Well, that has to have been the Bad Hands Super Bowl of all time. First, Christina Aguilera absolutely Goulet's the Anthem. Did she blow an entire verse, or just a couple of lines? The crowd in John Stockton's father's joint was unclear.
(BTW, NFL, God Bless America and the Anthem? And the fly-by? Could you militarize this event just a tad more? And what in the name of the FSM was the point of giving us both Sam Elliott and Michael Douglas for the pregame Heroic Voiceover Brigade? And, Michael Douglas, how exactly do we link JFK's inaugural, MLK's Dream speech, the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima, Ali's KO of Liston in Lewiston, and this football game? A journey? More like a trip, actually. The pregame show was what Leni Riefenstahl would have done had she emigrated here as a child and gone to work for Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Price.)
Then, it has to be said, the Green Bay receivers must be eternally grateful that their team won the game. Otherwise, every one of them would have had to take out TRO's against Aaron Rodgers for the entire offseason. This Blog never has seen so many drops of so many critical passes, including two obvious touchdowns.
That said, the Packers looked every bit the superior team, and they pretty plainly had watched that Patriots-Steelers game film quite a bit. How did this Piitsburgh team get a reputation for playing great defense? They couldn't make any plays when they had to, and the biggest defensive play came on Clay Matthews's perfect tackle that jarred the ball loose from Rashad Mendenhall. That was how you make a play that wins a championship game.Dom Capers wins the defensive-coordinator trophy over Dick LeBeau, that's for certain.
As for Rodgers, he really did look like he had some happy feet on a number of occasions yesterday, but he had long stretches in which he was allowed to get his feet under him and go through his progressions. (Want the unsung heroes? Try the Packer offensive line.The Steelers didn't protect Ben Roethlisberger half so well.) That turned out to be the difference in the game.
A lot of people very important to This Blog from its college days in America's Dairyland are very happy tonight. That, it thinks, is enough.
The best player This Blog has seen this season is Jared Sullinger at Ohio State. This Blog gazed in awe on New Year's Eve when Indiana -- coached by Tom Crean, who used to coach at alma mammy -- shot 50 percent from the floor (57 percent in the first half) and still got drilled by 18 on their own floor, in part because they had not the inkling of a hint of a clue what to do with Sullinger inside. It should also be noted by people already filling out their brackets that OSU shot 68.4 percent from three-point distance in that game, and a lot of that was because every Hoosier except Rade Butcher was collapsing on Sullinger away from the ball.
Got caught watchin' the paint dry.
With the World Cup almost upon us, I'm going to leave most of the snark to the radio contrarians and the professional xenophobes who, every four years, decide to become that guy at the end of the bar from whom everybody edges away. (Soccer fans are insular and arrogant? Really? Ever sat at a table full of baseball writers?) I'm going to tell you why I'm happy it's almost here.
Yes, it's a function of a time differential and all, but the fact remains that, for a month, I can get up in the morning and watch a toweringly important sporting event live on my television set. What are the alternatives? The 23rd re-run of the previous night's late SportsCenter? The live television broadcast of a radio talk-show? (Can't they at least hit each other with pies?) Phooey, as we say around the docks of Blogistan. Give me actual games -- which, you old folks may recall, used to be why we had television sports in the first place.
I certainly will root for the good ol' USA against those scrimey Brits (Up The Republic!), but I usually adopt one other nation besides my own because my own, well, let's just say we're all rooting for a Really Good Showing. So, I ask the soccerphiles out there -- who's my other team? I need them to be good, and I need them to be entertaining in a way that I, in my ignorance, can appreciate. I'm leaning right now toward the Ivory Coast -- especially if Didier Drogba really tries to play with a broken arm. They even have a blog, which I am finding very useful, even when Alliteration Tourette's strikes and it starts talking about diving into the depths of dark despair. (The Shaq effect? Interesting.) They are, after all, in The Group Of Death, so they won't be running into the USA any time soon. I like the fact that they are called the Elephants and that their coach is named Sven. Any reason why I shouldn't go that way?
Weekend Homework -- Remember back before Randy Moss became merely the vehicle with which to launch your brand-new talk-show? There once was a lot of talk about how great it would be if Moss were a better person, maybe someone like that nice Harrison guy in Indianapolis. Well, wow.