Twenty years ago the Patriots got their asses handed to them by Ditka and the Fridge. Sunday, I wanted to kick my own ass after sacrificing 4 hours of my life to John Madden and the NFL. Since then, I’ve been hanging out in the fetal position, trying to figure out what the worst part of Super Sunday was…
The Coaching: After making an absolute clusterf–k out of the final minute of the first half, Holmgren further endeared himself to…nobody…by arguing with the officials on the way to the locker room. To make us forget about his failures in the first half, he sucked even worse in the second. Terrible play-calling, worse decision-making, and another disastrous attempt at clock management add up to a super loser. Hang it up, Mikie, the game has passed you by.
The Officials: The entire playoff season has been a nightmare of bad calls and missed calls. Why should the big game be any different? Seattle loses a touchdown on a ticky-tack “push-off” by Darrel Jackson. Big Ben scores…or does he? The official was running along the goal line with one hand up, which in some circles would mean he didn’t get in the end zone. Then Roethlisberger sheepishly pushes the ball over the goal line, and the official throws up his other hand to signal touchdown. Huh? The play was reviewed but couldn’t be over turned. Two phantom holds, one on a pass play to the one yard line, one cost 25 yards on a return. Hasselbeck was called for a cut block which was just wrong. And the play that nobody even mentioned was Hasselbeck’s catch out of bounds. But did his foot touch the pylon? All in all, it would be easy to believe that the guys in stripes had Pitt minus four.
The Commentary: God, please, make John Madden go away. In the biggest of games, he is at his worst. Al Michaels does his best to carry him, but it is futile. Unless you’re talking about a six-legged turkey or a horse trailer, Madden’s inane ramblings make you want to punch a baby. Following any play that was the least bit controversial (which immediately makes it interesting) Madden pattered on about nothing, not bothering to look at a replay. Painful.
Ben Roethlisberger: He made one nice highlight on a broken play shovel pass. That’s it folks. Antoine Randel El made the best overall pass for the Steelers. Everyone but the corners for Seattle knew it was coming, but it was still a great play. Big Ben finished 9-for-21 with 123 yards and 2 INT’s. That’s a QB rating of 22.6, folks. You, sir, are no Tom Brady.
The Halftime Show: Never did I think I’d be wishing for Britney Spears or Justin Timberlake. But if there was any doubt in your mind that the Stones are done, the halftime show better have made you a believer. Since they haven’t put out a decent album in almost 30 years, two of the three songs were oldies. Start Me Up and Satisfaction, presumably chosen so Mick could remember the lyrics, seemed to repeat over and over and over, while Mick gyrated around the stage dripping homosexuality and sweat. Sad and disturbing. Attention-grabbing in the same way a car wreck is.
I do feel good about two things after watching that abortion. First, I am happy for the Bus. I think he’s one of the good guys in football. Second, that game erased any doubt that the Patriots are still the best team in football. Now, for the love of God, play ball!