Sports: Super Bowl LV1 – What A Difference A Year Can Make

by Donovan Cordell

I’ve been a fan of football my whole life. Growing up a New Orleans Saints fan conditioned me to many bad days watching football.  Back in the day, they were called the “Aints” not the “Saints.” People sat in the empty Superdome with bags on their heads because the team was bad… every year.  Now that I’m a resident of Wisconsin, I cheer for a number of teams. Recently I’ve grown quite fond of the Cincinnati Bengals and the LA Rams because of their two quarterbacks and their recent struggles.

Super Bowl LV1 will provide an opportunity for all of us to witness what a difference a year can make. No matter who wins, for the two quarterbacks, it is a monumental achievement to have made it this far. One year ago Joe Burrow and Mathew Stafford were not winning games, not leading their teams to the promise land. One was in rehab and the other was in a place worse than rehab… Detroit Michigan.

The Detroit Lions have ruined a few great NFL careers, such as Barry Sanders and Megatron Calvin Johnson. The Lions are also one of the seven NFL Franchises that have never won a Super Bowl.  They picked Mathew Stafford number one overall in the 2009 NFL draft. In twelve seasons, his playoff record was 0-3.  Mathew clearly did not want to end his career in the same horrible fashion as Barry, Calvin and many others.  Stafford needed desperately to make a change and give it a shot with another team, another coach.

“I Can’t Win In Detroit”

In the 2021 off season, Stafford went to Loins management and requested to be traded to a team that is a “Contender.”  The team that stepped up to the plate was the LA Rams. The Rams offered multiple first round draft picks as well as their current younger quarterback Jarod Goff. The deal was made and Stafford was a Ram. With change came a great opportunity, but also a greater challenge with immense pressure. The Rams just mortgaged their future for a guy who hasn’t won anything in twelve years. Once Mathew landed in LA, all the doubters began to speculate that this was going to be a disaster. Why would the team do this to their quarterback Jarod Goff? Goff won a lot of games and led them to the Super Bowl just two seasons prior to the trade. All of those opinions and questions mean absolutely nothing now because Stafford has led the team back to the big dance. This is a guy who has a new lease on life.

The Rams are happy with their guy and so is the other team playing on Super Bowl Sunday 2022, the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals believe in their field general Joe Burrow that’s one of the reasons why they drafted him number one overall in the 2019 NFL draft. He was the obvious selection due to him leading his college team to a National Championship.

The Bengals have historically been a not so great Franchise and it’s understandable given that they play in the very tough AFC North division. They have to play Pittsburgh and Baltimore twice every year. So the deck was stacked against Joe Burrow when he arrived in Cincinnati. His rookie season was the same as most rookie seasons having a few good moments followed by a few bone headed mistakes. Then came week nine… he had a very bad day against the Washington Football team where he severely injured his left knee. His torn ligaments had many experts questioning if he would ever be the same player. The video was so horrific we can’t even show it here… the images don’t due it justice.

To come back just one year later after an injury this bad speaks volumes about the character and mental toughness of Joe Burrow. Super Bowl LV1 will be a good game hopefully, but whatever the outcome, we must cheer for these two Incredible Quarterbacks. The Rams are favored to win and they should be they are at home.

My prediction is 27-24 and I have the Bengals winning. 

Joe Burrow is the Next Tom Brady.