Thursday, February 6, 2014
Behind The Scoreboard
I can’t remember the number of times which I have heard the refrain, “Fifty million Frenchmen can’t be wrong,” and with all apologies to the citizens of France, I can’t remember ever hearing what they were right about. However, I can begin to see how flipping the statement can become a liability.
Before the “Big Game,” there were at least 50 million predictions that the Denver Broncos would win the Super Bowl which was enumerated as XLVIII. I am readily admitting my hand in perpetuating this mystique (which is what it turned out to be). If one would recall my parting words in last week’s column, I so heartily intimated that this was Manning’s year. In my defense, I was only half wrong – it was his year alright; it just wasn’t his game.
At the annual Super Bowl party, there was not a soul present who was not astonished at the mishap on the very first play which ended in the fastest first score in Super Bowl history. And a “safety” to boot. That early sense of dejection was manifest later in the game with the interception which was returned 69 yards for a TD.
There was both vindication and defeat in this game. Pete Carroll, head man for the Seahawks, had been fired twice before when he had tried coaching NFL teams and now a Super Bowl champion coach of a team which had never won the biggest prize, having been afforded just one opportunity before. It was defeat for John Fox, who was suffering his second loss in as many tries.
Manning is still, in my estimation, on a par with my all-time favorite quarterback, John Unitas, and will indubitably end up in the Hall of Fame.
One reporter asked Manning if he and his team were embarrassed at such a one-sided loss. It was an imprudent question at best, but one which could be expected, and which Manning fielded without too obvious rancor.
Richard Sherman, who had made a ranting tirade after the Conference Championship game, paid Manning a tribute, saying he was a classy guy. Sherman left the game with an ankle injury before its end. He said that Manning sought him out to ask about his injury.
I know that there are a lot of us who would relish “nit-picking” this game to death, but I will ignore that urge in great part, relating only that this is my third (consecutive) losing pick in a Super Bowl.
I’m wondering only where the Denver defense was and why was Malcolm Smith picked as MVP?
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