Super Bowl

Superbowl Wrap

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The officiating was a scandal. I had a non-passionate preference for Pittsburgh, but they only took the lead thanks to two shady calls in the first half: the offensive-pass-interference review that nullified Darrell Jackson's touchdown in the first quarter; and the very fishy TD given to the Steelers in the second quarter. Only under the dictatorship of relativism could anybody claim Roethlisberger was over the line, and the more they reviewed the play the more clear that was. Without those two calls, the fourth-quarter score would have been 14-14 and we'd still be watching the overtime. They'll be arguing this for centuries, but what the hell: If all the old Yehudis in Miami had had their chads properly interpreted President Gore would have prevented the 9/11 attacks and I'd be smoking the medical pot I got from my universal health care package blah blah blah…

The commercials sucked. The FedEx spot with the cavemen had some well timed sight gags, but haven't these people heard about Intelligent Design? Bring back the bankruptcy-bound dotcoms blowing their entire budgets on too-cool-for-school 30-second spots. I knew the age of irony was over when that Gillette 5-blade ad turned out not to be a joke. (Not that I'm dismissing it! I scoffed at the Mach 3 for years, but that thing gets my kisser as smooth as a baby's ass.)

Censorship Roundup: Don't talk about come, don't talk about cock, and above all don't talk about coming with your cock. Those not-ready-for-primetime words were sent down the NFL's memory hole during the Strolling Bones' impressive halftime show. I heard rumors that Mick flipped the crowd the bird during one song, but I didn't see it. Maybe they can review that a couple hundred times. In any event, on the West Coast the game was immediately followed by a show called Grey's Anatomy, which opened with a lesbo fantasy scene that will keep Brent Bozell forging letters for another year at least.

NEXT: Final Wishes

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  1. Yep, you betcha! You gives good post, Tim. That’s about how I saw it, too, though I guess I mighta woulda given Pitts the six for the nano-breakage of the plane. Now, love the Stones and all, but do they (or any rock band…or any band??!) work for this kinda gig? No, methinks. Hey, it just doesn’t fit. Start Me Up? Just one of your {silences}? How ’bout Let’s Spend Some Time Together?! Naw. Bring back the Cal band! And just listen on XM and smoke one! Love to each and all the best to all the rest, Head.

  2. I gotta say, after umpteen reviews I still can’t quite tell whether he broke the plane or not, but I certainly don’t think it’s obvious that he didn’t. I’d say it was about right on the line, meaning either call would have been “right.” It definitely wasn’t clear enough to overrule on replay.

    Also keep in mind the impact of where the camera is placed during this kind of play. If it’s just a few inches forward or back, or even lined up with the front of the line rather than the back, it can make a huge difference in what the replay looks like. I’d go with the judgment of the guy on the field.

  3. That was a shady-ass call re: the Steelers
    “touchdown” in the second quarter, but I’m 40 dollars richer for it so fuck it! I ain’t gonna argue! 🙂

  4. I thought so too, but I’m a pissed-off, biased Left-Coaster. I’m glad to hear a concurring second opinion from the other side.

    Seattle got two passes taken away on shady calls–the TD, and another in the 4th quarter, to the 3 yard line. That was a pretty lame holding call. Then Hasselback got called for a low block — but it was a body tackle!

    I counted 4 really questionable calls in favor of the Steelers, not including the Hasselback fumble overturned on review.
    3 of those calls were potentially game-changing.

  5. I thought the ball broke the plane by a millimeter or so; but really, how could anyone tell from the camera angles? Why don’t they have a camera ON the line and/or above the line? It wouldn’t always work, but it would help occasionally.

    I’m not so sure the called-back TD was shady. Ten or twenty years ago, for sure. With the offensive/defensive interference rules as they are today, I don’t think so. Practically no amount of pushing off is allowed any more.

  6. Best halftime show: Definitely U2’s performance in 2002. Bono’s a self-righteous prick but he can put on an impressive show.

    Best Superbowl ad: Two old men paying banjos and a dancing chimpanzee appear on screen for a minute. Cue the catch line: “We just wasted a million dollars. See how to spend your money more wisely at E*Trade”

  7. Yeah the commercials sucked this year, it seemed like there weren’t that many too. The Ameriquest ones were the funniest imo, and they weren’t that great, the bud streaker and bud magic fridge made me grin, the bud wave with the placards that made a bottle pour was pretty cool, but definitely a low point in superbowl commercials.

    Not sure if it was a superbowl ad, but the best commercial ever was Miller’s Evil Beaver, only saw it once but it was the only time I was laughing hard at a commercial even after it had ended.

  8. Jesus Christ the Rolling Stones are old. Old and flat. They should have packed it in decades ago. Too bad they’ve ingested so many chemicals that they’re now effectively immortal.

    Well, at least they’re not Bob Dylan.

  9. The fourth quarter holding penalty was probably the worst of the bunch of bad calls in the game.

  10. Pissed would be an understatement for me. I’ve been a Seahawks fan since 1976, and this was supposed to be THE one.

    The whole thing looked a little too scripted to me. Fuck the NFL.

  11. All Hail the Magic Fridge!

  12. Oh, and I was a Rolling Stones fan until Sunday. I’ve never seen music performed that badly in my life.

  13. The plastic Bic Comfort-3 is almost as good as the Mach 3 and a lot cheaper, on sale. I bought about 36 of them at half price. They clog less, as well.

  14. I only watched the first half because the mother-effin fix was in (I had the Seahawks by 7). That Steelers TD was definitely a bad call, but WTF on taking back the 1Q TD by the Seahawks!? Jackson was robbed. He barely touched the guy, and yet in any number of other plays that they slowed down and rehashed you can see somebody pushing somebody else but nobody called them. Those refs are a bunch of wig-wearing, trucker-blowing pansies.

  15. The Mach 3- SNL nostalgia. “Because you’ll believe anything!”

    Seriously, none of those questionable calls was even in the same league (pardon the pun) as the “field goal” to send the ’65 championship game into OT.

  16. I don’t know Tim, I was in a room full of Seahawks fans and they all agreed that it was probably a touchdown (and in any case, way too close to overturn). I thought the pass interference call was dubious, but my more football-minded friends (again, all rooting for Seattle) assured me that it was the right call.

    I thought the commercials were pretty good.

    As much as I love the Rolling Stones, let’s face it: getting censored was just about the only thing rock n roll about their performance.

    Oh, and for those who were curious about the previews but didn’t bother to stick around for Grey’s Anatomy, the very much made-up “Code Black” apparently means “unexploded bazooka shell in a chest cavity.” Just thought you should know.

  17. screw code black. how about someone post a link to a video clip of “code pink” – the lesbian fantasy scene at the beginning of the episode that Tim alluded to?

  18. Five blades is a joke. One that just got a whole lot funnier.

  19. What a night! Commercials! A free concert! Lots of jibber-jabber! 4 hours of a game that’s technically only one hour long, with fewer than 30 minutes devoted to actually playing! What’s not to love?!

  20. Whoever was handling sound for the Stones needs shot. It was all Mick until solo time, and then it was all guitar. The bass and drums were never louder than a mild background hum. I also noticed how carefully the cameras stayed away from Darryl Jones.

  21. I just saw the V for Vendetta spot online. It looked pretty sweet.

  22. The low block penalty on Hasselback was probably wrong, it did seem like he was going for the tackle rather than the pass. But I have to agree with the pass interference call on Jackson.

    Jackson clearly pushed off, he didn’t maul the guy but there was certainly contact. FYI the definition is

    4. It is pass interference by either team when any player movement beyond the line of scrimmage significantly hinders the progress of an eligible player of such player?s opportunity to catch the ball.

    I think Jackson’s push off counts.

  23. I think the first Pepsi commercial takes the cake for the wackest shit I’ve ever seen. Buncha people dancing around a can of pop with their smug-ass, rich grills all up in the camera… phuck that.

  24. I’m with Tim on the Roethlisberger call, but I’d like to put in a good word for the Hummer commercial about the “baby monster.”

  25. Even granting that the Pittsburgh TD video did not give conclusive enough proof one way or another, the officiating sucked. The other calls, like the Hasselback tackle/block and the fumble that was overturned, were no brainers that shouldn’t have required review.

    That said, the officiating wouldn’t have mattered if Seattle’s receivers had been able to catch the damn ball.

    Was it just me, or did Mick’s vocals suddenly take a dive when he should have been singing “you make a dead man come”?

    Thank god we didn’t see any nipples this year.

  26. Glad to see the Big XII refs are managing to keep busy in the off-season. Touchdown Texas Tech!

  27. That Grey’s Anatomy pregame show was kinda long, but worth the wait.

  28. Jesse, while that is a funny commercial, that one is older, though I wouldn’t be surprised if last night was the first time you saw it, it hadn’t run for a while. The H3 commercial with goldilocks and the 3 bears was what they have been recently showing. That was another disappointment last night, old commercials, hummer did it and monster.com did it with the monkeys commercial, which I believe was a superbowl commercial last year. And was it me, or did only like 10 companies have commercials, with a lot of NFL commercials thrown in?

  29. I agree that the Pittsburgh touchdown wasn’t clear enough to overturn the call either way. But I don’t think the linesman signaled touchdown until sometime during the middle of that review. And it’s not like they were waiting to make a call — they originally called him down at the end of the play.

  30. All I can say about the commercials is that goDaddy.com (whoever they are) must be making tons of money to afford not one but two incomprehensible Super Bowl ads.

    As far as the pass interference call, it wasn’t really in the spirit of the rules, since the defender was just standing there at the time and Jackson’s “push” didn’t even move him. There’s no way that little tap prevented him from having a chance at the ball a full second later.

  31. Ammonium,

    Yeah, the linesman was actually running towards the ball, as if to make a spot, with his right arm in the air (signalling that the runner was down). About half way to the ball he raised his left arm as well to make the touchdown signal. Smooth.

    I hate to think that a top NFL linesman would fall for Roethlisberger’s extending the ball over the goal line after he was already down, but you never know…

  32. crimethink,

    I certainly agree that the foul wasn’t blatant, but given that they have been very vigorous in enforcing pass interference calls against defensive players this year, it is certainly reasonable to do the same against offensive players.

  33. now that the jerome bettis show is over, i thought seattle got hosed.

    at the end of each half, i thought i was watching the rams instead of the seahawks.

    i spent most of the game thinking about my own mortality when i saw just how old harrison ford looked in that nfl spot. i mean, that’s indiana freakin jones! i also thought randle el’s back had been broken for sure. it was amazing that he came back after that.

  34. As an avowed Patriot fan I think I can comment on the officiating without bias so let me say a couple things:
    1. The ball was over the lne. Only a couple inches but it was over.
    2. I know the purists hate the pass interference rule but it is part of the game now. I consider drug prohibition to be a sin but if you walk up to a cop smoking a joint then you don’t have my pity. Likewise, if you stiff arm a defender, in the end zone, away from an incoming pass, ten feet from a striped shirt then you should expect to see the pretty yellow flag.

  35. The one ad that I loved was for the ESPN Mobile service, with Chad and Jeremy’s “Summer Song” … wow. The rest of the commercials were horrid. (And that song came out a decade before I was born.)

  36. That Steelers TD call was definitely a bad one. It was obvious to me that if his arm was cradling the ball, and his arm didn’t break the plane, then neither did the ball. Maybe I’m just bitter because I’ve always felt the same loathing for the Steelers that I feel for the Cowboys. Best ad of the night was the Ameriquest ad with the defibrillator- “well, that killed him!” No expensive FX, and wicked sense of humor, I loved it.

  37. The Stones have been old, washed up and past their prime for at least 20 years now. I saw them in 1982 and critics back then were already talking about how they had turned into a parody of their former glory. If anything they may now be turning the corner, they’re so old they are offensive, which is supposed to be what rock is about. I actually think the halftime show was an improvement over their performances on the last few tours.

  38. As Hak said, the real officiating crime was the phantom offensive holding call that nullified a big pass for the Seahawks down to the 3 yd. line. It was 14-10 at that point, and that call changed the entire complexion of the game.

  39. I’m not a fan of either team, but I hate to see a game where the eventual outcome is reached based on a few iffy calls, especially the offensive interference call. Michael Irvin called it right: ticky-tack. Just let ’em play. Same thing makes me mad when it happens in college basketball.

    Also, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed Mick’s flabby arms – jeez, things to look forward to when I’m older.

  40. I am a hawks fan…and it was thier game to loose and they lost it…there were some bad calls that went against the steelers as well.

    Tim you are a freak..the seahawks robbed themselves the refs had nothing to do with it.

  41. Cry me a river, losers! Them’s the breaks, and if you can’t take it, get off the gridiron!

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/photos/photo.asp?PhotoID=83497

  42. The interesting thing about the TD call is that he clearly was not over when he hit the ground, which I think is why some people think it was clearly a gift, but whether he got over while he was in the air was too close to call from the replay, as far as I could tell.

    The pass interference was one of those things where the guy broke the letter of the law if not the spirit of it. As long as that’s how they’re calling it consistently (when they see it), then it’s a proper call, if a bad break.

    I guess I’m the only one in the known universe who thinks he saw some genuine holding on that pass play. I know the announcers both said it was a bad call, but I coulda sworn I saw the lineman grab the guy as he got past him. I thought that’s what holding’s all about.

    But the call against Hasselbeck on the interception tackle!! That one boggles the mind. Why would they even THINK that the QB was out to rough up blockers when he made the damn tackle?? That was pretty weird.

    And I agree with someone up above who blamed the icky feeling of the Stones’ concert on the sound/mix. I thought their performance was adequate, if not necessarily inspired, and what the hell would you expect, but the sound was just kinda awkward. Couldn’t they put a tad of reverb or something on the vocals? At least for the TV sound, if not the sound at the stadium? Rock concerts aren’t supposed to be experienced from the dead sound of the PA mix. Of course,if some folks sound good through a PA mix and others don’t, maybe that says somethig about the folks who don’t. So I don’t know if the sound was handled any differently from other Super Bowl halftime broadcasts, but it sure did sound blah.

  43. What would the price be on the Fusion?

    Using the Mach III I can only afford to change blades on the pay day, so I really wonder about Fusion.

    AS far as the call on DJ, I thought it was obviously the right call, but that that type of call is usually not made in the NFL, but it should be. It looked to me as if he most likely did cross the plane, but it was close.

    The questionable call to my mind was the holding call, but I did not look to carefully.

  44. 1) An extended arm by a receiver touching a defender in the chest gets the interference call 9/10 times. It is a nickle and dime foul that gets called all the time. Keep the arm bent or beat your man with your feet. I also disagree that no separation was created by the move.

    2) No good camera angle means the TD had to stand. I think the ball did break the plane once you adjust for camera angle while Ben was in the air.

    3) I don’t get all the huffiness about the holding call. The lineman was beat and had the LB’s arm and shoulder underhooked from behind, eventually pulling him to the ground. How is that not a hold?

    Since the Patriots title runs, I am skeptical of the whole ‘let them play’ argument. You can either grab Marvin Harrison after 5 yards or you can’t. If you can’t, the Pats don’t win a couple of key games over the last two years.

    It was a low quality contest, fought by two nervous teams. Seattle had a bad case of the dropsies. Ben was crap in that game, but was bailed out by Hines in key situations.

  45. You guys do realize that the FRONT of the white stripe is the goal line, right? I can understand why you might be inclined to think he didn’t cross it, but to be absolutely positive? Ben’s hand clearly crossed, even from the offset camera angle.

    Jackson fully extended his arm, and then was magically 2 yards away from his defender. Extending the arm to create separation is a clear penalty. These calls are less consistent, but the receivers are usually more subtle (read that “more talented.”)

    Hasselbeck could be bummed about the low block penalty, but this has been called very consistently all year. Yes, he got his intended man, but he also got a piece of another player. That’s not allowed. If he’d made the tackle like a real man, or even like Denver’s punter can…

    What really happened is that the refs noticed that Darrell Jackson caught 5 balls in the 1st quarter. DNA testing revealed him to be an imposter, as we know that Darrell Jackson incapable of catching more balls than he drops. The refs weren’t sure what to do, but they were NOT going to award any TD catches by this player.

  46. bubba,

    The reason he was two yards away from the defender was because the defender was just standing there (and continued to stand there, showing that the “stiffarm” was not very effective) and Jackson took a couple of steps after the contact. The ball did not arrive until a full second after the contact, after all.

    And I would dispute with Mr Ligon on offensive pass interference being called 90% of the time it occurs. It is very sporadically called, and that was a pretty foolish place to call it.

  47. It was a low quality contest, fought by two nervous teams.

    I agree with you there. Surprised no one has brought that up yet. I think just because it wasn’t a traditional blow out everyone thinks it was a good game, which of course isn’t necessarily true. I kept wondering during the game, is this really the two best teams in the NFL?

  48. Seattle were uninvited guests to the SteelerBowl, and were treated as such.

    Linesman runs in with fist raised (universal 4th down signal, though not in NFL rule book), then raises arms…. Can’t overturn because of piss-poor camera angle and minivan sized viewing screen. Can’t blame him for that.

    Then there was the offensive PI call, the holding call, the Hasselbeck penalty….

    Seahawks took it in the ass several times thanks to officials, and the worst part – being from Seattle, is the feeling that Seattle did not lose to a better team.

  49. and the worst part – being from Seattle, is the feeling that Seattle did not lose to a better team.

    Pretty much what Surf said. I’m not a football fan, but figured I should watch in case it’s the last time in my life the Seahawks make it to the Super Bowl. That’s four hours of my life I’ll never get back. (Five hours if you count the traffic snarl I hit on the way home from my friends’ SB party.)

    Lame and unoriginal ads (with the possible exception of the FedEx spot and the magic fridge), geriatric halftime show, inaudible anthem squeaking by Aaron Neville, and corrupt, choad-sucking ref calls.

    I knew I wouldn’t be heartbroken if the Hawks lost, but I guess I at least assumed it would be a clean game.

  50. The Seahawks played a less than great game, but they sure played better than Pitt (Ben R stunk up the place!). When they called back that pass to Stevens on the 1 yd line on some phantom holding call I knew there was no way they were going to let Seattle win. The following “illegal block” call on Matt H only drove that point home, in case it wasn’t obvious to everyone on the Seattle sidelines.

    As for the Stones: they were as horrible as when I saw them back in ’72, though there’s still something morbidly fascinating about them. They’re downright “train wreck-ian”!

  51. Crimethink:

    With the arm extended, you get called. Since we all like scoring, you can do any damn thing you want to create separation … except extend your arm all the way out in a pushing motion 5′ in front of a zebra.

    I dunno about all this Seattle lost to a worse team business, either. Both teams were having bad games, and it was just a hair short of the worst game Ben has ever played. Let’s be real though. You can’t get beat by a team whose quarterback was in the 20’s passer rating wise, but who previously beat Cincinnati, the Colts, and the Broncos as part of a 7 game do or die streak in the much, much better AFC and talk about how obviously superior your team is in general.

    The seahawks did not play a better game. They gave up three monster plays. That is more than it usually takes to lose a game. If only Seattle had done a little more – yeah, well imagine the game if Ben had a passer rating in the perfectly manageable 60-80s. If, if, if.

    The illegal block call is BS, but it is the same BS that 2 different Steelers have been called on this year. After the turn over, if you go ‘through’ a blocker on the way to the ball carrier, you had better only make contact above the waist – it doesn’t matter that you weren’t trying to clear the blocker out. It is a stupid rule that the world would be better without, but there it is.

  52. The shower scene was definitely not a lesbo fantasy — unless the George character is a lesbian trapped in a man’s body.

  53. Yes, That was another disappointment last night, old commercials, hummer did it and monster.com did it with the monkeys commercial, which I believe was a superbowl commercial last year.

  54. crimethink: The Steeler DB did not just stand there when Stevens pushed off on him, Stevens forced him into a hop backwards. That, the fully extended stiff arm, and the fact it happened right in front of the official made it a penalty. Granted it did not look like much at full speed at the standard camera angle.

    Yes, Seattle seemed to get maore than its fair share of ticky-tack calls, especially compared to the Steelers. The play before Hasselbeck threw that interception, did not the Steeler do a horsecollar tackle on Alexander which is supposed to be illegal? Then the Hasselbeck chop block penalty the next play. I swear I have no clue what rulebook some of the NFL refs are reading to come with that kind of call.

    That being said, Seattle had their chances and could not finish, either foiled by turnovers, dropped passes, and not knowing where the sideline is. Also, for the 2nd year in a row, the NFC team apparently did not practice their 2 minute offense at all during the two weeks leading up to the game. Hasselbeck would probably still be audiblizing that play at the end of the 1st half now if Pittsburgh had not called a TO on him with 13 seconds left.

    “The FedEx spot with the cavemen had some well timed sight gags, but haven’t these people heard about Intelligent Design?”

    Apparently they have not heard about paleontology either, their view of the world of cavemen seems more influenced by “The Flintstones” than the great ID vs Evolution squabble.

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