Posts Tagged ‘ Football ’

RAMBLINGS OF A MAD BLOGGER: SUPER BOWL XLVIII

As a general rule, when you begin a football game with a safety it’s probably not going to be a good day. It kind of foreshadows that things just aren’t going to go well that day. It’s like waking up to no hot water when you get in the shower. So when Denver’s center Manny Ramirez snapped the ball over Peyton Manning’s head and into the endzone it spelled a long day for the Broncos. But even at that point nobody could have imagined the last football game of the year, with the two best teams in the entire NFL would end in a 43-8 drubbing that looked more like a college team playing against an Pros instead of the two best teams in the world.

Time Square aka Super Bowl Blvd. (Photo via The Verge)

Unless you are a Seahawks fan, it was literally painful to watch. It was the football version of the Globetrotters and the Generals. Towards the end I was hoping the NFL would give fans a complementary game after the Super Bowl ended. For all the hype and talk that surrounded this game (the cold weather, the constant talk about Sherman, Peyton’s legacy etc) the end result fell short in more ways than one. The only thing the game made me sure of, the Seattle Seahawks were the deepest, toughest and most resilient team this entire season. And I need tickets to see Bruno Mars live in concert because dude killed it. And that 9/11 was perpetrated by people in our own government. Everything else is up for discussion, so lets start with…

MANNING’S LEGACY 

Peyton Manning is still one of the greatest even after his worst defeat. Photo cred: (USATSI)

On media day Peyton downplayed this Super Bowl as his “legacy game”. He was already considered one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever put on cleats, but this game was supposed to cement him as the greatest at his position. Because winning a Super Bowl one time, or being first (55) and third (49) for most passing touchdowns in a season, or winning league MVP five times just isn’t enough right? Peyton was outmatched in the in every way in his third Super Bowl. Seattle dared him to throw it and when he did they made him pay. A guy who looked superhuman on a regular basis looked nervous, flustered and just plain regular. He hadn’t looked that bad since the Patriots used to torment him when he was on the Colts. But to say that he isn’t one of the best QB’s ever because he didn’t win this game, or to say “he only wins in the regular season” is ridiculous.

When Peyton went down with his neck injury he became a sympathetic figure. When he got cut by the Colts people wanted to see him come back and prove the doubters wrong. The critics backed off because there was a possibility that he would never play again and in that moment people started to realize that Peyton was really good even with just one ring. So why should him coming back and losing change any of that? Is winning really the only measure of greatness? Does overall performance not count at all? Manning’ Boss, John Elway lost three Super Bowls, Tom Brady lost two Super Bowls, Roger Staubach lost three times, Dan Marino lost the only one he ever played in and Jim Kelley lost all four that he played in. All of those men are in the Hall of Fame with the exception of Brady – I think it’s a safe bet he’ll get in. The only Quarterbacks, currently in the Hall of Fame, to play in multiple Super Bowls and go undefeated in them are Terry Bradshaw (4), Joe Montana (5) and Troy Aikman (3).

Peyton Manning changed the game at his position. The way he calls audibles at the line and completely shifts plays on the go is unprecedented. One of the reasons that the NFL is now a passing heavy league is due to the success that Peyton Manning’s teams (Indianapolis and Denver) have had for his career. In his 15 years as a starter his team has made the playoffs 13 times. Peyton may not have won the “Big One” all the time, but Peyton Manning is a winner. That, to me, will always be his legacy.

WORST BEHAVIOR 

Was this the worst Super Bowl ever? Technically speaking no. Major let down? Yes. Lopsided from start to finish? Absolutely. But not the worst. I’ve seen every Super Bowl thanks to NFL films so I know. This game featured some very big plays, they just all happened to be in favor of Seattle. Percy Harvin’s kickoff return was dazzling to watch. I had almost forgotten how fast he was. Malcolm Smith taking it 69 yards to the house off of Peyton Manning was awesome. Jermaine Kearse broke four tackles on his way into the endzone and released his inner Beast Mode. Russell Wilson barely missed on his throws last night and threw for 72 percent. The 35-point margin of victory wasn’t even the most lopsided – the most is 45, but we’ll get to that later. This game was a bad one, but it won’t stand out as the worst when if people watch again it years from now. Super Bowl XX ended with the Bears winning 46-10 over the Patriots and New England looked way more helpless. Super Bowl V, also known as the Blunder Bowl has more clips that belong on NFL Follies than Sportscenter’s Top 10. Super Bowl I? Snooze-ville. The NFC championship game was more exciting. But the worst? For me it’s Super Bowl III. It might be the most important game in the NFL’s history, but the Jets and the Colts were not fun to watch that day.

THE BIGGEST LOSERS 

The irony here is just too real.

Wes Welker – The GIF above sums up Welker’s career to this point perfectly. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. He’s been on three Super Bowl rosters and still has never tasted that sweet electrolyte filled cup of victory. Without question Welker has been one of the NFL’s best slot receivers, but he keeps getting the short end of the stick in the big game.

John Fox – Here’s a guy who had a heart attack mid-season heart attack, but managed to come back and coach his team all the way to the biggest game of his life. That alone is amazing, but imagine the story if he finishes with a win? Instead he’s now 0-2 in the Super Bowl. Also I’m not sure what you say to your team after a 35 point loss in the big one. There just aren’t enough clichés in the book.

Champ Bailey – All the Madden heads remember back in the day when you played with the Broncos and every Champ Bailey interception was an automatic pick-six? Not so long ago Bailey was Denver’s most popular player, but he’s become a forgotten man now that he’s 35 years old. It would have been nice to see Champ get a ring with the career he’s had.

The Orange Jersey – Denver has lost every Super Bowl they played in with the orange jersey. In fact they’ve never scored more than 10 points wearing orange.

Super Bowl XII (12): Cowboys 27, Broncos 10

Super Bowl XXII (22): Redskins 42, Broncos 10

Super Bowl XXIV (24): 49ers 55, Broncos 10

Numbers don’t lie son. Burn the orange jersey’s. Nothing good can come from them.

Commercials – Almost all of them were terrible. The one with Bruce Willis looked sort of promising, but then it got awkward with Fred Armisen wrapped around him. The only two that didn’t suck were the one with the puppy and the horse (tear jerker) and the Bull that was about to go to work. Also there was a Cure Auto Insurance ad that ripped off Sherman’s rant and and called out the Geico Gecko out that was pretty hilarious, but I don’t think that was shown nationally. The rest of you try harder next year.

BOUT THAT ACTION BOSS

Marshawn Lynch aka Beast mode took a lot of flack for not talking all year. Then he took a lot of flack for not wanting to be a part of Media Day. People really blew it out of proportion (like this guy) and it became a story about nothing. What was lost in all the hoopla was that Marshawn’s limited quotes were amazing.

When asked about why he didn’t want to talk to the media: “I’m just bout that action boss.”

On how he was mentally preparing for the Super Bowl: “I’m S.R. bruh (long pause) stay ready. So there ain’t no getting ready”

On assistant coach Tom Cable: “Well, being from Oakland, all I knew about him was that he punched people. That’s my type of person.”

And that was just the lead up. After Mr. Skittles himself won the biggest game of his life his post-game transcript ended up on the web.

Marshawn's quotes after Super Bowl XLVII

Marshawn’s quotes after Super Bowl XLVII

If you don’t love this guy, you’re the problem.

GOING TO DISNEY WORLD

Malcolm Smith is now in the same category as Chuck Howley and Ray Lewis as the only players to win Super Bowl MVP as a linebacker. He also got a free pick-up truck – did they run out of Cadillacs? As anyone with the last name Smith knows it’s easy to get overlooked when you have the most common name in America. Smith has been overshadowed for a while. His brother, Steve Smith, also plays football and won a ring with the Giants in 2008, he was a 7th round pick coming out of college and two weeks ago he made the game winning interception only to see his teammate get all the attention for his post game rant. But on this night in the stadium next to the greatest city in the world, Malcolm Smith stole the spotlight. 10 tackles, an 69-yard interception return for a touchdown and a fumble recovery. That return also made the game 21-0 and fully swung the momentum in Seattle’s favor. Cheers to you Malcolm Smith, you’re going to Disney World in a Chevy Silverado, ‘Merica.

All in all the Super Bowl was what it always is, a huge media circus that happens to feature a football game. Now go home everyone. I would like to walk down the streets of mid-town Manhattan.

What do y’all think…Is Peyton overrated? Did any of the commercials catch your attention? Would anyone pick a different MVP? Was this the worst Super Bowl ever? Feel free to comment away.

NUTTIN’ BUT LOVE

Tim Tebow

I have a confession. I like Tim Tebow. Not in a man crush kind of way. But purely as a football player — notice I said football player, but we’ll get to that.

Let’s go back in the story first. I used to hate Tim Tebow. Praying after every touchdown, always smiling winning championships with jump passed. In my head I would think “I hope somebody really hits this guy”. And they did, but he just got back up and kept playing and winning. Which made me even more angry! It definitely didn’t help when he made “The Speech“. To top it off he’s playing in the SEC which people seem to think is the NFL of college football. In my eyes Tebow was overrated and lucky, but he just kept winning.

Then comes the NFL combine process. After a terrible showing is the senior bowl Tebow is being told he has to learn to throw the football all over again. A two-time National championship winning quarterback, who also has a Heisman trophy has to learn how to throw? Pathetic. I actually felt sorry for him. But, Tebow did it anyway. He worked hard on his mechanics and threw at his pro-day. While some thought it was a great improvement, others said he delivery was still too long. Me? Well I was just trying figure out why his Pro-day was on TV.

Then in a surprise move he goes to Denver in the first round. (I’m purposely skipping over the hair cut, although it did bother me that people jumped to give him praise for being a team player) Then he sits on the bench and nobody really hears anything about him for a while. But on December 19, 2010 he gets his first start at quarterback against the Raiders. He puts up modest numbers, but the Broncos lose. His next is a 17 point comeback win over the Texans, scrambling into the endzone to tie the game.

It was respectable, but I still didn’t like the guy. Then came the lockout. This is where my disdain turned to the Roger Goodell NFL and it’s owners. All that time with no football made me appreciate the game much more. And on that glorious day when the NFL opened it’s doors to players who else shows up first to Broncos training camp? Tim freakin Tebow. Rumors where swirling that Kyle Orton was going to be traded and there was Tim Tebow was waltzing in trying to a head start on learning the new offense.

Unfortunately Orton wasn’t traded, which set up a QB battle. Eventually Tebow got his chance to prove it on the field, but lost out to Orton in a head to head battle. But the fans wanted Tebow. The fans knew what many including me didn’t want to admit: This guy can win.

Fast forward to the fourth quarter against Miami. The Dolphins are up 15-0 thinking the game is in the bag, and then it happens. Tebow throws two touchdown passes and scores on the tw0-point conversion to in the last 2 minutes to tie the game. The Bronco’s go on to win it in overtime. Wow! But it’s the Dolphins so how much can you read into it..right?

Well after a 35 point drubbing to the Lions the Broncos do it again. After a win over the Raiders and Chiefs, Tebow single handedly wills his team to a win over the Jets in the 4th quarter. Now I’m really starting to pay attention. Four wins, two which were fourth quarter comebacks with Tebow as a starter. And Only one interception at that point. Ridiculous.

Three fourth quarter comebacks later — two which came in overtime — Tebow has the Broncos in first place, John Elway looking foolish for not believing in him and John Fox looking like the coach of the year.

How can I hate a guy like that? Any player that good deserves to be loved by everybody. Forget whether he’s a devout christian or a Bible Belt-way Republican or a missionary who build churches with his bare hands and then hand writes Bibles for the whole village. None of that factors into him playing football. And if it does than more power to him.

Bottom line is Tebow wins games. Sure the Defense and running game help. It’s football. Football is a team sport. But the Defense and running game weren’t getting the team spectacular comeback wins in the beginning of the season. It’s Tebow. I can’t explain how he does it. Some of his passes are way off and he has a lot to improve on as a passer. But when you need a score he has Tom Brady’s arm and Peyton Manning’s accuracy.

Maybe he is just a flash in the pan. Maybe defenses will catch up to him in the future. It happens. As far as right now. All I see is a guy who puts it all out there and wins.

And it’s hard not to like a guy like that.

JUST MIGHT BE CRAZY ENOUGH TO WORK!

Bare with me for a minute. Disregard all the reports from ESPN and all of these “insiders” who swear on the Bible that they know football and use your brain for one second.

Matt Leinart won a championship and a Heisman at USC. Pete Carrol was the coach at USC. Matt Leinart was just released from the Arizona Cardinals. Pete Carrol now coaches one of the rivals of that team — The Seattle Seahawks. The current quarterback of the Seahawks is 34 and has a bad back and knee. Did I mention Matt Leinart used to play for Pete Carrol?

If you haven’t caught on basically the idea is Matt Leinart is perfect for Seattle. Leinart strongly believes that he should be a starter right now and not too many teams believe that, except maybe his former college coach. It is very possible that Leinart is just another pretty boy posing as an NFL QB and can’t play the position at this level. I just can’t see that. People don’t just win Heisman trophies without having some kind of talent. And Leinart was never given a fair shot to get the job. The Cardinals brought in a different coach and quarter back and

sat Leinart on the bench.

With Pete Carrol Leinart has a great chance to succeed. In fact it may be the only place he can succeed because most teams are looking at him for back-up purposes. I’m no “insider”, but I know for a fact this would be a good move.

Cincinnati Takes It To a Whole Notha’ Level!

There’s isn’t enough popcorn in the world to prepare Cincinnati for what’s coming their way.

Chad Johnson or Ochocinco is known for being a one man variety show. Not only do you get a show on the field, you also get the occasional sideshow — sending Pepto-Bismal to the opposing team or, my personal favorite, bribing the referee with a dollar to change the call; of course the name change and reality TV show go without saying. Basically, Chad is a media magnet.

Enter Terrell Owens. The original “King of All Sports Media“. The first football player to endorse Sharpie markers, directly after scoring a touchdown. The man who said “I didn’t throw up in the huddle..” in reference to his McNabb during the Super Bowl.

Well now these two loudmouth, playmakers are on the same team with one goal: Win a championship with as much publicity and attention as possible.

Can you even blame these guys for wanting to be together? The NFL is known for being the no fun league. Anytime players try to liven the game up, the NFL gives out ridiculous fines to make sure people don’t think the league is full of criminals (Thanks a lot Pac-Man Jones!).

But these two guys are not convicts and should not be treated as such. They’re just two guys who love football and a good laugh. You cannot deny that both players have out of this world talent — even if one’s talent is diminishing — and they’re egos should not give them bad reputations *coughSkipBaylesscough*

I’m eager to see how this team plays in the 2010 season. I think Owens will have to get more comfortable going across the middle because he’s no as much of a deep threat as he used to be. The fact that Antonio Bryant is on the team helps as well and teams will have to respect the run and pass.

Long story short Cincy took they’re team to a Whole…Notha…Level with this move.

Maybe HBO will switch Hard Knocks last-minute..