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Patriots’ Super Bowl roster has 18 players who were two or no star H.S. recruits

The Patriots may be favored to beat the Giants in the Super Bowl, but they have the most underdog stories on their team. In light of National Signing Day which took place last Wednesday, Steve Megargee of Rivals.com went back to look at how each player from the Super Bowl was rated by Rivals coming out of high school. 39 of the 106 players on the active Super Bowl rosters were pre-Rivals (Rivals began rating players in 2002). Of the 67 remaining players, 26 (39%) were rated with two stars or no stars by Rivals. So what does this tell us? Even if you were hardly considered a prospect coming out of high school, it really doesn’t have an impact on your professional prospects. However, it is important to note that some of the biggest impact players in the game were four or five star players.

Let’s start with the four-star guys.

Pats (6): TE Rob Gronkowski (Arizona), TE Aaron Hernandez (Florida), LB Jerod Mayo (Tennessee), RB Stevan Ridley (LSU), RB Shane Vereen (Califiornia), DB Malcolm Williams (TCU)

Giants (13): TE Jake Ballard (Ohio State), TE Travis Beckum (Wisconsin), CB Will Blackmon (Boston College), C Jim Cordle (Ohio State), WR Mario Manningham (Michigan), WR Hakeem Nicks (North Carolina), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (USF), CB Aaron Ross (Texas), RB Da’Rel Scott (Maryland), WR Devin Thomas (Michigan State), DE Justin Trattou (Florida), OT Tony Ugoh (Arkansas), LB Jacquian Williams (USF).

Giants safety Kenny Phillips, and Pats backup QB Ryan Mallett and LB Brandon Spikes were the only five-star guys.

The number of no or two-star players is astounding.

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Super Bowl prop bets: making your experience fun

One of the best ways to spice up a Super Bowl party is to have everyone pick the Super Bowl prop bets. If you’re wagering on them, it’s also one of the easiest ways to lose money. But there are some people who just love to wager on anything from the length of the National Anthem to the color of Madonna’s hair.

With that in mind, I present some of the Super Bowl prop bets via RJ Bell at pregame.com. I don’t bet on these items, but my pick is the Pats over the Giants 20-17. I also said earlier in the week that if the Giants win, Eli Manning will be MVP, and if the Pats win, it will be Aaron Hernandez. I’m sticking by that.

Below are your Super Bowl prop bets.

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Super Bowl Prediction from Doc and Del

Super Bowl XLVI is here and Doc and Del both have their picks. Surprisingly, we have gone in different directions. Here is a breakdown of our selections.

Doc’s Prediction:

The Giants match up extremely well with the Patriots. They’re strong where the Pats are weak. They have an excellent defensive line that can get to Tom Brady. Brady becomes human when he is pressured, and the Giants have the ability to do that. On the other side of the ball, the match up is just as favorable for the Giants. They have three good receiving targets in Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Mario Manningham. New England doesn’t seem to have enough in the secondary to stop them. But even though the matchups favor the Giants, I’m still going New England.

There are a few reasons I believe New England will prevail. First up, I think there are some bad signs for the Giants. I think their players are a little too full of themselves compared to last time. You have guys like Chris Canty telling fans to get ready for a parade. You have coach Tom Coughlin already talking about having more fun than he’s had in the past. It almost seems like the Giants feel they’ve already arrived whereas the Pats still feel they have something to prove.

I really think attitude will be the difference. People are already putting Eli in the Hall of Fame for winning two rings and being ahead of his brother. The Patriots are back to their underdog role which serves them well.

Lastly, the rematch factor should favor the Patriots. And when I talk rematch, I mean the rematch from Week 9, not 2007. After beating the Pats on the road, I think the Giants will probably feel they can do the same thing over again and still win. The Patriots will be motivated to make changes and I think they’ll be able to make adjustments.

Final score: Patriots 20, Giants 17

Del’s Prediction:

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Tiquan Underwood released by Patriots night before Super Bowl

Tiquan Underwood, who made headlines this week for shaving the Patriots logo into his head, was released by the team Saturday evening — the night before the Super Bowl. In his post about Underwood’s hair Monday, Del pointed out how few people knew who Tiquan was. Now everybody will know about him.

The Patriots announced the move on their website and said defensive end Anthony Silvestri was added to the active roster. His release indicates that Chad Ochocinco may be active as the team’s fifth wide receiver.

Underwood caught three passes for 30 yards and contributed on special teams this season. The Pats picked him up in August after he was cut by the Jags, but they also released him. New England signed him again in November and he had been with the team since then.

The Tom Brady pass that was intercepted by the Redskins prompting the sideline spat with Bill O’Brien was intended for Underwood. It looks like that play and this untimely release will be his defining moments for the season.

Can you just imagine how he feels? He spent the whole week soaking up the atmosphere, conducting interviews, and being a full-fledged member of a Super Bowl team. Now in the ultimate embarrassing move, he got released the night before the big game. Must be the crappiest feeling ever.

UPDATE: Underwood has responded on Twitter, saying “This Is Nothing But MOTIVATION.. I Been Thru A LOT…But There Are Ppl In This World w/ More Serious Problems So I Cant Hang The Head….Thank You Lord #Blessed … Good Luck To The New Enland Organization, The Coaches, & All My Teammates… #PatsNation”

Giants’ website says Giants won Super Bowl (Picture)

It looks like somebody with the Giants jumped the gun. The message you see above appeared briefly on the Giants’ team site Saturday afternoon, calling the Giants the Super Bowl champs. There also reportedly was a link to Super Bowl champion merchandise for fans to purchase. That of course is no surprise — two versions of championship merchandise is always made — one for each team. The team that wins gets to wear their gear while the losing team’s merchandise is usually sent to a foreign country.

The question persists: Was this a good or bad omen for the Giants?

Screengrab via Jeff Frias

Tom Coughlin says Giants’ trash talk is no different from what Tom Brady said

The first week of the two-week break before the Super Bowl was a relatively quiet one. When Tom Brady saying he hopes his team wins the Super Bowl becomes a monster headline across all of New York’s finest newspapers, you know there isn’t much material to work with.  This week, however, the Giants have not disappointed.  Sarcastic comments about Brady and Super Bowl guarantees have been flying all over Indianapolis, but Tom Coughlin did his best to keep things quiet during his final media session on Thursday morning.

“I’m not sure what you’re referencing,” Coughlin said, according to the Boston Herald, when asked about his team being loose-lipped this week. “I know that there are one or two quotes out there, but, to be honest with you, I don’t know that either one of them is any different than Tom Brady’s quotes.”

Of course Coughlin is going to try to squash what his players said, but did he really have to compare it to what Brady said?  Here is the exact quote Brady gave that caused a stir last week.

“We’re going down there, and we’re going down there for one reason. We’re going to give it our best and hopefully we have a lot more people at our party next weekend.”

On the New York side, Antrel Rolle said, “We’re going to win this thing for a lot of good reasons,” on Media Day Tuesday.  Defensive tackle Chris Canty straight up told Giants fans they should “get ready for a parade on Tuesday.”  Brandon Jacobs completely agreed with Canty.

Talk is cheap and what the G-men are saying is relatively harmless as long as they remain focused.  But to say the quotes that came from Canty and Rolle are no different from what Brady said — to a crowd of 25,000 fans mind you — is stretching it. As we all know, none of that will matter about 48 hours from now.

Madonna on Whether or Not Rob Gronkowski Will Play: I Would if it Was Me

You ever have a tough decision to make and you really don’t know which way to turn, so you ask yourself. “What would Madonna do?”  I know it has happened to me many times in my life, and if Rob Gronkowski has that thought at any point this week he’ll be out on the field come Sunday evening. 

Madonna, who is performing at halftime of Super Bowl 46, sat down with reporters on Thursday afternoon. Since everyone else has had to answer questions about Gronkowski’s ankle, reporters figured they’d get her opinion on the subject as well.

“Well, a lot of people would say I’m a bit of a masochist,” Madonna said according to Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald. “I would just tape my ankle, and say prayers, take an anti-inflammatory and get my butt out there. Is that the answer?”

She also said she “hopes” Gronk ends up playing.  We don’t really know what Gronk’s fake limping performance from Thursday morning means, but we know Madonna thinks he should get his butt out there regardless of how much he’s hurting.  Gronk or no Gronk, at least we now know nothing is going to keep Madonna from fulfilling her halftime duties.  If she suffers an injury over the next few days, just get a cortisone shot in her and send her on her way. If only she had rubbed off on her ex-boyfriend.