Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Recap

It's go time!  I've already downed wings, whiskey, beer (well, Colt .45), cookies, etc., so I'm about ready for kickoff.  I hope this game lives up to those of the past few years (Giants/Pats and Steelers/Cards in particular)...Especially since this is the end of football for a while.  The most unfortunate part about this game is that I can't use commercials to go to the bathroom because, while I watch for the game, I don't want to miss commercials.  Thus, halftime and only halftime will be spent for beer reloading and bladder emptying.  Aside from that, the ass dent in my chair will be occupied...with my ass.

1.  I LOVE that they read the Declaration of Independence before the game.  Hearing those timeless words (especially with images of our troops) always gives me goosebumps on my arms and tears in my eyes.  What those signers did, was simply unbelievable.  They had to have believed that when they put their names on that paper, they were signing their death warrants.  Yet, this did not deter them from their pursuit of freedom for themselves, their countrymen, and their progeny.  What better way to honor them and all defenders of freedom on the biggest stage of the television broadcast year.  Props to FOX for running such a spot.  In a related comment, I choked up when the crowd cheered upon being shown a live feed of our men and women of the armed forces from Afghanistan.  Too bad, the Anthem wasn't sung with the correct words.  In an unrelated note, whose idea was it to have a flyover over a dome?

2.  Muffed punt in the Super Bowl?  Green Bay got LUCKY there.  They should start reading my blog to understand why fumbling is bad and strong special teams is good.

3.  That Doritos dog is a pug from Hell.  "...And that's why you don't taunt a hungry dog."  I'm surprised the taunter's arm didn't fall off.  (Update: Doritos is the big winner so far, and I'd be surprised if another company overtakes them after the finger licking/pant removing commercial.)

4.  A-Rod can't feed himself?  Good thing he makes about a gazillion bucks a year so he can afford to pay people to do it for him.  Open up for the airplane, Alex.

5.  Chad Clifton seems to be holding up decently, but Bulaga is getting worked over by Woodley.  The Packers are going to have to devise a better way to block him, or there could be troubles down the stretch.  (Update: He did pretty well there, and Jordy Nelson held on this time!  If there's no more scoring this quarter, I win $50!)

6.  Turnovers.  You can't do them if you want to win.  Also, I am now officially pissed off at the Steelers and wish loss upon them.  Ben robbed me out of $50.  He can die of gonorrhea and rot in hell.  However, it should be noted that each QB now has a TD pass.

7.  Kemoeatu is getting abused.  It's almost like Kyle Williams plays for Green Bay.  Also, Ben's gimpy.  If he's hurt, you can pretty much mail this one in...That is unless the Bears traded Hanie to Pittsburgh.

8.  I guess Big Ben grew accustomed to throwing to guys wearing yellow pants during the season (well, the last 12 games of the season).  Unfortunately, for him, that's not necessarily a good thing in this situation.

9.  What a throw and catch on that Jennings TD.  I was very surprised to see him hold onto it with the way Polamalu hit him.

10.  The Steelers' TD pass to Ward looked like something from my family Turkey Bowl.  Very athletic catch. Too bad Suisham made the PAT...Bastard cost me $50 for this quarter too.

11.  Can we get this God awful halftime show off the screen and bring back football?  Halftime shows have been fairly lame ever since they outlawed tits, and this one is no exception.  Also, do the Black Eyed Peas have more than one song that they actually wrote themselves?  Either way, I'm left wishing that this game had been played in the Metrodome a few months ago...

12.  Charles Woodson is a big loss.  That will put pressure on the Green Bay offense to score to alleviate some of the pressure on the defensive secondary.

13.  The refs ought to be embarrassed for that facemask call on the first punt of the second half.  This is the biggest game of the year, and they absolutely blew that call.  I hate it when the zebras make a blatant error that can change the whole game.  That TD was set up by the facemask.  I can almost guarantee that Pittsburgh would have had a different plan of attack if they'd started from the 35 like they should have.

14.  That Suisham field goal attempt was about the worst I've seen in a Super Bowl...Not the most painful (again, I'm a Bills fan), but the e-trade baby should definitely call him "shankapotomamus."

15.  I have always liked Aaron Rodgers for his professionalism during his long green room wait on draft day and how he handled the whole Brett Favre drama, but with the block he made on the pursuing linebacker after he handed it off, he earned a little more respect.  His receivers however are dropping more balls than a clumsy hooker, and that must be SO frustrating for Packer fans.

16.  I sang the praises of Tramon Williams in prior weeks, but today, he is absolutely killing his team with bonehead plays.  If the ball is rolling on the ground on a punt, get away from it.  If you don't get away from it, don't throw punches!  It's really not that hard a concept.

17.  Another bad call on the 3rd and 10 incomplete pass by Green Bay near the end of the third quarter.  That is a catch, no doubt about it.  That's another call that went for Pittsburgh that I think was wrong (despite what Pereira says).  It is close, but to me, it looks like he puts the ball away before it is stripped by a very aware Pittsburgh defender.  I'm not sure whether I'd say that his knee was down, but it wouldn't matter, as the Packers would have recovered at around the same spot as the knee down spot.  (Update: On the ensuing punt, there were two missed holding calls that should have been called on Pittsburgh.)

18.  Another Pittsburgh turnover.  Am I the only one who thinks the Steelers offense likes to stand around and watch their opponents recover their fumbles?  That's twice now in these playoffs.  Either way, you can't lose the turnover battle in the regular season let alone in the Super Bowl.  (Update: Three Pittsburgh turnovers have turned into 21 Packer points.)

19.  Jordy Nelson has dropped seemingly every other pass.  However, each time, he makes a big play the next time he's targeted.  After that drop, I'd go back to him.  (Update: They did on the next play, and they hit a big one on the crossing route.  Now, they should stay away from him till they're in a situation where they can afford a drop.)

20.  Pepsi Max is giving Doritos a run for its money with its slapstick comedy and the "I want to sleep with her," commercial.  Also, I'm friends with someone whose cousin was in a Pepsi Max commercial, so if you think about it, I'm famous in a very real way.

21.  Mr. Aikman, what does it mean for Troy Polamalu to be "extinctive?"  I'd almost rather have Phil Simms as a commentator...almost.

22.  In both of the key battles to watch that I delineated in the prior post, it appears that the offensive lines have been winning.  Frankly, I'm a little surprised.

23.  What Rodgers just did to take momentum back from Pittsburgh, take time off the clock, and score is huge.  However, the difference between a TD and the FG they got there is astronomical.  Now, Pittsburgh has a chance to do what they did two years ago and win the game at the last second.  If Green Bay had converted for a TD, I would have said that was one of the best (clutch) playoff drives I'd ever seen.

24.  With the two minute warning upon us, I'm sitting here debating with myself about whether Green Bay should dial up the pressure or try to force Pittsburgh to move the ball in small increments in the middle of the field.  My gut is to mix it up and tell the defenders to disguise like they've never disguised before, but also to play more pressure defense than prevent.  I don't envy Capers right now (nor do I envy Arians...Would be tough to call the offense as well).

25.  Fourth and five.  This is the game.  Now, I'd dial up a little pressure while keeping a safety deep to prevent the big play.  (Update:  Tramon Williams just made up for all his bad plays on special teams earlier.  Someone ought to get that man a steak and a huge wedge of cheese.)

26.  Aaron Rodgers is my selection for MVP.  Just imagine his numbers if his receivers hadn't dropped so many balls.  Sidenote: If Jordy Nelson hadn't dropped so many balls, I would have chosen him.  As it is, he had 9 catches for 140 yards and a TD.

Now, for the offseason.  At some point, I'll post a first round mock draft and some draft analysis (but that will probably all be in April).



  1. It's nice when the Good Guys win.

    You want to know what's sad... The AFC representative in the SuperBowl has most recently been Steelers, Indy, Steelers, Patriots, Indy, Steelers, Patriots, Patriots. Three teams have dominated the past 8 years, and I hate all of them. Compare that to Packers, Saints, Cardinals, Giants, Bears, Seahawks, Panthers, Eagles. 8 different teams in the big game for the NFC. And they've won 3 of them (admittedly the three most recent ones)

  2. 21. Mr. Aikman, what does it mean for Troy Polamalu to be "extinctive?" I'd almost rather have Phil Simms as a commentator...almost.

    I Thought I heard that! No-one here believed me though...

  3. To comment 1, I wonder whether that indicates that the three AFC teams draft exceptionally well or the rest of the AFC drafts crappily. Also, what does it mean about the NFC? Perhaps it's more of a crapshoot with their GMs? Definitely an interesting point.

    To comment 1, that's JUST like when I thought I saw a tit freshman year, and I pointed it out, and everyone thought I was a pervert. I accept your apology!


  4. Well, I believe I've been mistargeted by your second paragraph, but as to the drafting, I would warn small sample size pretty significantly. I'd follow up with noting the quarterbacks of the 3 AFC teams in question. The weakest of them is Ben and although I think he's showing himself to be a bit overrated, he's still very good. It's hard to say with overall drafting (and drafting when, exactly?) Indy's drafting has been fairly mediocre for a while. Bob Sanders from 2003 was their last drafted star, and umm... always injured. Pittsbrugh clearly has a better drafting history than that. Bill Bellichek plays the draft game better than anyone (a point of non-stop annoyance, why do people still trade with him?), but his actual picks have been hit or miss, which is true for a lot of teams.

    QBs who've made it to the Superbowl from NFC
    Elite : Rodgers, Brees, Warner, maybe McNabb at the time?
    Pretty Good : Eli Manning, Hasselbeck
    Delhomme : Delhomme
    Grossman : Grossman

    I suspect that until the emergence of Rodgers, Brees and Matt Ryan, the lack of elite quarterbacks in the NFC has been a major factor to the high variability among who wins a conference championship. I actually think it's more likely one of those 3 teams makes it to the superbowl than the relevant AFC teams, who still have to compete with the Ravens (albeit without an elite QB) and the Chargers (decidedly with an elite QB).

  5. Yes, sorry about the typo. I wasn't trying to pry a highly unwarranted apology from you for me to accept.

    I'll agree on the sample size of the teams in question here, but if you look back, there are less recent examples that support the claim that teams that draft well have more sustained success and less of a chance of a "flash in the pan" run. I will admit that I may have engaged in a bit of slight of hand in my comment above (although I didn't notice it till now) by implicitly claiming that drafting well is necessary and sufficient to prolonged success. In other words, one can deduce that if you draft well, you will be good, but not necessarily that if you're good, you drafted well.

    I'm not going to argue that the three AFC teams have elite quarterbacks (as much as it pains me to admit that Brady is), but I will point out that they were all drafted by their current teams, and further that the GM that drafted them put lots of complimentary talent around them. It doesn't necessarily mean anything, but I find it interesting that from the NFC side, three of the eight starting quarterbacks were not drafted by the team they led to the Super Bowl.

    I'll agree that Indy's drafts haven't been slam dunks by any stretch, but perhaps that's why they are no longer as dominant as they were (that and injuries) in years past. As for the Pats, the picks have been hit or miss, but they amass so many of them, as you pointed out, that overall, they have elicited a lot of talent from the draft, which to me means good drafting.

    Based on all the young talent that Green Bay has now, I'd fathom that they may turn into somewhat of a dynasty (by today's standards), but they'll have to continue to draft well, and that'll be harder towards the latter end of the draft than it was when they were building their talent.

    The other factor that I didn't address is coaching. I think in general, Dungy, Cowher, and Belichick (and it seems like Tomlin, and time will tell with Caldwell) just know how to prepare teams and use the talent they have (had) around them. Sean Payton and Mike McCarthy seem to be in that ilk, but again, time will tell. That said, I wonder what all the people who said Mike McCarthy was only hired to ensure Favre would return are saying now.


  6. I'll assume you left Eli Manning off as a QB that made it to the superbowl who was not drafted by his team. Which of the other 4 NFC QBs did you forget were not drafted by their team?

    I don't need evidence to tell me that drafting well is important, I have this thing called common sense that does that for me. But I think real life we lose necessary and sufficient and they get replaced with the decidedly less satisfactory highly correlated.

    Saying Indy no longer dominant is kind of a question mark in itself. They were just in a Super Bowl last year, and they've been one and done in the playoffs a lot.

    I agree the Packers look like they could be really good for a long time. And I'm ok with that.

    I agree coaching is important, but I don't fully know how to measure a good coach. It's a lot easier to identify a bad one. Consider Rex Ryan, John Harbaugh, and Mike Smith... they've all made it into the playoffs in at least 2 of their first three seasons. Are they good coaches?

    What about Andy Reid or Tom Coughlin?