Thursday, February 6, 2014
Sports Q&A: Super Bowl XLVIII Aftermath
What did we learn in Seattle's 43-8 Super Bowl win?
We learned that the 49ers, by far, are the second best team in the NFL.
Did Manny Ramirez' bad snap on the first play from scrimmage forebode a blowout?
It did indeed. When Ramirez' snap went over Peyton Manning's head, it indicated that the Broncos were in over their heads. Ramirez later took full responsibility for the miscue, then prayed he wouldn't become a star in the next McDonald's "NFL Bad Lip Reading" commercial.
What was the turning point of the game?
Seattle's decision to defer to the second half after winning the coin toss. The Seahawks were already a confident bunch, but to choose to put the NFL's highest scoring offense of all time and the most prolific passer of all-time on the field told us that Seattle knew they couldn't lose.
What if Seattle had held the Broncos scoreless in the game?
Then it would have been considered the greatest defensive effort in the history of sports. And the Seahawks' defense would be known as the "Legion of B-0-0-0-0-M," not the "Legion of Boom."
Did the Seahawks study the habits of Jake Plummer prior to the game?
They must have, because they played handball with a Denver quarterback.
How was opera star Renee Fleming's performance of the Star Spangled Banner?
Very classy. She hit all the notes, and has more range than Earl Thomas. Surprisingly, Fleming is not a fat lady, because the game was over right about the time she sang.
What was the broadcoast's best commercial?
I don't like crying during the Super Bowl, so Budweiser's "Puppy" commercial is out. Give me the Doritos "Time Machine" ad. It was smart, funny, and had Broncos' fans wishing time travel was that easy.
What about Tim Tebow for T-Mobile?
I get it. Te-bow. T-Mobile. Clever.
Having Tebow tout T-Mobile's 4G network meant he was able to successfully read "coverage." For once, he was a legitimate "signal" caller.
At least one Denver quarterback found success on Sunday.
Does Bob Dylan make you want to buy a Chrysler?
No, Bob Dylan makes me want to wear a crucifix and garlic around my neck.
Does Lawrence Fishburne make you want to buy a Kia?
No. In my mind, less is Morpheus. But I would surely buy a Kia had Furious Styles from "Boyz in the Hood" told me to do so.
What's orange and falls to the turf after it hits a Seahawk?
Gatorade poured on Pete Carroll.
Did the Broncos forget that Percy Harvin plays for Seattle and runs a 4.4 forty?
They obviously didn't think he was healthy enough to be a factor. Give Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell credit. He called running plays for Harvin, all misdirection plays, which makes it a lot easier for Harvin to see when he's about to get hit, and avoid it, go down, or run out of bounds, thus avoiding a potential concussion.
Harvin is a lot like a kicker — good for five or six plays a game, but one of those could likely be the decisive one.
Who was the game's biggest x-factor?
That would be linebacker Malcolm Smith. That makes him "Malcolm X.'"
What was the ruckus heard as the third quarter ended?
It was either one of two things: mass chaos at the subway station, or sarcastic cheers from Denver fans.
Was that the greatest Super Bowl coin toss of all-time?
Absolutely. Joe Namath in a fur coat makes anything the greatest of all time. Little known fact: Namath guaranteed a victory in the coin toss. Namath became the first quarterback to throw a pick at the coin toss. And Referee Terry McAulay showed some mad skills snatching that coin out of midair. He looked like Malcolm Smith, except that commemorative coin wasn't wobbling quite as much as Manning's pass.
What does John Fox say?
A. Let's punt. Even though we're down 29-0, I still feel this is a field position game.
B. This red challenge flag is burning a hole in my pocket.
C. Seahawk goes "woof," Bronco goes quietly.
D. All of the above.
Should we feel sympathy for Manning?
Manning is a legend regardless of how many Super Bowls he wins. And that legend will continue to grow, long after he's done playing. When Manning shows up 35 years from now at Super Bowl LXXXIII (83) in a pimp coat, he'll be an even more beloved quarterback.
Does Manning have any regrets about coming to Denver?
None that he will articulate. But plenty about coming to New Jersey.
Is there any reason to believe next year's Super Bowl champion won't come from the NFC West?
Only one: if the four teams in that division beat each other up so badly, then the one left standing will be in no condition to win a Super Bowl.
Why did Fox choose to mic Earl Thomas and not Richard Sherman?
Sherman had been interviewed so much in the last two weeks, he literally had nothing left to say.
Will Manning play next year?
Of course he will. But not without demanding more of himself, as well as Denver front office. During the playoffs, the Broncos transformed themselves from a fast-paced, high-scoring team to a ball-control, defensive-minded team. Maybe that identity will serve them even better next year. The Broncos need to get better on defense, particularly in their backfield, which has been a liability in the playoffs the last two years.
Who will play in the Super Bowl next year?
The Seahawks are certainly capable of repeating, but I see the 49ers, angry and motivated, getting the best of Seattle in the NFC Championship.
Expect another rematch in the AFC Championship, with the home-standing Patriots knocking off the Broncos in another, and likely last, Manning vs. Tom Brady showdown.