Early betting markets showed the New England Patriots as 4.5-point favourites over the Philadelphia Eagles.
That spread has now grown to five points for Sunday’s (Monday AEDT) Super Bowl LII in Minnesota. It remains to be seen if margin will grow to six points, but it does not seem likely, as the Eagles are nothing if not resilient.
They chugged along quite nicely after losing potential MVP quarterback Carson Wentz to a season-ending injury in the first third of December. Back-up quarterback Nick Foles served admirably if closing out the regular season and piloting the Eagles to two playoff victories.
The first win, over the Atlanta Falcons, was not pretty by any measure, but the 38 – 7 dismantling of the Minnesota Vikings, one of the better defensive teams in the competition, proved beyond any reasonable doubt that Philadelphia is armed with more than enough weapons to trade scores with new England.
The big controversy in the two-week hype-fest was when an American commentator named Alex Reimer, speaking on a radio talk show, called Tom Brady’s five-year-old daughter, “an annoying little piss ant,” on the air.
That someone would say such a thing on live radio is one thing, but the show was on a Boston station, where saying anything short of hyperbolic praise of Brady and the Patriots is tantamount to heresy of a level that not even the most faithful of the writers of the Bible could conceive.
Brady does a weekly Monday morning telephone appearance on the radio show, cut it short, saying, “I’ve tried to come on this show for many years and showed you guys a lot of respect. I’ve always tried and come on and do a good job for you guys. It’s very disappointing when you hear that, certainly. My daughter, or any child, certainly don’t (sic) deserve that.I really don’t have much to say about it this morning.”
The Boston radio station has sanitised its site, removing the audio snippet. They also suspended Reimer, who was last seen fleeing a mob of angry New Englanders armed with pitchforks and torches, a cauldron of hot tar, several bags of poultry feathers, a rail and more than one noose.