A True “Super” Bowl by Bob Ryan

The Super Bowl of last weekend really was “super”. I was rooting for the Chiefs so maybe that added to the enjoyment. The late surge by the Chiefs was outstanding.  Some observations….

….late in the 1st half, owning a lead, momentum and with the ball, San Francisco decides to “run out the clock”. Why? You have momentum…use it to put additional points on the board. You can’t “ice” the game in the 1st half

.. With just 6:30 left to play in the game, the 49ers were ahead 20-10 (a 10 point lead), which should have been an insurmountable lead. Going into the Super Bowl, there had been 165 games in the 2019 season where a team led by 10 or more points with under 7 minutes left to play. Before the Super Bowl, the team with that lead posted a 164-1 record! Now….it’s 164-2…ugh!!

…In that mid-4th quarter drive with the lead, when the clock becomes as important as the score, amazingly to me, SF abandons the running game (while the clock keeps running) and throws it…and threw 3 straight incomplete passes – stopping the clock on each incomplete. That cost the Niners over 1:30 of time….gee….just think.. if the game had been 1:30 shorter for the Chiefs at the end of the game…the outcome may have been different!! 

…the difference of the QB play was significant. Mahomes is a “big game” QB. He possesses tremendous arm strength (with accuracy), can run for positive yardage and can run to escape some of the defensive pressure.  Jimmy Garoppolo is a QB ”manager”—he can drive an offense well when the blocking is good & the receivers run their option routes correctly. However, he isn’t going to scramble for positive yards or make super-exceptional passes (like Mahomes). Further… in the biggest game of his life, he completed just 3 of 11 passes for 36 yards in the 4th quarter (Overall, he went 20 of 31 for 219 yards and… at times… he looked sharp ….but not in the last 5 minutes of the game— the “crunch” time of any NFL game.

…obviously, the 49’ers have a different evaluation for Garoppolo. He signed a 5 year deal last year for $27.5m/year. Another game-manager type, Kirk Cousins signed for 3 years @ $28m/year. Eyeballing those numbers, I can understand why Dak Prescott (Cowboy QB) declined a contract last year worth $27.8m/year…that offer was halfway in value between the above mentioned pair of QBs. Prescott seems a clear notch above that level….Heck….its only money….and the NFL is rolling in it!

…maybe I’m showing my age here but….I disliked the halftime shake-it show. There were millions of young women and girls watching the game….what message were we sending them?…in this current age….why return to using the Woman’s body… alone… to be the primary focus. I realize that it was targeted for a much younger audience but…really(could you hear that tone?) …couldn’t Ms Lopez & Ms Shake-ur-rear  taken a different approach with their talents?

In other sports throughout this past week…

…The Billikens lost to the Duquesne Dukes 82-68 in an A-10 game. It just seemed to me that the Dukes simply had taller, more athletic team than the Bills. Duquesne has beaten SLU twice this year.  Coach Ford was unhappy…as all losing coaches are after games…..but….the Bills would need to play a perfect game to beat Duquesne. In order to do that, the SLU would have to stay out of foul trouble & hit their perimeter shots with some regularity. The loss on Saturday @ Dayton (19-2) 71-65 was a tough one. I don’t know if the Bills can play any better in a road game. They shot 49% from the field, shot 5 of 11 from beyond the arc, outrebound the Flyers 33-30. Dayton did convert 20 FT to the Bills 10 in the game. It seems to me that HOME teams always shoot more than the visitors in most games. While 13 turnovers isn’t a huge number…it was more than twice as many as Dayton’s 6 turnovers. 

…In CoMO…the Tigers have lost 6 of the last 8 games…ugh. The OT win over Arkansas yesterday so help the spirits of this club that is buried deep in the SEC standings. The absence of Jerimiah Tilmon in the post seems to be a hurdle that MU just can’t jump. Its hard to find 6-10 players who can move and score. While he is viewed by some as being a disappointment in his career…it’s clear now …that he MUST be on the court for Mizzou to compete against the “big boys”. Despite some rumblings about the coaching, Cuonzo Martin won’t be fired this year….or next….Cuonzo inked a 7 year deal for $21m at the signing in 2017. According to sources, “There’s virtually no escape for either side during the first four years. That late-spring timing all but ensures Mizzou will ride with Martin through at least 2020-21, especially since he’s owed a $6 million buyout from May 1, 2020, until April 30, 2021. That figure drops to $3 million the next year, $1 million a year after that and $300,000 during the final year between May 1, 2023, and April 30, 2024. The pot is sweetened even more….If Missouri wins 20 games or reaches the NCAA Tournament at any time during Martin’s tenure, the time frame for when the school can terminate without cause — a fancy term for the Tigers not winning enough games — pushes back one year, as does the $6 million buyout. A subsequent NCAA appearance would mean MU can’t fire Martin without cause until May 1, 2022, and would owe a $6 million buyout in the sixth year of the contract and $3 million in the seventh. On top of it, the Mizzou Athletic Department went in the “red” last year by $1m+. Soooo….one wouldn’t expect them to add to that deficit by relieving Martin .. with a substantial buyout….and hire another, probably highly paid coach simultaneously.

…still in the NCAA-B world….there were many very touching moments on Saturday @ Indiana U. After a 20 year hiatus from the school because he was fired, the legendary basketball coach, Bob Knight returned. He won 1273 games with a 70%+ winning mark in his long career. It was the place of the most 29 glorious seasons of his 42 years  as a head coach.  Now 79 years old, he was visibly touched by the tremendous ovations. Fittingly, he led the crowd in chants of “Defense, Defense, Defense”—his signature mark in the game. I admired him a great deal as a beginning coach. Nooo….I didn’t like…or throw chairs!!  But, through most of my career…it was defense, discipline, offensive fundamentals… that I hoped my team would possess. As a young coach, I purchased his pamphlet on defense(Let’s Play Defense). It wasn’t fancy…had a picture of a devil snorting on the cover of this paper-back, ½ page high, 30 page book… actually..more like a term paper. Anyway, as a young coach, I made copies of the cover and made all my players hang it eyeball high on the inside of  their locker door….even my girls teams that I coached!  THAT’s when they knew that I was passionate..or crazy… about bball. 

….the Cardinals will be opening up spring training shortly….while there are a lot of questions….will they go with 2 young outfielders, stay with Crap…oops…Carp….a true bullpen closer?….starting rotation?… luckily for them, the Cubs AND Brewers seemed to have taken large steps backwards this off-season. The Reds have improved their roster but can they leap from a 75-87 record  last year and win 15 more games to become a contender? That’s a lot to ask!! Despite our concerns, the Cards HAVE to be the clear favorites to win the NL Central Division.

…..One of the fears when free agency began decades ago was that the extremely Big Cities…like LA, NY, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta…would dominant the league due to the size of their super-sized wallet. It’s proving to be true! The MLB MUST establish a hard cap on the upper & lower end of the pay scale.  The HUGE gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” seems to be widening. There are exceptions… like Oakland & Tampa Bay…but for the most part, several of the MLB teams are “out of it” prior to the 1st pitch of the season.  Would you go watch the Royals, Tigers, Marlins on a regular basis? This really isn’t a new phenomenon…. back decades ago, Connie Mack owned and managed the Philadelphia Athletics. He was a manager for 50 straight years! He owned the team WHILE being the manager the last 12 of those years. Let’s be kind and say that he was very frugal. This expression from him says it all, “The best thing for a team financially is to be in the running and finish second. If you win (the title), the players all expect raises. Mack saw baseball as a business, and recognized that economic necessity that drove the game.  That’s not to say that he NEVER won…his clubs won five World Series champion (1910, 1911, 1913, 1929, 1930) He has the most managerial wins, losses and games managed in major league history…I guess so….50 years of managing!!! Notice he did manage during the depression soooo…. maybe…that experience altered his scrimp & save approach. It’s  surely,  a FAR, FAR different world in baseball now.

…I hope that this has been a “super” read for you   I encourage you to respond to any part of the blog…put it directly on my FB page, or on the Prepcasts page, or email it to me….

Comments

  1. Many comments says:

    I agree with you. Chiefs didn’t win the game, the 49ers lost the game. Much like the Atlanta Falcons lost to the Patriots a few years before.
    Also, I think the St. Louis Cardinals are a little bit like the Phillies during the Connie Mack years, tight purse strings. KG
    ———————————————————————————————
    Hey Bob, you have a new St. Louis team to talk about. How bout those super Hawks. Well the whole deal is very interesting, just seems like a filmed scrimmage rather than a real game. But my friend they won their first game on the road. Thats a big deal. JC
    ———————————————–
    Great article! It was very cool to see Bobby Knight & Gene Hairpiece Keady
    At the Pacers game. Bobby’s health not very good–He barely made it to the half court.
    Agree SLU played a great game yesterday and even made some free throws but Dayton definitely
    enjoyed the home cooking on da calls. Love watching the Pebble Beach Pro AM. Manning bros got game on the Links. MB

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