I was remiss in not mentioning the greatest entree in Super Bowl Party history. Mike and Jessica served up a turducken! A turducken, I tell you! A duck inside a chicken inside a turkey! Such decadence, such deliciousness! Not since Arachne has there been such brazen, ambitious creativity, to rival that of the gods - yet even Athena would surely smile on the turducken. No one awarded turducken legs to team players, so I suspect Max the dog will get an informal MVP award in his dish in the next few days.
Censoring the Stones
ABC decided to censor portions of the halftime show, including the song "Start Me Up". Because the average American hasn't heard that song over a thousand times already.
What amused me was the AP also decided that, since ABC was worried, they also needed to excise the offensive lyrics from their news account:
In "Start Me Up," the show's editors silenced one word close to the song’s end, a reference to a woman so sexy she could arouse a dead man. The lyrics for "Rough Justice" included a synonym for rooster that was removed.
By the way, the first phrase was, "You make a dead man come", which in my book implies more than simply arousing a corpse. Also, that synonym for rooster was "cock". In case you weren't sure.
The "Most Niners" Theory went 8-3 in predicting playoff winners this year, and 8-3 against the spread as well. In the entire postseason, underdogs either won outright or failed to cover the spread. Favorites went 6-5. With all of my sarcastic Las Vegas updates, implying the game might be fixed by gamblers, the behavior of the teams didn't appear to influenced by the point spread at all. Except for Mike Holmgren on that last drive in the Super Bowl. I don't trust him.
In personal wagering, I lost a dollar on an admittedly stupid bet that Pittsburgh would score on their first possession, but won the dollar back by betting against the cement foot of Josh Brown on his first half field goal miss.
Shame, Punter Tom Rouen, Shame
I didn't make it clear enough before that I think that punting cost Seattle the game. Maybe it's not fair to pin it on Tom Rouen, so I'll say that the whole punting team failed. There was a punt where a Seahawk waited for the ball to bounce on the two, ready to down the ball, and then stepped into the end zone to catch it. There's never a reason to step into the end zone when covering a punt. Just an idiotic play. On that punt, and Darrell Jackson's inexplicable string of out-of-bounds receptions, Seattle consistently demonstrated an inability to recognize the field's boundary lines. That happened to us one year in the Mud Bowl, but we were using a folded up sweatshirt, two beer bottles, and a weirdly-shaped rock as our markers. The Seahawks and their well-defined, white-painted lines have no such excuse.
Football Outsiders determined that "the probability that four punts from those locations would all go for touchbacks is 1 in 515." Seahawk fans can find comfort in being done in by historically improbable incompetence.
Is Matt Hasselbeck Cool?
Madden said Hasselbeck and Roethlisberger were the two coolest Super Bowl QBs he'd ever seen. Given their respective performances, perhaps coolness is overrated. Hey Big Ben! Next time you're at the Super Bowl, don't worry about the popular kids are doing, or throw interceptions to try and fit in. The coolest thing you can be is yourself.
Hasselbeck is interesting, because two different teams of Fox broadcasters discussed Hasselbeck's excitability at length, yet Madden claims he's relaxed and cool. Maybe being in John Madden's presence has a calming effect on a player. You're sitting in a horse trailer, having some turducken with Madden, and he's midway through a sentence with nine different clauses. The tryptophan kicks in, and since you can't follow what he's saying even when you aren't in a non-drowsy state, you just nod sleepily at regular intervals.
Sweetest Play in Super Bowl History?
The Steelers scored on a touchdown pass from a wide receiver, off a reverse. The Randle El-Hines Ward connection has to be way up on the list all-time sweet Super Bowl plays, perhaps even #1. I can't think of a better-designed, sweeter play than that one, though I have a vague memory of Joe Morris throwing a pass to Ed McConkey in Super Bowl XXI. (To preserve editorial integrity, I will not research this fuzzy recollection until posting.) What made the play even sweeter, perhaps even awesome, or incredible, was how Pittsburgh set up the play with a real reverse to Ward in the second quarter, which also went for big yardage. Then, about three game minutes after the touchdown, they faked a reverse, and threw to Randle El for a first down. So frickin' sweet.
In my one year of organized flag football, in third grade, there was a game where I got hit in the mouth and had to come out. While I was on the sideline, the coach let me call a few plays, one of which was a double reverse-wide-receiver pass that went for a long touchdown. Since we were playing six-on-six, the pass went to our quarterback, but you can't expect Ben Roethlisberger to show the same athleticism as a nine-year-old Kurt Larson. If it's any consolation to Mike Holmgren and the Seahawks defense, the Hidden Valley Elementary third-graders were also taken by surprise by this play.