I did not watch or listen to any pre-game shows, post game shows, or the half-time show yesterday, or listen to any sports talk radio yet today. There’s no reason. Frankly the whole day revolving around the Super Bowl sucked.
The commercials, as a whole, were miserable. Do we hold the advertisers to a higher standard since the Super Bowl has traditionally been labeled as preview day for their new commercials? Other than 2 Bud ads with the Clydesdales and the first Doritos commercial, the rest were bad, bad, bad and did I say, BAD? I think 3rd graders could come out with better ideas and, wasn’t the 2nd Doritos spot a tad bit racy for prime time NFL? “How can we explain the girl’s clothes coming off and her standing on the corner in black bra and panties to our kids?” (you know someone out there had to complain about that one)
As for Springsteen, his glory days are over, and have been for about 15 years. Guys like him, the Stones, Tom Petty were all great in their time. Now they are just a shell of themselves and hanging on to what made them famous AND promoting ticket sales to a concert tour. Hmmmmmm…there’s a trend building here. Seems like the TV networks now search for the older, more laid back artists that won’t embarrass themselves. Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake saw to that with the invisible nipple slip that no one saw, yet replays over and over and over caused some insensitive morons to claim they needed to explain THAT to their children. RIGHT.
As far as the game goes, as a referee, I am almost embarrassed at the way officiating has been in the NFL this entire season. Selective calls were being made all day. There has never been a rule that says that penalties against both teams need to be even, but replays showed blatant holding going on by both teams all day. People criticize NHL referees for letting the teams play and putting their whistles in their back pockets in the 3rd period and overtime. Maybe the NFL should take a page out of that book. let the players decide the outcome and just call the stuff that are cheap shots and injury potential. It started with Ed Hochuli’s bumbling fumble call against the Chargers earlier in the season and continued all the way up until Terry McBadCauley’s crew embarrassed everyone who has worn the stripes at all levels of play with their highly questionable officiating in the game yesterday.
I checked the NFL rule book and there IS a written NFL rule regarding assisting the runner, which almost accounted for Pittsburgh TD in the 1st quarter, had Whisenhunt’s challenge on the Roethlisberger TD been overruled. One of their O-linemen obviously wrapped his hands around Ben’s arms and tried to pull him into the end zone as he was falling down, yet the covering official could only do one thing with his hands, raise them up to signal a touchdown.
Unless I went to pee or get a drink and missed it, did anyone notice there were no blocks in the back on kickoff and punt returns? How do some officials ALWAYS have those things happen week after week, and yet nothing yesterday? Kurt Warners arm was almost ripped off by the obvious holding against him during the run back of the interception, which I might add also, and again the covering official was no where to be found until Harrison fell into the end zone, causing a replay booth review…… strange, why there and not at the end of the game?? I also noticed on that interception return, once Harrison had the ball and was crossing the 10 yard line, you could see a flag flying across the screen. I thought for sure there was an illegal block or something on the return, but McCauley explained, “before the pass was thrown, illegal hands to the face, offense…” So if the penalty happened BEFORE the pass was thrown, WHY was the flag so late in coming out and well after Harrison had intercepted the ball? Can you say totally inconsistent, boys and girls?
The thing that sticks in my mind the most about the ending was the fact there was NO replay booth review of the Kurt Warner “fumble.” John Madden and Al Michaels both said it appeared Warner was saying I was throwing the ball and that all the Cardinals were pointing to the replay and begging McCauley to look at it but the call never came down from the booth, or did it and was ignored? Had that call been overturned the Cardinals would have had another play with enough time on the clock. But then again, they would have had to assess the 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty on Harrison for removing his helmet, which would have pushed Arizona much closer to the end zone with a 1st down and maybe 2 shots at winning. I really wonder what would have happened if they had the balls to do that, but they don’t and they have proven that over the years. Good teams get the benefit of the doubt at least 99.5% of the time.
I had no real rooting interest in the game. My numbers in the block pools weren’t even close to anything that was on the scoreboard and frankly, it doesn’t even bother me that the Steelers won. They were obviously one of the top 3 teams in the league this season. The really sad part is, much like 3 years ago when they beat Seattle, the questionable officiating had a lot to do with the outcome of the game. That, my friends, is the fault of the NFL. They don’t allow the teams to determine the outcomes in close games, so there is always going to be controversy.
Oh, on a side note, I am glad that Shannon Sharpe wasn’t elected to the HOF. I think he runs his mouth way too much. He did as a player and is still doing it as an analyst, if not more. I’m certain he must have pissed off more than a few voters with some of his comments. Perhaps this will be a wakeup call to him to clean up his act a little and not flap his jaws just to hear himself. I hope he understands what he is even saying, because most of the time, I sure don’t.