Ah, the Super Bowl. It's the time of year where the football fans gather around their televisions, or go to a friend's house with a bigger and better screen, complete with high-definition and Surround Sound, and watch one of the biggest events of the year.
Every year it seems like the same story. Two teams take two different paths to get to the pinnacle of all sporting events.
This year is no different. You have the New England Patriots - the AFC Champions.
This team has the opportunity to create history with a perfect season.
Then you have the New York Giants - a team that was left for dead earlier in the season and ended up surprising a lot of skeptics as the NFC Champions.
When these two teams met in the final week of the regular season, they practically played down to the wire.
New York quarterback Eli Manning had a great performance, throwing for 200 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.
However, it was not enough to take down a hungrier Patriots squad.
They hung on for the win, 35-31.
It was no surprise to see New England in the Super Bowl. Heck, many predicted them to make it after acquiring wide receiver Randy Moss. I feel into the hype myself.
Unfortunately, before the season started I also had the Dallas Cowboys winning the NFC, but I'll walk it off.
As for the NFC Champs, I did not see this coming.
Manning has always been scrutinized as being Peyton's not-so-good little brother. He is always criticized for his inconsistency, but has found his game at the right time.
So, who is going to be the winner of Super Bowl XLII?
Some in-depth analysis is ready to be rolled out as I will make my pick for the winner of the game.
The New England Patriots come into the game as the favorite…obviously.
At 18-0, they are one game away from winning their fourth Super Bowl in six years. All three Super Bowl victories came from last-second field goals from Adam Vinatieri.
However, he will not be there to save the Patriots since he is now with the Colts. Plus he already has his fourth ring.
In the event New England has to kick another crucial field goal, it will come from second year kicker Stephen Gostkowski.
So far, he has not missed an extra-point attempt and he has made 21 of 24 field goal attempts.
Patriot quarterback Tom Brady has been absolutely stellar. The 2007 MVP threw a record-breaking 50 touchdown passes in the regular season. He has had a little help along the way.
The receivers for New England are possibly among the best ever.
You have Moss, who led the league in touchdown receptions with 23. You also have Jabar Gaffney and Donte' Stallworth who provide help in case Moss is covered, and you have Wes Welker.
Standing only 5-feet-9, Welker played big, tying Cincinnati Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmanzadah with an NFL-leading 112 receptions.
He has become the go-to guy for Brady as a premier receiver.
The defense may not be as great as the San Diego Chargers, but it is good enough. Led by linebacker Mike Vrabel with 12.5 sacks and defensive back Asante Samuel with six interceptions, the Patriots might have the right amount of coverage to stop the Giants.
Speaking of the Giants, the No.5 seed in the NFC has been playing on top of their game.
Beating three division winners leading up to this point has made them a threat to spoil the perfect party for the Patriots.
Manning shaped up to becoming a consistent quarterback. He has yet to throw an interception in the postseason and has completed over 50 percent of his passes each time.
Not only does he look good, the whole team looks good.
They have a solid defensive line complete with Michael Strahan, who was considering retirement before the season began, and Osi Umenyiora, who has looked like he can't be blocked no matter how powerful the offensive lineman.
Their secondary is nothing to ease up on either. If defensive back Sam Madison is healthy enough, he can ruin those precision passes that Brady has been so good at this season.
Keep an eye out for rookie Aaron Ross from the University of Texas and Corey Webster who have broke through this year as forces to be reckoned with.
The Giants' running game has also been solid. Led by Brandon Jacobs, they have been very tough to contain near the red zone.
Receiving has been looking up for New York. We might see the Plaxico Burress show Sunday night. He's got size, speed and strength.
He's like the perfect specimen of what a receiver should look like, and his postseason has been key.
So after all that analyzing, who do I see winning this game?
We like to see history being made on television. Either the Patriots will finish 19-0 or Eli and Peyton will be the first siblings to win Super Bowls back-to-back.
Imagine if the Giants do win. Can you imagine how it might make big brother Peyton feel if Eli wins it all in his fourth season?
I think Peyton has little to worry about.
I do, however, believe that this game will be closer than anybody thinks.
This is not going to be a walk-in-the-park game for New England.
This game is going to take an all out effort from the whole team. Everybody has to be on top of their game. Brady's going to have to be aware of the defensive line. Welker, Moss and Stallworth need to watch every pass and be open when they can against the Giant secondary.
Prepare yourselves for a tight one. My final score prediction is 24-21, Patriots.
Juan Carlos Reyes is a sports reporter for the Record Star. Readers may contact him at 361-387-4511 or via email at email@example.com