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Super Bowl Retrospective

Showing you what kind of life I live, I was forced to miss the first half of the Super Bowl because of an opera. Frick! I am definitely NOT messing with you either. I had to work on Super Sunday, which was super lame. Making it worse was the fact that I happened to be working an opera show. Sometimes house-managing reeeeeeally sucks. This was one of those times.

Lucky for me, it wasn’t a long show and once it was over I sped home at stealth-fighter-jet speed.

Have I ever mentioned I don’t have cable? Yes, I realize I’m living a century behind the times (at least I have a 42″ HDTV). Whatever. Being an aspiring sports writer doesn’t pay much. And by much, I, of course, mean… anything at all.

So once I got home, ripped off my tie and fired up my trusty HP laptop; I immediately began Project: Find Someone Illegally Streaming the Super Bowl.

Thank God for Sky Sports.

Seriously.

Not that I would watch the NFL illegally…

(Tugs on neck of shirt… sweating profusely…)

(I’m not even sure that watching a streaming NFL game on Sky Sports is illegal, so let’s all just agree that I’m definitely not breaking the law.)

To make up for the fact that I pretty much stink as a person, I figured the only way to adequately rectify the situation would be to write a diary of my Super Bowl watching extravaga-nanza. Oops, hold on, the oven just beeped…

I forgot to mention, while waiting for my, umm, “channel” to load, I threw in some angus sliders.

In fact, before we get to the game, let’s break down the spread. My food spread, that is.

I mentioned leading off with the Angus burgers, a solid start for any fan. For washing down purposes I have ice-cold Henry Weinhard Orange Cream sodas, with my back-up drink being bottled Mexican Cokes. Yooooooooou BETCHA!

My second course/side dish will be baked curly fries (with garlic seasoning) and/or Tim’s Original potato chips.

Desert will most definitely be ice cream. Choosing the flavor may be tough though. I have Dreyer’s Rocky Road and caramel Moose Tracks. Further complicating things is a 54-oz tub of Costco chocolate covered raisins. So much junk food, so little time to consume it all.

Bump it, let’s kick things off with the Raisinete knock-offs. A great pre-meal snack. About 15 handfuls should do the trick.

Before we start the diary, I suppose I should mention that watching a live-feed of the game of Sky Sports does have a definite down-side. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Sky Sports, it gets NFL feeds via the NFL Network.

I don’t even have to tell you what that means, do I?

I know you already are feeling my agony, but I’ll spell it out for you, just in case. My evening will be filled with Joe Theismann’s poopy glory and I am wizzing in the wind on this one.

BALDERDASH!!!!!!!

Ok it’s game time.

(About two hours late.)

/cringing in anticipation for the first time Theismann makes my ears bleed.

5:20 p.m. – HOLY MOLEY!!! ONSIDE KICK! It looks like the Saints got it too. Wow, what a start to the second half; Coach Sean Payton playing the part of Kenny Rogers (Meaning, he gambled; look if I have to explain my analogy it’s probably not a good one. Point taken. I’ll do better next time). Payton will either look like a genius, or Charlie Weis (Much better. See, I LEARN!)

Sean Payton would have looked like this, had the onside kick not worked.

5:27 p.m. – Pierre Thomas makes Sean Payton look even more like a genius as he rumbles into the end zone. Saints up by three.

Saints-13, Colts-10.

5:35 p.m. – I mentioned I missed the first half due to work. Not entirely true. I snuck away for about 20 minutes to watch the endless pre-game singing, the Saints win the toss only to let Manning take the ball in the second half (a move that didn’t come back to bite them with the onside kick), a Saints three-and-out (again, soooo fortunate their coach has huge ones and his brass WORKED), and a methodical Colts drive ending in Stover’s field goal.

What does all of that mean? It means I should have been working, but was giving it to The Man for making me work on Super Sunday.

(That definitely didn’t sound right.)

5:38 p.m. – I passed over mentioning anything from the long Colts drive (You knew it was coming, what would the point have been?) but should note that they actually ran the ball pretty well. Joseph Addai punched it in, making the Saints’ score all but moot.

Saints-13, Colts-17.

5:40 p.m. – Curly fries are done!

5:45 p.m – Hey, a Reggie Bush sighting!

Gratuitous Kim Kardashian shot in… 3… 2… 1…

(Waiting…)

(Still waiting…

(Saints run another play, a pass to Bush, which he drops. Still no shot of Kardashian.)

(It’s like I don’t even know you anymore, NFL Network.)

5:48 p.m. – Joe Theismann has been rambling incoherently about Peyton Manning for like four plays now. This game is getting in the way of his Manning pillow talk. Couldn’t we take a TV timeout or something?

Vizio should create an audio setting where I can turn just Theismann down.

I would use that setting roughly 100% of the time.

Someday…

5:51 p.m. – Somewhere in there, Garrett Hartley hit a 47-yard field goal. I missed it thanks to Theismann bantering.

I really hate that guy.

Saints-16, Colts-17.

5:53 p.m. – I hope you’re ready for another 90-yard near perfect Indy drive. I can smell it.

It smells like Dallas Clark’s jock strap.

Needless Kim Kardashian sighting No. 12,224. (As if she didn't receive enough sports coverage this past week.)

I really should stop hanging out with him.

5:54 p.m – This seems like a good time to mention a second downside to watching the Super Bowl online. I miss all the commercials. Not a terrible trade-off I suppose. I’d just end up YouTubing (Can you make YouTube a verb? I guess I can) the good ones tomorrow anyway.

I am curious as to which Doritos commercial won the online voting though. I’m torn between the one with the total d-bag popped collar punk at the vending machine and the casket full of chips. I think I dig the vending machine a little more (that dude is such a tool I can’t help but laugh as he gets tasered EVERY time) but the Casket Chips one was made by Erwin McManus, who is the pastor of a church called Mosaic, in the L.A. area. If his commercial wins, he will be donating the prize money ($5-million) to the Church.

Hard to root against that.

(*NOTE: Upon further review – after this column was written – it appears I did in fact get to watch a handful of the commercials live. They just REALLY stunk. I saw the “Kiss of Cherry,” “Troy Punxsutawney Polamalu” and the “Kia Sorento Joy Ride” spots. Needless to say, NOT the cream of the commercial crop)

5:55 p.m. – “Collie, collared from behind by Gay.”

That. Just. HAPPENED.

Colts on the 25-yard line after Austin Collie’s 10-yard reception.

End of the third quarter.

6:03 p.m. – Remember when I told you the Colts were going to drive? What am I, some kind of wizard? Maybe not, but it is happening.

11:04 to play, third-and-11.

6:05 p.m. – Manning misses Collie near the end zone.

Matt Stover to kick a 51-yarder…

6:06 p.m. – … and missed it wide left.

I was right about the drive, but wrong that it would end in points.

Kickers are terrible. The thorn in football’s side.

We should make rules to do away with kickers, Joe Theismann, Joe Buck (Let’s just go ahead and make it illegal for anyone named Joe to do commentary. Seems like a safe play. If your name is Joe and you aren’t atrocious, please accept my apology. But this is the way it has to be. It’s for the greater good), Brett Favre gushing, all catch-phrases that are or are similar to: “Who Dat?” or “Who Dey?” and Al Davis draft picks (doing so will save the Raiders both time and money), because getting rid of all of that junk will make football a better game.

6:11 p.m. – Theismann just called Bush, “quick as grease lightning.”

The defense rests, your honor.

7:19 to go.

6:12 p.m. – Drew Brees continues to pick Indy’s D apart, finding Thomas at the five.

6:14 p.m. – Touchdown Jeremy Shockey, who cut to the middle, getting just open enough for a Brees bullet. (Wait, I’m confused; are we allowed to make gun reference when referring to non-NBA sports, or not at all? Someone should clear that one up for us. Maybe I’ll ask Kobe…)

6:15 p.m. – Saints go for two.

Brees tries to find Lance Moore in the corner, who couldn’t control it.

I will say, that looked a lot closer than a certain broadcaster seemed to think. At first glance, I’d say the Saints had it. After several glances, that certain someone, disagrees with me.

Moore had control of the ball, in both hands, as he fell back towards the goal line (he started in the end-zone). He had it all the way to the ground where once his right shoulder hits (out of the end-zone) he begins to bobble and ultimately drop the football. He did seem to have control of it while IN the end-zone, so I guess it depends on whether the refs believe he had control and lost it or not.

Let’s go to the judges…

6:19 p.m. – A million replays later, it turns out I was right and Theismann was wrong. The refs rule Moore had control of the ball in the end zone.

Two-point conversion is good.

Saints-24, Colts-17.

6:21 p.m. – My internet just cut out, leaving me hanging.

I know, I know, serves me and my online-game-watching, self-promoting-self right.

Go massage Dwight Freeney’s ankle, for all I care.

6:24 p.m. – Internet’s back.

I get my feed back on just in time to see Peyton nearly picked.

The Pierre Garcon catches one across the middle for an 11-yard gain.

6:25 p.m. – Reggie Wayne good for 12.

4:00 to play.

Manning hits Wayne again, this time for four.

Second and five.

6:26 p.m. – TV timeout for an injured Saint.

This might not be a mega-scoring affair, but still, a pretty good game nonetheless.

I’m not watching the REAL Super Bowl commercials, but I did just get to see the This Is Sportscenter spot with Scott Van Pelt and Jimmy Rollins reviewing game film of a Van Pelt Sportscenter.

“I don’t even know where to start here.”

(Shot of Van Pelt standing out of the frame.)

Classic.

6:29 p.m. – Third and five; MANNING PICKED!

TRACY PORTER TAKES IT HOME!

Tracy Porter came up with a huge pick, for the second straight game.

Porter’s second enormous INT in as many games. You may remember Porter from the now infamous Brett Favre throw-over-the-middle pick in the NFC Championship game. You know, the interception that cost Favre’s Vikings the game.

Also, equally impressive, that pick-six was the first turnover of the game.

Extra point is good.

Saints-31, Colts-17.

3:12 left in regulation.

6:31 p.m. – The Colts need some magic.

Nothing is going right for Indy anymore. A holding penalty is called on their mediocre return.

I just shot myself as you know who bellowed “WHO DAT!” heading into the break.

That phrase will NEVER DIE if the Saints win this game. And oh how I wish it would.

If any team can net 14 points in three minutes, it’s the Colts though.

6:33 p.m. – Time for the ice cream!

(My belly is going to hurt me for this later.)

(Mmm, Dreyer’s Rocky Rooooooooad…)

6:36 p.m. – Manning hits a wide-open Clark for eleven.

He then hits an in-stride Austin Collie for a 40-yard-gain like it was nothing. Right on cue.

Timeout.

6:38 p.m. – I think I just nearly choked on a marshmallow. A narrow escape Bates. Gotta be more careful, that’s a rookie move.

/I’m paying for all this junk food sooner than expected.

6:39 p.m. – Peyton hits Addai twice in a row. Once to the 13 then to about the six.

An awful personal foul on No. 63 taking Indy to the three-yard-line and stopping the clock.

6:41 p.m. – Austin Collie literally shoves Greer out-of-the-way, as the DB catches the ball out-of-bounds.

6:42 p.m. – Not like it mattered. Peyton to Addai AGAIN, back to the three.

Timeout Colts.

1:18 left in the game.

Colts knocking on the door.

A solemn Peyton Manning mourns his game losing interception.

Like so many kickers, Manning hits the crossbar.

6:43 p.m. – Right as I was about to type, “We all know the Colts are going to score, the questions are: with how much time left and can they recover the onside kick,” as Peyton defies all odds and throws two consecutive incomplete passes, forcing me to eat my words.

Wow.

Incredible., Manning couldn’t get it in the end-zone, handing Super Bowl XLIV (that’s 44 for all of you normal people who can’t decipher weird Roman numerals)to the Saints.

6:46 p.m. – I’m not even a Colts fan and that knocked the breath out of me!

I still have half a bowl of ice cream left.

By the by, Drew Brees is about as close to a lock for game MVP as possible. He completed 32-of-39 passes for 288 yards and two scores. Sounds like an MVP to me.

That onside kick to start the second half ended up being huge. Being up by two scores instead of just one, forced the Colts to scramble on that last drive, rather than taking their sweet time, picking the defense apart.

I really wonder whether the Saints would have won this game, had they not shown that aggressiveness to start the half.

I also wonder if the Saints would have won if the Colts had Adam Vinatieri on the field instead of Matt Stover, who hadn’t kicked a field goal over 50 yards in years.

Above all, I wonder if this loss puts the “Manning will be the best ever” talk to rest for a while. The answer has to be yes… and no.

Allow me to explain…

Joe Montana wouldn’t have lost this game. Well, he might have, but since he never lost a Super Bowl he played in, we have to assume he wouldn’t have lost this one either.

Manning is now batting .500 in Super Bowls compared to Montana’s cool 1.000. Those four MVPs don’t speak so loudly with a big-game loss on the resumé.

Even still, Manning is CLEARLY at the top of his game right now and if he could make it to the Super Bowl with two nobody receivers playing prominent roles (Remember, he lost No. 2 wideout, Anthony Gonzalez, to injury in Week 1 and never returned from that injury), a young defense, no running game and a now-peaking offensive line; I’m pretty confident Indy won’t fall off the cliff next year. They’ll be back again, sooner rather than later.

Those four MVPs, by the way, are an NFL record. Let’s say Peyton makes it to the dance twice more (a realistic prognostication since he’s at his best now, we assume…) and wins one of them. I’d also put money on him winning at LEAST one more league MVP. That would give him five MVPs (or more) and four Super Bowl appearances, with at least two rings.

Would THAT make Manning the greatest ever? I don’t know, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt his argument. But for the time being, expect voices to be muffled for a while when talking about Peyton’s place in history.

Joe Cool, you’re safe. For now.

Oh and New Orléans, you beat the best. You had to earn your first title. Way to win one for the little guy (in all senses). I’m glad I’m not in the Big Easy right now. This might be the first time in history an entire City gets drunk. Men, women and children. Mardi Gras is going to be a madhouse.

Would anything surprise you over the next month, with Louisiana residents in the equation? Doubtful.

ESPN could report that the Saints saddled up alligators for their parade and I’d believe it without batting an eye. Of course they did. Why wouldn’t they ride gators?

The mayor flashed his nether-region, fully displaying his new Saints tattoo? Sure, I’d buy it too.

Jeremy Shockey drunkenly made out with the entire cast of Jersey Shore on Bourbon Street? Totally. Why not?’

It’s going to be the party of all parties in the Big Easy. And don’t worry New Orléans; we know who dat be.

Dat be the NFL Champions.

(Take me now, Lord.)

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