Monday, February 2, 2009

14 Things About the Super Bowl

I too will echo Pricing Boy's thoughts on what an exciting game it was. Yes, it was incredibly sloppy with all the penalties - and many stupid ones at that - but just when you thought the Cardinals were done with about 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter, Warner found that groove and everything carried from there.

Now, a few other notes:

1) I missed Jeremy Shockey in the Super Bowl this year. Huh? Let me refresh your memory.

Last year during the Super Bowl you probably remember that because Jeremy Shockey had a broken leg he did not play and was forced to watch the game from the owner's box. During one cutaway they showed Shockey sitting up in said box drinking a Bud Lite can. I loved this for many reasons, but mainly because while everybody else in the box was PC, drinking bottled water or diet soda, Shockey is there with a can of Bud Lite. He couldn't even class it up with one of those 16 oz. plastic, stadium bottles they have. He had to go can. While I can't smile about much from last year's Super Bowl, I can always chuckle about this.

2) The fact that Mike Tomlin is a dead-ringer for Omar Epps has been beaten into the ground. However, one thing that I never knew before last night is that James Harrison is equally as much a replica to Sgt. Dokes from Dexter as Tomlin is to Epps.

3) I am positive that I am not the only one who saw the Cardinals get the go-ahead score with about 2:30 left and think immediately back to the Super Bowl from last year. If you give a decent offense two and a half minutes and two timeouts to score a touchdown against a shaky defense, it seems like the offense will prevail every time.

4) My father-in-law brought up kind of a cool point yesterday; if the Cardinals had won then the Super Bowl winning quarterback would have been older than the head coach he defeated. When will that have a chance to ever happen again? Next year maybe if some veteran NFC quarterback takes his team against the Broncos I guess. Still, I thought it was pretty cool.

5) Larry Fitzgerald is an absolute freak of nature. If you want to know what actually impressed me more than his big touchdown to put the Cardinals ahead, it was the TD he caught before that where Warner lobbed a jump-ball to the back corner of the end zone and he was able to grab it with a DB hanging all over and trying to tackle him. When Warner threw that ball I thought it had no chance.

6) This pains me because I do not like him, but what Ben Roethlisberger can do in keeping plays alive is really impressive and that is how he wins games for his team. In a way, if you want a comp for Matt Cassell, wouldn't it be Roethlisberger over anybody else? Isn't that the ceiling for Cassell? That's a pretty good ceiling BTW, but I think if you want to see what you could potentially have down the road in the guy, look no further than Ben Roethlisberger. Me, I'll still take Brady. Not a bad Plan B though. Roethlisberger REALLY impressed me last night.

7) This has nothing to do with the Super Bowl, but I continue to see fans in message boards and such clamoring for the Pats to go after another big name WR in free agency or draft a running back early. This drives me nuts. First of all, if the Pats draft or go after offense in the offseason it should be on the line or at tight end. They do not need a running back. Not only did they win two Super Bowls with Antowain Smith at running back, they finished sixth in the league in rushing last year with an RB by committee approach. Furthermore, even if Laurence Maroney really isn't the answer, he still looked pretty good down the stretch in 2007 and is worth one last chance. And if he fails, they know they can plug the holes some how, some way with Lamont Jordan, Sammy Morris or another BenJarvus Green-Ellis of the world. Not ideal, but running back is so far down on the list of Patriots needs that I think everybody needs to chill a bit. Skill positions have not let the Pats down the past few years, it has been the D and the offensive line at times. Of course it is fun in the offseason to see the Pats load up on guys you'd take in your fantasy draft but the reality is, that is not what they need to win another Super Bowl.

8) I'm not sure about all this "Greatest Super Bowl Ever!!!!" talk. Look, it was a great game no doubt about it. But, as I recall, the day after the Super Bowl we have heard the same thing maybe 4 other times in the past 10 years. I am thinking, similar sentiments were expressed for Rams over Titans in 2000, Pats over Rams in 2002, Pats over Panthers in 2004, and Giants over Pats in 2008. Maybe we should just ease up on the hyperbole some huh?

9) So I kind of called it. Didn't that late barrage of points remind you of the 2004 game between the Pats and Panthers. More or less the same result too.

10) While not as flukey as the helmet catch, the Arizona defensive back slipping on the big Santonio Holmes run after catch which brought Pittsburgh deep into the red zone and set up the final score has to be remembered as a key break that Pittsburgh caught. You need things like that to win though. Remember when John Kasay put his kickoff out of bounds to setup the Patriots final drive in the Super Bowl against the Panthers? Or what about Donovan McNabb taking his merry old time to drive the Eagles down the field in the fourth quarter the following year. Don't tell me luck has nothing to do with winning Super Bowls, it is almost as important as skill and competency.

11) If Ben Watson played for the Cardinals, would they have won the game? Again, huh? Well, considering that his lone football skill seems to be running down defensive players en route to bringing an interception back for a touchdown, doesn't it seem possible that he could have chased down James Harrison? We'll never know how the game plays out if it is 10-7 at the half instead of 17-7, but it's worth at least throwing out there right?

12) And while we are on the topic, isn't throwing a ball to the front of the end zone, close to the sideline when your starting position is inside the opponent's three the most dangerous pass you can throw in football? I've never thought about this, but considering that sideline passes are always going to be risky for INT run-backs, one thrown in a short yardage "and goal" situation has to be the most risky because the defender has the added bonus of only needing a few steps to get behind the offense. Is there anyway he brings that back if Arizona was starting from the 10 instead of the 2? I honestly doubt it. More fun stuff to chew on. And by the way, I bring this up more as thinking out loud than anything else. It is not intended to diminish what Harrison did. Rather it's just to wonder why that does not happen more and how risky of a pass it was that Kurt Warner threw.

13) OK, I'll admit it. I was REALLY pulling for the Cardinals. I mean REALLY!!! And yes, I was really bummed when Santonio Holmes caught that pass. But do you know what else? After the initial emotion passed me, I got up, turned the TV off, went into another room and read a bit before bed. I then went to bed and slept like a rock. Why do I bring this up? Because it was fun to watch an incredibly exciting Super Bowl with no real vested interest and then have your team lose, but be able to bounce back after about five minutes. The way the past two Pats seasons ended absolutely destroyed me so I must say, this was a nice change of pace. I could not have handled another soul-crushing defeat to end my season. Instead I worked through all those emotions back in September when Brady went down.

14) Last point and a biggy:

Why the F did the officials not give a legitimate review to that last fumble? I mean come on! You have to do that! Personally, I think it was a forward pass, and you mean to tell me that Arizona could not have scored on one play from Pittsburgh's 29? With Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin??? Would have been interesting right?

Oh, and that roughing the passer call against Roethlisberger in the 4th was BS. An almost exact replica of the hit on Roethlisberger happened on Warner in the first half to no-call. And for the record, "no-call" was the right call the first time around.

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