At least the fans can enjoy the propositions |

At least the fans can enjoy the propositions

Column by Steve Yingling, Tahoe Daily Tribune

How confident are the St. Louis Rams? Kurt Warner hasn’t even won his second Super Bowl and he’s already thinking about winning his fifth one.

The MVP quarterback offered that revelation during Tuesday’s media day. Warner providing bulletin board material to the opposing team is like Ward Cleaver being arrested for propositioning an under-cover police officer.

“I know there’s never been a quarterback that won five Super Bowls, so if I have one goal and one thing I would love to be remembered for, it would be to win five,” Warner told the Associated Press.

Obviously, Warner has reason to be overconfident — he’s already shredded the Patriots’ secondary and the consensus among Nevada sports books is that the Rams are 14 points better. Warner passed for 401 yards and three touchdowns in the Rams’ 24-17 midseason victory.

That’s partly why the Super Bowl XXXVI matchup is about as intriguing as a California high school badminton championship game. Maybe that’s why the Stateline books are offering such a variety of propositions.

If the Patriots don’t make it interesting, perhaps Michael Jordan, Shaq or Kobe Bryant will.

Jordan may not know it, but he’s not only facing the Pacers on Sunday. He’s also matched up with the Rams’ point total. The books went easy on Kobe and Shaq, pitting their outputs vs. the Mavericks against the Patriots’ point total.

If those props don’t get your heart near cardiac arrest, then maybe picking the Rams’ and Patriots’ exact points will, or determining if the Super Bowl’s total points will be odd or even. Better bring out your second-graders’ math books for a refresher course on odd and even numbers so you don’t have to ask the ticket taker the difference.

Believe it or not, the Pebble Beach National Pro-am golf tournament might be slightly more interesting than NFL’s big game on Sunday. The books have made sure that fans will have to watch both, though, by sending Tiger Woods into battle with the total points scored in the Super Bowl. Tiger is giving up 14Y strokes, I mean points, on his fourth-round score, while the Super Bowl is getting 14Y points.

If only Tiger’s PGA foes were so lucky.

Anyone who takes the books’ bait by wagering that there won’t be any touchdowns in this game, then you better get rid of your Internet access. The Rams have scored at least a touchdown in all of their games, while the Patriots have reached the end zone in all but two of their games. If the teams spend the entire 60 minutes kicking field goals, then Warner must have eaten a bad can of Campbell’s chunky soup.

If you don’t want to cheer for either the Rams or Patriots, you can root for fumbles, a two-point conversion or a score inside the final 2 minutes of the first half.

But if you insist on seeing facts as to why the Patriots will pull one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, then go on-line and find some newspapers in Massachusetts.

Since that home defeat the Patriots have done nothing but win. The eight-game winning streak includes victories over the Saints, Jets, Dolphins, Raiders and Steelers. But isn’t this the same team that needed overtime near the end of the season to beat Buffalo.

And Ty Law can’t cover Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce and Tory Holt by himself. Each of these Rams caught seven passes in the last meeting. Making matters worse, this track meet is on the carpet.

Of course, St. Louis is one shot to the ribs of Warner from Jamie Martin directing their high-scoring attack. Jamie who? No, he isn’t related to Rickey Martin.

No, this Martin played for a spell with the Jacksonville Jaguars. How quickly we forget.

If the Rams turn the ball over like they did in the first meeting — Warner was picked off twice, including a 52-yard interception return for a touchdown — the Patriots could keep it close.

But the Rams have too many weapons and a defense that has produced its share of wins this season.

How can the Patriots expect to compete offensively with the Rams when Antowain Smith only rushed for 36 yards and Brady passed for 185 when the teams played in Foxboro?

Enjoy those propositions.

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