The League

Dave Goldberg
Sports Reporter

Dave Goldberg

Covered the NFL for the AP for 25 years and now is a senior NFL writer for

The spread was the easy part


Last Sunday, when the Packers and Steelers qualified for the Super Bowl, I said to myself "23-20.'' Might have said it to a few other people.

I didn't say which team would have the 23 and which team would have the 20. Because I don't know.

Turns out I'm already right on one count -- or at least close to right. As happens during Super Bowl week when everyone is looking for his or her five seconds of fame, someone put a bunch of things into a computer and came up with an item that made the final score 22-19. I deleted the e-mail so I can't tell you the name of the folks who did it (no five seconds) or who they had winning. Probably Green Bay, since the Packers are favored by two-and-a-half or three points.

But do I know who'll win? To be truthful, I don't. The Packers and Steelers are very similar -- good quarterbacks in their primes or close to it; 1-2 in points allowed; all sorts of offensive AND defensive weapons (think Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson and James Harrison and Troy Polamalu and the no-longer anonymous B.J. Raji, whose interception for a touchdown in the NFC championship game earned him a podium at the Packers' media day session.

They also are among the NFL's best organizations. On the other hand, teams that make the Super Bowl almost always are among the best organizations -- in the last 10 years, I'd say only Seattle, Arizona and Carolina are short of that status. Which is why Washington fans have been waiting almost 20 years to get to one of these -- when in doubt, look to the owner.

But I digress.

I have to make a pick so I'll turn to my tiebreaker.

In my preseason predictions, which always are a guess more than anything else, I picked the Packers and the Ravens to reach the Super Bowl. No Ravens, so I'm going with the Packers, 23-20.

But if the Steelers win ...

Well, they've been the best run team in football for four decades. When in doubt, go with the Rooneys.

By Dave Goldberg  |  February 2, 2011; 9:06 AM ET  | Category:  Ben Roethlisberger , Dave Goldberg , Green Bay Packers , Pittsburgh Steelers , Super Bowl Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Short notice I know, but our group has had a year long contest to see who the best is in NFL score predicting. We took our picks and put them against every source we could find including your weekly picks. There are many writers from major newspapers who were contacted and who were active participants. In your case we felt as though you probably couldn't be reached. You did very well, but there was no way to inform you really on the fact that you were making the play offs and progressing in them. Whew! Well here it is and we were all set to match up your pick against Ed Shultz (unafiliated). The winner wins a trophy. Problem is this. Both of you have Green Bay by 3. According to the rules a coin flip is used to determine who gets first crack at either changing their pick (usually by a point) or compelling their opponent to do so. Ed won the coin toss and has chosen to compell you to change your pick. Now- I know this is a long shot with just 3 1/2 hours to go before kick off, but if you could respond to us at it would be greatly appreciated. If we don't hear from you a substitute will be appointed and will make the decision.

Posted by: NSPLcommish | February 6, 2011 3:04 PM

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