Big Lead Sports Bar


Putting the Wraps on XLI

More than 24 hours have passed since the Steelers were officially dethroned by the Colts as the reigning NFL champions, and I'm still trying to stop my head from spinning. Peyton Manning, the guy who "couldn't win the big one", won the big one. Tony Dungy, the coach who "couldn't win the big one", won the big one. Rex Grossman, the quarterback who "couldn't win the big one", didn't win the big one. The game pretty much played out like most of the pundits thought it would, which greatly disappointed me. So let's take a closer look at some of the key points of SBXLI and count down the days until Mike Tomlin takes the Steelers to Super Bowl XLII in his first season.
-Impressive performance by Dominic (don't call me Dominic, it's Dominique) Rhodes with 113 yards and a TD to boot. It was Rhodes' first 100-yard game since 2001. Conveniently, Rhodes becomes a free agent in the offseason, so he hit a jackpot on Sunday. Rhodes' game conjured up memories of Jeff Weaver, who posted a 5.76 ERA and 8-14 record in 2006, but parlayed a superior postseason into a one-year, $8.3 million deal with the Mariners. Much like the Mariners, I'm sure their dumb NFL equivalent will overpay largely based on one good game. Call it the Larry Brown Theory.
-Thomas Jones ran for 112 yards on the Bears' side, so as a reward he'll probably be traded by the Bears this offseason. I'm amazed that this is the same player who started a grand total of 18 games through the first four years of his career. But despite Jones' 2,500 yards rushing and 15 TDs in the last two years, the Bears have too much invested in Cedric Benson to keep Jones around. Maybe he could sign with Indy and replace Dominic Rhodes.
-Rex Grossman's many problems were pointed out before, during, and after the Super Bowl. With Grossman coming up on the end of his deal, do the Bears extend him? Is there still enough potential for improvement, or did this team win despite him in 2006? Are we ready to go back to the future to the Kyle Orton Era?
-The Bears defense was the true letdown of SBXLI. They bent but did not break. Unfortunately for them, they bent all too often. The Bears went almost an hour between offensive posessions. That wasn't good news for the rhythm of their offense...or the fatigue of their defense. A disappointing sperformance by the "Monsters of the Midway" for sure. Somewhere, Jim Belushi is weeping.
-Why did Grossman continue to try the deep pass given the fact that the ball was slick? Manning settled for short passes (2 completions over 20 yards) and earned a ring in the process.
That being said, Grossman's long ball reminded me of the one Ben Roethlisberger threw in the 2006 season. As soon as he dropped back for a bomb, you knew something bad would happen. And more often than not, something bad did happen. Unfortunately, Roethlisberger couldn't use the excuse that the ball was wet or the Super Bowl logo made the ball slippery.
-Adam Vinatieri finally missed a field goal. This happened in the same year that Tom Brady threw an interception and lost the AFC Championship to the Colts. The apocalypse is officially upon us.
-The commericals, as usual, were vastly overrated. The K-Fed spot was great, but nerds like myself had already seen it. Other than that, nothing stands out. To the people who "watch the game for the commercials": get a life.
-Prince did a solid job at halftime, but I don't get the set list of all the cover songs. And we thought those shadows, coupled with the placement of his guitar, were a thinly-veiled version of his own "wardrobe malfunction", if you get my drift.
-George Bush called Peyton Manning after the game. He wasn't congratulating him, he just wanted to know his thoughts on the situation in Iraq.
-Future Super Bowl locations: next year, SBXLII will be played in Glendale, AZ, in the house that Larry Fitz built. Steeler fans will remember that the last Super Bowl hosted by the Cardinals resulted in a Steeler appearance (and subsequent loss) back in 1996. I'm sorry I brought that up.
In 2009, SBXLIII moves to Tampa, who last hosted Super Bowl 35. You remember, that tremendously exciting Baltimore-Giants matchup in 2000. Seriously, how could they top Trent Dilfer vs. Kerry Collins? Jon Kitna vs. Andrew Walter?
In 2010, the game travels back to Miami, who will have suffered through three years without a Super Bowl. I presume they will not build a dome by then, which should be disappointing to all those knee-jerking louts suggesting today that "all Super Bowls should be played in domes". Let me get this straight...we hear all week about how great Miami is, then it rains for the first time in a Super Bowl, and we're supposed to uproot everything and move to a dome?
So where are we supposed to play these games? Detroit? No, can't do that. The same miserable talking heads who covered that game gave us nothing but columns like "Why do they have the Super Bowl in Detroit?"
I guess they could play it in Indianapolis. But since the Colts are predicted to make the Super Bowl every year, that's not too fair. It would be like home-field advantage in advance. They could play in New Orleans, but their owner may still move them to LA, so that's out. How about Minnesota? Imagine all the love boat jokes! That would make life so much easier for the media. The columns and segments would write themselves! But let's get realistic. Maxim models don't travel to Minnesota, and you can't have a Super Bowl without VIP parties. So Minny is out. We could play it in the KingDome, but Seattle tore that down. Cross that off the list. So we're left with St. Louis. And if you can find something wrong with St. Louis (other than a city that's only sin is loving ol' Mark McGwire), then I'd like to hear it.
-Coming later: some links for the link-deprived and a rant about the NHL. Good stuff, I promise.


Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

I think it's funny how sportswriters like Simmons bitch in columns about how bad it sucks when the Super Bowl is in a city that's not a vacation hot spot like Miami or New Orleans.

Here's a clue for them, we're fans, not sportswriters, and we're going to watch at home so we really don't give a rat's ass where they play damn thing!!

Shoot, if ESPN was paying for my transportation, food, drinks, hotel, rental cars, taxis, etc etc, I'd go to the effing Yukon Territory of Canada to cover the damn game for them!!

And lazy-ass sports writers bitch to us every year because they had to take a 100% free, week-long, celebrity laden trip to Houston or Jacksonville once!! Hey guys, I'm at home watching on TV so your comfort on your free business trip is of no real concern to me.

And besides, when they had it in the non-glamourous city of Detroit Steeler fans could've cared less. We went up to that cold-ass city in droves, often paying out the yin-yang for tickets... and damnit WE LIKED IT!!!!

There's something wrong when the comfort of a sportswriter is the topic of said sportswriter's column.

AJ said...

Ten reasons why St. Louis sucks:

1. totally ripped off their major landmark from the McDonalds corporation.

2. Self proclaimed "Gateway to the west". Pretty pompous if you ask me.

3. First settled by the French.

4. Home of the worst World Series championship team of all time (hey, if we have to put up with that "06 Steelers were worst Super Bowl team" crap, why should they get off so lightly?)

5. St. Louis style ribs stink. The sauce is runny and they pale in comparison to Texas style.

6. Ever had a Budweiser hangover?

7. Gretzky played there.

8. Tony Twist doesn't play there anymore.

9. They stole their NFL franchise from those poor die hard football fans in Los Angeles. (wow... that was even hard for me to type)

10. It stinks so bad that I can't even come up with a tenth good reason.