Monday, February 04, 2008


The Super Bowl was last night, Eli Manning and the Giants won ... the form calls for a post.

  • KSK took care of business: "The biggest choke job of all time."
  • The parallels between Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll are just irresistible.

    Carroll is the anti-Belichick, the overmatched previous coach in New England who eventually found his own level coaching college football at Southern California. (This is more or less straight from the gospel of Bill Simmons.) He was the touchy-feely, rah-rah California guy whose failure with the Pats in the late '90s was the prologue for Coach Hoodie building his legend.

    The Patriots' gag job duplicated several elements of USC's loss to Texas in the 2006 Rose Bowl. They lost by three points on a last-minute touchdown after going unbeaten all season and having their glamour-boy QB reduced to a mere mortal.

    Tom Brady wasn't that bad, really. It was his turnstile of an offensive line, who easily had those worst performance by any group of five men at a Super Bowl since N*Sync performed at halftime in 2001.

    The big parallel to the Pats' duplicating USC's Rose Bowl loss was a failed fourth-down gamble. Belichick's decision to go for it on fourth-and-13 from the Giants 32 in the third quarter instead having Stephen Gostkowski try a long field goal probably won't stick in memory like the two failed fourth-and-1 gambles that Carroll and USC had in that bowl game, but it loomed just as large. (The second, for those of you who don't remember or could give a shit about college football, gave Vince Young with a short field for Texas' winning drive.)

    Like King Kaufman of wrote about USC back in 2006, there might be a "cause and effect" with Belichick not being able to trust Gostkowski from 49 yards indoors. The Patriots frequently go for it on the fourth-down situations when a field goal would be dodgy, which is fine against the Bills or the Dolphins in October, but they couldn't get away with it against the New York Giants. It just begs the question of whether Gostkowski couldn't be trusted from 49, since he's used to the Pats going for it all the time.

    The Pats would have stood a much better chance if they had gone to the fourth quarter leading 10-3 instead of 7-3.
  • Pride goeth before the fall: Howie Long pulling out the Red Sox hat during Fox's pre-game show was the first sign something was about to go dreadfully wrong. With a coif like this, Howie Long probably doesn't wear a hat too often.
  • The Mighty MJD already has the takedown on Belichick leaving the field early.
  • Eli Manning's scramble and David Tyree's catch, one more time:

  • Some idiot went on the record -- tongue-in-cheek -- saying Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel would be the game MVP. Naturally, he dropped a potential interception on the Giants' winning drive. "DB hands," remarked a work colleague who played some wide receiver in his day.
  • The wicked burns on Bill Simmons just keep on coming. (Former) readers of The Sports Guy know he hates Steve Nash (or is it just projecting?) and slagged his selection as NBA MVP, especially when he won in 2006. That couldn't have had anything to do with Nash telling NBC Sports before the game that he was taking the Giants, could it? Again, Steve Nash could rule the world.
  • Obvious analog for the Giants? The 1993 Montreal Canadiens. Neither was very good, but ended up doing something that's statistically remote (winning 10 straight road games, winning 10 straight overtime playoff games).
  • Randy Moss clearly just wasn't meant to earn a Super Bowl ring. Once a Vikings, always a Vikings.
  • How did the 20th anniversary of Doug Williams becoming the first black quarterback to win the Super Bowl seemingly pass without any notice?


Andy Grabia said...

Feels good to be alive today. I loved seeing that team lose.

Dennis Prouse said...

For all the obvious reasons, it was an absolute delight to see the Patriots get beat yesterday. Hell, I would have cheered for Dallas had they been in that game against New England, and that is saying something.

Hopefully this takes some of the shine off of Belichick's, "genius" tag. Geniuses don't make low percentage fourth down gambles like the one The Hoodie took last night. What was he thinking? If they were fourth and four, maybe you take that shot, but fourth and a mile? Give me a break. There's a fine line between pushing the envelope and doing something dumb, and he clearly crossed it.

The true story of that game, though, was the way in which the Patriots' vaunted offensive line got pwned by the Giants. They couldn't do a thing - the Patriots only had 45 yards rushing all game, and you simply can't win big games when you can't run the rock. (The Giants only had 91 rushing yards, but in a close game those extra 46 yards made all the difference.)

Losing guard Stephen Neal was also painful for the Patriots -- his replacement got flat out run over during that final drive when Brady got sacked in those last 30 seconds. Sacks absolutely kill you during hurry up offense - that was the game right there.

sager said...

If the Giants hadn't had to score at the end, Eli Manning is not MVP ... Osi Umenyiora and Michael Strahan are co-MVPs.

It looked like they widened their line so Light and Kaczur had to handle them 1-on-1 ... neither was up to it. Kaczur whiffed on a couple plays.

However, sportswriters vote for this, and invariably they vote for the QB or running back, makes it easier for their post-game storylines.