Feb 4th, 2008, 06:57 PM
Celebrity Super Bowl picks
David Nielsen and Thalia I. Longoria, Scripps Howard News Service
Thursday, January 31, 2008
It’s that time of year again — time for the annual gridiron spectacle. No, not the Super Bowl, but the 19th annual Scripps Howard Celebrity Super Bowl Poll. The rich and famous from movies, TV, sports, politics and pop culture predict the winner of Sunday’s Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and New York Giants.
PAUL NEWMAN, actor: As an Easterner, it’s delicious having two great “local” teams. I wish it were the days before overtime. Then, I’d root for a tie.
JOANNE WOODWARD, actress: Patriots, 28-14. I’m loyal to New England, and I’d pick them even if they weren’t favored due to a superstar named Brady.
JACK NICKLAUS, golfer: Patriots, 31-20. I am a Dolphins fan and the Patriots are an AFC team. Also, their defense is underpinned by an Ohio State guy in Mike Vrabel, and, believe it or not, I occasionally root for Michigan people, as in Tom Brady. I think Eli Manning and the Giants’ defense have done a fantastic job getting their team where they are, and while I wish them luck, I just feel the Patriots are a little too strong.”
ARNOLD PALMER, golfer, 2003 Super Sage Award winner: Giants, 28-21. I see Eli Manning coming into his own and the coach (Tom Coughlin) is anxious to win a Super Bowl.
GEN. MIKE HAYDEN, Director of the CIA: Giants, 28-24. The spread favors the Pats, but careful intelligence work looks beyond the obvious. The Giants are hot now. Three playoff wins on the road (like the Steelers before Super Bowl XL). Regular season finale shows they match up well against the Pats. Besides, nobody’s perfect!
MARTINA MCBRIDE, country singer: Patriots, 31-27. Brady will throw for three touchdowns and they will have one rushing touchdown. Manning will throw for one touchdown and they will rush for two touchdowns.
PLACIDO DOMINGO, opera tenor: Giants, 24-21. The Giants might be the spoiler by breaking the Patriots’ perfect season and playoff record.
SERENA WILLIAMS, tennis player (and younger sister of Venus Williams): Giants, because of Eli Manning being the younger brother.
DON RICKLES, comedian: Patriots, 21-12. Brady is too good to be beaten.
PHYLLIS DILLER, comedienne: Patriots, 30-10. A rout. I love routs.
LEBRON JAMES, NBA’s leading scorer: Patriots, 34-14, because their offense is so powerful.
DWYANE WADE, NBA player: Patriots, 27-17. New England because they are destined to win.
SHAQUILLE O’NEAL, NBA player: Giants, 21-20, because the Pats have too much pressure to run the table and New York will take advantage of the situation.
KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC TV host: Giants, 27-21. Not a lot of people noticed that by December, Eli Manning had already made the first hurdle of greatness: eight fourth-quarter comeback wins in his first four seasons. First you figure out how to reverse a disaster-in-progress. Then you learn how to prevent a disaster. He has just learned.
BILL O’REILLY, FOX TV host: Giants, 31-30. Destiny.
MICHAEL PHELPS, Olympic swimming gold medalist: Patriots, 24-17. Well rounded team ... Good TEAM work ... great coach.
MITT ROMNEY, presidential candidate: Patriots, 28-14. Three words: Brady, Maroney, Moss.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, Mayor of New York City: Giants, 31-28. Well, I can tell you that when I lived in the Boston metropolitan area, they did not have a football team so nobody can accuse me of having been a Patriots fan. I am a New York fan. There is a game and I don’t want to jinx it by talking about it but I think the best team will win and that’s clearly the Giants.
ELISABETH SHUE, actress: Patriots, 31-20. History seems to be on their side.
MAMIE VAN DOREN, legendary sex symbol: Patriots, 28-7. The New England Patriots are a cross between a symphony orchestra and a steam roller. Every player plays his part as they flatten their opponents.
JERRY MATHERS, Beaver on “Leave It To Beaver”: Patriots, 30-27. I would love to see the perfect season.
BOBBY THOMSON, former N.Y. Giants baseball player who in 1951 hit “Shot Heard ’Round the World”: Patriots, 28-21. Deep down, I’d like to see Brady go all the way. Just one more game.
RALPH BRANCA, former Brooklyn Dodger who threw the famous pitch to Thomson: Giants, 34-31. They can control the ball and their defense is good. End of 18 in a row.
CHUCK YEAGER, first man to break the sound barrier: Patriots, 28-17. Although Manning is a good passer, I don’t think he has the strength or the maturity to take on the Patriots.
MICKEY ROONEY, actor: Patriots. Whoever is the favorite will win ... It’s all a matter of percentages in every sport.
YOGI BERRA, Hall of Fame New York Yankees baseball player: I’m hoping the Giants win — the score doesn’t matter. Also, Eli (Manning) was nice enough to give us his jersey (for a captains exhibit at the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center).
STEVEN VAN ZANDT, actor, “The Sopranos” and musician, The E Street Band: Well, it’s a little bit of a quandary for me since I was born in Boston and grew up in New Jersey. I don’t really follow sports anymore. I don’t have the time. You gotta hope for the hometown team, don’t ya? I mean, they shouldn’t have been there, should they? I watched the last couple games and, you’re like, how are they doing this? They shouldn’t be winning! But Michael Strahan is a good friend of mine, so I’m very happy for him, and the team is just looking terrific. I mean, what can you say. I wouldn’t bet against them right now, I’ll tell you that. I predict right now the Giants will win outright. Let’s win by 6, what do you say?
WAYNE NEWTON, singer: Patriots, 35-30. As a true patriot and devoted chairman of the Celebrity Circle of the USO, I have to side with New England.
DAVE GROHL, musician, Foo Fighters: Patriots by 3 because I like their three-corner hats.
DANA DELANY, actress, “Desperate Housewives”: Patriots! Because I’m a big fan of Bill Belichick. I have no clue (on the score). I don’t even know what numbers mean in football. All I know is it’s about inches.
MARK CUBAN, owner, Dallas Mavericks: Giants, 28-16. I think Brady is dinged up and not playing well. The Giants have gotten better and are playing with great confidence.
DR. JOYCE BROTHERS, psychologist: Giants, 17-10. I believe the Giants are going to win. I haven’t paid that much attention this year.
ANDY WILLIAMS, singer: Patriots, 21-7. The difference will be Tom Brady who will continue to make his march towards being recognized as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.
BARRY WILLIAMS, Greg Brady on “The Brady Bunch”: Patriots, 42-27, because, well ... Tom Brady.
CHRISTOPHER KNIGHT, Peter Brady on the “Brady Bunch”: Patriots, 31-20. With a name like Brady how could they fail?! The Pats haven’t lost yet, and I see no reason they’ll stumble now.
SHIRLEY JONES, actress (Mrs. Partridge on “The Partridge Family”): Patriots, 34-20. Patriots, definitely. Three elements: Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, even though Brady is not my favorite television family name.
ADAM WEST, “Batman”: Patriots by 7 to 10 points. If Brady keeps his foot out of the mousetrap, he’ll be able to pick apart the Giants’ secondary.
DAWN WELLS, Mary Ann on “Gilligan’s Island”: Patriots, 28-17.
RUSSELL JOHNSON, Professor on “Gilligan’s Island”: Giants, 21-20. It’s awfully hard to not pick New England. But the Giants looked good in their last game. The Giants are going to rise up and smote the Patriots by one point.
HALEY JOEL OSMENT, actor, has picked the last eight Super Bowl winners: Patriots, 34-20. I will be cheering on the Giants, as I imagine a great number of people across the country will be. Unfortunately I am going to have to go with the undefeated team this year for my pick.
DICK VITALE, basketball broadcaster: Giants, 28-24. It’s the year of the man. Not Peyton, but Eli.
DENNIS MILLER, comedian/radio talk show host: Patriots, 19-0 to go 19-0 cause it fits.
DENNIS FARINA, actor, 2005 Super Sage Award winner: Giants, 27-24. I think Eli Manning finally found his way as a quarterback and is ready to explode.
RANDY JACKSON, “American Idol” judge: New England Patriots by a touchdown, trust me!
TOBIN BELL, Jigsaw in “Saw” movies: Patriots, 17-14. The Giants played the Pats tough during the regular season and they’re playing even better now than they were then, so the Giants are going to play a great game. But the Pats will find a way to overcome.
PAM SHRIVER, tennis broadcaster: Patriots, 24-13, but I’m hoping for 17-14 in overtime for the Giants. New England is like the (Roger) Federer of football, but Federer does not have a head coach who cheats. In fact Federer does not have a coach, but if he did I am sure he would dress better than New England’s coach!!!
NEAL MCDONOUGH, actor: Patriots, 38-14. The first half will feature the same plodding offensive attack that Belichick always uses to tire the defense out. In the second half, Randy Moss, who has been completely unused for some certain reason — another trick of Belichick’s — is going to come to life and have 11 receptions for 147 yards and three touchdowns.
ROBERT PATRICK, actor, “The Unit”: Patriots, 35-17. They have so many ways to beat you. Take one away they hit you with something else. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick may be the best quarterback-coach combo ever.
STACY KEIBLER, actress: Patriots, 32-17. I feel that offensively they have too many options for the Giants to defend.
JESSE L. MARTIN, actor, “Law and Order”: Giants, 25-21.
GORDON CLAPP, actor: Patriots, 41-10. How could I not? Plus I am from the region. They know how to win. No matter what they are up against they always come out on top.
DR. PAT ROBERTSON, reverend: Giants, 20-14. I invariably favor the underdog, that’s why I am pulling for the Giants to win. This is not a prediction — just a preference.
DR. JAMES DOBSON, reverend: Patriots, 34-24. How can a thinking person pick against a team that is 18-0? I wish it weren’t true but suspect the Giants are in for a drubbing.
SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY, D-Mass.: Tom Brady and the Patriots are pumped for this one. They’re ready for anything the Giants throw at them.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-NY: I’ve been a Giants fan since I was 5 years old. I can remember watching Charlie Connerly, Sam Huff, and Alex Webster. Back then, the two most important Roosevelts to me were Brown and Grier.
SCOTT TUROW, author: Giants, 21-17. I just can’t believe that a team’s going to go 19-0 in the NFL.
DAVID WRIGHT, N.Y. Mets baseball star: Giants, 27-24. I grew up in Redskin country in Norfolk, Va., and my dad was a loyalist to the Hogs. I competed against my father in pretty much everything. So since my early childhood coincided with the great battles between the Joe Gibbs’ Redskins and the Bill Parcells’ Giants, I took a liking to the Giants of Lawrence Taylor and Phil Simms.
OMAR EPPS, actor, “House”: Patriots, 35-24. The Patriots are on the verge of making history. What better motivation can one need?
MARISOL NICHOLS, actress: Patriots, 35-21. Why? Well, they’re undefeated so odds are they’ll continue being the best. Plus as good as the league is, to be undefeated is quite an accomplishment.
SUSAN ANTON, singer/actress: Patriots, 31-28. This match up has the potential of being a classic. Eli and company have a lot of momentum going for them as well as confidence knowing that they almost beat the best team in football the last time they met. Experience will make the difference and Brady certainly has that. He is simply the best!
DIERKS BENTLEY, country singer: Giants, 27-24. The Giants finished the season strong, and I guess I just enjoy pulling for the underdog.
KIRSTEN HAGLUND, Miss America: Patriots, 31-20.
RACHEL SMITH, Miss USA: Giants, 29-28, off a field goal with seconds to go! They’ve won me over since I’ve moved to the Big Apple and now that my Tennessee Titans are out for the season.
VINCE NEIL, lead singer of Motley Crue: Patriots, 49-14. The Giants pass defense is just not there, and they can’t get to Brady. And I think Belichick has a plan for the Pats D to eliminate the Giants offense.
TONY SIRICO, actor, “The Sopranos”: Giants, 35-31.
CHRISTOPHER GORHAM, actor, “Ugly Betty”: Patriots, 27-17. I’m going with the Patriots. And not because I know a lot about football, but because it’s been a really exciting season and it would be really great for them to go undefeated.
DOMINIC CHIANESE, actor, “The Sopranos”: Giants, 24-21. New York Giants are actually going to beat the New England Patriots by three points. Well, ’cause I’m a New Yorker, and I’m always for the underdog, so to speak. Even when I watch boxing, or anything, you know I’m always for the guy that looks like he’s going to lose.
JON TENNEY, actor, “The Closer”: New York Giants, all the way! I’m from New Jersey, are you kidding? What a game, that final game, when they beat the Packers. I mean, God bless the Packers, but I tell you, that was an exciting, exciting game. I screamed more during that fourth quarter than ever. So I’m rooting for the Giants, wholeheartedly. I don’t know what’s the over and under, what are they giving? 10 point underdogs? Well I always root for the underdog. I can’t get the point spread but, let’s say, I think the Giants will win it by three.
JOHN SLATTERY, actor, “Desperate Housewives” and “Mad Men”: Patriots, 41-28. Pats, baby! And, they’re gonna cover, too. What’s the line now, 12-and-a-half? From Boston. Yeah, huge Pats fan.
JAMES DENTON, actor, “Desperate Housewives”: Giants, 23-20. I just think, superior passion, a little superior defensive line. The Patriots seem a little bored to me. They’re clearly the better team, but 19-0 is tough to do. And they’ve been kind of running on fumes.
DICK VAN PATTEN, actor/founder of Natural Balance Pet Foods: Patriots, 35-14. Tom Brady is going to make dog food out of the Giants. I might have to hire him for my company.
ED ASNER, actor: Giants, 7-3. I think they’re due. And they’ve become destiny’s team. May the best team win. This is not to say that I have any animosity towards the NE Patriots and Tom Brady. They’re the best people in the world.
EVA MARIE SAINT, actress: Giants, 38-35. I expect a “winning” score and a “losing” score, plus players sitting on the bench spitting. Giants will pull a major upset and win The Oscar.
MARLEE MATLIN, actress: I think it will be the Giants. I have a good friend who is rooting for New England, BIG TIME and I love to create some friendly rivalry. That’s what a good game is all about. Plus, I tend to root for the underdog, except when my home team, the Chicago Bears are playing.
SHELLEY BERMAN, actor/comedian: Patriots, 28-21. Halftime entertainment will be a remarkable singer — all the words will be understood for the first time in Super Bowl history. This will make up for the once again hip-hop treatment of the national anthem, with screams and cheers on “o’er the la-hand of the free-hee” instead of “and the home of the brave.”
DIONNE WARWICK, singer/entrepreneur: Giants, 27-17. Most people will think I am crazy but I truly believe the Giants will pull it off.
BOB WEIR, musician, Grateful Dead and 2004 Super Sage Award winner: Patriots, 31-24. Slowly, inexorably.
JOAN JETT, rock star: Giants, 35-21. I’m a Packers fan and knew they were in trouble. New York is on a roll.
TOM SCHOLZ, founder of the band Boston: Well let’s see ... I live in Boston, the name of my band is “Boston” ... definitely a Pats fan. The Brady Bunch to win by 7.
RODNEY ATKINS, country singer: Patriots, 42-17. Their offense is outta control.
DOLPH LUNDGREN, actor/director: Giants, 21-13. This year it looks like the right Manning is in the Super Bowl.
CARL WEATHERS, actor: Patriots, 31-17. It’s impossible not to go with New England. Congratulations to New York, but they won’t win this Super Bowl.
LEROY NEIMAN, artist: Patriots by a good 10 points unless the Giants’ Toomer and Eli get hot. Brady only knows how to win.
JOHN CENA, WWE wrestler: Patriots, 34-14. With a video game-esque offense, the Patriots will secure a spot as one of the greatest teams to ever take the field.
MARIA MENOUNOS, “Access Hollywood” TV host: Patriots, 30-27. Being a lifelong fan I could NEVER respond with anything other than New England. However, the pressure of having to successfully execute a perfect season each and every week (it was stressful to even watch those games!) matched against the surging confidence of the Giants will make this a VERY close game.
JULIA MANCUSO, Olympic skiing gold medalist: Patriots, 31-28. Tough one to call for me. I want the Giants to win, just because the Bill Parcells era big blue kicked serious butt, however with how the Pats have been playing all season long, I have to put my money on New England. The Giants’ amazing second half just can’t trump the Pats’ consistent season.
KERRI WALSH, Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist: Patriots, 35-27. I think Eli is going to kick butt and the rest of the Giants will step up. However, I believe they will come up short versus the Patriots.
JEREMY WARINER, Olympic track gold medalist: Patriots, 24-17. New England is a strong team and will pressure Eli Manning to make mistakes.
MIKE ERUZIONE, Olympic hockey gold medalist: Patriots, 38-21. They’re just on a mission. This is destiny for them.
KARCH KIRALY, Olympic volleyball gold medalist: Patriots, 28-17. It’s all about the pursuit of perfection! We will see more defense in this one versus what we saw in Week 17.
TYSON GAY, track star: Patriots, 27-14. They’re striving for perfection, and they’re not going to let this game stop them from competing their goal.
SANYA RICHARDS, track star: Giants, 21-17. I think momentum has a lot to do with success in sports, and I think the Giants are coming into this game with a lot of momentum. They have been the underdogs the last two weeks and I think they are confident and ready for one more upset.
CLINT BOWYER, NASCAR driver: Patriots, 45-24. The Patriots haven’t checked up since the playoffs started. They looked like there were a couple kinks in the armor as the regular season wound down, but it looks like they found another gear against San Diego and Jacksonville. The Patriots always make their opponents pay for mistakes. It’s like they hit a switch when it’s time to put points on the board. Only this time, they’ll hit the switch at kickoff.
MATT KENSETH, NASCAR driver: Giants, 24-21. Why not?
JEFF BURTON, NASCAR driver: Patriots, 34-13. As much as I would love to see the Giants win, I think the Patriots are going to be tough to beat. They’ve proven that they can get the job done and because they had an unbelievable year.
TED GIANNOULAS aka SAN DIEGO CHICKEN: Patriots, 34-26. Fear Dr. Belichick with two weeks in his lab for this. The Pats preserve their goose egg year at 19-0! (As a chicken, I’m envious). The Giants will be valiant, but still drop some key Eli passes.
CARROT TOP, comedian: Patriots, 27-23. Think will win? New England. Who do I want to win? Giants. The Giants are Good and the Patriots are Gooder.
SCOTT ADAMS, Dilbert cartoonist: Giants, 37-21. Eli Manning has more incentive to win because he’s trying to make his parents love him more they love his older brother. That’s a bigger incentive than Tom Brady’s desire to win yet another ring and bed yet another super model. It’s a question of diminishing returns.
JUDY TENUTA, comedienne: Patriots, 28-21. The Patriots will win with swiftness and ease. Not just because Tom Brady is Victoria Secret’s dream, but because they are the world’s best football team.
PENN JILLETTE, magician, partnered with Teller to win 2007 Super Sage Award: Me being from Massachusetts, I’m supposed to be rooting for the Patriots, so — they’ll win easy. But, I don’t understand the whole idea of sports teams being from somewhere. Are all the players from New England? Did they all come over on the Mayflower?
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