Clearly there are a lot of people that would profess not to be surprised at either the Denver Broncos or Seattle Seahawks being in the Super Bowl. But with that said, here are a few surprising people, places and things on and off the fields of play…
I. Lance Stephenson
Lance, the all-time leading scorer in New York City high school basketball, has certainly come a long way from the choke-sign flashing neophyte – to use a Clyde Frazier term – to being a major cog in the Pacers quest to compile the best record in the NBA this year, and earn home court advantage throughout the playoffs.
II. Atlanta Hawks
Most people thought they would be done, even in the weak Eastern Conference, after the season-ending injury to Al Horford…but they have fought on, currently in the third seed position in the East.
III. Chicago Bulls
There are two reasons why people expected the Bulls to be done: the injury, yet again, to Derrick Rose, and the trade of Luol Deng. But the Bulls, led by Joakim Noah, remain at .500.
IV. Phoenix Suns
The Suns are one of the main teams people thought were “tanking,” or intentionally blowing off this season in order to get a great draft pick in June, possibly an underclassman likely to declare for the draft like Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker. Funny, they forgot to tell Goran Dragic and the Suns’ players.
V. Toronto Raptors
Maybe it’s in part because they play north of the border that few people realized how good DeMar DeRozan and Co. are. Well, it’s not like they are title contenders as opposed to pretenders, but they are the likely Atlantic Division champs come April.
Hardly anyone would have believed that the little “traffic study” would have morphed into this situation which may very lead to the end of the political career of Chris Christie.
As I write this, the Seahawks are up 5-0 after the first-play safety and subsequent field goal. I was fully expecting to be rooting for the Broncos, in which case I would be pretty mad already. I planned on rooting for the Broncos because I have family in Denver (and none in Seattle), and kinda want this remarkable season of Peyton Manning to be “validated” by a Super Bowl win.
But after the media and some within social media have castigated Richard Sherman for no reason…except for the obvious…I would not at all mind seeing Seattle win their first Super Bowl, with Sherman getting the game-saving or winning interception.