The Morning After Yesterday

Today has to be one of the most depressing days of the year (unless you are a Steelers fan) simply because it spells the end of the NFL season. Sure we have another week of the non-event that is the Pro Bowl, but for the next six months there are only two sporting events I will pay great attention to: March Madness and the NFL draft. As such, expect to see my posting frequency decrease significantly. But enough about me, onto the Super Bowl.

Season of the Zebra

This has been a season marred by bad officiating and yesterday was no different. Seattle has 7 penalties for 70 yards, while Pittsburgh had only 3 penalties for 20 yards. Seattle had several big plays called back by questionable ref decisions. The most obvious bad penalty was the Ben Roethlisberger touchdown scramble. While it was tough to call, I thought the ball did not cross the goal line. But there were some worse referee decisions that went against Seattle.

Early in the fourth quarter, while Seattle was in the red zone, offensive lineman Locklear picked up a holding call. More importantly the holding call negated an 18 yard completion to Jerramy Stevens, which would have given Seattle the ball at the one yard line. What irks me the most about this play is that the guy Locklear held was OFFSIDES. And he was offsides on the next penalty also but the refs missed both defensive penalties. If the play had been called correctly it should have been off sitting penalties.

There were some other bad call which went against Seattle, the offensive pass interference call on Darrell Jackson's touchdown (a rarely called penalty), the clipping call on Hasselbeck after he threw an interception. I'm not going to be one of those people who attack the NFL season as absolut garbage because of the consistently bad officiating, but it has certainly been marred by many questionable calls by the zebras.

Congrats Pittsburgh

Lest Steelers fans attack me for being biased, the Steelers played better than the Seahawks. The Steelers defense kept them in the game in the first half and the offense made more big plays in the second half. As much as the penalties could be blamed on the refs, the Seahawks were to blame for the penalties. They looked undisciplined and unprepared for what Pittsburgh threw at them on several drives. I thought Holmgren would have done a better job of preparing his players for the Super Bowl.

Pittsburgh has a young nucleus of players on both sides of the ball, and should good for the next decade.

Seattle's safety banged up

About half way through the game, Seattle's starting safety Marquand Manuel was injured and Etric Pruitt stepped in for Manuel. Pruitt, who started the season on the practice squad, took bad angles on two big plays. The first was the 75 yard run by Fast Willie Parker. The second was the trick pass play (which Pittsburgh has been running for at least three years) from Randle El to Hines Ward. Seattle lost their starting safety to gun shot wounds early in the season, so Pruitt was essentially a third stringer who was unprepared for what Pittsburgh threw at him.

Jerramy Stevens choke job

Joey Porter was right, Stevens is soft.

Stevens made a huge mistake jawing with Porter through the media. Porter, despite coming off as an idiot, knew exactly what he was doing by exchanging words with Stevens. Porter helped take some media attention off Roethlisberger (who still played poorly) and got into Stevens head. Stevens had three big drops and his best catch came after an (illegal) crossing route/pick on Polamalu left Stevens wide open in the endzone.

Monkey Business

While I thought the best commercial was the Bud Light magical fridge, Tony Kornheiser makes a compelling argument for the monkey commercial. And here is where, I think, you see a generational gap when it comes to the commercials. I watched the game yesterday with a bunch of people my age (early to mid-twenties) and we all loved the magic fridge commercial, while the Burger King dance number was regarded as a disappointment. Kornheiser felt very differently. He loved the Burger King dance number, but was not impressed by the revolving fridge. Then again, TK does not know the difference between a monkey and an ape.

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