Monday, February 2, 2015
Super Bowl Observations
You may have read a couple days ago that I did not plan to watch this year's Super Bowl.
Unfortunately, my best intentions were frustrated by the length of the game. I fled the apartment as the broadcast began and went to the gym to work out -- muscles and cardio. When I returned, Katy Perry was STILL SINGING and the Significant Other was watching the widescreen.
He quickly filled me in on the major developments:
-- The Seahawks were ahead, or maybe tied with the Patriots.
-- No player had grabbed his crotch yet.
I watched for a moment, long enough to hear the exciting news that Richard Sherman's girlfriend, nine-months pregnant, had not gone into labor yet. This spared him the agonizing decision of whether to play in the most important game of the year or to be present for the birth of his child.
Sherman, the talented Seahawks cornerback, is one of the smartest people in our country. (Don't take it from me; just ask him.) He is described often in the press as a "role model for every kid born into inner-city poverty."
The game went on while I started making dinner. I saw a few of the advertisements, missing unfortunately the beer ad in which Clydesdale horses rescue a puppy.
I did catch the preview of the next "Ted" movie, which I share below.
The final play was surprising and amazing, and I reflected afterward that Seahawks and Patriots have very good coaches. Here is what I know about the two of them:
Pete Carroll of the Seahawks last coached at the University of Southern California.
At the end of his tenure, the school was censured with the harshest penalties I can
recall in college sports. All the team's 2005 wins were forfeited; its 2004 Heisman
winner returned his trophy; USC was banned from post-season play in 2010 and 2011,
and it lost 30 player scholarships. The Trojans are still trying to crawl back from it.
A year ago, Carroll returned to USC to explain that his team's prosecution "was
dealt with poorly and very irrationally and done with way too much emotion instead of
facts. . . . They made a terrible error."
About the same time, more players on the Seahawks were busted for using performance- enhancing drugs than on any other team; the Seahawks had held the record since 2010.
Some of the charges were dropped because some of the players were only using Adderall -- amphetamines -- and not really bad drugs. A national sports reporter opined that the
Seahawks' real problem was that they "were probably the NFL's least sophisticated team
at beating drug tests."
Bill Belichick, the Patriots coach, still doesn't know how or why 11 of the 12 footballs
that his team provided for its last playoff game were underinflated, giving the Pats an
advantage. Big mystery; it will have to be worked out later.
In 2004, the year the Patriots' last won the Super Bowl, Belichick's associates were
caught videotaping opposing teams's signals to players on the field. Belichick said he
was unaware that it was a clear violation of league rules; apparently the Patriots had been
doing it since he signed on in 2000. He paid a big fine and stopped the practice.
In yesterday's game, a Patriots player who took a blow to the head was not pulled from
off the field for the now-required concussion evaluation but played to the end of the game.
My observation is this. It's a good thing these two guys went into coaching, given their apparently flexible approach to ethics. If they had opted for different careers -- like, say, on Wall Street -- they would have been watching the Super Bowl from Club Fed.