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With game nearly here, time for picks

There aren’t many more clichéd activities in sports than Super Bowl picks.

But, this is the newspaper business, not exactly an internet start-up, so we’re not above taking the traditional route.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the Super Bowl is like going to the dentist. The only good part about it is that it eventually ends. Dentists are important, of course, unlike the mind-numbing build up to the Super Bowl. All the blabbery on TV and radio — just play the game, already.

So, mercifully on Sunday they finally will in front of over 100 zillion eyeballs, or whatever number the NFL claims. Of all the facts and figures related to the grandeur/excess of the event, maybe the most amazing is how much money it costs to buy an ad. This year, a 30-second commercial costs $4 million. … There’s a lot of starving children in the world and Bill Gates and Warren Buffett can’t feed them all.

Of course, I avoided as much chatter as I could, but you can’t block it all out. The time devoted to the weather was relentless. As if somehow teams from Seattle and Denver would be bothered by wind, cold or water?

But, the game will be played in temperatures over 40 degrees with little to no chance of precipitation, probably because Mother Nature realized she’d be charged by the NFL for any costs associated with adverse weather conditions — no opportunity is averse to a money-grab by the almighty NFL, after all.

What’s too bad is that the game doesn’t need all the kibbles and bits. Its two very good teams and that should be enough.

The line, as of Friday night, has Denver a 2.5-point favorite. Not because Las Vegas sees them as the better team, rather most of the early money came in on the Broncos. Essentially, it’s a pick-em game.

And with that, I’ll take Seattle, 24-23.

It is the Super Bowl, so we need to go somewhat big with our picks.

So, joining the Sun sports staff is photog legend John M. Steiner, newly minted assistant editor Masaki Ova, frequent contributor and Packer hack Ben Rodgers, and North Star Athletic Association commissioner Cory Anderson.

Cory knows football in and out, and knows — and has a story about — pretty much everybody. He called plays for years as Valley City State’s offensive coordinator, and with Peyton Manning and his blurring jirations and verbal machinations at the line of scrimmage, it was only appropriate we had a play-caller on this panel, so C.A. is our guy.

Michael Savaloja

This space could not contain Mike’s breakdown, which is quite thorough in Savaloja-esque fashion, so, he gets his own space.

Denver 58, Seattle 13

Peyton Manning throws for an NFL-record eight touchdown passes after the Broncos start the game with a safety, cementing his legacy as the greatest quarterback of all time. More importantly, he shuts up the 12th man copycats who firmly believe the Seahawks are the greatest team of all time. Seattle, as usual, blames the referees for costing them yet another Super Bowl, and Pete Carroll announces at the postgame parade that he didn’t think his team would be playing the guys in stripes, too, confirming every Seahawks fan’s intuition that they’ve never actually lost a game since becoming an expansion team in 1976.

Denver 42, Seattle 27

I have to pick Denver to win. Why? I have become a Broncos fan thanks to a brother who lived there for nearly 20 years. Duane and his son, Thomas, who still lives there, got me to jump on the bandwagon. In October, 2012, the three of us went to a game in the new Denver stadium and I was hooked. Furthermore, Denver boasts a fellow UND alum in offensive lineman Chris Kuper, who is currently injured, but has enjoyed a solid eight-year career in the NFL. Go Broncos!!!

Seattle 27, Denver 20

The game will ultimately be decided by which team has the better defense. Seattle’s stout defense will make the Broncos offense one-dimensional after they shut down Denver’s run game. Marshawn “beast mode” Lynch will run all over the Broncos defense, and Denver quarterback Peyton Manning will struggle throwing the ball against the Richard Sherman-led “Legion of Boom.”

Seattle 31, Denver 28

I’m not entirely safe making this pick as no one should be talking about Richard Sherman. I wouldn’t want the guy coming here and shutting my mouth for me, however mediocre of a writer I may be. With that in mind, I’m in taking Seattle’s Legion of Boom to shut down Peyton’s passing attack. It’s been documented Manning isn’t a complete lock in the playoffs and Seattle’s defense gives me nightmares, no matter how many times I utter “Omaha” in my sleep.

Seattle 27, Denver 24, OT

Slight edge to the Seahawks as they have played a measurably tougher schedule and Peyton Manning faces the toughest defense and maybe worst weather of the year. Those factors and the addition of Percy Harvin will allow recently  pedestrian performances by Russell Wilson to execute just enough to win … in overtime.

So, the game is nearly here.

Come Sunday night, the Lombardi Trophy will head to Denver for a third time, or make its debut in Seattle. And, those of us up here begin a slow, death-march countdown to next season and another painful fall of losing with the Purple.

Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701)                      952-8460 or by e-mail at

Dave Selvig
Selvig has been a sports writer at The Sun since 1999 and sports editor since 2009.
(701) 952-8460