Finding 49 things about Super Bowl 49 was kind of tough, so since I’ve sworn off Twitter, and have decided to stay away from posting “nonsense” on Facebook, I thought I would create a blog post full of 30-something things I thought about Super Bowl 49, and 15-something things popped into my head this last month. Have fun!
1. If you’re not a Seahawks apologist: WHAT A GAME!
2. If you’re not a Seahawks apologist: WHAT AN ENDING!
3. If you are or are not a Seahawks apologist: WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!
4. You have the top rushing attack in the NFL. Your running back is known for pushing for those extra yards, despite being gang-tackled behind the yard of scrimmage. Your quarterback rushed for 849 yards this season, that’s top-5 for his position in NFL history, and has risen himself to a top-10 status in large part because of his ability to extend plays with his legs. I’ve seen him fake a handoff, roll out, and then skip into the end zone numerous times. But a slant, to your third receiver, at the one-yard line, against a secondary that covered you well all game long?!
5. Give the Patriots credit, they stacked the line, they (thought they) knew what was coming, and instead of allowing the Seahawks to score quickly (something I would’ve thought about doing), making sure Tom Brady would have the ball with nearly a minute remaining, they stuck with their defense. They were going to win or lose with their D and …
6. Bad play call or not Malcolm Butler made an incredible play. Take a look at it again. This isn’t an easy play, or catch, to make, but he did both, and no matter who you rooted for you have to applaud this (undrafted?) rookie for making a play like this in the waning seconds of a Super Bowl. By the way, great on-field video of the interception.
Chris Matthews’ Super Bowl TD (courtesy of USA Today)
7. Speaking of unsung heroes, through the first 2 1/2 quarters it was looking like a second straight unknown would be raising the MVP trophy for the Seahawks (SEE: Smith, Malcolm). Chris Matthews entered Seattle folklore with four catches, 109 yards and a TD. I know Russell Wilson was making the throws, but the 6-foot-5 receiver was going up and getting it done. The Seahawks exploited the matchup until …
8. The Patriots defense was overshadowed by the Legion of Boom. And somewhat deservedly so, but the Patriots aren’t too shabby themselves, and they showed it late in the third, through most of the fourth quarters by holding the Seahawks to three straight three-and-outs.
9. For the third time in (11) years, Lis, who could care less about American football, won my annual party pool. She won $12, and was the only person in the 12-person pool that picked the Patriots to win (worth two points), the first score to be a TD pass, nailed LeGarrette Blount’s rushing total at 40 yards, and other “closest to the pin” victories.
10. Nailed it! In my prior post I wrote “A Letter to Seahawks fans” talking about how the Patriots do this annoying thing taking “…your momentum and use annoying slants, screens, checkdowns and running backs from the scrap pile to slow your team down.” Since they couldn’t run on the Seahawks (nobody could) they used the short passing game to move up the field. I wasn’t sure if the LOB would allow them to do this, but the Patriots have been to six Super Bowls for a reason, they figure this crap out. And they figured it out.
11. While the Patriots were doing what do so well the Seahawks were doing what they do – extending plays, and converting on possessions that normal teams wouldn’t be able to. Seriously, you’re going to take a shot at the end zone at the end of the second half, without taking the nearly automatic three points? Touchdown pass to Matthews tied the score at 14 at the half. Matthews caught two other huge gains. Jeremy Lane picks off Brady on the first drive of the game. Bobby Wagner steps in front of Rob Gronkowski, leading to a score. Up 24-14 in the third quarter, and looking as though my buddy was going to nail his 30-17 prediction, the cameras caught Wilson and coach Pete Carroll with big smiles on their face as if to say, “Hey Russell! Do what you do and that MVP trophy is yours!” And then …
12. No. 12 as in Tom Brady. If you’ve read me long enough you know I’m not in love with Brady. But you have to give respect to history, and those that make history, and right now Brady is rewriting the history books. Despite his two picks, he spent the last quarter dissecting the Seahawks defense like nobody has done. Seriously, nobody has done. This was it, this was the game that confirmed his status as …
13. The G.O.A.T. Yes, the Greatest of All-Time. He has more Super Bowl appearances than everyone else. He tied Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana for the most Super Bowl wins. He’s thrown the most Super Bowl TDs. He’s won three Super Bowl MVPs (tied with Montana). He’s won four championships within a span of 14 years. I’m a Peyton Manning lover, but I have to admit, I can no longer compete. (And still won’t post a picture of him on my blog. Putting my foot down!)
14. Let’s step away from the Super Bowl for a bit, and waste a line or two talking about the party I attended, the food I ate, the halftime show, and the commercials we saw.
15. Thanks to our new friends for inviting us over for their Super Bowl party.
16. With a house full of kids both Lia and Levi were busy the entire time, allowing Lis some grown up interaction (and forcing her to watch football), and Lukas and I to enjoy the game with friends.
17. Heck, we even dressed the part as 12th Men!
18. The party was great! New people to hang out with, and of course: Meatballs, chicken wings, Buffalo wings, little smokies, chips, dip, and cookies! Yum, yum and yum!
19. Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth swore off Deflategate, except they kept talking about how they weren’t going to talk about Deflategate. Isn’t that the first rule of Fight Club?
20. Meanwhile our host nearly became deflated after leaping from the sofa after Matthews first score. He became light-headed, had to sit down a bit, catch his breath and then prepare for Katy Perry’s halftime show.
21. Have to admit, Perry surprised me and put on a pretty good show. Except that she opened with “Roar” when I predicted “Dark Horse” but whatever!
22. She kept it fairly tasteful, she sang her hits, did a duet with Lenny Kravitz, and brought out …
23. Missy Elliott! Okay, so I may have been one of the only people at our party that knew who she was, but she looked good, did a nice job and made a little comeback.
24. What?! I owned her Supa Dupa Fly album.
25. Funny, I joked to Lis about the “Left Shark” saying, “Yes, mom I was in the halftime show! I was that shark on the left.” Now he has his own Twitter account and tons of memes.
26. Move over Al Michaels, for the second straight game I impressed my son (and surprised myself), by throwing a stat, or fact, out of my head and then Michaels or Cris Collinsworth repeating it seconds later. For example, with 2:02 remaining I turned to Lukas and said, “This is the same exact time that they had the ball against the Packers.” Marshawn flanks to the left and I follow with, “And this is the exact play that Marshawn caught that pass down the sideline, watch for him here.” Wilson to Lynch for 31 yards. Setting up …
27. Wilson misses on a receiver. Next play it appears he missed on another receiver, or the aforementioned Butler made a terrific play on the ball, either way for the second straight game it looked like the Seahawks were headed for another “miracle” finish. Butler deflects the ball, Jermaine Kearse falls to the ground, the ball bounces off his hand into the air and then into his arms. He has the sense to get up and run, however Butler’s series of amazing events continues as he has the wherewithal to not let Kearse just get up and run, instead pushing him out of bounds. Amazing! Unless you’re a Patriots fan then you’re devastated. Check out Deadspin’s super slow motion version of the catch by clicking here.
28. Four touchdowns times seven points each (adding the PAT) equals 28. I did my own research (so I may be off a bit), but the last time a quarterback threw for four TDs against the Seahawks was on December 26, 2010 when Josh Freeman threw five in Tampa Bay’s 38-15 victory. That means the LOB had never allowed a QB to throw for four TDs in a game EVER! Did I mention Brady’s pretty darn good?
29. My choice for best commercial … this Doritos ad:
30. I liked the Mindy Kaling Nationwide commercial, but the second one put a dagger into the hearts of everyone at our party. Mixed feelings. As an ex-Nationwide agent you want to make a point with your advertisements, and they did that. Nobody forgot that commercial. However, how many people are calling up Nationwide for quotes now?
31. Back to football. Hate to say it, but if the Seahawks came away with that win, like they did the Packers game, 12th Men had to be thinking you were pretty darn lucky. For the second straight game the Hawks were outplayed. I know we can second guess that last play call, but c’mon, it took some mighty fine bounces, to get you that close.
32. Even with the ball on the one, and the Patriots needing to kneel the ball, you wondered if they would end up with a safety, with Brady basically in his own end zone. And then Michael Bennett got trigger happy, encroached, and game over except …
33. Classless. Frustrated a mini-brawl erupted with Bruce Irvin being ejected for instigating, and two dudes trying to take out Gronk. Gronk was on Kimmel and said, “Screwit! I’m throwing some haymakers!” Here’s the clip from Kimmel
34. Speaking of Gronk … he’s a beast, and though the Seahawks did a nice job of somewhat containing him, he and Brady took advantage of him lined up on K.J. Wright, and really, the only way you’re stopping that is if Gronk drops the ball or Brady tosses a bad pass.
35. I’m pretty sure Chancellor knocked Julian Edelman out, even saying that the reason he kept running despite his knee touching the ground, was that he had no feelings in his legs. Even after he kept running he wobbled back and forth.
36. This Marshawn Lynch/Rob Gronkowski video with Conan was great, and convinced Lukas to wear his worn down Lynch jersey to our party. Careful NSFW and a little bit on the gory side.
37. This list is harder than I thought it would be.
38. Since I’ve run out of things let’s do this …
39. Loving life lately. Love my new job. Love being a 509er (that’s what we call ourselves on this side of the mountain, based on the area code for the eastern part of Washington) I have awakened happy more times in this month than I have for the last couple of years. I recently did a devotional titled “One Word That Will Change Your Life” which mentioned trying to find your one word for the new year. If you read my Year in Review then you know what my one word is. Psst … it’s “Chill” as in relax! Life is good in 2015!
40. Speaking of new job, I think I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up! Gone are the dreams of writing for Sports Illustrated, becoming a screenwriter, teaching a bunch of fifth graders, and owning my own business. Nope, my new goal is to become a trainer! No, not the kind that will help you lift weights and eat healthy! The kind that will teach you new hires about the services, and products that Liberty Mutual has to offer. And why not?! I’m patient with everyone but my kids. I’ve been a coach. I’ve led community events. Now it’s time to combine my 11 years of experience (will be close to 15 when I have the opportunity), with my dream of becoming a teacher! Glad to have a goal I’m excited about!
41. One of my goals for the new year was to read more books. Nearing the end of my first book, Jeff Guinn’s Glorious. It’s a story based in the ol’ West.
42. Speaking of the ol’ West, I’ve always been fascinated with that era. Though it’s my favorite time historically, I wouldn’t want to spend more than a day in it (a little too dirty and dangerous for my likings). Still it intrigues me (and even Lis) enough that we somewhat binge-watched PBS’s six-disc documentary The West. What have I learned? Okay, the Indians may have gotten a raw deal, life was rough no matter where you came from, it’s amazing how this part of the country has been transformed in just over 100 years, greed (land), greed (gold) and more greed (more land), and man we were violent back then (and we think we’re violent now…HA!).
43. There are many, upon many, things that my kids have done that have brought me great joy in my life. Near the top of that list is watching as the kids learn how to read. I don’t know about other parents, but somewhere around Lukas’s age 3 I became interested in the fact that some day, in the near future, he would be reading the books that I was currently reading to him. I was curious to see how they would go from not knowing any words to reading an actual book. What steps would it take? How would they do it? Will he actually know how to read? This fascinated me.
Good news! Lukas did in fact learn how to read, and continues to do so with slightly-better-than-grade-level success.
Now it’s Lia’s turn, and once again I’m amazed at how kids have picked up reading.
DISCLAIMER: I adore my daughter, and find her brilliant in many ways. I will probably brag about her in the following paragraph. If that bothers you, or makes you want to vomit in your mouth then stop reading, or skip to the section titled “When I Grow Up.” If you want to use the following paragraph as a comparison to your kindergarten, feel free. If you’re like, “My kid does that, and does it better,” then congratulations you’ve got yourself a superstar.
I’m not sure if it’s the school system, or my lack of memory, but Lia started reading fluently two months into her first year of school. I don’t recall Lukas doing that until first grade. It’s been fun to watch, and impressive. She’s always had a gift with language, talking immediately (my sister-in-law remembers her humming as a baby, while she slept), speaking fluent Portuguese by age 3 (and with a perfect dialect), and enunciating each word (other than the letter R) perfectly, and usually the first time. I sat alongside her this week as she nailed a second grade reading level book, needing help with a couple of words, but mostly sounding out every letter and every -ch, -ck or whatever other two-letter sound she needed to sound out to complete the word. As mentioned it’s a joy to sit alongside her as she reads her book, and to see her so excited to learn.
44. You can have Baby Einstein and Mozart, I like my chances with Curious George and Mickey’s Clubhouse, especially George. Lukas learned about cirrus clouds from Curious George, and Levi surprised us the other day by correcting me about the colors that combine to make green. Asked where he learned that from and he answered, “Mickey’s Clubhouse.”
45. My brother and sister-in-law announced that they will be having a baby girl. Awesome news for everyone involved! Unfortunately I’m down a point in the baby pool. That evens it out on our side of the family with three boys and three girls!
46. Despite the fact I watched the game with Seahawk fans, my close friends are fans of the birds, and my family all roots for the Seahawks, this was probably the best Super Bowl I had ever witnessed surpassing the Super Bowl XXXIV when the Titans, much like the Seahawks, fell 1-yard short of a title, along with recent Super Bowls that featured David Tyree’s football-to-helmet catch, and Santonio Holmes’ game-winning, toe-dragging catch in XLIII.
47. March Madness is a little over a month away!
48. Pitchers and catchers (for the teams that I care about) report to Spring Training in 16 days
49. I’m pumped for baseball season! Both my favorite sports team (the San Diego Padres), and my third favorite sports team (the Seattle Mariners), look like contenders this year!