. . . Monday February 4, 2008

Internal Monologue on The Super Bowl

Me: Hey Dave, did you take the Giants and the points?

Me: Um, well yes. Yes I did.

Me: And the moneyline? You didn’t bet on the Giants to win outright did you?

Me: Actually, now that you bring it up, yes.

Me: I don’t suppose you parlayed the Giants and the Under?

Me: Let me look through my betting history here. Um, well I’ll be damned. I had that bet too.

A few additional thoughts on the Super Bowl:

Inches: Like many memorable games, this one came down to about two inches. The first inch was when Asante Samuel (ball magnet and the top big game, big moment deep-back in the NFL) lept into the air and missed picking off an Eli final drive pass attempt by about an inch. The second inch was the one that didn’t exist. One more inch on the pass to David Tyree and it would’ve been picked or incomplete. Instead, it could very well be the greatest play in Super Bowl history.

Those two inches changed every bit of post game analysis, everything about how the Patriots and the Giants will always be perceived, everything about Eli Manning’s life and career, everything about the 1972 Dolphins, and everything everyone who cares anything about football will be thinking during the long, depressing off-season.

Tom Petty: For a second I thought the writers’ strike had forced Fox to bring back Grizzly Adams. The fake fans rushing the stage (and yes, they had to rehearse) almost turned a rock legend into a Cyrus offspring. Either give us real or give us crap. Don’t mix your crap with our real. That combo will never lead to a peanut butter cup moment.

Commercials: Welcome to the play it safe era. Aside from some good stuff from Cars.com, and a bit of fun from Audi, it was brutal. Unfortunately for us, Fox count measure these things by quantity. And I’ll give them this: There were a lot.

Mannings: In every postgame interview, Peyton answered almost the same way – that when he sees Eli, he’s just going to give him a big hug and tell him how proud he is and how much he loves him. When they finally met in the locker room, after giving Eli the details on David Tyree’s ridiculous catch, he did just that. Two cool brothers, both of whom were highly criticized right up to their moments of glory, end up being back to back Super Bowl MVPs and are still the kind of guys who say things like “I love you” on television. It hasn’t sunk in yet because it really can’t.

The Goofy Kid: Eli Manning was the most maligned player in the NFL as recently as a month ago. During that period, he always seemed like a sort of goofy, but highly competitive and somehow poised dude. An hour after the biggest drive of his life, he was being interviewed by the guys at the NFL network and one of them noticed that Eli still had the key to his new MVP Cadillac in his hands. He never thought to hand them off to someone else and football pants don’t have pockets. Goofiness looks a lot better on champions. In fairness to Tom Brady, Gisele looks pretty damn good on anything.

Concentration is important!