Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sports Q&A: Super Bowl XLVI Edition

By Jeffrey Boswell

Why did the Giants win the game?

The Giants won this game because their hands. Wide receivers Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Mario Manningham caught practically everything Eli Manning threw their way, and most were difficult catches. Tight ends Jake Ballard and Bear Pascoe were also flawless. But the bigger plays were the fumble recoveries of Chris Snee and Henry Hynoski, who covered fumbles by Bradshaw and Nicks.

Defensively, the Giants recorded seven passes defended, including two by Jason Pierre-Paul, who knocked down two Tom Brady passes at the line of scrimmage. But the biggest play by a Giants defender was Chase Blackburn's interception of Brady's long pass to Rob Gronkowski.

On the other side, dropped passes by Wes Welker, Deion Branch, and Aaron Hernandez helped the Giants cause, as well.

Did Ahmad Bradshaw breathe a big sigh of relief when the Patriots Hail Mary pass fell incomplete?

Yes. Pity poor Bradshaw. He became the first player in Super Bowl history to score a touchdown and feel bad about it.

Obviously, Bradshaw was surprised to see such an easy path through the Patriots defense, and he hesitated before falling backwards into the end zone. I've seen DeSean Jackson do it a lot better, however. Anyway, the score meant the Giants couldn't run the clock down and kick the game-winning field goal as time expired.

Were the Giants concerned of a short field goal attempt going awry? Maybe they were. But their pathetic attempt at converting the two-point conversion left them with a four-point lead, meaning the Pats only needed a touchdown to win, whereas a successful two-point conversion necessitated a Patriots score and an extra point for the win. If the Giants thought that Lawrence Tynes might miss a field goal from extra point distance, then they should have tried a little harder to convert the two-point attempt, and force the Pats to kick the extra point, which they possibly, but not likely, could have missed.

It just seems the Giants didn't consider the contingency of making New England convert the extra point to win the game.

Is Eli Manning now in Tom Brady's class?

Yes, Manning and Brady are in the same class, and in said class, Manning is the valedictorian.

Will the circumstances of the Giants' "12 men on the field" penalty result in a possible change in the rules. New York was penalized five yards, while the Patriots lost valuable time on their final drive.

The NFL will have to review this. The Giants may have unknowingly stumbled upon an effective strategy to combat the two-minute offense. Or maybe they knew what they were doing. Either way, it's a situation that needs addressing. A possible solution: give the offense the option of declining the penalty and having time put back on the clock.

What's with Wes Welker's mustache?

I'm not sure, but he needs to drop it.

NBC's Dan Patrick interviewed Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham after the Lombardi Trophy presentation. Was this the least-informative interview of the night?

Yes, it wasn't very informative, but it was a necessary interview. Obviously, Nicks and Manningham played pivotal roles in the game. They combined for 15 catches, and an equal number of utterances of the word "man" during the interview.

How was Madonna's halftime show?

I give it two thumbs up. That's three fingers up if you count M.I.A.'s middle one.

All controversy aside, Madonna's set was interesting for its pageantry, aesthetics, and choreography. Any spectacle featuring an afro'd tightrope performer in a toga and gold sneakers can't go wrong.

But did Madonna really need special guests to feel relevant? In addition to MIA, Madonna welcomed LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, and Cee Lo Green, a.k.a. the "Black Butterbean." She had fewer guests in her book "Sex." Besides, the average viewer probably couldn't tell the difference between a "special guest" and a routine performer.

Speaking of "going wrong," was M.I.A.'s middle finger that big of a deal?

It shouldn't be. Most viewers probably didn't even notice it. And if the did, they didn't care.

If the NFL tabbed M.I.A. to appear in the halftime show without expecting some form of controversy, then they obviously don't know who M.I.A. is. A middle finger by NFL standards may be controversial, but by M.I.A. standards, it's quite tame. This is the same politically-active and outspoken M.I.A. whose most famous song, "Paper Planes," features gunshots in the chorus, and the same MIA whose video/short film for "Born Free" involved genocidal death squads hunting down red-haired people.

M.I.A. claimed "adrenaline and nerves" caused her to raise her middle finger. Bull. It was premeditated. It would be unlike M.I.A. to appear at the Super Bowl and not do something controversial.

Was that Clint Eastwood narrating the Chrysler ad touting Detroit's revival?

Indeed, it was Eastwood, but Clint couldn't quite decide which character he was playing — Dirty Harry Callahan, or Walt Kowalski from Gran Torino.

But give Eastwood credit where credit is due for giving meaning and soul to the Chrysler ad. Let's face it. Eastwood could narrate nursery rhymes, or Nicholas Sparks' novels, and make them sound badass.

What was the lasting image from Super Bowl XLVI?

It's a tie between Tom Coughlin embracing Bill Belichick after the game, and Coughlin embracing Flava Flav after the game.

Tom Brady's wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, ripped the Patriots receiving corps for dropping too many balls. Does Brady need to have a talk with his wife about boundaries?

No, Brady doesn't need to have a talk with Bundchen, but Dwayne Johnson "The Rock" does, and he needs to tell her to "know her role and shut her mouth."

Ironically, people tell Brady all the time that the world's most famous supermodel was "quite a catch."

Aside from three or four pivotal catches, what were the Patriots lacking on Sunday?

What New England needed was a wide receiver who is a true deep threat. New England receivers make all their catches in front of defenders. They need a receiver who can get behind a defense. The current Pats offense can spread a defense, but can't stretch one.

What was the night's best commercial?

I'll give it to M&Ms for humor, creativity, and for flaunting the nudity angle in the NFL's face. I'll take a naked M&M any day over a naked Janet Jackson.

Will anyone drink Bud Light Platinum?

No, because judging by the effectiveness of Bud Light Platinum's ad campaign, potential consumers won't know it exists.

Did a platform-boot-wearing Elton John end up in a dungeon with Flava Flav?

Yes, and Sir Elton couldn't be happier. Flav, however, will find it necessary to "Fight the Power."

Can Audi's LED headlights really make vampires vanish?

I don't know, but if they can, then all new Audi owners should drive to the set of the filming of the new Twilight movie.

Has anyone ever watched a GoDaddy.com commercial, then actually visited their website to view the "unrated content?"

I doubt it. I don't know about you, but when I visit a website, I expect the content to be rated, preferably with a letter a far down the alphabet as possible. There's a name for a GoDaddy.com ad that runs during the Super Bowl: the "two-team teaser."

Who will meet in Super Bowl XLVII next year in New Orleans?

The Washington Redskins, led by Peyton Manning, take down the Houston Texans, 28-23.

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