This is a REPRISE while Bob Ryan is on vacation … You might remember that this caused a National Situation … Click here for that aftermath …
Stone Face vs Smiley Face
In many ways, it was a terrific super bowl. You had Mr. Stone Face, himself, actually talking to players during the game. You had Mr. Smiley Face being interviewed in post-game without a smirk on his face.
You know who I mean…..
Stone Face- shows about as much reaction during a game, in those dilapidated, torn, old sweatshirts, as a funeral director greeting you at the door. I really do think that if he smiled, his face would crack apart. Sure—he’s an enigma—his players love him (those around long enough to learn to spell his name)—he’s dating some “hotty” that’s the envy of all those young male sports fans—he wins …albeit seemingly always on the fringe of being legal. If he ever made Mount PassMore of the NFL, his facial resemblance would probably be a slab of untouched stone.
Meanwhile on the other side…
Mr. Smiley-Face-always chewing in exaggerated bites on his wad of chewing gum, constantly flashing that fake smile(looks like the Jack-in-the Box Smile) and pumping his arms up in jubilation on every 1st down. But….he’s not always this way…he was able to sneak out of LA when sanctions were clouding up on the horizon for USC…he flopped at Jets AND Patriots (I’ll be darn…Bellicheat succeeded him at NE !)
Now…unlike the announcer…I had seen a game end that way…it was midseason for the Rammies, when in the final moments, their pass was intercepted in the end zone on a 3 yard pass. But…this game had many enjoyable moments…..
…there was a real ebb and flow for each team….first it was NE playing C Team football—run and pass less than 10 yards down the field—chew up the clock (I bet the sponsors were really itching as that 1st quarter finished in about 30 minutes!). NE gets ahead but Brady gets intercepted to keep it close. Then, the moribund Seattle offense awakes in 2nd quarter to move the ball. Seattle continues to build lead so that early-mid 4th quarter as some unknown guy makes catches like Jerry Rice, I was trying to get comfortable with Seattle being the 8th team to win back-back title (go ahead….name them…they aren’t that hard). Suddenly, the invincible Seahawk defense seems to have some openings that Brady finds and delivers. Btw…which one NFL QB has passed for the 3 highest passing yardage in Super Bowls…answer late? When Brady sets his feet, his quick assessments of coverage AND accuracy are really outstanding. NE takes the lead.
….then came the wild, wooly, atypical ending when these Pro players looked anything but professional. Seattle receiver catches a deep ball while on the ground after keeping it alive with his hands, feet, body. After realizing this miracle, he popped up and tried to advance—NE backs, coming out of their “shock” mode, bring him down on the 5 yard Line. Now, 30’ish seconds and 2 timeouts, MaShank Lynch takes it to the 1 yard line. 20 Seconds, 2 timeouts. Now…I have to tell you—early in my coaching career, I thought that it was “clever” to fool the opponent on key downs. You know…fake punts, going on 4th down, passing on short yardage, running plays out of the ordinary..yada-yada-yada. I really don’t think Smiley Face was in that arena. He, and his staff, had pre-determined that when NE puts in goal line unit and they had 3 wide outs out there, they would pass. Good strategy for other parts of the game….not in this situation. The interception comes from a rookie out of West Alabama, undrafted, completely unknown (until now) to any sports fan. It WAS a really terrific play and yes…it WAS really a stupid call by Smiley Face. Run it, run it, run it…you had time for 3 plays.
….It’s not over….when intercepted, the NE back should have stayed in end zone. …instead he romps all the way out to the 1 yard line.
….The Pats are so joyous that they ignore the clock and get called for delay of game. Ball goes back to .5 yard line. Come on….you’re supposed to be pros not kids jumping around, giggling, posing for selfies, while the game is still going on!
…Now Brady has his feet in the end zone. On a safety, they would have seen their lead shrink to 1 point and free kick from the 20 yard line, almost assuring that Seattle would get a FG try. He calls time out. Stone-Face recalls that a Seattle lineman has shown the tendency to be anxious. He “hard counts” and it works. Now…from Day 1 of Frosh Football…we taught WATCH THE BALL, don’t listen to QB. In fact, in drills with that purpose, I’d simulate QB counts while holding the ball like a center would do in a game. Push-ups were the penalty for jumping-off-side. Here…the penalty is the chance to win the game. These athletes were gifted with great bodies not…
…Then the Seahawks, sensing that their ship is on the Titanic course, shows their true colors (who can’t be nice when you are winning?)…vigorously jump off-sides from the 5 yard line and take some cheap, thug-like, shots at Patriot players. Now the worst nightmare of the NFL occurs….while trying to “move on” past the violence, thugness, fighting, smack-talk in the game….almost every player on the field becomes engaged in some level of pushing, shoving, sucker-punching, wrestling (no figure 4’s however), tag-teaming with 2 on 1. WHEN THESE TYPES OF SCUFFLES OCCURRED IN EVERY OTHER PART OF THE GAME, THE CAMERA WENT ELSEWHERE. Where could they go now? These professionals now looked like Sunday-afternoon rugby players (who usually play after ingesting plenty of beers to strengthen their fortitude in that grueling game). It was sad…maybe fitting of the current NFL.. That one of the most entertaining Super Bowls became a Super Brawl.
Have to comment…my favorite commercial was one of the first ones….about paying NO Fee to file your taxes with a 1776 setting between British and Colonists. Now…that’s coming from a 60’ish year old guy.
….halftime….a little different outfit …I would have thought that I was watching Peter Pan! But…it was good entertainment (if you need 30 minutes to go the bathroom)
Answers to questions in articles…
…other 7 teams with back-back—(not in order)—Green Bay, Miami, Dallas, SF, Denver, Pittsburgh (twice), New England
..record for the most passing yards in a Super Bowl…#1, #2, #3 spots all held by Kurt Warner !!!!