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Retired NFL veteran Vernon Fox predicted a Denver Broncos win in Super Bowl XLVIII. PHOTO COURTESY: Eric Bakke

By W.G. Ramirez

LAS VEGAS – Nothing better than getting a random sampling of predicted final scores for the Super Bowl every year, especially when you mash up members of the media, former and/or current pro athletes and celebrities.

It’s one of my favorite columns to write, and always makes for good reading.

Before I get to the list of 48 additional people who I have for my poll, let’s take a look at what former Denver Broncos safety Vernon Fox had to say about the game, given the now-retired football player has exchanged his cleats for a whistle and a clipboard and recently coached Faith Lutheran High School to the NIAA Division I-A state championship.

Fox, who spent eight years in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers, Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins and Broncos, admitted his loyalty is with his former team in Super Bowl XLVIII, but expects a tight game between the league’s top-ranked offense and top-ranked defense.

“The obvious big story is the best player in the game right now and potentially best-ever quarterback to play the game, playing against the best defense – that makes the game exciting in itself,” said Fox, who concluded his career after the 2009-10 season. “Either (the Seahawks are) going to stop them, or (Peyton Manning is) going to hurt them.”

Fox said you can’t discount the other sides of the ball for both of these teams, either, as he’s seen the Broncos’ defense improve, and knows how dangerous the Seahawks can be if running back Marshawn Lynch gets in a groove with quarterback Russell Wilson.

“You have the other story about a young quarterback brewing, who has emerged as one of the better younger players in the league,” Fox said. “What we have here are two good teams that deserve to be there, and it really could go either way. From the standpoint of a coach, it really is going to boil down to who plays the best football that day.”

In similar fashion to how his Faith Lutheran team worked its magic through the playoffs to win the state crown in November, Fox said the Broncos will have to find ways to neutralize the Seahawks’ top weapons, comparing his Crusaders’ win in the state quarterfinal against Desert Pines High School.

“They had weapons all over the field and we had to find ways to slow them down, and outscore them,” Fox said. “The next opponent, it was all about shutting down the biggest offensive weapon – we had to attack their big quarterback. They were averaging 40 points and we held them to 7. Then we played a team that averaged 50 points with a big passing game and a strong rushing attack. We put more defensive backs on the field and forced the quarterback’s hand. It worked out for us, we blanked ’em.”

That all being said, if Fox were coaching the Broncos, he said it’s all about neutralizing Lynch, a bruising running back, and immobilizing a quarterback who can move horizontally, and throw the ball.

“It’s not an easy task, but obviously you have to neutralize that run,” Fox said. “Get pressure on them and put the Seahawks on their heels.”

And when it’s all said, Fox said he sees a one-point game brewing, in what could be an exciting finish.

“It’s going to come down to the wire, because I believe in Denver and believe what they do on offense, and I also believe in Seattle’s defense,” Fox said. “I know they’re going to play one heckuva game, but I’m going with a final score of Denver 28-27.”

MEDIA/CELEBRITY/ATHLETE POLL FOR SUPER BOWL XLVIII

Brittany Anderson, ESPN Radio, Las Vegas … “I think it’ll be high scoring… 34-31 Denver”

Mark Anderson, LV Review Journal Sports Writer … “Seahawks 24-21. It’s basically a toss-up, but I like Seattle’s pass rush as a key factor.”

Paul Anka, Singer/Songwriter … “This is just another game. Seahawks win 31-28.”

RJ Bell, Founder Pregame.com … “Denver 24-23. Seattle is the best home team in NFL, but Super Bowl is a road game. Manning’s big game experience makes difference in tight battle.”

Ray Brewer, LV Sun Sports Editor … “Seattle 26, Denver 21”

Cindy Brunson, Pac-12 Network Analyst/Reporter, Fox Sports Reporter, Former ESPN Veteran … “Seahawks 24, Denver 17 Top-ranked offenses are 0-3 in Super Bowl vs. top-ranked defenses.  I have to hang my hat on most consistent and fierce part of SEA game, stout D. Go Hawks!”

Chet Buchanan, Radio Personality, Las Vegas … “31-21 Seahawks!  Yes…I am DELUSIONALLY biased! Been a 12 since year 1!”

Frank Caliendo, Comedian/Impressionist … “Broncos, 31-24”

Steve Carp, LV Review Journal Sports Writer … “Seahawks 24, Broncos 20. Seattle is better built to handle the elements and Marshawn Lynch will do his talking on the field.”

Lori Cox, UNLV Rebels columnist, LV Review Journal … “Broncos 31 Seahawks 27 OMAHA! OMAHA!”

Randall Cunningham, Retired NFL Quarterback … “Seattle 24-21”

Tim Dahlberg, Associated Press Sports Writer … “I like Seattle 23-14”

Sean DeFrank, Vegas 7 Magazine, Associate Editor … “Seahawks 24, Broncos 21”

Will Edwards, Late-night talk-show host, Las Vegas … “Seahawks, 27-13”

Tyler Farr, Country Music Artist … “Broncos over the Seahawks 27-21”

Tom Fornelli, CBS Sports Football Writer …  “Broncos, 27-17”

Vernon Fox, Retired NFL Safety … “It’ll be a close one, but Broncos win, 28-27”

Ed Graney, LV Review Journal Columnist … “Seattle, 27-24. Bob Marley said trust the universe and respect your hair. I trust most in Seattle’s defense and Richard Sherman’s mop of locks.”

Steve Guiremand, MyLVsports.com Sports Writer  … “Seattle 23, Denver 20”

Paul Gutierrez, ESPN NFL Nation Sports Reporter … “Seahawks 26, Broncos 24”

Jake Hager, Pro Baseball Player TB Rays Organization … “Broncos, 42-38”

Adam Hill, LV Review Journal, Sports Writer … “Denver 31, Seattle 23. A far superior offense and an improving defense will combine to cement Manning’s legacy.”

Jemele Hill, Co-host ESPN’s Numbers Never Lie … “Broncos, 28-17”

Mike Hill, Host FOX Sports 1 … “Broncos, 23-17”

Merril Hoge, Retired NFL Running back … “Broncos, 28-24”

Matt Jacob, Vegas 7 Magazine Sports Reporter  … “I’m going Seahawks 24, Broncos 20”

Ron Jaworski, Retired NFL Quarterback … “Broncos, 27-24”

Josh Johnson, MLB Pitcher, San Diego Padres … “Broncos, 38-24”

Nick Kingham, Pro Baseball Player Pittsburgh Pirates Organization … “27-23 Broncos!”

Jay Kornegay, LVH SuperBook  … “Broncos, 23-20”

Chris Latham, Retired MLB Player … “28-17 Broncos!!”

TJ Lavin, Retired BMX/X Games Champion … “27-24 Denver!”

Wally Matthews, ESPN Reporter … “Let’s say Denver 31-27”

Chris Murray, Reno Gazette-Journal Sports Writer … “Broncos 27-20”

Tracy Murray, Retired NBA Player … “Broncos, 28-24”

Terry Norris, Retired Boxing Champion … “Denver, 21-7”

Mike Pritchard, Retired NFL Wide Receiver/Sports Radio Talk Show Host … “I think it will be 23-21 Denver”

David Purdum, Sports Betting Journalist … “Broncos 34, Seahawks 24”

Anthony Robles, Former NCAA Wrestling Champion … “I say Seahawks 27-24”

Anthony Rodriguez, Founder & Publisher for LightningRodSports.com, Denver … “Broncos 27, Seahawks 20”

Jon Saraceno, Thrive Sports/Former Sports Columnist USA Today … “Broncos, 24-17”

Jeffrey Seals, UNLV Media Relations … “Seattle, 27-24”

Jerry Stackhouse, Retired NBA All-Star … “Seattle 34 Denver 31”

Sage Steele, ESPN Sports Anchor … “Broncos win 31-21”

Maronzio Vance, Comedian/Actor on Fox’s “Enlisted” … “Broncos 34, Seahawks 24”

Danny Webster, Sports Editor, UNLV Rebel Yell … “Seahawks 24, Broncos 21. Russell Wilson for President”

Barry Wong, Photographer for KLAS-TV, Las Vegas, Sports Reporter for MyLVsports.com  … “Broncos, 27-21”

Roy Wood Jr., Comedian/Finalist on NBC’s Last Comic Standing … “Seahawks, 35-24”

Matt Youmans, LV Review Journal Sports Writer … “After too much waffling … Seahawks, 24-20”

FINAL TALLY: Denver Broncos 29 votes, Seattle Seahawks 20 votes

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