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The Final Exam, The New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams: The Professor’s Preview

Super Bowl LIII

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Press Conference Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

How We Got Here

Through sixteen regular season games, one divisional round and one conference championship our Los Angeles Rams will face off against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII for a chance to host the Lombardi Trophy.

Long ago, I attended the first Super Bowl held in Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum between the NFL and AFL. I’ve attended each and every Super Bowl played in Los Angeles since then and watched all 52 of the games.

If you would have told me that the Super Bowl would become what it has after Super Bowl I, I would’ve laughed. But the NFL’s dominance over the AFL changed when the New Jets QB Joe Namath, despite being 18 point underdogs, guaranteed his team would beat the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. The year after that the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs duplicated the Jets performance by stunning the highly favored NFL’s Minnesota Vikings.

The game has never been the same since.

This isn’t just a game anymore, its beyond being a spectacle or an extravaganza. The entire country shuts down when the game is played. There’s some much hype that it’s hard to take, especially when your favorite team is playing in the big game.

What I’ve Learned About The Super Bowl Over The Years:

The one thing I’ve taken away over the years about the game is that favorites don’t always win. The pseudo football experts - whether in print, radio, or television - will provide us with a boat load of reasons why they’re picking one team over the other. Sometimes they’re right, sometimes they’re wrong.

In this game, your guess as a fan is a good as theirs.

This is because each conference is different, turnovers are never part of evaluation process and no one can say with certainty who is going to win.

The game can be as predictable or unpredictable as you want to make it.

The New England Patriots Dynasty

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are the GOAT.

If you’re a football fan, not recognizing this coming into the game is a huge mistake. To be playing their ninth Super Bowl in the modern area where the parity rules of the league are designed for greater competition among the teams is remarkable.

It will never be duplicated.

Respect it, but don’t fear it.

The Los Angeles Rams

The 2018 Los Angeles Rams are the new kids on the block, quite the opposite from the old school style of football played by the New England Patriots.

Emblematic of this new era is the Rams head coach, Sean McVay, who In just two short years has guided the 4-12 Rams into the Super Bowl utilizing a wide open offense designed to take advantage of the favorable passing game rules.

The Los Angeles Rams have a storied history themselves going back to their days to Cleveland. In 1947, after winning a NFL Championship in 1945, the team moved to Los Angeles where they won a NFL Championship in 1951. The team then packed their bags in 1993 and headed to St. Louis where they won Super Bowl XXXIV. In 2016, the team moved back to Los Angeles.

The Rams haven’t won a NFL Championship as the Los Angeles Rams since 1951. I’ve been rooting and watching this team play football since 1958. I’m biased when it comes to my Rams and it’s my opinion that my long suffering nightmare of frustration will come to an end this Sunday.

Last Words of Wisdom From the Professor

This is our team’s final exam.

Back on August 29, 2018 I said this about the journey ahead: “Get ready for a season the likes of which Los Angeles Rams fans haven’t seen since 1951.”

Nothing I’ve seen during the course of this season since then has made me change my opinion coming into this game.

This is where the journey ends.