Thursday, March 5, 2009

Super Bowl, SEC, Opel - February 4, 2009

Biggest Winner
The Super Bowl. I really didn’t want this to happen. I guess that it doesn’t bother me all that much, but it is annoying that Pittsburgh gets the victory again. However, that pass and catch to OSU’s own Santonio Holmes was fantastic. When Roethlisberger let it go I thought it was sailing way out of the endzone, it just seemed too high and Holmes just snatched it. I stand by my pre-Super Bowl evaluation of Roethlisberger, but he was much more efficient on that day than he normally is (he doesn’t regularly put up a 70% completion rate). He did everything that he’s good at in that game. The scrambling thing helps him tremendously because that allows his players to get open and he’s accurate enough to get the ball to them on 3rd down and that’s really frustrating. He’s a really good QB now, had a near perfect day in the Super Bowl and it just pisses me off. I’d still, stubbornly, leave him curbside though on Mondays along with my grass clippings.

Fitzgerald is a phenomenal. I love watching him play. Related to that, I’m looking forward to the day when we can choose which camera angles we want to watch during games, a la Madden. I, like you, and probably everyone who was watching the game who had a passable knowledge of the teams, was wondering why Fitzgerald wasn’t getting the ball. We can make assumptions during the game, e.g. “He must be double-covered,” but we don’t know. I’d love to be able to see the overhead shots or what they call the “coaches’ tape” to see just what in the hell was going on. Even if he was double covered I would have forced it to him. The guy makes plays all of the time. That catch and run he had was amazing, as you said. When he caught it I stood up and started high stepping in place like Deion Sanders. I want to see Andre Johnson from Houston play some next year so I can truly compare the two players because lots of people say that he’s just as good as Fitzgerald. I’m dubious, but I’m also willing to be convinced. I just don’t see how anyone is as good as him and there is no chance that anyone is actually better than he is.

Hey, how about my “bonus prediction” that one of Pitt’s TDs would be a return? While I didn’t anticipate seeing a 242 lb James Harrison steamrolling down the sidelines for 100 yards, I did think that Pitt would definitely score on defense or special teams. I actually thought that an interception would be returned. I agree totally with your assessment, Mowrer, that guys sort of gave up on the play before it was over. I thought that the dudes that were in the back simply thought that there was no way he was going to make it 100 yards without someone stopping him. I’ve only watched it live and then when they were showing the replays during the official’s review, but I noticed that Fitzgerald, who ended up catching him, actually slowed down quite a bit when he was toward the back of the crowd, but then sped up (a lot) to run his big ass down just a step too late. What a remarkable play though, it really is a game of inches and there were several plays like that (well, not exactly like that) in the game.

Another thing about this game that I found compelling was that my friend Joel and I said, at least three times during the game, that it was over, Pittsburgh had it wrapped up. But then they kept letting Arizona back into the game and Arizona made huge plays. I can’t believe they came back to take the lead and nearly won the damn thing if not for some abysmal play in the Arizona secondary leading to the Holmes TD. That play where Francisco (no. 47) slipped and allowed Holmes to sprint down to the 6 was a killer, there is no way that should happen at that time in the game. Great game though and it’s pretty cool that we’ve had two very, very good Super Bowls back-to-back.

Biggest Loser
Michael Phelps. I don’t care that he smokes pot. In fact, I couldn’t care less. It’s a non-story for me, but if he loses millions in endorsement deals because he got caught blazin’, in a semi-public place, at a frat house in South Carolina, then dude, you are just stupid. He can burn at home and no one would know. He could burn after the London Olympics, in public, in Heathrow and it wouldn’t matter because no one will care about him anymore. I’m sure this will blow over, but it’s just one more thing to have to deal with and he’s not exactly going to continue to have huge earning potential because he has no other talent than swimming, which is exactly one more talent than I have, which, last I looked, is nothing. Michael, stay away from the bong water and stick to the water in the pool, you’ll be better off.

Bonus Losers
Steve Sarkisian and Nick Holt for their stupid “secondary violations.” Dudes, KNOCK IT OFF.

The SEC Continues to Deliver
As we’ve discussed in this space before, it is a long-held belief (at least four months or so) that the SEC’s dominance in football is directly correlated to the patented awesomeness of the players’ names. Rest assured that the SEC’s dominance will continue because one recruit sought after by two SEC West powers (Alabama and LSU) is a linebacker from West Monroe, Louisiana named Barkevious Mingo. It’s nice to see that two teams in the SEC are taking their legacy seriously. I only hope and pray for the SEC that his Barkevious isn’t stronger than his Bitevious.

My '79 Buick Opel
When I was a junior in college I worked at a sporting goods store that is now defunct (Olympic Sports). One night after work I agreed to drive my friend, Mike, home. He was getting his car worked on or something. Anyway, he lived in Puyallup so I dropped him off and when I was on my way home, my car died. I was able to pull over next to a phone booth (I can’t believe how dated this story got… no, I didn’t have a cell phone, this was 1995) and called my roommates to come and get me. As I sat in the car waiting, I realized that I better gather up anything “important” to me in the car just in case someone broke into it. I had speakers mounted in wood boxes behind the back seat of the car. This car was worth maybe $250, but yet I had speakers mounted in the back—of course the speakers were crappy, so I guess it all made sense.

I climbed into the backseat to remove the speakers, but they were nailed in really well. I was leaning with my chest and stomach against the seat with the back of my head pressed against the rear windshield while grabbing one speaker box pulling up as hard as possible when… BAP. Everything went dark. I woke up on my back, cradling the speaker box in my arms. I had knocked myself out. My teeth and forehead were aching. When I pulled the box out, I had smacked my forehead with the corner of the box and my teeth smacked together, knocking me out. I have no idea how long I’d been out (probably not long) but I had a huge, Looney-Toons-like bump on my forehead. When my roommates showed up I got out of the car and pointed to my forehead. They thought I’d been mugged. I told them what happened and they laughed for a very long time at me.

The next day, we were walking home from class and my car was parked in our driveway. There was no note and no explanation. My roommate, Brian, looked at me and called the car “Christine.” Evidently, Mike, the guy I drove home the night before, saw my car parked along the side of the road and towed it to my house, but didn’t bother telling me until I saw him at work the next week. The car never worked again (pouring out liquor…).

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