ESPN's own Norman Einstein
Cold, Hard Football Facts for Feb 13, 2007
Praising "pundits" is not exactly a popular pastime among the Cold, Hard Football Facts crew. In fact, we'd rather go two days without a drink than read any more opinionated "pundit" pabulum.
But sometimes, you just have to sit back and tip your dirty Dale Jr. ballcap to a "pundit" of superior vision and wisdom.
This is one of those rare occasions.
We first pondered Joe Theismann's genius status almost exactly one year ago today. It was an exercise rich with irony. After all, it was Theismann who once told us that there are no geniuses in football. "A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."
Back then, it was a question: "Is Joe Theismann a genius?"
Today, it's a declaration ... a Cold, Hard Football Fact: "Joe Theismann is a genius!"
Need proof? Consider his last four preseason Super Bowl predictions:
- In 2003, Theismann predicted a New England Super Bowl title. In 2003, New England won the Super Bowl title.
- In 2004, Theismann predicted another New England Super Bowl title. In 2004, New England won another Super Bowl title.
- In 2005, Theismann predicted a Pittsburgh Super Bowl title. In 2005, Pittsburgh won the Super Bowl title.
- In 2006, Theismann predicted an Indy Super Bowl title. In 2006, Indy won the Super Bowl title.
That's 4-for-4 for those of you keeping score at home. Sadly, Theismann proved that even geniusi have off years when he predicted a St. Louis Super Bowl title in 2002. Tampa Bay won the 2002 Super Bowl title.
His remarkable streak of accurately pegging four consecutive Super Bowl champions is nothing compared with his most shining moment of off-field gridiron glory:
Theismann picked New England to shock St. Louis in Super Bowl XXXVI. New England then shocked St. Louis in Super Bowl XXXVI. You might remember that the Patriots that day were 14-point underdogs, among the biggest in Super Bowl history.
It's not just that Theismann bucked every "pundit" in the world with his pick that year. It's that he nearly nailed every single aspect of the game, even calling for it to come down to a three-point victory off the foot of Adam Vinatieri. We won't rehash it here, but you can see how eerily exact his prediction was that day by clicking here.
We don't know who's going to win Super Bowl XLII in February 2008. But we'll probably hitch our beer wagon to Theismann's horse.
It seems like a pretty safe bet when you're in the presence of the gridiron Norman Einstein.
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