Well, another Super Bowl is in the books and it’s hard to determine what this one will best be remembered for. Will it be recalled as one of the greatest Super Bowls ever played, or will it be better remembered as “that Super Bowl where one team made the dumbest play call in the history of the sport”? Plus, let’s talk a little bit about commercials, interviews, and why I couldn’t go to work today…because I died.
Yeah, let’s get that one out of the way right off the bat. Nationwide is apparently not on our side, based on that incredibly morbid, buzzkill of a commercial that aired last night. In case you’re one of the four or five people in America who hasn’t seen it yet, here it is:
What in the ever-loving hell, Nationwide? As you might expect, the immediate reaction on social media was pretty great. The jokes were able to remain topical as well, with the greatest meme of the night being created to fit both this commercial and that final play call by the Seahawks into one cohesive idea:
After the game, of course, both Nationwide and Pete Carroll defended their decisions. Carroll defended the decision to throw the ball when common sense said to pound it in with Mashawn Lynch, and Nationwide decided to stick by their choice to run that horrendous ad. But on the bright side, I have a feeling this is going to be the gift that keeps on giving. For instance, I imagine there was a marketing executive who would have put his foot down and pulled the plug on this ad, but he died.
Yep, that’s going to be added to the repertoire for a long time to come. Thanks, Nationwide!
Moving on, we need to talk about Pete Carroll’s baffling decision to throw the ball at the 1-yard line with 25 seconds to play. Everyone in the world just knew that they’d run it with Beast Mode. It was the only thing that made sense in that situation.
And yet…it didn’t happen. Instead, Malcolm Butler stepped in front of Russell Wilson’s pass and became one of the biggest heroes of the game for New England. After the game, Carroll defended the play call, saying they didn’t like the matchup with New England’s formation so they went away from a run, deciding to pass as a “throwaway” play. Okay, but even then…why would you throw the ball across the middle into a crowd if it’s a throwaway play? The chances of the ball falling incomplete are pretty small with that many bodies around. Someone is going to catch that, either for Seattle or New England.
Look, I don’t pretend to be a football expert. I learned my X’s and O’s from playing Madden and later NCAA Football on the original PlayStation. But if you’re going to throw a pass there, wouldn’t it make more sense to throw a fade to someone like, say, the 6-foot-6 Chris Matthews, who had been torching the New England secondary all day and could have easily won a jump ball in the back corner of the endzone? And while we’re at it, why not roll Russell Wilson out so that he’s got the option to either throw it or, if he sees a gap, get into the endzone himself?
I guess the Seahawks may have been playing the odds with calling a pass in the first pace. After all, a couple factoids came out shortly after the game, including:
Marshawn Lynch had 5 previous runs from the 1 this season and had scored only one touchdown.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 2, 2015
Okay, fine. But the Seahawks had timeouts, and more than one down to work with. Even if Lynch gets stuffed, they can stop the clock and try again. So what other stats might the Seahawks been looking at in that situation?
Russell Wilson's Int on the final drive was the first interception thrown from the 1-yard-line by any QB this season
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 2, 2015
Okay, that’s a pretty interesting stat as well. But I’m guessing a lot of that has to do with the fact that in most situations, you work to the outside with your throws. Or at the very least, play action to a tight end in the back of the endzone – a play that Syracuse used to run all the time at the goal line with Donovan McNabb, by the way.
Instead, they decided to try to jam the ball into the tightest of all spaces and the result was predictable. The unfortunate thing is that it rendered one of the greatest receptions of all-time completely meaningless.
That’s just insanity right there. Jermaine Kearse comes up with the most spectacular Super Bowl catch since Syracuse’s own David Tyree, and it seemed like the Seahawks were poised to knock off the Patriots in stunning fashion when that play happened. You can’t have that kind of luck and not wind up winning, right? Instead, the Kearse catch will go down as an afterthought, rather than being put on a pedestal in Super Bowl lore.
A few other random thoughts…
- You can’t have a halftime show without anthropomorphic beach balls. I mean, you just can’t.
- I threw together a Super Bowl grid at the last second last night and assigned random squares to myself, my wife, and my son. So basically, you had one person who loves football, one person who couldn’t care less, and one person who doesn’t know the difference because he’s three and a half years old. Needless to say, things went less than perfectly:My biggest mistake, as it turns out, was in giving my wife both 4 squares, since the first half ended at 14-14, the third quarter was 24-14, and the final score was 28-24. The lesson here is that, as a superstitious Syracuse fan, I should have known to take 4 & 4. Which reminds me, #Restore44!
- Even if you’re a Syracuse fan who doesn’t particularly care for the Patriots, you have to enjoy the fact that Chandler Jones got his ring. This makes him the seventh Syracuse defensive lineman to get a Super Bowl ring since 2001 – joining Rob Burnett, Dwight Freeney, Ryan LaCasse, Josh Thomas, Jameel McClain, and Chan’s older brother Arthur. Chandler even registered a sack early in the game, which was pretty nice.
- Let’s all bask in the glorious irony of Roger Goodell threatening to fine Marshawn Lynch for not wanting to talk to the media, and then immediately turning around and refusing to talk to the media on Sunday. NBC was able to get President Obama drinking beer and talking about the budget, but they couldn’t get the commissioner of the league talking about his sport on its biggest day of the year. At least Goodell could have played into it and tweeted out something like, “I’m just all about that action, boss.”
- I would have come up with one more random thought…but I died.
See? It really is the gift that keeps on giving. Maybe Nationwide is on my side, after all.
People will be even more shocked to learn that Pete Carroll's original call there was to buy Reggie Bush's mom another house.
— Jeffhaerys Targaryen (@jekelish) February 2, 2015
Okay, so one final thought from my personal Twitter account.