Flack Friday: The True Underdogs of Super Bowl LIII

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Has anyone else been bothered by how quiet this Super Bowl week has been? The NBA has dominated the headlines throughout the week with the Anthony Davis drama and Kristaps Porzingis trade which just happened yesterday. Regardless, one of the biggest American sporting events is just days away.

I’ve had two weeks to plow through the different aspects of Sunday’s matchup between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams. On one side you have the experienced, systematic Patriots who are making their third straight Super Bowl with a 41-year-old quarterback in Tom Brady. On the other side, the flashy Rams who have been in Los Angeles for three years and are led by Sean McVay who can’t keep himself on the sidelines. I have come to understand that this game is not all about how many Super Bowls you have played in or who is coaching. There’s much more to the game in Atlanta this weekend.

The True Underdogs

Throughout my life I have always viewed myself as an underdog. Whether that be in school, sports, relationships or work, I believe that there is a true power in seeing yourself as an underdog. Maintaining that viewpoint brings confidence, humility and passion.

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Underdogs are not the popular choice, neither are they the people’s choice. They are their own choice. This mentality worked for the Philadelphia Eagles in last year’s Super Bowl. Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles has been known to carry this throughout his career. Last year the perfect storm brewed which gave Foles a Super Bowl ring and the Super Bowl MVP title.

I keep reading that the Los Angeles Rams are the underdogs heading into Super Bowl LIII. Why is it that everyone seems to agree with this notion?

The Rams were considered one of the best teams in the NFL for most of the season. They took down the mighty Chiefs in one of the highest scoring football games in NFL history. Oh, and don’t forget that the Rams had the second best offense in the league throughout the regular season.

Los Angeles, more specifically Jared Goff, sure hasn’t been the same since losing Cooper Kupp. Other than the loss of Kupp, this is a healthy roster that has the likes of Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald. I can’t think of one player that is better on the Patriots that is not named Tom Brady.

Let’s be honest. New England is clearly the underdog in this game against the Rams. They weren’t supposed to be here, remember? The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers were considered more worthy Super Bowl candidates. In all fairness, they did have better rosters and players than New England.

The underdog mentality says otherwise. And that has been proved time after time this season for the Patriots.

While Brady has carried the underdog mentality with him throughout his career, this year feels different. It feels like the whole team views themselves as underdogs heading into Atlanta.

I’m taking the Patriots in this game. For me this Super Bowl is not just about the X’s and O’s. I’m picking the Patriots not because of their experience. Certainly not because of their roster. My pick doesn’t even line up with the reasoning behind most members of the media. I’m picking New England because of that true underdog spirit. It hasn’t let them down this season and I don’t see it being stopped short on Sunday. Belief coupled with action trumps talent.

Enjoy the game.

I’d love to hear your picks for the Super Bowl this week. Send in your picks to me at brayden@sweetwaternow.com.


Brayden is a sports and community reporter for SweetwaterNOW. His column, Flack Friday, will be posted every Friday. You can submit comments, questions or ideas regarding the column to brayden@sweetwaternow.com.