The Super Bowl is so close we can hardly contain ourselves, but there’s still one last round to go before the AFC and NFC can duke it out for ultimate supremacy — and that fabled trip to Disney World. Check out the best places to stay if you’re going to the game (or just looking to watch with like-minded fans). We couldn’t help but make our own predictions, too. But if you need us for anything Sunday, you can find us glued to our TV.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS VS. BALTIMORE RAVENS at Foxboro Stadium, 3 PM EST Sunday
Where to stay: The Liberty Hotel; Boston, MA
While the Pats are looking to lock down a win, you can lock down yourself at the Liberty Hotel (literally): It occupies a former jail. The vibe is truly unique, with a playful design that incorporates the incarceration theme in fun ways. The stunning lobby, comfortable rooms and quality on-site restaurants stand-out, and the party vibe will be conducive to celebrating a win (or drowning a loss). Besides, the T (Boston’s subway system) is only a block away, which will connect you right to Back Bay Station and the MBTA Commuter Rail to Foxboro.
Who will win: It goes without saying that the Ravens play some serious defense…In fact, many would argue it has been the best in the game for quite some time. The Pats, on the other hand, have been known to give up exciting last-minute-scoring-drive leads thanks to their inept pass blocking and lax coverage. But if last Saturday’s game against the Denver Broncos proved anything, it’s that Tom Brady is being his usual playoff-domination self. Working with a solid string of tight ends like Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, we expect the game to be close, but the Pats will ultimately be able to outscore the Ravens (especially after their lackluster offensive showing against Houston last week).
NEW YORK GIANTS VS. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS at Candlestick Park, 6 PM EST Sunday
Where to stay: The Westin St. Francis; San Francisco, CA
The Westin St. Francis combines the history, decor, and traditions of a turn-of-the-20th-century grand old dame with the amenities, modernity, and corporate-dominated clientele of a large chain property. As with most historic hotels, the rooms are on the smaller side, but the hotel is saved by its awesome location in Union Square (not too far from Candlestick Park). Besides, Clock Bar is a happening spot and S.F. fans are going to need a place to celebrate because…
Who will win: We think the 49ers have what it takes to end Eli Manning’s lucky streak. It’s not that the the Giants aren’t prepared: It’s that they’re injured (including Ahmad Bradshaw with a tweaked ankle) and sick (Eli Manning left practice Wednesday because of “illness”). Their impressive upset over Green Bay is not to be overlooked, but we can’t help but think it was more a Packers meltdown than the Giants’ skill that got them through.
[Editor's Note: The writer is a Boston native, this editor is a New Yorker. I'm picking the Giants.]