Monday, February 7, 2011
On Super Bowl XLV, The Day After: XXV Random Thoughts
I. I agree with Joe--if Rodgers doesn't make that third down throw, the Steelers probably win. Then again, if Mendenhall doesn't fumble, the Steelers probably win. And if Roethlisberger doesn't throw that pick-six, the Steelers probably win.
II. And yet there was never a moment where it felt like the Steelers were going to win.
III. The most surprising thing about the final drive is not that the Steelers didn't score. It's that the drive fizzled out. Given the situation, you would have figured the Packers would give up underneath routes, that Roethlisberger would find a way to deliver first downs, that the game would be decided in Green Bay's red zone.
IV. That it wasn't was both curious and anticlimactic.
V. Because of the way it ended, I doubt I will remember much of anything about this Super Bowl in five years. Unlike the past few years, there was no single, defining play. Which means the Super Bowl is far better than it used to be. Which means we've actually grown to expect a decent Super Bowl.
VI. Wasn't there a time when ESPN would show the NFL Films highlights package from every Super Bowl, back to back?
VII. I seem to remember a brief period in my life when I could recite the winners of every single SB from memory. It's kind of sad that there are too many now, that we can't do this anymore, that there are no longer as many kids who grow up knowing who Max McGee is because John Facenda taught them.
VIII. XTina's bungling of our national hymn only makes it seem more absurd that Roseanne generated such raging controversy for mangling a tune that even professionals can't get right.
IX. It's either The Star-Spangled Banner or America the Beautiful. Not both. Decide.
X. A record number of people watched this Super Bowl, which is kind of astounding.
XI. And yet it's more astounding to me how many people choose not to watch the Super Bowl.
XII. I mean, is the Puppy Bowl really that compelling?
XIII. Let's say 25 percent of the population professes no interest in football, or in pervasive cultural events. That still leaves an additional 30 percent of American households with televisions who were not watching the Super Bowl at any given moment.
XIX. That said, I was actually driving through the backwoods of South Carolina, on assignment, when the Giants defeated the Patriots a couple of years ago. It's weird, listening to a Super Bowl on the radio--it's almost like the game never happened.
XV. I was also in England for a Super Bowl once, which was even stranger, because A.) The game kicked off after midnight, and B.) No one in the entire country seemed to care about the single most popular television event in America.
XVI. Which I suppose is how transplanted Europeans must feel about our disdain for virtually every sport they actually seem to like.
XVII. Charles Woodson has had an undeniably great professional career, and is almost certainly a Hall of Famer. And yet he was so dynamically awesome in college--there were moments when Woodson, playing both ways, looked like he might actually alter the paradigm--that he almost seems like a disappointment to me.
XVIII. The Darth Vader kid was the only ad that didn't seem heavily burdened with either "epic" imagery, talking animals, or borderline misogyny.
XIX. When exactly did Eminem become a spokesman for mainstream America?
XX. As someone at my apartment happened to mention, how far down the celebrity endorsement list did Groupon have to go before they landed on Timothy Hutton?
XXI. Was Tim Matheson occupied?
XXII. Chimpanzees are so 2007.
XXIII. So is beer.
XXIV. So are automobiles.
XXV. So is America.