Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Attic Fan’s Oscar Preview

You may be wondering. Why, Brendan, are you doing an Oscar Preview? You have admitted that you have only seen six movies in the past year.

Well jerk reader, I happen to represent the portion of the public that does not have the time or income to see movies about stuttering kings. I represent the portion of the public that has no idea what Winter’s Bone is about or why it is nominated for a Best Picture. I represent the portion of the public that is normal. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times. I am America.

Not that normal, anyway. I have seen four of the ten Best Picture nominees, and I have a pretty good idea of who is going to win each award. This isn’t rocket science (that was my best analogy). Using critics lists and looking back at previous awards (Golden Globes, SAG’s, Grammy’s), it is easy to tell who is going to win each award. What you are here for, I am sure, is who I think is going to win. You know, me being a non-registered Academy member and all, who has no impact on the actual award show itself.

I watched The Social Network last night. That should be enough credentials for you. I could have seen Hall Pass, but instead, I took one for the collective Attic Fan team.

Let’s start with the big awards:

Supporting Actress:

I love how the Academy uses this award to start the show, as if people give a crap. They think that this award will get people to stick around. It’s Best Supporting Actress. If I haven’t been dulled to sleep by James Franco and Anne Hathaway’s inevitable opening music number, why would I want to see this. I would rather see best Animated Film first (really, I would).

Nominees: Amy Adams (The Fighter), Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech), Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Hailee Steinfield (True Grit), Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom)

Who Should Win: Amy Adams. Melissa Leo gets all the credit from The Fighter, and she wasn’t bad in it. But I think Adams is more powerful in her role. Leo annoyed me more than anything, which I think was the point of her character. But Adams was just better in it. Also, Leo was in it for about 10 minutes. She wasn’t Marlon Brando in The Godfather.

Who Will Win: Leo. A lot of people think Steinfield will win, but I can’t see the Academy giving the award over to a teenager. No one likes teenagers. Leo seems to have most of the momentum (Winning the Golden Globe, various critics awards), and will ride that into the Kodak Theater like some sort of sick wave.

Supporting Actor:

Nominees: Christian Bale (The Fighter)…

Who Should Win, Will Win: Bale. This is a no brainer. I am not even going to bother naming the rest of the nominees (how the hell was Mark Ruffalo nominated?). Bale owns The Fighter, and makes the movie a Best Picture nominee, plain and simple. He has all the support from the critics as well, and actually deserves this award. He’s a bit of an a-hole human being, but he deserves this award.

Best Actress:

Nominees: Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right), Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole, whatever the hell that is), Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), Natalie Portman (Black Swan), Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)

Who Should Win: I have no idea. I saw none of these movies. What kind of human being would I be if I saw Rabbit Hole? How could I go out in public?

Who Will Win: Portman. Once again, she has the all-important critics momentum. Nice to see Padme rebound from those awful Star Wars movies. The “sleeper” appears to be Bening, and the two have been going about 60-40 in awards up to this point. We might see the ever-present “Lifetime Achivement Award that Isn’t Actually the Lifetime Achivement Award” given to Bening (past examples: Pacino for Scent of a Woman, Bridges for Crazy Heart)

Best Actor:

Nominees: Javier Bardem (Biutiful, not a real word), Jeff Bridges (True Grit), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), Colin Firth (The King’s Speech), James Franco (127 Hours)

Who Should Win: Eisenberg, although I feel like if I saw 127 Hours I would say Franco. Eisenberg owns The Social Network, however. His portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg kind of reminded me of Abed’s character from the TV show Community. Sometimes I felt that he made Zuckerberg too confident. He didn’t seem that way on SNL, at least. I liked the way he made Zuckerberg his own, and didn’t try to do a clear imitation of the man himself. Eisenberg’s frantic fast-talking (which is due to Aaron Sorkin’s script) is one of the highlights of the movie, and he is not being correctly recognized for this (other than Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers. What’s up, Pete!). Instead, all the recognition is going to:

Who Will Win: Firth. Allegedly, Firth is “phenomenal” in this movie, as he plays the muttering, stuttering King George VI (was that too mean? I was trying to channel the Spider speech from Goodfellas. Inappropriate, I guess). This is one of those categories where the Academy feels indebted to someone, because the may or may not have been robbed in previous years (Firth could have won last year, but Jeff Bridges was given his Lifetime Achievement Award in Best Actor form).

My biggest beef with this selection is that it is clearly Oscar bait. You all know Oscar bait. It is Rain Man. It is movies about the Holocaust. It is playing crack addicts (no offense, Christian Bale). It is playing women in abusive marriages/relationships. It is playing a King who stutters too much. Eisenberg’s performance showed skill. He made Zuckerberg his own. It was a better all around acting performance.

Best Director:

Nominees: Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), David O. Russell (The Fighter), Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), David Fincher (The Social Network), Coen Bros (True Grit)

Who Should, Will Win: Fincher. Although Hooper seems to be gaining some steam, Fincher should be able to hold Hooper off. The Social Network is just well done all around, and being as I have not exactly seen The King’s Speech, I am not so sure about it. If Hooper wins however, it is a clear sign that The King’s Speech will win best picture. Duh.

Best Picture:

Nominees: Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right I Guess, The King’s Speech, 127 Hours, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, Winter’s Bone

Let’s eliminate the obvious. The Fighter is a sports movie. The Kids Are All Right probably should not have been nominated. I don’t know what Winter’s Bone is. Toy Story 3 is animated (it still won’t even be considered, even though it had the best reviews of any movie of 2010! It is also the only movie I cried during). 127 Hours lost some steam towards the end of its run, along with Black Swan.

That leaves True Grit, Inception, The Social Network, and (ugh) The King’s Speech.

True Grit won’t win. It has no momentum, and Westerns are not always Academy favorites.

Inception won’t win. Christopher Nolan was egregiously snubbed for Best Director, and a movie usually needs that to win Best Picture.

Who Should Win: The Social Network. It truly is a movie that defines a generation, to echo every critic in November. Until about Mid-December, The Social Network was a lock. Then for whatever reason, people thought it would be cute if The King’s Speech would win. It ends on a high note, and the protagonist is not an arrogant d-bag who is also a billionare. The King’s Speech is more likeable.

If The King’s Speech wins, 15 years from now people will look at the 2011 Academy Awards the way they do the year Dances With Wolves won over Goodfellas, the year Shakespeare in Love won over Saving Private Year, the year Forrest Gump won over Shawshank and Pulp Fiction, the year Kramer v. Kramer beat Apocalypse Now. It will be a horrible snub, but people will not realize it right away. In 15 years, when everyone forgets about The King’s Speech, they will still remember The Social Network. It is a transcendent movie. It is about one of the ten most important inventions human civilization has ever produced (the computer), the most important thing that produced (the internet), and the most popular website that culminated from the two previous things. If that makes sense.

Who Will Win: In three years, we have had Slumdog Millionaire, The Hurt Locker and The King’s Speech win. Who will remember these movies? These years, cinematically, will be lost in time. The Social Network is a movie with a subject that resonates in any time. It is a movie about power, and how it is gained.

It is also a better movie. I KNOW I HAVEN’T SEEN THE KING’S SPEECH (excuse my Magaryian caps-locked rant). But I know The Social Network is better.

Fine, maybe I need to see The King’s Speech to make a final judgement. But I do not want to. That is a clear enough sign to me that The Social Network is better. I wanted to see The Social Network. Screw The King’s Speech.

Enjoy Oscar night!

Brendan O’Hare writes The Attic Fan column on Email him with your important opinions at Twitter: @theatticfan

Monday, February 21, 2011

Defending Blake Griffin

Really America?

Have we become that spoiled, that we do not believe that a human being jumping over a car is the coolest freaking thing of all time? We’ve become that cynical, that jaded. People say “Eh. He didn’t really jump over the car, he only jumped over the hood". Have you ever seen a car? The hood is still pretty damned high/long/scary.

I shouldn’t have to defend Blake Griffin for his Dunk Contest win from Saturday. I shouldn’t have to defend a contest that has been legally dead since 1989 (but was briefly brought back to life in 2000. Thanks cryogenics!) But I am going to. The internet has turned against him, saying things like “JaVale McGee was robbed!”. The internet was once Griffin’s best friend, the friend that made his decimation of Timofey Mozgov a worldwide sensation. Now, we have headlines like Was NBA All-Star Weekend Fixed? We have homerific articles regarding JaVale McGee. Apparently, his 3-ball dunk was enough for the Washington area. They are easily amused.

I am going to go through each player’s dunks using a test I like to call “The Nerf Test”. I should not be able to do the dunk on a Nerf hoop. If I can do a between-the-legs dunk on a Nerf hoop, so be it. Time to raise the bar.

DeMar DeRozan:

His first dunk involved a teammate passing the ball off something on the side of the backboard, DeMar catching it a putting it between his legs and dunking it. This took approximately 12 tries. That is another thing. If it takes ten tries, it is not going to be as impressive as if you did it in one clean, smooth take. Don’t blame me for having a short attention span, I am just America.

Oh yeah, I could do this on my Nerf hoop.

His second dunk had DeMar doing the classic shoot the ball ten feet, have it bounce, then I dunk move. His dunk itself was very impressive. In fact, Kenny Smith called it, at one point, “The Most Underrated Dunk in Dunk Contest History”. They should really ration Kenny’s speaking time.

I am not so sure I could do this on a Nerf hoop. For starters, the Nerf ball doesn’t bounce high enough for me to pull this off. Could I do this on an even playing ground, bouncy ball and all? I don’t think so.

Serge Ibaka:

The most underrated dunk in Dunk Contest history has to be Ibaka’s first dunk, where he actually dunked from behind the foul line. I am pretty sure no one has every dunked from behind the foul line. Dr. J and MJ all dunked from in front of the foul line on their trademark dunks.

Ibaka actually took off from behind the free throw line, and no one cared. He got a 45. He had the longest dunk in recorded human history, and we shrug it off. What the hell is wrong with us. Obviously, I could not do this on a Nerf hoop. I would have my jump interrupted in the middle. I would get all air.

Ibaka followed this dunk by engaging in the most theatric/least exciting dunk in the history of the Dunk Contest. Some kid with an ugly haircut came up the Cheryl Miller, said his doll was missing (Seriously kid, you’re 8 years old. Grow up), then Ibaka saw the doll on the hoop. He jumped up (with a basketball for some reason. That seems pretty counter-active for rescuing the doll), dunked the ball and grabbed the doll with his teeth.

Of course, Ibaka missed the dunk the first time, and had to put the doll back onto the hoop. That kid must have been pissed.

I could easily do this on a Nerf hoop. In fact, lower the hoop down to 8.5-9 feet, and I could do this on a real hoop.

JaVale McGee:

For JaVale’s first dunk, he brought out two hoops. This of course, caused the TNT crew to go into a collective shock, as they have never seen two basketball hoops placed side by side. Unlike most, I did not really think this dunk was that impressive. This dunk fails the Nerf hoop test miserably. It is a creative idea, no doubt about it. But I am not sure it is a difficult one. With JaVale’s wingspan, he should have been able to do it on the first try.

His second dunk involved dunking three balls at the same time. Not to rain on JaVale’s parade, but he hung on the rim in order to dunk the last ball, and he laid the first two in. Just watch the tape. If there weren’t so many things happening at once, America would have realized that he only actually dunked 1 out of the 3 balls. As for the Nerf test, this fails. I could hold three Nerf brand balls in one hand, and throw it down with as little authority as JaVale did.

JaVale’s third dunk was his first impressive dunk (His first two both got 50’s. 50! Maybe it was the combined age of 476 of the judges, but how were they so easily amazed. Ibaka dunked from behind the foul line! He was better than you, Julius Erving! JaVale takes out a red-white-and blue ball, and you get ABA flashbacks and are forced to throw up a 10). Given the difficulty of him being 7’1'”, and somehow not breaking his neck on the backboard, I have to give him props. This passes the Nerf test.

I don’t think he had a fourth dunk. At least I didn’t see it. I am sure it didn’t pass the Nerf test.

Blake Griffin:

If I attempt Blake’s first dunk, the ball behind the head 360, I shatter my spinal cord. There is no doubt about it. If I attempt Blake’s second dunk, I hit myself in the back of the head with the ball. If I attempt Blake’s third dunk, I break my Nerf hoop. They have notoriously wimpy rims. If I attempt Blake’s final dunk, I destroy a new car. All four of his dunks pass the Nerf hoop test. That is why he deserves to win the Dunk Contest.

Because I can’t do his dunks. Isn’t that what the Dunk Contest is all about. Giant men with 40 inch vertical leaps doing things we could never dream of doing. Doing things we cannot even do on a Nerf hoop. Blake won that contest, there is no JaVale-doubt in my mind.

The Attic Fan’s Notes From All-Star Weekend

  1. There is no more annoying personality than Kenny Smith. Whether it was picking himself for the TNT NBA Superdraft (which meant he technically was calling himself the 60th best player in NBA history), being Blake Griffin’s Dunk “Coach”, making the half-court shot in the Haier Shooting Stars Challenge, no one annoyed me more this weekend than Kenny Smith. He beat out my little brothers, and that takes dedication.

  2. When I learned that John Legend’s spilled drink was responsible for the delay in the 1st Quarter of the All-Star Game, I had to think this. Why is John Legend sitting courtside? Shouldn’t he be a little more fiscally responsible? He isn’t exactly pumping out platinum records.

  3. Why don’t we just make the quarters 8 minutes long with a running clock, like in the Celebrity Game? No one gives a s--- about this game anyway.

  4. I miss Lenny Kravitz’s Macy Gray hair. The return of that will bring him back to prominence, I am telling you.

  5. Stevie Wonder sat courtside. I am sure he enjoyed the game.

  6. Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant took a combined 49 shots.

  7. How did Joe Johnson manage to take 11 shots?

  8. LeBron had a triple-double. Very impressive. In a game with no meaning and no defense, it is nice to see that someone cared

  9. The first half did not really have the trend of jump shot/lob. It was all jump shot, no lob. Usually in the first half of these games, every possession ends in either an open jump shot, or an attempted ally-oop. It was all jump shots, and all excitement!

Brendan O’Hare writes The Attic Fan column for Email him at, to talk about the game or anything. Follow him on twitter @theatticfan.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Scenes From a Cold Super Bowl Night

10:15 PM EST, February 8th-

I am currently sitting outside. It’s fifteen degrees in the middle of winter. Nothing is on me except for jeans, a Troy Polamalu jersey, and a Steelers sweatshirt underneath it. But I’m not cold. Okay, I'm a little cold, but the anger-renaline is too overpowering to care. I’ve slammed my Terrible Towel a few times on the patio furniture, but other than that, I am keeping my composure. I figured this would be the best place to go, due to the lack of breakable of objects. So why am I out here? We have to go back to the beginning, reader. WE HAVE TO GO BACK!


I am pretty sure I did not need a dramatic introduction to tell you what this article is about. I just like adding LOST bits. At least let me have that.

To say I was angry after the Steelers loss is really an understatement. I needed a few days to write this column, as I am still fuming. Literally fuming. I am still trying to keep the smoke from coming out of my mouth. People are telling me that is just the cold air, but I know better.

There are a ton of reasons why the Steelers lost the game. But let’s just review the main ones:

1) Ben’s Spotty Play- It just wasn’t one play, it was the whole game. Ben has never been a guy to raise his game in Super Bowls (30-51, 379 yards, 1-3 TD/INT ratio in 2 previous Super Bowls. He was dreadful in the first one, and until the last drive of the second, he really didn’t play well. Without James Harrison’s last-second touchdown at halftime, the Steelers win is really in doubt). I am not sure why Ben doesn’t play well for a full four quarters in the Super Bowl, but he just doesn’t. And I have learned to accept it.

But he really got outplayed by Aaron Rodgers, and that was the biggest difference in this game. I am not putting the full blame on Ben (the rest I will get to momentarily), but when the opposing quarterback is playing to his full potential, you have to raise your game too. Ben had two bad picks, and missed guys open all over the field. I am not sure what the deal was, but Ben seemed to possess the peripheral vision of an 89-year-old bus driver at some points.

Think about all the drops Rodgers had. Without the six drops, Rodgers easily reaches 400 yards and possibly five touchdowns. Roethlisberger did not have any excuses for his performance. The offensive line did not play horribly (Props to Dan “Bronko” Legursky. Dude played surprisingly well given the fact that he hasn’t played center since college and he looks like a larger Matt Millen). He had time. He over/underthrew Mike Wallace on a few plays that could have gone for big yardage.

I am not here to bash on Big Ben. The guy has made too many plays over the years for me to really be frustrated. But I still kind of am. I feel like a spoiled child.

2) The Secondary- By far the most destructive aspect of the Steelers game. Even Troy Polamalu, my hero, made errors.

Let’s start with Bryant McFadden, who played the game as if he was John McFadden, my sixth grade football coach who had three fingers and was 250 pounds. He was an ass. McFadden got burned all night long, and proved that the Steelers need a cornerback as a draft pick in the early rounds.

We saw William Gay play one of the worst games of his illustrious career, and would have played worse had Jordy Nelson not contracted dropitis during the game. Jordy Nelson should have had 15 catches for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns. He’ll settle for 9,140 and 1, but he could have had one of the greatest single games for a wide receiver in Super Bowl history.

Even the two safeties, Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu, played poorly. Clark was burned a few times, and Polamalu allowed the touchdown to Greg Jennings which really clinched the game. On that same drive, Jennings was able to get completely open in the middle of the field on 3rd and 5 on a decently deep slant, and caught it for a massive game. I had Vietnam-esque flashbacks to the Larry Fitzgerald touchdown in Super Bowl 43 with 4 minutes left that put the Cardinals ahead. I may or may not have cried in anger on that play.

Obviously, the Steelers need a guy to replace the aging McFadden. The real question is where to draft a corner in the draft. The seemingly obvious choice would be second round, because the Steelers need a 1st round quality lineman. That’s great, especially if we can draft Mike Pouncey and shift him to a guard position. What would be more fun than seeing the Pouncey brothers together. As long as they don’t kiss, the Steelers could have the first fun offensive line in NFL history.

But we need a cornerback, and the Super Bowl really put this on display. The line was able to hold up, but the secondary got torn apart. You have to believe that there are a few good lineman in the second and third rounds, but there is a lack of shutdown corners. I have no idea what to do here. You cannot fulfill both needs. If I was forced to make a decision, I would say lineman. Ben can’t take a beating like he did this year. But it is pretty easy to make a case for getting a cornerback.

3) First Half Penalties- It just seemed as if every big play the Steelers had in the first half, it was being brought back on a hold/clip. Maybe the score is not as insurmountable if the Steelers attempt to be somewhat disciplined. Instead, they lacked any experience and were as well behaved as myself

4) Pick Six- Anytime a team scores on defense, they are probably going to win the game. That is just science talking. Or every NFL pundit. But its true. A play like the Packers had deflates the momentum and swings it to the team that had the pick. Get it?

5) Black Eyed Peas Halftime Show- This couldn’t have helped. This may have been the worst live performance I have ever seen, as I tweeted. What happened to the Black Eyed Peas? Didn’t they used to be good? I remember songs like “Let’s Get It Started” getting me psyched for the NBA Playoffs. Then there was Usher. He moaned a few times, did a “split”, then went back up into the Jumbotron. Paycheck well deserved.

Quick Note/Conspiracy Theory: Did anyone else think that was not Slash playing guitar. I think it easily could have been a random guy who put on a top hat and hideous Slash hair and glasses. Would not really be that difficult. Of course, Slash will take any paycheck he can get, so maybe it was him.

6) Mike Tomlin/Bruce Arians- I love Tomlin, don’t get me wrong. He is a G, as the white kids in my neighborhood (me) say. But that 52-yard field goal he had Shaun Suisham attempt was flat out dumb. What if the Packers had gone onto score that drive? Suisham missed that field goal by 25 yards to the left, and he missed the netting that protects the crowd from errant projectile footballs.

My disdain for Arians is well-documented, and I believe he should get the proverbial ax sometime this offseason. Either an ax or Thor’s hammer. The Steelers could make a whole marketing/product placement deal out of it! Anyway, it probably was not the smartest thing to ignore Antonio Brown, the fastest guy on the field other than Mike Wallace, during the game. Even after Emmanuel Sanders injured his foot (which I think wasn’t that bad to begin with, but Mike Tomlin shot Sanders in the foot out of anger. This theory actually came up in my house. By me.), Brown was ignored.


Brown had big kickoff returns throughout the game, and looked like he actually wanted to be there. Unfortunately, Bruce had other ideas.

My biggest grievance with Arians was the play on fourth down, which ended the game for the Steelers. You made Ben go into a three-step drop (which he is not always comfortable with), and attempting a timing route with Mike Wallace (who was having trouble hearing the plays, and did not really know which route to run). A screen wouldn’t have worked there? Maybe letting Ben move around, attempting to make a play like he has done so many times in his career?

No, we are just going to force Ben to become a pocket passer, even though he is better on the run. Kudos, Bruce Arians. I am not even going to get into how you abandoned the run after Rashard Mendenhall was busting off runs in the first quarter.


The worst part for me about this game, was that I realized the Steelers were not going to win around halftime. Then, they came back to cut it to four, and then Mendenhall fumbled. After that, I definitely knew they were not going to win. As Michael Corelone said, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in”. Just add a crappy make-up job and subtract the murders, and I felt just like Michael Corleone. The loss did not hurt as much as I thought it would.

Maybe, as I said before, I am spoiled by the Steelers success. They have the most Super Bowls in NFL history, they’ve won 2 in 6 years, so I really do not have that much to complain about. But it would have been nice to have just one more. The loss still matters to me, don’t get me wrong. Why else would I spend 20 minutes outside trying not to explode? But I didn’t break all the windows in my house, like I thought I would. If this had been a down to the wire game, maybe I would have. Maybe I would have been 700 dollars in debt, and not writing this right now.

After my trip outside, I came inside and turned on ESPN Classic (figuring that they would be showing nothing about the game, and showing something like billiards or bowling or Congress). There was a documentary about an MMA fighter who had no arms or legs. I realized that the Super Bowl might not have been as important as I thought it was, and I went to bed.

Sure, I stayed up for another 2 hours after it, but it put everything in perspective.

Which is good, I guess.

Brendan O’Hare writes The Attic Fan column for Email him at, to talk about the game or anything. Follow him on twitter @theatticfan.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Attic Fan Super Bowl Preview Part I: Ode to Ben Roethlisberger

To say I have been blessed as a Steelers fans is really an understatement. I have been to three Super Bowls in five years. I have won (hopefully) all of them. The Steelers did lose a Super Bowl 15 years ago, but I was only 2. So that really doesn’t count, because I remember nothing from years 0-2.5 except for one dream where there was blinking wallpaper.

Anyway, I really became a Steelers fan in 2000, when I was 7. I am sure I watched Steelers games before that, but I am unaware of it due to the extremely small mind of a child. I suffered through 5 years of Kordell Stewart and Tommy Maddox, and then Ben Roethlisberger was introduced to me.

Ben completely revolutionized the way I see the quarterback position. He combined what made the two quarterbacks before him marginally good (Kordell’s incessant moving out of the pocket once a defender came within 15 feet of him, Tommy’s traditional passing skills), and turned into a great quarterback.

If you do not think that Ben is one of the five best quarterbacks in the NFL today, you are sadly mistaken. It is easy to root against him, I can see it. He was previously surly to the media, and has been twice accused of doing sexually-related bad things. But you cannot deny that the man wins football games. Not in a Trent Dilfer, let-my-defense-do-all-the-work-while-I-play-average level. He does things to make his team win. I’m sorry I can’t elaborate more than that. It is just too difficult to put into words the difference Ben makes.

Look at the 3rd down conversions he had two weeks ago to ice the AFC Championship game. What other quarterback has the cajones to throw on 3rd and long, with little time remaining and any mistake you make could cost you the game (If Ben throws an incomplete pass, it is pretty conceivable that the Jets drive down the field. The Jets had all the momentum)

The reason I bring Ben up, is because he is the reason I believe the Steelers should be the favorites in this game. Ignore the fact that I am an unabashed homer and I would have thought the Steelers should be favored with Timothy Cook playing quarterback. I just feel confident with Ben at the helm. I can’t say that about Aaron Rodgers. He’s been playing out of his mind, but Ben does so much more for his team. I am not sure that Aaron Rodgers completes a pass to Antonio Brown on 3rd and 14 with time running down, in order to seal the game. I know Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have anyone named Antonio Brown playing wide receiver, but that is besides the point.

Let me give you the five biggest reasons why the Steelers will win this game:

1) Ben Roethlisberger- Seriously? I just wrote 500 words about this.

2) The Cast of Characters- Big Ben’s epiphany this offseason made him realize he needs to be a better team leader. He has become one, and the Steelers have stepped out of their shell and become a group of mentally-unstable oddballs. Look at Ike Taylor. A cornerback, he is probably the most eccentric guy on the Steelers. He looks like a combination of D.L. Hughley, Chamillionare and the alien from American Dad. Ike’s classic moment is during the annual team Christmas Carols e-card, where Ike kneeled in the front and smiled the entire time, not even attempting to sing along to basic songs like “Jingle Bells”. My God, why did they not give Ike his own podium at Media Day. Step up Goodell. If you are going to give us crappy, injury-addled football seasons from now on, at least give us the joy of seeing Ike have his own podium.

James Harrison threatened retirement this season and regularly rejuvenates himself in a hyperbaric tent.

The MVP’s of Media Day, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. Brown more so than Sanders, but Sanders was called “My biological son” by Deion Sanders, which is never a good thing. Brown spent the day wearing Lil Wayne sized sunglasses (the one Wayne wears to hide his ever-present glossy eyes) and saying things like “Dallas Up” and “We in the lights”.

3) Brett Keisel’s Beard- Teams are 16-3 in Super Bowls when they have players who have beards over 5 inches long. That is a scientific fact.

4) Troy Polamalu- AP Defensive Player of the Year. Although it might be a “Lifetime Achievement Award” style deal (but nowhere near as appalling as Pacino winning Best Actor for Scent of a Woman), Polamalu still deserves the award. You can still see the Packers defense functioning without Clay Matthews. The Steelers defense goes into a catatonic coma without Troy.

Troy has done little the past two playoff games, and to the untrained eye, it could seem as if he has had little impact.

But he has been playing over-the-top, in order to stop the big plays down the field, the one that Mark Sanchez and Joe Flacco like to thrown. You have to look for Troy to be doing the same thing Sunday. But do not think that he is doing nothing. You’re better than that.

5) The Coaching Advantage- You have to assume that Mike McCarthy will to something awful in terms of clock management at least three times during the game. He is, after all, a top student from the Andy Reid school of coaching. Tomlin has the big-game experience (which should really mean nothing, but McCarthy is such a spaz with the clock it comes into play).


Some of you might have been wondering why my picking games between me and my brothers have stopped. The truth is, I forgot.

To make up for it, me and my brother, Danny, have decided to do some prop bets. Here we go:

Will Christina Aguilera Wear a Cowboy Hat While Singing the National Anthem?

Me: No

Danny: Yes

What Color Will the Dumped Gatorade Be?

Me: Red (15-2)

Danny: Orange (3-1)

Who Will Win the Coin Toss:

Me: Heads

Danny: Tails

I’ll put up the rest of them in Part 2 of my Super Bowl Preview column, coming out Friday.

Until then.

Brendan O’Hare writes the Attic Fan column on Email him with literally anything at Follow him on twitter @theatticfan.