CRAWFORD | Five thoughts on the Super Bowl, commercials and all
The ads were downers, but the game was stirring. Eric Crawford's thoughts on Super Bowl 49, and the New England's Patriots' entrance into the history books.
Monday, February 2nd 2015, 1:57 am EST by
Monday, February 2nd 2015, 9:25 am EST
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — I did not have a dog in this Super Bowl hunt. I figured the Seattle Seahawks would win the game, because they came through a near-death experience in the NFC title game, and looked to me like they had the right mentality.
I wasn't wrong. Seattle should've won the game. But from the one-yard line in the final minute, Pete Carroll called a pass play and it was picked off, giving the New England Patriots a 28-24 victory.
There's no way around it. On Twitter, Emmitt Smith called it the “worst call in the history of football.” I can't argue with him.
Anyway, my thoughts on the big game, for what they are worth:
1. MARSHAWN LYNCH.
He was essentially silent all week. Somehow, it's fitting that in the final minute, he wasn't given the opportunity to win the game. It's as if he were standing in the backfield saying, “I'm just here to watch Russell Wilson throw the game away.” Without question, Beast-Mode, who ran for four yards on the play prior to the game-clinching interception, should've been given the chance. I wish he had been, even if he wouldn't have said much about it in the locker room afterward. I refer you to the
, now a columnist for The Seattle Times, for Seattle reaction to Carroll's call.
2. CONGRATS TO UK PRODUCT CHRIS MATTHEWS.
He was in line to be the game's most valuable player. He made the first big catch of the game, and had 100 yards receiving on three catches — the first three catches of his NFL career. Seattle's loss was a blow to Matthews, who stood to be the game's emerging star had the Seahawks been able to pull it out.
Regardless, he was the toast of Big Blue Nation, earning shoutouts from former Wildcats and even his former UK coach, Rich Brooks.
Matthews is a great story. He played in the CFL and had moved on with his life, working at FootLocker, when Seattle called him to come try out. He had never caught an NFL catch until his first reception in the Super Bowl Sunday night. Chances are, Matthews will get more chances now.
3. BIGGER CONGRATS TO UNLIKELY SUPER BOWL HERO MALCOLM BUTLER.
He played football not at Alabama, but at West Alabama. He played only two years of high school, then went to community college because of his academics. He was working at Popeyes when he decided to go back to playing football, and found a spot at West Alabama.
All of the criticism of Carroll's decision to throw the ball on the goal line late may obscure just how great a play Butler made on the ball. He broke immediately, jumped the route, then charged in and made a physical play against Seattle receiver Ricardo Lockette, hanging onto the interception to seal the win for New England — the first interception of his NFL career. That was just two plays after another game-saving plays, after Jermaine Kearse made an unbelievable reception while lying on the ground — after the ball had been deflected, by Butler — but Butler had the presence of mind to tackle him when he got up to run. Had he not, Kearse might've scored the game-winner right there.
Butler was very emotional after the game. He had a right to be. For both Butler and Matthews, it's great seeing guys who have paid a lot of dues get their chance to shine. It's one of the things that sports gives us.
4. NEW ENGLAND'S RUN.
Tom Brady's legacy is assured. He trailed 24-10 in the fourth quarter, and walked off the field with his fourth Super Bowl victory. Bud Kraft reiterated after the game that whatever the fallout and criticism from the deflated football incident, his team beat the Indianapolis Colts decisively, then made the big plays in the fourth quarter to turn back Seattle. Brady's four TD passes earned him the Super Bowl MVP award for the third time, joining Joe Montana as the only three-time winners. Brady also broke Montana's record for career Super Bowl TD passes (11). He now has 13. He tied the record for playing in his sixth Super Bowl, and matched Montana and Terry Bradshaw as the only quarterback to start four Super Bowl wins. Bill Belichick has more playoff wins than any other coach, and now he joins Pittsburgh's Chuck Noll as the only coaches with four Super Bowl wins.
5. THE COMMERCIALS.
It was a down year. And by down, I don't just mean less-entertaining than usual, but literally, a downer. This was the year for advertising agency angst. It was Nationwide giving us a young boy telling us all the wonderful things he wouldn't be able to do because he had drowned. I'm still trying to figure out what Carnival Cruise Lines was doing with the John F. Kennedy voice-over. So many of the ads this year seemed designed to get people to think — but I'm not sure what they wanted us to think.
In the end, many were at best boring, and at worst depressing. Notable exceptions — anytime Walter White makes an appearance, it's a good thing (eSurance), Kim Kardashian was refreshingly self-deprecating for T-Mobile, and I loved Liam Neeson for Clash of Clans. Danny Trejo as Marcia Brady gets points for creativity for Snickers, and I even liked Invisible Mindy Kaling for Nationwide. The real-life Pac Man for Bud Light was fun. There was plenty to have fun with, I suppose, but when Jeep started showing me photos from spots around the world to “This Land” (wasn't that written about the U.S.?), I started to check out on the commercials, which in the end, couldn't live up to the real-life spectacle of the game.
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