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Five Super Bowl Rematches Highlight NFL Week 9

In last week’s column I mentioned a loss of $1,500 when the Tennessee Titans came up a yard short against the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV and how that was another story for another day.

Well, today is the day! Because this week we have a Super Bowl rematch of those Titans and Rams. In fact, there are five Super Bowl rematches in Week 9.

In Super Bowl I, The Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 and easily covered the -14-point spread.

In Super Bowl III, Joe Namath and The New York Jets not only easily covered the spread of +18, but they also won OUTRIGHT, defeating the heavily favored Baltimore Colts 16-7.

The Dallas Cowboys covered the spread of -6 when they defeated the Denver Broncos 27-10 in Super Bowl XII.

The New England Patriots did not cover the spread of -7 when they beat the Carolina Panthers 32-29 in Super Bowl XXXVIII. This game is of course very well known as “Nipplegate” when Justin Timberlake unleased Janet Jackson’s boob during the halftime show. For me personally it’s also memorable for when Adam Vinatieri missed a first quarter FG that cost my buddy Steve money and then made a fourth quarter FG to win the game and cost my buddy Steve another bet. He was literally on his knees during the game. A sight I’ll never forget.

And of course, there was Super Bowl XXXIV in 1999, when the St. Louis Rams beat the Grumpy Gambler backed Tennessee Titans, 23-16. The Rams were -7-point favorites, so there was no blood on the game, but there was for Grumpy.

So, what better way to celebrate these Super Bowl rematches than for me to expound on my loss and bring the grumpiness to NFL Week 9. Yes, I’m a glutton for punishment and I like to re-live the pain of my losses so let’s break it down.

It was a series of highs and lows with the ultimate payoff being a low. But hey let’s explore it. Hopefully my pain can bring you some pleasure. The Titans were 15-1 odds to win the Super Bowl at the start of the playoffs, so I plunked down a C-note on Tennessee to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Here’s what happened…

The Music City Miracle

The Titans playoff road started with the Wild Card Game on January 8, 2000, at Adelphia Coliseum (now Nissan Stadium) in Nashville. The 13-3 Titans were -5-point favorites over the 11-5 Buffalo Bills.

The Titans dominated the first half, leading 12-0 at the break. But “no one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills”, who took a 16-15 lead on a Steve Christie 41-yard FG with :16 seconds remaining on the clock. I not only had my Super Bowl bet, but I also doubled down on the Titans to cover the game, so at this point I’m thinking it’s all over, done, kaput, finished. Well not so fast my friend.

If you’re not aware of The Music City Miracle, a picture is worth a thousand words. Check it out.

This play ranks up there with the Immaculate Reception, not only in terms of being one of the most famous plays in NFL history, but also being one of the most debated. Bills fans still believe the pass from Wycheck to Dyson was a forward lateral and have dubbed the game “The Immaculate Deception” and “The Forward Lateral”. Bills coach Wade Phillips called the game “The Music City Mistake.”

But we all know the Bills and their fans are a bunch of losers, so naturally the play was deemed legal, and the Titans amazingly won the game. Not only that, Al Del Greco was allowed to kick the extra point with no time on the clock to make the final 22-16, giving the Titans the cover as well.

Okay I know you’re saying “what are you bitching about Grumpy? You won on a miracle play and you’re crying about a $100 loss in the Super Bowl.” I hear you, but it gets worse so keep reading.

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Divisional Round Titans vs Colts

In the Divisional Round the Titans had to travel to Indianapolis to take on the 13-3 Colts led by one Peyton Manning. The Colts who had been an offensive juggernaut all year were favored by -5.5 points. But the Titans defense perplexed the Hall of Famer, and they won the game 19-16, sending Tennessee to their first Conference Championship Game as the Titans and their first since 1979. The Houston Oilers coach that season was none other than Wade Phillips father Bum Phillips.

Speaking of coaches, the 19-16 loss made Colts HC Jim Mora a winless 0-5 in career playoff games. “Playoffs?”

Was this destiny for the Titans? I sure thought so. Let’s move on.

Conference Championship Titans vs Jaguars

For the Conference Championship, Tennessee had to travel to Jacksonville to take on the Division Winning 14-2 Jaguars. Jacksonville’s only losses of the season came at the hands of the very same Tennessee Titans 20-19 and 41-14. This was fucking destiny. I could taste it.

Jacksonville was a -7-point favorite and looked the part putting up leads of 7-0 and 14-7 in the first half and taking a 14-10 lead into the locker room. The second half would be all Titans, with two Steve McNair TD runs, a safety and an 80-yard kickoff return for a TD making the final score 33-14.

Holy shit! My team is going to the Super Bowl, and I have a legitimate shot at cashing my $1,500 ticket. Let’s fast forward to January 30, 2000, to see how it shook out.

Super Bowl XXXIV Titans vs Rams

Waiting for the Titans at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta was none other than Dick Vermeil’s St. Louis Rams. Yes, the same Dick Vermeil who ineptly coached my Philadelphia Eagles to a horrendous Super Bowl loss against the Oakland Raiders in 1980. Here he was nineteen years later poised to fuck me again.

“The Greatest Show on Turf” were -7-point favorites in the game and were led by a former Arena League and NFL Europe QB Kurt Warner, who before Trent Green blew out his ACL, was barely on the depth chart. Does this sound like the Tom Brady story or what?

When the Rams went on to take a 16-0 lead in the third quarter, I thought I’m screwed. Not only am I going to lose my future bet on the Titans, but I also wasn’t smart enough to wager on the Rams money line or laying the points. Instead, I had the over 48 total. Ugh.

But then, destiny intervened. The Titans scored 16 straight points on two Eddie George TD runs and an Al Del Greco filed goal. Of course, if HC Jeff Fisher didn’t go for two after the first TD and miss it, the Titans would actually be leading 17-16. But considering we were down 16-0, I was thrilled with a tie ball game with 2:12 remaining.

Then it happened. On their first play after the kickoff, Kurt Warner, the guy who was bagging groceries in Iowa for $5.50 an hour a few years earlier, threw a 73-yard TD pass to Isaac Bruce. Rams 23 Titans 16. Destiny over.

But for Grumpy it couldn’t just end there. No, the gambling gods took me on a roller coaster ride in the last two minutes of the game before ultimately dashing my hopes and my spirits in a sick and demented way. Over the next eleven plays Steve McNair meticulously drove the Titans all the way to the St. Louis 10. With six seconds left, this is what happened…

Mike Jones. Mike Fucking Jones. An undrafted linebacker who played with the Sacramento Surge in the World League of American Football makes one of the biggest tackles in NFL history, the Rams win, and I lose. Well, Jones was the starter on the Surge team that won World Bowl II in 1992, so who wouldn’t figure he’d do this on football’s biggest stage. You just can’t make this shit up.

And there you have it. The story of how the Titans Rams Super Bowl XXXIV matchup cost me $1,500.

Jackass of the Week

Before I get to this week’s pick, I’m rolling in a new segment called “Jackass of the Week,” and this week we have not one, not two, but three jackasses contending for the crown.

First there’s probably the biggest story of the week in Aaron Rodgers. Not only did this guy lie and skirt the Covid protocols, putting people in danger just so he could do what he wanted, he doubled down and lied again on the Pat McAfee show saying he has “followed every single protocol.” Not true Aaron.

But while that may be stupid, the dumbest thing has to be that he went in depth about how he consulted with his good friend Joe Rogan about Covid. Last time I checked Joe Rogan wasn’t a doctor or a scientist. He’s a stand-up comedian, podcast, and UFC host. But yeah, let’s follow his research on Covid. Jackass.

Jackass #2, Bob Baffert. This guy makes me sick, and to see him be allowed to train horses at the Breeder’s Cup is an embarrassment. He is a cheat who puts his horses in harm just to win. A disgusting person, just like the owners who hire him because it gives them a better chance to win.

Jerry Bailey and Randy Moss who stood up for Bob Baffert should also be ashamed as should NBC who suggested Baffert had some vindication when his horse won on Friday. No thanks guys. It’s documented, he’s a cheater who puts horses in danger. Do you think Churchill banned him for no reason? No. They just had some balls and some honor. Thankfully though his horse may be at the Kentucky Derby next year, Baffert will be home probably mixing up some illegal drugs.

And finally, we have Mattress Mack. I wrote a couple weeks ago about how this guy’s showboat bets drive me crazy.

Well, the Braves won, the Astros lost and so did Mack. Suck it Mattress Boy.

Grumpy’s Pick of the Week

Okay my record over the last five week has been shite, but at 4-5 I can still get back to 500 with a winner this week. And I’m due.

There are some ugly games out there and my pick is in one of the ugliest. I’ll take the Houston Texans +4- against the Miami Dolphins. Both teams are 1-7, but the Texans are 4-4 ATS and the Fins are 0-3 ATS at home. Houston is also 8-1 against the Dolphins and have won 3 of the last 4 trips to Miami. The Texans also get Tyrod Taylor back this week which should be a boost. This could be a FG game either way, so I’ll take the +4- with the Texans.

If you’d like to check out the game, total and prop lines head on over to The Props Network NFL Page. Enjoy week 9. I hope you (and me) are fortunate!