3 Things I Hated About Superbowl XLIX

super-bowl-xlix1.  I did not see a second of it as I was en route from L.A to Des Moines thru Dallas. But I read the entire play by play when I got to my room allowing me the second thing to hate: self-righteous, after the fact, critics of a play call.

2.  Yes, I hate the parade of second-guessers labeling the pass call with 26 seconds left on 2nd and goal on the 1 yard line. A chorus of critics, both professional and amateur, have declared it the worst call in history. Its on the tweets and Facebooks’ of millions of experts. Sure it turned out badly but how did everyone forget that the go-ahead touchdown for NE was a Brady pass on 2nd and goal at the 3 yard line — essentially the identical decision. Had that pass been intercepted the Patriots almost certainly would have lost. Was that the 1st or 2nd worst call in history? Do we forget that a player could have fumbled, that the Seattle quarterback has proven to be pretty good in the clutch? Anything is possible in football. It appears to have been an unbelievably great game and to taint it with foolish second-guessing is disgraceful.

3. But my number three hate is what actually did taint the game for real and forever, at least in my mind — the stupid and unprofessional brawl at the end of the game. The most watched sports event in the world including millions of kids and it ends with staggering bad sportsmanship resulting from unrestrained frustration and seemingly condoned by rationalizations by announcers. This was a genuine disgrace to the game. I think every man who engaged in the fight should be severely fined to send a message.

What do you think?

Sportsmanship - bad football

Comments 10

  1. Couldn’t agree more on all accounts and that is why I rarely turn up the volume. I was extremely embarrassed at the fighting as I watched the game from outside the U.S. It pretty much summed up the year for the NFL. Not a lot of role models, except for the Coach trying to be accountable as folks ridicule him over one play that went the other way.

  2. This was not what I expected to read from you. I did not intentionally watch the game. In fact, I’ve done my best to boycott all NFL activities. They are more than I’d like on TV in our home b/c of others who do not share my disdain for this supposed not-for-profit with massive tax exemptions who do nothing to advance the idea of sport/sports or anything that is good in our world.

    The SuperBowl in particular is about – as Stephan Pastis illustrated so well in the Sunday “Pearls Before Swine” comic: some rich guy’s co. beating another rich guy’s co. (http://www.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine/2015/02/01) while some other rich guys’ companies hawk their wares.

    That to me is what is to really hate about the SuperBowl.

  3. You leave out one crucial factor: when Brady called a pass on short yardage he did not have Lynch in his backfield. When you saw Lynch leave the backfield to the left as a decoy on the play, you knew the game was over. Woody Hayes was originally given credit for it but that doesn’t diminish the truth of the statement that, when you pass, three things can happen and two of them are bad.

  4. I think the same grace should be given not only to the coach who made the call but also to the players whose adrenaline and emotions were running hot. Too expect people to not err is foolish. To use it as a learning experience is golden.

  5. I 5think it’s time for the adults to grow up. All of us get frustrated sometimes, but we do not brawl with our coworkers, friends, or bosses. Given what these people are earning, they could show a little responsibility.

  6. Agree fully on Hate #2 – Second guessing. Pete Carroll is an outstanding coach and anyone with a track record like his deserves not to be second guessed. As a former low level coach of football I understand why Carroll made the call. Patriot goal line defense was tough, were stacked for the run and may or may not have been able to stop Lynch. Carroll called the quick slant pass because the defense wasn’t expecting it. Had the ball been thrown slightly to the receiver side, it would have been completed, Seattle gone home as the winner and Carroll would have been congratulated for his visionary coaching. In the end, one of two great teams had to lose the game and this year it was Seattle. You can take it to the bank, next year they will be back with all their talent and Pete Carroll calling the shots. One negative call doth not a bad coach make?

  7. Most of us will have some emotional reaction to the outcome of the game and the play that ended it for Seattle. But the true value is to focus on what we learn about ourselves from those events. Not our reactions, per se, but how do we deal with mistakes, disappointment, frustration. What can we learn from Peter Carroll’s “mistake” or choice that led to failure? It’s not about the coach.

  8. This game lived up to all the typical Super Bowl hype, even when the commercials didn’t. My wife and I are still studying the details via the shorter versions, and programs showing different camera angles. It genuinely could have gone either way, with crucial plays occurring throughout. Both teams are worthy opponents. Before long, one or both will be back.

    Michael, I don’t think that you have yet covered anything about the fact-free media frenzy and scurrilous anonymous comments online during the preceding two weeks. So many people believed very particular “facts” that had been attributed to anonymous sources. The League did very little to provide facts over the whole period. I believe that they only confirmed that the referees had approved the balls before the game, and that the pressure was out of range at halftime, which may have been an unprecedented measurement. Then later that the not-young ball person made some sort of pit stop in a bathroom (for 98 seconds) before heading into the cold. As a scientist I simply explained several times online how pressure varies with temperature, and could be naturally consistent with the few official facts. We should all wait until the official report from the “independent” investigation comes in, think about it carefully, and see what legitimate ethical lessons can be drawn. I look forward to your comments after that.

  9. While the fight was an inexcusable result of frustration and the player has been fined, I thought Pete Carroll was very classy in taking full responsibility for the call and the loss. Furthermore Bill Belichick repeated refused to say anything negative about Carrol’s call during the post-game interviews even when asked to do so by the reporters. Both these coaches showed their true character during these interview. That is what should be remembered about the game and not the fight and the second guessing.

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