Wow, what a disappointment! As a football fan, and a sports fan in general, I can't help but feel cheated after Macie and I just finished watching what was supposed to be the NFL championship game.
Let me just list some of the things I found wrong with this particular telecast that has always been known as one of the biggest television events of the year, every year (even if you aren't a sports fan, you cannot deny it from the top 5 just based on hype alone):
* Too much camera time for the refs... There was a total of 1,015 penalties called in this game, costing both teams a combined 1,290,000 yards (or enough penalty yardage to circle the Earth 15 times!). Ok, bit of an exaggeration, but still... there seemed to be a penalty on almost every play. In addition to that, there seemed to be countless reviews, both as challenges and from the booth anytime there was a major play or turnover. That leads me to my biggest complaint, but I'll save that point till last.
* Halftime "Entertainment"... Springstein and the E-Street Band?... Really? Was this year's Super Bowl played in 1987? I'm sorry, I know that the Timberlake/Janet Jackson nipple-gate halftime show was a crushing blow to American values... but at least people talked about halftime back then, or maybe watched part of the show instead of using halftime for a national potty break. Ever since then, as a result of a widespread agenda to censor anything and everything remotely interesting on network television, we now are treated to an annual crap-tacular halftime show that features the likes of Paul McCartney... mmm k, the Rolling Stones... or the remaining living members, Tom Petty and the... Oh forget it, nobody is watching this crap. So after another forgetful performance by the Boss, who are they going to roll out for us next year... I'm putting 3:1 odds on a Beegees reunion at Super Bowl XLIV today! Maybe 18:1 odds to see Jem and the Holigrams, animated on stage as the lead-in just to keep things interesting.
* The commercials. Ok, I know as a sports fan, you lose all credibility when you complain about (or emphasize the importance of) commercials during the super bowl. But this year's crop was pretty bad. I think the amount of funny commercials could be counted on two of my fingers. In addition, there was a number of pretty risque (sp?) commercials, even by my standards... oh Danica, how far you've fallen. Seriously though... has there ever been more commercials, consecutively, that completely pander sex? I felt a little dirty watching them with my parents in the room, even dirtier after Macie and I excused ourselves from the room shortly afterwards. Just kidding :) Also, I'm a St. Louis guy, I enjoy the history of Anheuser-Busch and the importance the company has had with the city and the state of Missouri... But I'm getting pretty tired of, and I assume most other Americans would agree with me on this one, those Clydesdales are a little played out. They are beautiful horses, and their commercials can be sentimental favorites... the first dozen times or so. I think the whole "big-horse-that-could" story has been done to death.
* Finally, my biggest reason for even posting a blog tonight was to voice my admonishment that the last play of the game, a "fumble" that Kurt Warner threw into the ground 5 yards in front of him, which Pittsburgh recovered, was never even looked at by the upstairs review booth. Yes, the same booth that reviewed every other turnover and a number of important and inconsequential plays earlier in the game. Here's a play that basically decided the result of the 3.5 hours of game-playing that preceded it, a called fumble that was at the very least... questionable, and the very most... an incomplete pass, and the officials never deemed it necessary to look at a second time. I don't know if I was looking through Cardinal-shaded glasses, but it seemed to me that Warner continued to move the ball forward, through the Pittsburgh defender's hands, and eventually released the ball where it landed harmlessly past the offensive line. Although the ball came out wobbly, the "fumble" looked much like most of the other "fumbles" that Warner managed to complete to Arizona receivers much of the night. Instead of getting a second look at the play, before I knew it... Roethlisberger (who played terrible much of the night by the way) was kneeling on the ball and confetti was flying from the sky.
Congrats Stealers... Outplayed throughout the game and still wind up on top. You'd like to think the championship game would feature two teams playing their best possible A games. Instead we were treated to a penalty-filled fiasco, where fluke interceptions and non-fumbles decided the game.
Ahh, now I feel better.