Steelers vs. Seahawks: Who Will Win?
SCOTT SIMON, host:
Time now for football. Did you know they're playing a football game tomorrow? Do you live in a cave? Super Bowl 40 will be played in Detroit. The first time for the Seattle Seahawks. The Pittsburgh Steelers hope to win their fifth Super Bowl, one for the (Unintelligible), they say. Ron Rapoport joins us from Chicago. Morning, Ron.
RON RAPOPORT reporting:
SIMON: And introduce us to these two teams. The dramatis personae, Ben Roethlisberger, the quarterback. Matt Hasselbeck of the Pittsburgh Steelers, their quarterback. A couple of appealing athletes.
RAPOPORT: Can you spell their names, though, Scott?
RAPOPORT: You know, we're going into this game kind of disappointed, it seems to me. The glamour teams, a lot of the glamour players: the Patriots, the Colts, Brady, Manning, Donovan McNabb; they're sitting at home watching the game like you and me. When the most lasting image of Super Bowl week is of Jerome Bettis's boarded up house in Detroit, you know you're missing a little bit of star power here. Not to mention the fact that, I don't know, it looks like the big events this week, the big buildup has been who can tell the best Detroit joke and who can get most excited about Mick Jagger?
SIMON: Hmm. I don't like Detroit jokes.
RAPOPORT: It's just like football has kind of taken a back seat. But you know what, Scott?
RAPOPORT: I'm looking for a pretty good game. These are good teams with exciting offenses.
RAPOPORT: Strong defenses. Good coaches. You know, it's hard to think that all we care about during Super Bowl Week is a football game. But I think it could be a good one.
SIMON: I'm interested in the fact that Mike Holmgren has been coaching the Seahawks for seven years. Bill Cowher's been with Steelers for 14. These are coaches with a commitment and these are long running franchises.
RAPOPORT: Well, but here's an interesting thing, it seems to me, Scott. Here we have two of the game's best coaches. They've both been to Super Bowls before. But just a few years ago, they were almost being talked about in the past tense. Cowher had gone through some bad seasons in Pittsburgh and the natives were restless. Holmgren was stripped of his general manager's duties in Seattle, told to concentrate on coaching. And here they both are. There's a lesson there somewhere, I think. Scott, the Steelers have had two coaches in 37 years. That doesn't happen anymore.
SIMON: Good, Lord. The Wall Street Journal yesterday said the Seahawks have a very cost effective defense, most of their players were discards. Is that something that they might regret in the title game?
RAPOPORT: No, no. I don't think so. The Seahawks, I think, have been the surprise for everybody. You know, the Steelers were the lowest seed in their conference entering the playoffs, which meant they had to play three games on the road against good teams just to get here. And the Seahawks -- and the whole NFC, the whole conference the Seahawks were in, it's such a down year that it was almost like they weren't getting any respect at all. And yet, I think that they're a very good team, very strong.
SIMON: All right, I'm going to put my neck out first. Okay?
RAPOPORT: Go for it.
SIMON: I believe so strongly in the Steelers, I'm going to say they're going to win a hundred to seven. Actually, I'm going to guess that The Bus, Jerome Bettis, their great running back, is going to run wild at home in Detroit and they'll win 35 to 14.
RAPOPORT: No. I think the Seahawks -- well, in the first place, the Seahawks have been very good to me since the playoffs started and I'm not going to desert them in their hour of need now. I'd say Seattle 21-17. Listen, Scott, we need to wrap this up. The 36hours of pre-game shows are getting ready and Chris Berman getsangry if you're not there right from the start.
SIMON: I should note, Dan Schorr phoned in his prediction, because he can't join us this week.
SIMON: He says, “Scott, the city of Detroit will win.”
RAPOPORT: Go for it
SIMON: Okay. Ron Rapoport, thanks very much.
RAPOPORT: Thank you.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.