Stuper Bowl XLVIII

by J.D. Cook

Well Superbowl Sunday came and went in anti-climactic fashion. Anyone who watched the game knows just how one sided and boring the game was for football fans. In the modern era of football where we have 2 weeks of build up for the Super Bowl it really is quite a let down to get a blow out on the big day.

Going into the game most of the media seemed to run with the Peyton Manning is John Elway storyline. Most of the major networks ran with that story and I wanted it to be the dominant story as well. Except Peyton Manning is not John Elway. It also seemed apparent that with all the pro-Broncos build up that the Seahawks developed a monster chip on their shoulder. A chip they poured into practice and preparation that paid off when they virtually shut down the Broncos high powered offense. Once more, this year enforced the old adage, “Defense wins Championships”.

Who would have thought the once pathetic NFC West would become a powerhouse in just a few short years sending the Cardinals, 49ers and Seahawks to the Super Bowl in just a few years.

After the Super Bowl a few things became pretty apparent. Russell Wilson is a generally nice person who definitely deserves all the praise he gets in his early career. As he thanked God for his Superbowl victory I couldn’t help thinking about another quarterback who the Broncos spurned a few years ago, Tim Tebow.

The little quarterback that could only win games. He starred in two amusing Superbowl commercials on Sunday, but in his short tenure as the Broncos quarterback he led the team to the playoffs and upset a heavily favored Pittsburgh team. Then the Broncos quickly got rid of him for Peyton Manning. A few years before that the Broncos< had another quarterback who did little but win, Jake ‘the Snake’ Plummer. They got rid of him for Jay Cutler…who is in Chicago now. The sports media is constantly bringing up the fact that Peyton Manning only has one Super Bowl ring. They imply that this taints his career but quarterbacks that consistently win games despite average statistics like Plummer and Tebow aren’t even celebrated at all. If they were Eli Manning would be the Quarterback the media is obsessed with. So it seems pretty ridiculous to think that the media are the ones saying this when they are the ones who are also constantly obsessed with his brilliant and flashy regular season play instead of Quarterbacks who just win games.

The truth is this loss is obviously an eye sore in Peyton’s stellar career but he does have a ring. If he never won the big game then the media’s critique might hold water. It seems the other Quarterback the sports media want to make Peyton into is Dan Marino, the once greatest Quarterback of all time who never won a Super Bowl. Why does the sports media do all of this? Because it is easier than admitting the truth, winning the Superbowl takes a team effort and a lot of luck. No one player captures that Lombardi Trophy and even the greatest teams need the ball to bounce their way some times.

On that same subject I’m really tired of hearing so much of the sports media backtracking and making excuses for the Broncos. Peyton Manning lashed out at a reporter for asking him if the Broncos were embarrassed in the Super Bowl. Now I personally wouldn’t have press conferences for the losing Superbowl team right after the game to begin with but Manning had no reason to be so insulted by the question. The Broncos were embarrassed; from the organization down to the fans. That team should be ashamed of the performance it gave. Although I don’t think there is a precedent for it John Fox‘s coaching has been horrendous throughout the season and he has no strategic mind. Early in the 3rd Quarter of the Super Bowl when the Broncos still had a chance to win he decided to punt the ball on a 4th down in his own territory. It was as if he just shrugged his shoulders and said ‘we already lost why keep trying’. I’m really not sure how a group of professional football players can look that bad in the biggest game of their life but they did. Instead of making excuses and taking pats on the back that amount to ‘good try’ the organization should call a spade a spade and start axing players and gearing their team to win next year. I’d start by getting a new coach.

I mentioned Marino earlier and he popped into my mind in more than that way. There is a famous commercial in which Marino and Joe Montana sit down for a beer after they faced off in Superbowl XIX. Marino tells Montana that next year he will buy the beer, implying he will win their next showdown in the Superbowl. At the time Marino was in his second year as a pro and he broke every record there was to break. The sky seemed to be the limit for his career. Many thought that Superbowl XIX would be a changing of the guard for the NFL with the Dolphins supplanting the 49ers in the following years, but it never happened. Maybe this Super Bowl will fulfill that prophecy as the elder Manning is supplanted by the young Wilson who despite average stats seems to constantly win games. That said only next year will tell us if the Seahawks are a team to be feared for a decade or if they were simply a one hit wonder.

One thing is for certain we will be there to analyze and critique the N.F.L. throughout the Tuesdays of next season!