For whatever reason, Americans prefer the Super Bowl to involve men playing football under the names of various animals and soldiers, and not the actual soldiers and animals themselves. Which is why at Gawker, we're asking the only important question: What would happen if a real patriot played against a real seahawk?
This is really two questions: One, if the two fought, who would win; two, if the two played football, who would win? In 2013, which pitted gold-mining 49ers against ravens, the result was too close to call; last year, when we asked the same question about seahawks and broncos, the seahawks had the edge—and guess who went on to win?
So settle in, and draw on the canvas of your mind a painting of 11 continental soldiers lining up against 11 ospreys. Is the seahawks' game a rush game? Do the patriots know they can't bring muskets on the field? Will the bright lights and crowd noises spook both bird and colonial freedom fighter? Let's consider
|Also Known As||Revolutionary war militiaman||An osprey|
|Weight||150 lb||2 - 4 lb||Patriot|
|Power of Flight||No||Yes||Seahawk|
|Potentially has cognitive ability to follow the rules of football||Yes||No||Patriot|
While it's true that the seahawk has the power of flight, an essential component of its strategy, in a gametime situation what ultimately gives the patriot its edge is a powerful front lobe that allows him to understand the rules of football and feel motivation to play it.
While the patriot might be better than the seahawk on paper, to best understand what we're dealing with you need expert opinion. We emailed academics and experts in Washington and New England, asking them both who would win in a fight, and who would win on the field.
Professor P. Dee Boersma, the Wadsworth Endowed Chair in Conservation Science at the University of Washington, writes that the ultimate decision might come down to weaponry:
Of course I have to say a seahawk as I live in Seattle. If the match was to be a militiaman without any gun or firepower and a seahawk protecting it's nest I'd bet on the Seahawk. Seahawks don't play in groups so that may mean the real patriots would win if it is a team encounter.
Samuel J. Redman, assistant professor of history at UMass Amherst, is confident that the patriots have it:
I'll take the Continental Army in this one. The "bend but don't break" defense matches up well against a flock of sea birds (whom I'm not even convinced can hold the football or even understand the basic rules of the game). On the other hand, since the first football game isn't scheduled for kickoff for another 100 years or so, my best guess is the Americans would be pretty confused by the fundamental idea here too. For the Patriots, you've got to like the intangibles George Washington brings to the table at quarterback. As to an actual fight? I'll take the humans over the birds unless it's in an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
We have to agree with Professor Redman: Ultimately, seahawks just don't want it badly enough. We're calling it for the Patriots.
Additional reporting by Taylor Berman.