New England and Seattle PR pros argue who will win Super Bowl XLIX

MSLGroup Boston's Dave Close and Allison+Partners' Tom Biro make their cases for whose hometown team will win Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday.

Image via the NFL's Twitter account
Image via the NFL's Twitter account

PRWeek asked top PR executives from offices in Boston in the heart of New England Patriots country and Seattle to talk up their teams’ chances in Super Bowl XLIX.

Will the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady win their fourth Lombardi Trophy since 2001? Or will the Seahawks’ colorful cast of characters and ferocious defense emerge the victor for the second straight year?

Dave Close, MD, MSLGroup Boston
In October of 1978, I went to my first Patriots home game. It was a perfect autumn night and the Patriots beat Miami. I was hooked, and I’m still hooked. I’m not one of those fans who paints their face and tailgates for six hours before the game, but I like the Patriots. And I’ll like it when they beat the Seahawks and earn their fourth Super Bowl title.

For years, being a Patriots fan meant putting aside rational thought. Usually they were pretty bad. For the past 15 years they’ve been consistently, annoyingly, obnoxiously good. The rest of the country can’t stand them – they’re the football version of Mr. Perfect, the guy you hated in high school. The smart owner, the genius coach, the perfect quarterback, the winning organization…hey America, suffer!

Putting aside the stupid air pressure media frenzy, here’s why Brady, Belichick, and company will hoist the Lombardi Trophy again this Sunday night:

They’re the better team
Seattle is great, no question, but not as great as the Patriots. The Pats have a more complete running game up the middle, and the ‘Hawks are designed to stop the pass. Seattle is mediocre against the short pass – which is the core of the Pats offense. The Pats have a better offensive line, especially if Stork can return as center. And while Russell Wilson is a brilliant QB, he’s in his second year while Brady – a walking football computer – is in his fifteenth. Wilson will try to pass against the best secondary in football.

Evil genius
Belichick is a remorseless football machine with an endless supply of creativity. He’s the MIT of coaches. His machinations (perfectly legal) reduced the Ravens’ coach to a screaming tantrum in which he ran onto the field and drew a penalty. The next week, Belichick lined up a seldom-played reserve offensive guard as an eligible receiver 30 times! Then they never threw to him. Pete Carroll will see things that have never been done in a Super Bowl. He knows it, too – he just can’t do anything about it.

Fickle fate
In the last two Patriots Super Bowls, near the end of each game, no-name New York Giants players came out of nowhere to beat the Patriots. These were Twilight Zone events…bizarre, unprecedented and eerie. After doing that twice, fate is out of ammo. It will not, cannot, happen again. Everything eventually returns to the mean. Outliers revert to the middle, to normalcy. And in football, normalcy is the Patriots winning the Super Bowl.

Boston…Seattle….come on! |
Boston – the City of Champions – makes Seattle look like a fishing village with software developers.  A town full of insufferable would-be hipster coffee snobs – except of course for the brilliant MSLGroup team in our Seattle office – cannot stack up against 350 years of history and brain power. Tasteful white, blue and silver uniforms versus hideous lime green and navy blue? Think about it.

Patriots 30, Seahawks 14.

Tom Biro, SVP at Allison+Partners
When I was asked if I would write a few words about why I thought the Seahawks would beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX, I was immediately excited to take on a PR colleague from Boston, a city that doesn’t even have an NFL team.

I kid. I am, after all, from the state that houses not one, but two NFL teams that call themselves "New York."

Truly, this could be summed up with a quote from star running back Marshawn Lynch, from last year’s Super Bowl media day. The team is "just about that action, boss." As a PR guy, I have to love a team that’s about action. Not that reacting isn’t impressive, and the game is all about reacting to your opponent, but having a solid game plan – and sticking to it – is something that the Seahawks have done amazingly well.

This was most prominently seen during the NFC Championship game this year, when the Seahawks snatched what looked like certain victory from the grasp of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, simply by continuing to play the same game they always do.

It’s been ten years since a team repeated as Super Bowl victor – coincidentally, the New England Patriots were the last team to do so – so who else would be better for Russell Wilson to accept a handoff from than Tom Brady. The league needs its classy guys as much as the brash ones, and Brady and Wilson are two of the best at the being a bit of both…but it’s time for Wilson to take that torch and run with it.

Expect a visit or two to Revis Island by the Seahawks’ receiving corps, at least one fineable gesture from Lynch, a seemingly confusing "Wilson to Willson" playcall, all ending in what Seattle has already dubbed Re-Pete.

Also, our weather is better than your weather. We just say it’s rainy all the time to keep everyone from California from moving here.

PRWeek’s Pick:
The conventional wisdom is that in a battle between an offensive juggernaut and a defensive powerhouse, defense usually wins – and the Seahawks have held opponents to an average of less than 10 points a game for much of the season. It’s a tough matchup to predict, but we say Seattle will win by three.

This story was updated on January 30 to correct the name of Close's firm. He works for MSLGroup Boston, not Schwartz MSL.

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