LombardiTrophyIs there anybody in America who was not watching that game last night? Midway through the fourth quarter, long after the excruciating pre-game shows had become just a horrible memory, I asked Carrie-Anne, “Who’s not watching this?” Is it even humanly possible for someone, anyone, even a non-football fan, to flip over to the game to check it out and then after 15 seconds say to themselves, “Nah, let’s see what else is on.”

(Quick aside on Fox’s broadcast: I understand it’s the Super Bowl, I understand selling ads and creating product to use as a conduit for those ads, and I understand the network wanting to make their broadcast bigger and better than anyone else’s before them. I get all that. But Ryan Seacrest on a contrived red carpet? I thought it was insulting. I thought it was insulting to all real football fans, I thought it was insulting to the movie stars and entertainers he interviewed, and insulting to the human race as they shamelessly used that red carpet to plug their own shows and specials. I don’t want to see Paula Abdul lip-syncing her new song one hour before kickoff. I don’t want Nick Lachey’s Super Bowl prediction. I don’t want Seacrest asking some unknown B-movie actor to comment on how great Tom Brady is, especially in light of the “scrutinization” he’s under. Frank Caliendo delivered a good line in questioning Fox’s choice of Seacrest, “What? They couldn’t get Richard Simmons?”)

The numbers are in. Last night’s Super Bowl was the second most watched American television broadcast in the history of civilization. An estimated 9.7-million people watched the Giants ruin the Patriots’ story, second only to the 106-million who viewed the final episode of M*A*S*H in 1983.

Who couldn’t watch it? Who wasn’t captured by it? I’m still having a hard time believing what I saw. It reminded me so much of Texas and USC in the BCS game in the Rose Bowl three years ago. Southern Cal was already being coronated as the greatest team in the history of college football. Even during the game the broadcasters were calling them the greatest ever. And Texas pulled off the upset. Just like the Giants last night.

This is why we watch sports, right? Because we never know how it’s going to turn out. It’s the only true reality television. The plots were set. The scripts were written. We knew the outcome. The whole world knew. And then the Giants played better and harder and came up with some huge plays at critical times and gave us more excitement and drama than we ever anticipated. I still can’t believe what I saw.

We were rooting hard for the Giants, but not nearly as hard as we were rooting against the Pats. Maybe New England’s kind of become the Yankees or Notre Dame with their championships AND their attitude. Maybe it’s just Belichick’s demeanor or refusal to follow the rules. I think I’d like to see somebody go 19-0 some day. Just not them. I think I’d like it to be unexpected when it happens. Like if Denver or Seattle were to do it next year.

 I did lose the exotic wager I made on the game. I owe Kevin Welch a Dr Pepper because the game ended after 9:00 instead of before 9:00. If Tom Petty had played three songs instead of four, I would have won that bet.

Congratulations to Eli, who’s a little more likeable and realistic—less robotic and corporate—than his brother Peyton. Kudos to the Giants D, David Tyree, and Tom Coughlin, who was almost fired in week three. And hats off to the giant Doritos rat, the e-trading baby, the screaming forest animals, Alice Cooper, and the heart that just quit and walked out the door.

25 more weeks ’til training camp.




  1. Jason Wolfe

    Don’t forget the hottie with the nutty perfume.

  2. Rob's Dad

    Doritos rat was funny as was Justin, liked the Clydesdale working out to “Rocky”, the only thing good about the e-trade ad is that clowns are creepy. Should have had more chimps – always good for a laugh.

    Heard that the NFL network showed a really touching scene in the locker room between the Mannings. Don’t dogpile on Peyton – he gets it. Eli’s scramble and pass is one for the ages – maybe it will take the place of the Montana to Clark pass (which to this day I still can’t watch).

    Sorriest scene of the night was Shockey getting drunk in the suite instead of being down on the sideline. Maybe Coughlin or Mara told him not to be there but come on, if you aren’t in the hospital you’re there with your team. You may be gone from the team after this season, but if you’re a competitor don’t you want to be there?

    Class-less scene was Belichick leaving before the end of the game. He doesn’t have to stay there forever, just shake Coughlin’s hand, say congratulations and leave.

  3. Kipi

    Pitchers and catchers report in ten days.

  4. Jenn

    Eli is a little more likeable and realistic—less robotic and corporate—than his brother Peyton?? Are you baiting me with this? You know you love the Manning commercials…with the exception of the new Oreo one…oh, that is just simply horrible.
    2 Mannings in 2 years. Doesn’t get much better in the NFL…he he he. Okay, for us anyway.

  5. Allan

    Actually, I love all the Manning commercials. And the Oreo one makes me laugh more than all of them. Archie’s complete embarassment and their mom’s sheer enthusiasm in the support of her boys regardless of what they’re doing is genius. Yes, the watch company that signed Eli to that endorsement deal last year is feeling pretty good right about now. As are all the Greens.

  6. dbyrnes

    Great game, really. Kudos to the Giants D-line first, Eli second. Too bad we now have to listen to the 72 Dolphins for another 35 years – or until they all die off. Is no one else sick of them?

    Class-less scene was the NFL. Brady’s final pass goes incomplete. There’s :03 left when the play ends and the clock runs down to :01. The coaches meet in the middle and thousands of people take the field. Brady takes his helmet off after the incomplete pass which should have resulted in a penalty back to like their own 5. Dude, it’s over. Call it.

    Finally, let’s not forget that without the Manning tantrum four years ago – Eli would probably be a Charger.

  7. Allan

    The referees have to be beyond reproach. They couldn’t allow any Pats players or fans to ever be able to say they didn’t get a chance for Eli to fumble that kneel-down snap. It’s happened before. I’m not upset about them clearing the field to run that last play because it was already after 9:00 and I had already lost that Dr Pepper to Kevin.

    Why you hatin’ on the ’72 ‘Fins? They’re the only team in NFL history that’s been able to withstand the mounting pressure and tension of going undefeated and then overcoming all that extra pressure and tension and “scrutinization” to finish it off with a title. Give it up to the old guys. In 90 years of professional football history, they’re the only ones who’ve done it.

    And, yes, how soon we forget about Eli’s demands when he came out of Ole Miss. Just like we forget about John Elway who did the exact same thing.

  8. dbyrnes

    Since half the Pats were up the tunnel I think they were holding the refs beyond reproach. It’s called conceding. If it’s allowed in presidential elections (no take backs Gore 2000) then maybe the NFL could allow it in circumstances like this.

    I’m not hatin on the fins per se. I’m hatin on some who they constantly call on to be their spokesman for their perfect season. Let’s find someone who can show a little more dignity and class over the ‘best’ season ever instead of constantly feeding us this ‘we’re the best ever deal with it’ attitude. From a W/L standpoint they are – no argument. And they’re due some respect. But let’s not get too crazy.

    Not sure if this will work…


  9. Allan

    They still make you putt it out, right?

    I read that ESPN article last week. And there are a couple of them who create bad impressions of the whole lot. The public perception of that whole team is being unfairly shaped by a three or four radicals.

    I won’t draw the obvious comparison to being a proud member of the Church of Christ.

  10. dbyrnes

    Not at the Skins game.

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