Super Bowl Running Diary

For a more refined, edited version of this column, see this Wednesday’s issue of The Stylus. But if you like your SportsMeister articles raw, with no censorship or space limits, then you found the right story!

Super Bowl Running Diary

I kept a running diary during Sunday’s game.

11:32 a.m. — Super Bowl Sunday is here. I smell like the weekend — not a great thing, by the way. But with a cup of coffee and a breath of fresh air, I realize that the holiday has finally come: it’s game-day baby!

1:12 p.m. — But not without some work first, off to the office. Enjoy the SUNYAC standings on page 35, took me like a halfie.

2:35 p.m. — Roommates did a great job of cleaning the house while I was at work, but the conclusion was made that we didn’t have enough furniture for the number of expected guests. Naturally, we decided to move the coffee table against the wall, and put a mattress in the center of the room. Throw in some pillows, some blankets; well, that’s a stew baby!

4:18 p.m. — Just put in the food order, and it was a doozie! Not only did we call in two sheets of ‘za from Mark’s Pizzeria, but we phoned our man Jimmy Z for fifty $.50 wings. The collective excitement in the room was only lost when FOX cued the Maroon 5. What a snoozer. I know it’s early pre-game afternoon warm-ups, but it’s still the Super Bowl mang.

4:47 p.m. — Every year we fill up our white board with really stupid gambling ideas we can bet on the game, and this year is no different. Some of the best from this year’s list: The first player to score’s jersey number (over/under 32.5), Which beer company will have the first commercial, and what song the Black Eyed Peas will open to at halftime. But the best one is the “If Aaron Rodgers has a rushing touchdown, what celebration does he perform? General attitude in the room is feeling his trendy championship belt move, but I think if he sees a group of cheeseheads in the first few rows he’s going to go for the leap into the stands sort of Lambeau-esque.

4:58 p.m. — President Obama and Bill O’Reilly and are having a pretty heated discussion here. At first I was upset that my Super Bowl Sunday pre-game was being interrupted by something as outrageous as the current state of our nation. Then I read that last sentence and realized that it’s probably for the best that FOX is airing this interview instead of more Maroon 5 (Yikes!). My personal favorite part of the interview was this exchange:

O’Reilly: So who do you want to win?
Obama: After my Bears were knocked out, it didn’t matter.
O’Reilly (violently): So you don’t care?!

… We’ll do it live!

Q1 10:54 — (yawning) Oh did the game start?

Q1 4:56 — Between the dropped passes, muffed punt, and sloppy play, we’re in for a real exciting Super Bowl here! But honestly, these players can’t be blamed for being a little jittery in the first quarter; playing in this game is unlike anything many of these players have done, and most Super Bowls do start pretty slow and boring, and it appears that this one is on that path as well. By the way, I’ve switched over from real time to game time. Try to keep up.

Q1 3:44 — Packers score first with a 29-yard strike from Rodgers to Nelson, GB 7 – PIT 0. Although a part of me is excited to see the Packers out to an early lead, the more competitive side in me is disappointed to see I’m a disappointing 0-4 on our gambling board while our leader already has 4 (doh!).

Q1 3:20 — Big Ben throws an interception that gets returned 37 yards by Nick Collins for a touchdown, GB 14 – PIT 0. Certainly not the start that Roethlisberger and the Steelers wanted, but if anybody knows how to creep up on unsuspecting, unwilling defenses, it’s Ben Roethlisberger; the guy is just a natural creeper.

Q1 0:00 — End of the first quarter and our score is still GB 14 – PIT 0. Hopefully the game will be less one-sided as we move forward. Because aside from a few exciting commercials (Doritos were the highlight of the first) it has been a pretty dry first quarter. But remember that Patriots-Giants Super Bowl a few years ago that was really amazing? You do? Awesome, but do you remember the first 3 1/2 quarters of it? Pretty snoozeworthy. Moral of the story; we got to save our energy for the second half.

Q2 11:08 — Finally some points for the Steelers as kicker Shaun Susham nails in a field goal from 33 yards outs. GB 14 – PIT 3

Q2 6:45 — Energy in the room is low.  Could be a result of the matress and pillows in the center of the room, it appears people are getting too comfortable. But alas, a Steelers score would desperately pump some life into my friends who would look more like space cadets on a trip to Mars than a group of football fans watching the most anticipated game of the year. My friend Nicole, decked out in Steelers swag from head-to-toe, looks noticeably disturbed. Perhaps Pittsburgh pulls out some points here late in the half

Q2 2:24 — Jinxed ‘em! Rodgers hits Greg Jennings over the middle for a 21-yard touchdown pass as the Packers go up 21-3 with just two minutes left in the half. Basically, we’re one Roethlisberger-molestation joke away from seeing Nicole’s Steelers face paint be washed away with tears.

Q2 00:39 — I’m great at reverse jinxes! Just as I was typing that the Steelers were falling too far behind, they come out and drive down the field with ease, executing a near-perfect two minute drill capped off with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to Hines Ward. GB 21 – PIT 10 going into the half. Hey, at least it’s a game, right?

Halftime — Who’s that creepy white guy in the Black Eyed Peas? You know, that guy with the long, slicked black hair, kind of looks like Professor Snape. What’s he bring to the table?

Halftime — It must be Snape! Who else has the magical ability to let their suit-light up whilst simultaneously appearing to be the most awkward person ever on one of the world’s biggest annual stages? That’s the Half-Blood Prince!

Halftime — Disappointed to see Slash, one of the greatest guitarists of all-time, shredding on the axe next to a starving alley cat. It’s just that — wait a second! That’s not a stray cat lurking in an ally! Why — why that’s Fergie!

Halftime — “Buurrrrrriiiightttt baaaaaluuuuuuuuu ssssckuuuuuuiiiighhhhh,” an ally cat wails to the tune of Guns ‘N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child of Mine.”

Halftime— An Usher sighting! This would be more exciting if he wasn’t going to go down in history as the “guy who discovered Justin Bieber.” I wish I was kidding, I like Usher.

Halftime — Grades of the performance; Singing (C-), Dancing (B), Lights & Effects (A); overall, a solid (B-) from the Black Eyed Peas. It wasn’t great, but it was some much needed life that the Super Bowl halftime show. It’s just blatantly obvious at this point that the Black Eyed Peas should limit their live performances. The alley cat formerly known as Fergie really needs to just stay in a studio and off of a stage.

Halftime — And yes, I’ve just realized I’ve analyzed the halftime show 10x more critically than any of the plays or drives in the first half. Moving on…

Q3 12:54 — Packers receiver James Jones runs an extended slant that has the ball bounce right off his fingertips. The drop is especially disappointing for Packers fans as he appeared to have plenty of space to run had he caught the ball. In fact, announcer Troy Aikman said, “He… he had a real chance to score there …. (pause) ….. He could have made a big play.” Troy Aikman is proof of the concussion problem in the NFL.

Q3 12:39 — A curious commercial combination that featured Ozzy Osbourne and Justin Bieber in which the punch-line was when Bieber held up a phone and said “Now Bieber Fever on 6G.” Then it cut to Sharon Osbourne asking, “What’s 6G?” and Ozzy asking, “What’s a Bieber?” And if you thought that was hilarious…. wait for it….. Bieber, disguised as a custodian behind Ozzy, added “Not sure, kind of looks like a girl though.” I have a (Bieber) Fever! And the only prescription is more cowbell!

Q3 10:19 — A great block by stereotypical looking lineman No. 1 that allowed Steelers’ running back Rashard Mendenhall to pound it in from eight yards for a rushing touchdown. GB 21 – PIT 17. A four point game with a quarter and 1/2 left? That’s a stew baby!

Q3 10:19 – Commercial for the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Basically it appears we don’t know anything other than Johnny Depp is back, acting a fool, as everybody’s favorite rum-swilling pirate. Do we really need to know anything else about it?

Q3 8:03 — Steelers got the ball back, and it’s 3rd and short. But what’s a bigger concern for Packers fans is that cornerback Charles Woodson is yet to return to the game after hurting his shoulder at the end of the first half. Woodson is an emotional leader on the defense as one of the season veterans, but more importantly, he’s their lock-down corner guy. With him out of the game, the passing lanes could definitely open up for Big Ben and the Steelers.

Q3 6:42 — This Steelers drive is dragging on and it appears the collective energy in the room has reverted to 1st quarter sleep mode.

Q3 4:29 — Steelers Sulsham kicker tries a 52-yard field goal that is way off the mark. My only question afterwards is who on earth could have done worse on that attempt. My short list includes Ellsworth, Steven Hawking, and Larry the Cable Guy

Q3 4:29 — Is Eminem planning on being a public representative of Detroit now, or is he just running out of money and looking for a quick buck? He would have told Chrysler to f*ck themselves if they offered him that commercial idea in 2002.

Q3 2:26 — You can hear the disdain in his voice when Joe Buck tries to pitch Glee in between plays. You can tell her really, really doesn’t want to do that.

Q3 00:37 — The Packers haven’t moved the ball well since their third touchdown midway through the second quarter. Something tells me that Mike Tomlin put in some serious half-time adjustments for the Steelers. They’ve been lights out this quarter.

Q3 00:00 — Blame Friday Night Lights if you want, but I know you still hold up four fingers every time you watch a game enter the fourth quarter. *FOOOURRRRRR

Q4 15:00 — Getting those 4th quarter Super Bowl jitters! GB 21 – PIT 17. We’re at a point where it’s not even cliche to say “Anything could happen!”

Q4 11:57 — I continually jinx the idea of a tightly contested game. Rodgers just hit Jennings for an 8-yard touchdown pass, his third of the game. GB leads 28-17. Good thing Pittsburgh has a quarterback known for creeping up on people right when they least expect it.

Q4 7:34 — Told you Big Ben could creep! He just slung a 25-yard pass to Mike Wallace that capped off a much-needed successful Steelers drive. To further signify the Steelers’ satisfying scoring surplus was the successfully converted 2-point conversion. GB 28 – PIT 25. Three point game with less than eight minutes left? Do you know what that is? That’s a stew baby!

Q4 2:35 — Great drive by the Packers here late in the second half. Right after the Steelers narrow their lead to three points, Green Bay moves the ball methodically down the field, killing over five minutes in the process.

Q4 2:09 — And you know I jinx everything. I typed “Great drive by the Packers” and then they fail to convert on third down. Kicker Mason Crosby knocks in a 23-yard field goal to give the Packers a 31-25 lead just before the two minute warning. Unfortunately I think I’ve exhausted all the Ben Roethlisberger creeper jokes that I wanted to make.

Q4 2:00 — Two minute warning! Which QB is going to be this year’s hero and who is going to be the Goat? Roethlisberger has been here before, and he looked OK as he threw that 15-yard pass to Heath Miller to give Pittsburgh fans some hope. Remember Steelers Nicole? She’s shaking.

Q4 1:10 — After a short 5-yard pass to Ward, Roethlisberger goes deep right for an incomplete pass. It’s 3rd and 5, but the Steelers got to go a lot further than five yards.

Q4 0:59 — Another incomplete….. 4th and 5 for the Steelers. If they don’t convert this, the Packers will be crowned champions….

Q4 0:55 — Roethlisberger drops back!

Q4 0:54 — Looks right!

Q4 0:52 — Looks left!

Q4 0:51 — He’s got Wallace on the near side!

Q4 0:50 — Roethlisberger lets it fly!

Q4 0:49 — (Long exaggerated breath as the ball is in the air)

Q4 0:48 — Broken up! Incomplete! Packers win! Packers win! The Green Bay Packers are your Super Bowl champions!

Postgame thoughts — Glad to see Aaron Rodgers win a championship. I don’t feel bad for the Steelers or Steelers fans, you’ve won enough in the past few years. Rodgers patiently waited behind Favre for his opportunity, and he owned it — throwing for 304 yards and 3 touchdowns, earning MVP honors in the process. Roethlisberger was an acceptable 25-40 with 263 yards and two touchdowns, but the two early interceptions gave the Steelers a deficit 21-3 that was too great to overcome. My question after the game: How similar was this year’s Super Bowl to last years?
Know what I mean? Two great QB’s, and the one that outplayed the other hoisted the trophy. Right down to the dramatic last minute where one of the great QB’s failed to come through as we’ve come to expect them to. Curious. But for now, the NFL season is in the books and the Packers are once again on top of the pecking order.


Some Super Bowl Thoughts

In case you live under a rock, you should make it as sweet as Patrick’s from the SpongeBob show.  That little place could be on the “Cribs” for houses built under rocks.

But you’ve heard about the Super Bowl and the spectacular Saints victory I’m sure.  I was pretty far off on my predictions, but did nail a few; especially “The Who” at halftime.  I guess that a bad show from them was as easy to predict as the NFC West though.  But here are some of my thoughts from the big game.

–My favorite commercial was the Monster one with the Beaver playing the Violin.  I love fuzzy little creatures, and I love fuzzy creatures doing human-like things even more.  The fact that the little beaver was doing something as cultured as playing the Violin sealed the deal.

Bug Light and Doritos had a slew of solid commercials.  The Google commercial was really cool as well, but the eTrade commercials were pretty disappointing; we’ve come to expect better out of them after being the standouts the last two years.

Hated when Letterman brought in Leno as an extra for his ad.  That was as lame as cancer.

Wished there was a Coors Light commercial with a press conference.  I mean this is the Super Bowl and Coors light is the official beer of the NFL, yet no ads?  Pretty lousy effort from the sister company of the Banquet Beer.

And now onto the Budweiser commercial.  You know, the one when the whole town rallied together to get their beer.  Kids, women, and everybody else made a bridge and got drove on.  I love a good beer or two, or fifteen, but does anything scream alcoholism like an entire community, no matter age or gender, coming together in the name of beer?  This is bad.

–The Saints played a near perfect game.  No turnovers, huge special teams play, and solid defense against one of the highest scoring units in the league.  People were talking about what needed to happen for the Saints to have a chance.  That’s bullshit.  New Orleans has more talent overall and the only thing that could’ve stopped them from winning was Peyton Manning.  And he damn near did before the Pick 6 heard ’round the world; which brings me to my next point.

–Peyton Manning really, really, hurt his legacy with that one toss.  Everybody and their step-brother thought Manning and the Colts were going to tie it up at the end there, and then the complete opposite happened!

**Side note.  Didn’t realize it for the 1st thirty times I saw the INT, but Manning got blocked in the back with no-call.  Colts would still have had 2-minute warning and 2 time outs and onyl down 7.  Would like to have seen what would’ve happened if a flag was thrown.**

So Manning throws a pass that he’s thrown a million times in his career, except to the other team this time.  It happened for a number of reasons…

1) Manning threw the ball way right, more wide right than Scott Norwood.  Even with a huge break Wayne may have not gotten to the ball.

2) Wayne may have had traction issues.  He looked like he was in slo-mo compared to Porter.  Wasn’t even close to catching him after the pick either.

3) All the credit goes to Porter.  He and his unit studied enough film to figure out Manning’s tendencies; something nobody’s been able to do the last 4-5 years.  Porter made a huge break on the ball and wouldn’t be tackled.  Epic play.

But I think Skip Bayless sait it best.  “Manning went from the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of all time) to just the goat.”  It sucks because I really like Manning, but he’ll need to get back to the big game and win it if he wants to be talked about with the Montanas and the Elways, not the Favres and the Marinos.