Up The Gut Super Bowl LIV: Mraz Makes His Pick

In his final column of the season, Shaun Morash gives his Super Bowl picks – for the game, yes, but also for snacks

The DA Show
January 24, 2020 - 11:09 am

By Shaun Morash

Cold Open
The 49ers and Chiefs, just like nobody drew it up in August, at least for the team from San Francisco. Now isn't this refreshing? I don't want to spend the entire final column of the 2019 NFL season shredding the Patriots because they deserve credit for frankly being the most remarkable dynasty of all time in terms of length spent at the top. That being said, if you weren't a believer in Patriots fatigue, you have to be now, right? 
Two weeks of not having storylines such as Tom Brady versus Joe Montana, can insert NFC team lean on the Giants and Eagles game-plans, is Belichick the greatest coach of all time? Are all out the window. Now, we can focus on a team built old school with a tremendous defense led by a head coach whose offensive game plan once lost The Big Game in epic fashion to these same Patriots. We can focus on the next face of the NFL and, as Kyle Brandt from Good Morning Football has said, maybe the next face of pro sports in Patrick Mahomes.
What is most intriguing about this Super Bowl to me is that we have undoubtedly the two best teams in football, which doesn't always happen, and a matchup of the classic best defense versus best offense the league has to offer. That shouldn't take away from the other sides of the ball for each team, though. The Jimmy Garoppolo throwing eight times in the NFC Championship Game and that being used against him when it comes to how the Niners can win this game is unfair. Jimmy G is being punished in the public's eyes for playing for the most complete team in football in 2020. It is not Garoppolo's fault his defense is elite and the Packers couldn’t tackle his running backs. 

When called upon to put the team on his back this year, Jimmy G has delivered. Look no further than his four-touchdown performance against the Saints. He was a mere 28 yards short of throwing for 4,000 yards. This is not Trent Dilfer or Brad Johnson getting to the big dance. Jimmy can play. He will face a Super Bowl-scheming legend in Steve Spagnuolo, whose famous game plan against the then undefeated Patriots in 2007 remains one of the most historically great jobs by a coordinator in Super Bowl history. He will have an answer for that run game that seems unstoppable at the moment, but don’t be surprised if Jimmy Garoppolo counters and reminds everyone he is a rising star at the league's most important position. 

My Pick

I was 1-1 on Championship Sunday, getting me to 31-29-1 on the season. On the bright side, I cannot finish under .500. Hip Hip Hooray:

49ers +1 vs Chiefs: A Super Bowl should be essentially a one-point spread, a game so even even Vegas has no clue. The first-week buzz has been Patrick Mahomes and how nobody can stop him, and perhaps this will be the first of many Super Bowl runs for the new face of the NFL. However, much like any dad with beat-up white Nike's with a blue swoosh on them and high white socks will tell you: DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS. The 49ers have been the best team in football from Week 1 and on. They navigated through a treacherous second-half schedule and the toughest division in football to earn the top seed in the more difficult of the two conferences. Now, suddenly their defense won't be able to keep up with the team speed of the Chiefs? I am not buying it. Give me San Francisco to win the game outright and Jimmy Garoppolo to win Super Bowl MVP with a stellar fourth quarter.

Football Food of The Week

Lemon Pepper Wings and Buffalo Chicken Dip: I am not going to sit here and pretend to reinvent the wheel when it comes to snacking on the Super Bowl. You have a bigger crowd at your home for this game than any game all season. Now isn't the time to turn into Rachel Ray. Wings are a must on Super Bowl Sunday. Frankly not serving them on this day would be like not having turkey on your Thanksgiving table. The problem, however, is that not everyone loves spicy, so lemon pepper allows you to go neutral.
For these wings, get a lemon pepper marinade and toss the uncooked wings in that sauce in an aluminum pan in your oven at 200 degrees for three to four hours of slow cooking. Once slow-cooked enough, bring them outside to your BBQ for 8-10 minutes of flash grilling. When putting them on the grill, MAKE SURE to hit them with dry Lemon pepper seasoning. This allows the flavor of the marinade to be slow cooked inside the meat, while the flavorful seasoning crisps on the outside of the wing. You will get slow-cooked, fall-off-the-bone wings with a healthier and crispier outside that everyone, with every pallet, can enjoy. 
As far as Buffalo Chicken Dip goes, look, this is the Patriots. It is here every year now, even if you would not have guessed it in the ’80s. I guess that won't make much sense since the Patriots actually aren't here this year, but you get my drift. Here is the best recipe for it.  

Wings and Dip are Jordan and Pippen, great things happen in front of your eyes in the biggest of moments.

Thanks for reading all year, enjoy the off season and remember you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @MrazCBS.