Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The (Not So) Super Bowl

It’s been said that baseball is a game of inches...although I think that cliché has been borrowed for almost every other sport by now as well, from horseshoes to badminton.

But I found out Sunday that sports, and football in this particular example, can be a game of percentages, too.

As in...what are the percentages that the team that wins the coin toss in the Super Bowl defers to the other team, and kicks off instead of taking the ball first?

Or what are the percentages that a rumblin’, bumblin’ linebacker intercepts a pass at one goal line and stumbles through a traffic jam of pads and helmets and grasping hands, dancing along the sideline without stepping out of bounds and falling head first into the other end zone to score a touchdown seconds before the end of the first half?

These two specific plays had my undivided attention on Sunday, especially the latter, because it changed the score from 10-7 to 17-7, which may or may not have rendered a square with my name in it completely worthless.

And this wasn’t a you’ve-just-won-a-free-cheeseburger square, either. More like an all-your-hotels-in-Vegas-in-June-are-paid-for square.

Such is my luck during the Super Bowl. And football season in general, for that matter.

A couple of other musings as we head into the off-season:

• Hines Ward had a 38-yard reception early on that stood for much of the game as the longest pass play between him and Larry Fitzgerald, until Fitzgerald caught one over the middle in the fourth quarter and streaked past Pittsburgh’s defense for a 64-yard touchdown. Ouch.

• Rarely did you hear Troy Polamalu’s name called or see his long hair blowing in the breeze on camera, as he was virtually silent and barely sniffed the ball during the game. I thought he’d find his way into position to get at least one pick.

• Both running games were anemic, with the Steelers hovering around 60 yards, and Edgerrin James gaining all of Arizona’s yards on the ground. Thirty-three.

• Kurt Warner managed to pick apart the league’s best defense for 377 yards to become the all-time greatest passer in Super Bowl history. The former Arena Leaguer has the three best passing performances in Super Bowls...in three attempts. Like him or not, that’s a rather impressive feat.

• There were 23 points scored in the fourth quarter alone, which turned out to be a big boost for those of us who were watching the all-important 46.5 number.

• The Super Bowl was, in fact, so unpredictable that The Boss himself didn’t even play a note of “Born In The U.S.A.” on the grandest stage in all of sports. I would’ve bet against that. I didn’t...but I would have.

Probably the tastiest tidbit of the day was that I got to devour some of my buddy’s chili. Which has nothing to do with the Super Bowl or football or anything else in this blog entry, but it’s always worth a mention, because it’s the best chili on the planet.

OK, heads I write about something other than football in my next post, and tails I break down the Pro Bowl.

Don’t worry, if I win the toss, I’ll defer to you, anyway.

“We’re at the Super Bowl and the people
are thanking us for coming. Thanking us
for coming to the Super Bowl?
Are you kidding me?”
—Lorrie Fair

1 comment:

  1. I interrupt my attention from the second best football day of the year (National College Signing Day) to comment on the fourth best football day of the year*.

    I did feel for you and your missed opportunity when that first half ending play happened. Really.

    I thought i was in trouble on our meager wagers, but then as you highlighted, #11 raced by the Pitt defense and the Cards covered.

    I've never been a real big Boss fan. I don't dislike him, but no big deal to me.

    But i was not too impressed with his performance. Or is that the way he's supposed to sound? Maybe it was the venue or rushing four songs together, but it just didn't sound that great. I'm sorry Boss fans.

    *first best football day of the year is of course NFL Draft Festivus with third being whatever bowl game Tennessee is in (last year sadly there was no 3rd best day...).