Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The World's Most Complete Middle Child Coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII!

     Who cares that the #1 offense will be taking on the #1 defense, or that it’s the first time in the last 20 years two number one seeds will be playing for the Lombardi Trophy? This year’s Super Bowl is an epic battle of Middle Child QBs: Russell Wilson, a second year pro and the sixth youngest QB to start the Big Game, versus Peyton Manning, playing in his 15th season and the second oldest QB to start in a Super Bowl. In fact, some are calling it “The Middle Child Syndrome Bowl.” Okay, maybe I’m the only one calling it that, but that’s beside the point! Fittingly, they will get to face each other under the worst conditions an NFL championship game has been played in since the 1967 Ice Bowl – typical Middle Child treatment. (I can just hear it now. “How come Eli didn’t have to play in the cold and snow? That’s no fair, Dad!”)

Pressure Up the Middle: What will it 
take to stop these guys?

     This year's game features the two most winning QBs since each started playing for their respective teams in 2012: Manning is 28-7 (.800) in the regular season and playoffs, and Wilson is 27-9 (.750) as a starter. Manning is 37 years old. Wilson is 25 years old. Their difference in age is the largest ever between two Super Bowl starting QBs – almost 13 years. But that’s not the only difference. Manning has set every season passing record in the books. He’ll likely earn his fifth NFL MVP award later this week. He’s been selected to 13 Pro Bowls (more than any other QB), won the second-most games of any quarterback in league history, won division titles and finished with double-digit victories in 13 of the 15 seasons he’s been to the postseason, has the highest number of game-winning drives and holds or shares 55 regular season and postseason records. Not to mention the prestigious Smack Dab Middle Child Sportsman of the Year Award. He’s aiming for his second ring in his third Super Bowl appearance.
     Wilson, on the other hand, will be making his first Super Bowl appearance. He’s only the sixth quarterback to get the start in either his first or second season and is hoping to be the first Seahawks' quarterback to win a Super Bowl. No second-year quarterback has ever played in a Super Bowl with more career wins under his belt. Although his resume isn’t very long, he’s off to a pretty good start. But Wilson and Manning aren't the only Middle Children making it to the Meadowlands.
Will Champ get to be one, or will 
Sherman be doing all the talking?
     On the other side of the ball, there’s Denver cornerback Champ Bailey and Seattle CB Richard Sherman. Bailey has been called one of the best players of his generation to never play in a Super Bowl. There was a time the 35 year old, 12-time Pro Bowler was considered to be the best CB in the league. And that wasn’t him saying it – which brings me to his very much unlike opposing counterpart. While Bailey lets his game do the talking, Sherman is the shut down corner that won’t shut up. He’s the brash talking, trash talking 25 year old who’s at the top of his game. Other than that, what can I say about Richard Sherman that Richard Sherman hasn’t already said about Richard Sherman???
     I’m sure each team has even more MidKids on their rosters, but these are just the marquis Middle Child match-ups. (My apologies to those I left out, but if you’re a Middle Child, you should be used to it by now!) So, which Middle Children will be basking in the glow of the attention victory brings? Who will be named MVMC? We’ll find out on Sunday -- may the best Middle Child win!

     For starters, my pick isn't necessarily who I think will win, but who I want to win. I know first hand that Middle Children aren't always the best sports, and I'd like for there to be fewer upset Middle Children after the game and as many happy Middle Children as possible. So I researched both rosters to determine how many Middle Children were starters for each team. Believe it or not, the NFL keeps stats on everything, but not birth order!! While I wasn't able to determine the birth order of every starter, based on those I was able to confirm, there are more Mid Kids starting for the Denver Broncos. Of course, no matter who wins, there's going to be a bunch of pissed off Middle Children, but what else is new? OUR PICK: DENVER! 
(Check back after the game to find out who is named MVMC)

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