Posts about sports aren’t my most popular, but last night’s Super Bowl, in which my team the Patriots won their sixth championship in 17 years, was pretty cool. And it wasn’t boring. The defense and the coaching adjustments were amazing to see. And for a Patriots defense that was wretched in last year’s Super Bowl loss to the Eagles, they played out of their mind, holding the Rams’ powerful offense to three points. Three points!
So yeah, it was low scoring, but it was boring only to people who don’t really care much about football save for getting drunk and eating junk food and are only there for the commercials.
But this isn’t a blog about sports. So I’ll do some quick hits about the game and then get into what most people reading this are probably interested in. Here we go.
- If you can’t get jazzed about a game in which two high-powered offenses are pretty much completely neutralized, I don’t know what to tell you. This game was part defensive battle and part chess match, with the coaches maneuvering their pieces with masterful precision. It’s just that the old genius happened to have a few more tricks up his sleeve than the young genius.
- Bill Belichick is the greatest coach ever, but Sean McVay of the Rams is the real deal. He’s going to have a long, successful career.
- Brady didn’t look great–that first-pass interception made me groan out loud–but he came through when it mattered. So did Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, and rookie running back phenom Sony Michel. Oh, and kicker Stephen Gostkowski did too.
- Gostkowski redeemed himself by kicking what turned out to be the game-winning field goal after missing one early in the game. This guy is so clutch in the regular season and so wobbly in the four Super Bowls he’s been in. It blows my mind.
- Put politics aside for God’s sake. This was just a great game.
- Tony Romo is awesome as a color commentator. I’ve totally come around on him. He knows the game, he’s intelligent and charismatic, and damn does he get excited. Talk about someone who really loves their job!
- The Patriots’ defense, which was abysmal last year, did everything right last night. From the D-line to the secondary, they got to Rams QB Jared Goff all night and forced some mistakes and broke up several plays that would have been sure LA touchdowns. Stephon Gilmore with his game-clinching interception and some unbelievable pass coverage, Kyle Van Noy throwing the Rams’ O-line around like rag dolls . . . everyone was awesome, and it really puts former New England defensive coordinator and current Detroit Lions’ coach Matt Patricia’s defensive acumen into question. This was basically the same roster, the biggest difference being new defensive coordinator Brian Flores, a new New England hero.
- Speaking of defensive coordinators, what can you say about LA’s Wade Phillips? The guy is a defensive genius. Play this game another ten times–with a more experienced quarterback on the Rams–and LA probably wins half of them.
- Patriots’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels sure earned his keep. He and Belichick finally cracked that LA defense when it counted.
- Brady might be the GOAT, Edelman the MVP, Michel the rookie phenom, and Gilmore the defensive expert, but Rob Gronkowski had a hell of a game. If he retires tomorrow, Super Bowl LIII was a hell of a way to go out. That diving catch inches from the end zone gave me flashbacks to vintage 2011 Gronk.
The Other Junk:
- The best part of the halftime show was SpongeBog SquarePants. I just learned that his appearance was the result of a petition signed by fans of the show in reaction to the death of SpongeBob creator Stephen Hillenburg, who died last November of ALS at the age of 57. Very sad.
- I didn’t watch much after SpongeBob, so I missed Adam Levine taking off his shirt. “Poor” me.
- Gladys Knight was awesome singing the anthem, though. What did you expect?
- The Handmaid’s Tale commercial made me laugh and also offended me. What the hell is this? Try making a similar show based on Judaism or Islam. In fact, you’d have a more believable tale if you based it on shariah law. Why the hell don’t Christians have the equivalent of the ADL or CIAR to sue and perform a coordinated media blitz at the slightest hint of anything that may be considered the mildest of criticism of any public figure who happens to profess one of those two faiths, or of anybody who dares express the tiniest angstrom of disapproval of those two religions? It’s very frustrating. My ancestors’ church told their Ottoman oppressors “Go screw!” back in 1821. Now, we’ve allowed ourselves to be pushed out of serious discussions in public and allow our faith to be mocked during the largest television event in America. Shame on us.
- That said, the scene in that commercial with a huge crucifix in place of the Washington Monument actually looked like a selling point for the future depicted in that stupid show.
- The only commercial that cracked me up was one of those Bud Light medieval spots where an evil knight killed the Bud Knight and then a dragon came and burned everything, and it turned out it was actually an ad for the final season of Game of Thrones. It was funny because it accurately sums up that entire series: life sucks and everyone dies.
- I love how football is full of female-empowerment advertisements and messages. Can we see some pro-boy stuff during the next LPGA Women’s Open, or when the women play next Wimbeldon? No? Why not?
- There was political idiocy about this game. The Patriots are the team of “white supremacists” according to some journalist retard and all of that. Is it any wonder nobody feels sorry when journalists are laid off?
- Speaking of journalists, that Washington Post ad was tone-deaf and hit with the emotional impact of a wet fart. Less of an emotional impact, actually.
- There was some other stuff that went on, but it was lame compared to the game. Bread and circuses for the casual fans the NFL feels the need to keep courting. I’d rather focus on better officiating (which, especially compared to the AFC and NFC championship games, was actually pretty damn good last night) and not changing the rules too much to make defense and the ground game obsolete.
- Oh, and last but not least, let me put on my Obnoxious Boston Sports Fan Hat and scream out (in writing) screw Roger Goodell!
The bottom line is this: I just love seeing excellence in action. I know the people who run the NFL hate me and people like me. But I’m not spending money on the NFL, so what does it matter if I watch a game? Besides, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick don’t hate me. Sports just won’t be the same when those two finally retire, hopefully with yet another Super Bowl ring in tow.
Because Tom Brady has to retire someday, right?
That’s enough sports! Because my Patriots won, I’m extending the $0.99 sale of A Traitor to Dreams for another couple of days. It’s full of action that will make you think, featuring a protagonist you don’t see every day and action scenes with a purpose. Don’t believe me? Read the reviews.