The Common Man took a couple days off there, you know, to build up the tension and get you salivating for his return. So how did that go for you? The Common Man spent his time interviewing for a new job, running after The Boy, and guest blogging over at The Domestic and Laboratory Goddess about the necessity of open and honest communication between spouses, especially when it comes to figuring out how to raise the kids.
Tomorrow, of course, is the big day. The pinnacle of sport. The crown jewel of Americana. And while most of America is focused on the football and the commercials, The Common Man knows that the lot of you are wondering whether he will actually pick a winner. So far, The Common Man has picked every other game right, getting two games in the first week, two in the second round, and one of the championship games. So, unless the game ends in a tie, this entire project is either going to be an incredible success or a pitiful failure. And you can't wait to find out which. So, on to the pick:
Arizona Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (Pittsburgh is favored by 7)
Everything in The Common Man's body and soul tells him that he should be picking the Steelers here. Their defense really is excellent, anchored by Troy Polamalu and Nick Harrison. Ben Roethlesberger is a solid quarterback. Their running game is back on track thanks to Fast Willie Parker's resurgence. Hines Ward is probable to play. They are well-coached. And the AFC has been a better conference than the NFC for several seasons running.
Meanwhile, Arizona won just 9 games during the regular season. Their mediocre-at-best running game is not going to be a factor against the Steelers. Their quarterback, Kurt Warner, is not mobile and figures to be blitzed often. Their defense is mediocre.
And yet, The Common Man feels drawn like a moth to the flame that is Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald figures to be the best player on the field, and The Common Man thinks the Cardinals will eschew the run, spreading the field with three and four receiver sets, forcing Polamalu to help out in coverage, and keeping him from being the ball-hawking freestyle playmaker he loves to be. At the very least, this game is going to be closer than the seven point spread.
Arizona 27, Pittsburgh 24