person in their right mind, 2-week-worn jersey or not, that wouldn’t take the Ravens and Justin Tucker over the Niners and David Akers.

I spoke with Jim Harbaugh and Patrick Willis and Colin Kaepernick and Joe Staley and Alex Boone and they were united as well, in fact, Harbaugh said this was the most focused, united team he’s ever been around. High praise from the coach. But “unity” won’t help an inconsistent kicker nail a 40-yard field goal in the final seconds.

Here’s the Niners pulling away in the second half and the Ravens winning the Super Bowl next year and me grabbing some Pizzeria Villagio when I get back to town... Thanks to SWAT Fuel for keeping me going...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buehler's Blog at Super Bowl XLVII Day 1

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Day 1

Today started off like any other: With me sliding into my Niners jersey. It’s the same one I’ve worn since the Niners beat the Falcons and the same one I’ll wear until the Niners beat the Ravens.

Of course this day started at 3:30 am and had a travel itinerary to New Orleans to catch the Super Bowl. So naturally I was amped upon waking at a non-human hour. Busted out some extra pushups and headed to LAX for the first flight to Louisiana.

Sat next to a gentleman who found out my last name. His next words: “I had a ferret once. Named it ‘Buehler’.” Then he silently chuckled to himself. The whole trip.

Once in New Orleans, I caught the tail end of the Niners arrival press conference. Missed Jim Harbaugh (and therefore prolonged the inevitable awkward moment of asking for a hug) but caugh Patrick Willis, Justin Smith and Colin Kaepernick’s name plate. Yeah, you read that right. If you think Kaep ducks out of pressure quickly, you should see him evade reporters. It’s breathtaking.

Both Smith and Willis have daunting tasks ahead. Smith, battling a torn tricep and an improved Ravens' offensive line and Willis trying to find “Where’s Rice” before he blazes by him. Yet both were loose and answering questions thoughtfully and sincerely. They were enjoying themselves. And that’s what each team should be doing: Enjoying some level of satisfaction of achieving this pinnacle.

Last year, I watched as the Patriots employed the “muzzle the ox” strategy, ignoring anything of interest and in 2010, watched as the Steelers used the “been there, done that” to diffuse the crush of the media attention. Neither strategy was successful.

Instead, a team must recognize the great honor of representing it’s respective conference and focus on executing the game plan with ease. The Niners seem loose. Enjoying this experience. That’s the only way they’ll leave with a 6th Lombardi.

Til then, I’d like to thank the kind people of New Orleans for keeping me entertained and Pizzeria Villagio and SWAT Fuel for sponsoring this very special trip.

Broadcasting LIVE from Radio Row for the FIRST TIME IN COACHELLA VALLEY HISTORY at 12:00 pst!

Don’t miss a moment! 

 

Buehler's Blog at Super Bowl XLVII Day 2

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DAY 2

First day on Radio Row and it was the calm before the storm. Radio Row becomes a circus, but not until about Wednesday. Watch the week of videos- they will become increasingly chaotic and frenetic. Had some buddies from Vancouver, BC radio stop by and Adam Rank of NFL.com and NFL Network put his support behind the Niners.

Beyond the radio broadcast, I went to the Ravens’ arrival press conference. While the Niners were dressed down in workout gear and casual attire, the Ravens were dressed to impress. They had gotten into town more than an hour a half before the press conference, I saw Boldin and Torrey Smith leaving the hotel in casual gear, so I was surprised to see the Ravens contingent, from Ray Rice to Terrell Suggs and Joe Flacco all dressed in suit and tie. This is a ‘business trip’ for them. That’s clear.

Rice was making jokes and Flacco looked calm and confident. When asked about the Niners defense, he said their strength is not deception, but a successful pass rush. This season, the Niners blizted only 22% of QB drops according to Greg Cosell of NFL Films, which is well below the league average. But as Flacco recognized, they don’t have to blitz much because their line is so strong.  And he makes a good point- you’ll see in the video.

The real matchup is in the secondary and whether Flacco’s cannon can exploit the Niners dbs. San Fran does love their nickel package, but Boldin and Smith are physical and the Niners had a tough time with Julio Jones and Roddy White’s physicality. If the Niners don’t contain the Ravens’ deep passing game, it could be a long day for the defense.

Ultimately, we’ll see a lot more of these guys this week and get a better idea of what they’re going to be looking for themselves.  

Went to Dragos for dinner, which is considered one of the top restaurants in town. I marveled as a server held a GIANT, LIVE lobster on a tray and walked around with it. I stopped him, asked for a picture, upon snapping said picture, the GM of Dragos, picked the fat thing up and handed it to me (as though I was hoping for a wet lobster in my grasps)… And then it hit me. This is likely the second to last human interaction this creature will see before its ultimate demise. So that was fun. 

Ran into Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports who said he “had a feeling” the Ravens would win the Super Bowl. He also thought the Pats would prevail last year. So there’s that.

I’m off to the French Quarter where cameras are not allowed!

Thanks to SWAT Fuel, I’m still going strong and as famous as the New Orleans food is, I’m still craving some Pizzeria Villagio!

Media Day is tomorrow! Don’t miss it!

 

Forget the Madden Curse, The Super Bowl Curse Ruins Your Franchise

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We all know about the devastation leveled on the preeminent player that graces the cover of EA Sports Madden NFL, but one player facing a bad year is nothing compared to watching an entire franchise plummet into the abyss that is "The Super Bowl Curse."

A city might earn hundreds of millions in economic revenue, but it can cost the NFL franchise a year of futility to host the Super Bowl.

Don't believe me? Let's look at the Saints. A team that went 13-3 last year, sent through a gauntlet of offseason tumult and started this season 0-4. Fought to 5-5, got hammered by a backup quarterback at home to fall to 5-6. They faced a daunting schedule to finish out and host the Super Bowl but miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

After the Colts stumbled to an 0-13 start, I got thinking, "Wow, one of the NFL's most consistent franchises chose a bad year to face plant into futility..." No team had won more games in a decade than the Colts did between 2000-2009. They were coming off a season where they had tied the NFL record for most consecutive playoff appearances, were looking to own that record and host the world's largest single-day sporting event. And then Manning can't play and the goose egg showed up in the win column for 13 straight week. Still not convinced? 

The Cowboys were happy to show off Jerry's World to the planet in 2010. What they didn't account for was Tony Romo's clavicle snapping, going from an 11-5 record in 2009 to collapsing into a 6-10 season as they watched the Green Bay Packers turn the 6th seed into a Lombardi Trophy on their giant big screen. 

Need more? Miami has hosted it's fair share of Super Bowls and received some cruel punishment because of it. 2006 the Dolphins were 6-10, hosted the big game and paid for it with a 1-15 season in 2007. The solution? How about a big time turnaround for the franchise with Tony Sparano. In 2008, the team rebounded to an 11-5 record, shocked the NFL by winning the AFC East. Sure they were ousted in the first round of the playoffs, but when 2009 opened up, this team was looking to build on '08 success and once again host the Super Bowl. They went 7-9 that year. Haven't made the playoffs since 2008.

And it's not just recent history either. The 1980 New Orleans Saints were up for the task of host the Super Bowl. They were coming off an 8-8 campaign in 1979, then promptly went 1-15 in 1980 and still hold the second longest losing streak in NFL history at 15 games. 

Below is a list of every Super Bowl, the host team and how they faired. Turns out, in 46 years of this game, only 21 teams that hosted the Super Bowl ended the same season with a .500 record or above. Only 10 teams made the playoffs, the last being the Buccaneers in 2000. Only 2 have played in the Super Bowl and ONE team in NFL history has hosted and won the game. That'd be the 1984 San Francisco 49ers when the game was held at Stanford. 

So Jets fans, you think THIS year is bad. Wait until your team is officially the Super Bowl host franchise. (Giants will likely be the exception to the rule. They usually are.) 


 

SUPER BOWL NFL SEASON HOST CITY HOST TEAM RECORD PLAYOFFS?
I 1966 LOS ANGELES RAMS 8-6  
II 1967 MIAMI DOLPHINS 4-10  
III 1968 MIAMI DOLPHINS 5-8-1  
IV 1969 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 5-9  
V 1970 MIAMI DOLPHINS 10-4 WILDCARD- LOST IN 1ST ROUND
VI 1971 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 4-8-2  
VII 1972 LOS ANGELES RAMS 6-7-1  
VIII 1973 HOUSTON OILERS 1-13  
IX 1974 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 5-9  
X 1975 MIAMI DOLPHINS 10-4  
XI 1976 PASADENA RAMS 10-3-1 WESTERN DIVISION WINNER, LOST IN NFC CHAMPIONSHIP TO MINNESOTA
XII 1977 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 3-11  
XIII 1978 MIAMI DOLPHINS 11-5 WILDCARD- LOST IN 1ST ROUND
XIV 1979 PASADENA RAMS 9-7 WESTERN DIVISION WINNER, LOST IN SUPER BOWL TO STEELERS 31-19
XV 1980 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 1-15  
XVI 1981 PONTIAC LIONS 8-8  
XVII 1982 PASADENA RAIDERS 8-1 LOST IN SECOND ROUND TO JETS 17-14
      RAMS 2-7 **STRIKE SHORTENED SEASON 
XVIII 1983 TAMPA BAY BUCS 2-14  
XIX 1984 STANFORD 49ERS 15-1 DESTROYED MIAMI IN SUPER BOWL 38-16
XX 1985 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 5-11  
XXI 1986 PASADENA RAIDERS 8-8  
      RAMS 10-6 WILDCARD-LOST IN FIRST ROUND
XXII 1987 SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 8-7  
XXIII 1988 MIAMI DOLPHINS 6-10  
XIV 1989 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 9-7  
XV 1990 TAMPA BAY BUCS 6-10  
XVI 1991 MINNEAPOLIS VIKINGS 8-8  
XVII 1992 PASADENA RAIDERS 7-9  
      RAMS 6-10  
XVIII 1993 ATLANTA FALCONS 6-10  
XXIX 1994 MIAMI DOLPHINS 10-6 WON DIVISION- LOST IN SECOND ROUND TO SAN DIEGO WHO WAS DESTROYED BY 49ERS IN SUPER BOWL
XXX 1995 PHOENIX CARDINALS 4-12  
XXXI 1996 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 3-13  
XXXII 1997 SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 4-12  
XXXIII 1998 MIAMI DOLPHINS 10-6 WILDCARD- LOST IN 2ND ROUND TO DENVER
XXXIV 1999 ATLANTA FALCONS 5-11  
XXXV 2000 TAMPA BAY BUCS 10-6 5 SEED, LOST IN 1ST ROUND
XXXVI 2001 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 7-9  
XXXVII 2002 SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 8-8  
XXXVIII 2003 HOUSTON TEXANS 5-11  
XXXIX 2004 JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 9-7  
XL 2005 DETROIT LIONS 5-11  
XLI 2006 MIAMI DOLPHINS 6-10  
XLII 2007 PHOENIX CARDINALS 8-8  
XLIII 2008 TAMPA BAY BUCS 9-7  
XLIV 2009 MIAMI DOLPHINS 7-9  
XLV 2010 DALLAS COWBOYS 6-10  
XLVI 2011 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 2-14  
XLVII 2012 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS ???  

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