Fiddler's Facts: Time for Super Bowl picks

Fred
Fred MacDonald
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Pollsters pick the Denver Broncos, The Sports Prophet sees the Seattle Seahawks winning Sunday

The Super Bowl goes Sunday from MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, just a stone’s throw from Gotham, and it features the NFL’s best offensive team, the Denver Broncos, against the league’s best defensive team, the Seattle Seahawks.

Last year, The Guardian’s annual Super Bowl poll correctly called Baltimore to win North America football’s greatest prize and this year the majority of the distinguished sports panel are calling for a Broncos’ victory. Let’s take a closer look at their thoughts on the big game.

Summerside’s Fred Ripley, a big football star with St. Dunstan’s (SDU) in the 1960s, thinks Peyton Manning is the difference.

“Peyton has a great cast of receivers and his experience will be the deciding factor,” says Ripley.

Sock MacDonald, a recent addition into P.E.I.’s Sports Hall of Fame, who starred both as a receiver and defensive back with those good Ed Hilton-coached UPEI teams of the mid-1970s, likes Denver by a touchdown.

“Manning is a great quarterback and his experience at reading the defences and his cast of receivers will spell a Denver victory,” says Sock.

Mike Lyriotokis, another former UPEI great and a UPEI Hall of Famer, was very emphatic. “It’s Peyton Manning’s year.”

Jim Revell, the ex-UPEI quarterback called Baltimore last year and loves Denver to win this year.  “Peyton Manning is the

difference. He’s one of the all-time greats and he’ll prove it to all doubters Sunday,” says Revell.

Peter Dunphy, a regular reader of Saturday’s Guardian who is now based in Calgary and a Denver fan since his early days in Charlottetown, sees the Broncos winning by at least seven points.

“I will be in New York for the Super Bowl and wearing my Denver colours,” he says. “This is Peyton Manning’s year.”

Montreal’s Serge Savard Sr. is a big football follower and a Manning fan. The Hockey Hall of Famer calls a Denver victory by a touchdown because, “Peyton Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. He will find a way to win.”

Tex MacDonald, the former SDU running back and Holland College’s first football coach, thinks Denver’s offence will be too much for a young Seattle team.

“In addition, Denver’s defence is healthy now and that tells me the Broncos will win the 2014 Super Bowl.”

A trio of linebackers, who played for the Hilton coached mid-1970s Panthers, see the outcome differently.

Gary Kennedy, a rugged and fast linebacker in his UPEI days, thinks Seattle’s defence will smother Denver’s offence.

“Defence wins championships and that suggests the Seahawks win tomorrow’s Super Bowl.”

Shane Dowling, another bruising linebacker on the UPEI mid 1970s team that did not allow any team to rush for 100 yards, loves Seattle.

“The big and fast Seattle secondary will blanket the Denver receivers. Seattle wins a low-scoring game.”

Jim MacInnis, a Calgary financial consultant who starred at Charlottetown Rural in the 1970s and was a hard-nosed linebacker with UPEI, sticks with the defence and is calling for a Seahawks victory.

Summerside’s Paul MacWilliams, a top quarterback at Summerside high in his day has an interesting view on the big game.

“My heart is with Peyton Manning, but I think Seattle’s defence will rule the day.”

Earlier in the year, I went on record as saying the winner of the NFC game between Seattle and San Francisco will win the Super Bowl. I would love to see Denver win, but I have had doubts all along about Denver’s defence. The Sports Prophet calls for a Seahawks victory.

Olympics

The Sochi Olympics are less than two weeks away and interest mounts on the hockey tournament with all of us pulling for a Team Canada victory.

However, as a betting man, I am looking at the fact that Canada has not won a gold medal in hockey overseas since 1952. And do not be fooled by the fact the NHL players are there in force because you and I saw the power of the Soviet Union’s Red Army team in 1964, 1968 and 1972.

A lot of pieces will have to fall in place for Team Canada to win gold in Russia and that includes stellar goaltending and airtight defence. In the past three weeks, goaltenders Roberto Luongo, Carey Price and Mike Smith have been just OK and that’s not a great sign. And the defence, not as solid as I originally thought. Rick Nash has come on strong and that’s a plus. The question remains, can he do it when it counts?

There are still some anxious moments regarding Team Canada’s roster, so we’ll have to wait and see.

Harness racing

Live harness racing continues today at 1 p.m. sharp at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park with a top 13-dash card.

The $2,000 feature has attracted a solid field of five and from the rail out: Miracle Matts (Corey MacPherson), Pinner (Marc Campbell), Nobestbfor (Walter Cheverie), P C Shockwave (Brian MacPhee) and Cambest Kisser (Jason Hughes).

Carl Jamieson has 18 head training in southern Florida and they include 14 two-year-olds. Jeff and Jenny Biggar from Tyne Valley and Hall of Famer Ron Waples are giving Jamieson a hand in conditioning these babies.

Greg MacNair has a huge stable in training at Okeechobe, Fla., and 29 are two-year-olds, including a large number by Art Major, Mach Three, Mister Big and Sportswriter, who has been getting good early reviews on his first crop. The good trotter Buddy Holly, co-owed by MacNair, Wayne MacRae, Earl Watts and Reg and Blaine MacPherson, is almost ready to qualify.

On the local scene, tickets are moving for next Friday’s kitchen party, associated with the O’Brien Awards. I am told more than 700 tickets have seen sold and it looks like a banner crowd for the big event.

Simulcast racing is available tonight at Red Shores with racing from Woodbine and Yonkers, N.Y. This afternoon, the racing from Flamboro is available during the live city card. See you next week.

Fred MacDonald's column appears in

The Guardian each Saturday. He can be reached at fiddlersfacts@hotmail.com.

Organizations: Holland College, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks NFL Team Canada Sports Prophet NHL Red Army

Geographic location: Denver, Seattle, Summerside Baltimore MetLife Stadium New Jersey North America Calgary Charlottetown New York Montreal San Francisco Canada Soviet Union Russia Charlottetown Driving Park Southern Florida Tyne Valley Yonkers, N.Y.

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  • Jim
    February 01, 2014 - 10:08

    A bronco win