Sunday, February 06, 2005
(For my preview on Super Bowl XXXIX between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, click here)
New England 24, Philadelphia 21
Are the New England Patriots finally going to get the respect that they deserve?
You would think that there won't be any questions about their legacy after winning their 3rd world championship in the last 4 years. There will be comparisons of this current Patriots team to past dynasties, such as the mid-1990s Dallas Cowboys. But it is really pointless to compare teams of the past to the present.
Football fans should appreciate the New England Patriots. They are a team that plays the game the right way. A certain coach in their own division is famous for the line "you play to win the game". It so happens that the Patriots follow that mantra.
If it isn't obvious to any of our readers by now, I'm impressed by this run the Patriots are on. Since their 31-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills in the 2003 season opener, the Patriots are 34-3 in their last 37 games (playoffs included). They won an NFL-record 21 straight games before losing to Pittsburgh on Halloween. In this current climate of the NFL, that's one hell of a feat.
While I will never buy the Tom Brady/Joe Montana comparisons, Brady just gets the job done. He's 27 years old and he has 3 Super Bowl rings. Did I mention that he's 9-0 in his career in the postseason? He could have very well earned his 3rd Super Bowl MVP award tonight, but it went to his teammate Deion Branch, who caught 11 balls for 133 yards.
The Eagles hung with the Patriots for the first 3 quarters, but the Patriots' experience took over in the 4th quarter. I couldn't believe how awful the Eagles offense looked on their drive late in the 4th quarter. They were down 24-14, needing at least two possessions to score. For me, the game was absolutely over when Freddie Mitchell made his only catch of the game, a 11-yard completion, on 3rd and 10. What does Mitchell do? He's talking to one of the Patriots players. The guy hasn't learned a damn thing since his days at UCLA. By the way, his college coach was Bob Toledo. What an awful coach Toledo was. If that lone completion was what he had waiting for Rodney Harrison, then I'll be damned.
Speaking of annoying-as-hell Eagles receivers, I'll give credit where credit is due to Terrell Owens. He hasn't played since Dec. 19 and was able to play tonight. Owens didn't score a touchdown, but he did have 9 receptions for 122 yards. Although it was a valient effort, he won't be going back to Philadelphia with the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Oh, and I just heard Owens' comments after the game. Hey Terrell, you did a good job. But you didn't win the ballgame. Case closed.
If there's a single Philadelphia fan who boos Donovan McNabb after tonight, they need to be drug tested. When he was drafted by the Eagles in 1999, he was booed by a few Eagles fans in New York. Those same fans are probably kicking it with Ricky Williams out in California listening to Lenny Kravitz' "Baptism". McNabb was 30-for-51 with 357 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. He did a credible job in getting the Eagles to their first Super Bowl since the 1980 season. But his effort wasn't good enough. Then again, he only went up against the best football team of the past decade.
Now that I've talked about the game, I'll talk about the off-the-field stuff, i.e the commercials, pregame show, and halftime show:
---My favorite commercial was the Tobasco commercial. Do I need to explain why?
---Gretchen Wilson wore a shirt that said "Music Mafia". Let me guess, does it have to do with fellow country artists Big & Rich? You know Big & Rich, they of the awful song "Save A Horse". It was only played 6,546,728 times last summer on the family of networks.
---The sound for the pregame show was horrific.
---Seeing Wilson, Charlie Daniels, Earth, Wind and Fire, and the Black Eyed Peas on the same stage was surreal. The only thing that was missing was John Mayer. Translation: The pregame show was awful.
---How about the halftime show with Paul McCartney? Yeah, I almost passed out after hearing "Hey Jude". But before "Hey Jude", McCartney threw the crowd a bone by playing "Live And Let Die". Next year's halftime show is in Detroit. I won't be shocked to see a Motown halftime show. I'm actually shocked that Metallica hasn't performed at a halftime show yet. But they're too offensive, Jeremy. Nonsense. They found themselves. And Lars Ulrich will play anywhere for a buck. Just like Gene Simmons. A Metallica/KISS halftime show, perhaps? I hope not, because KISS is one of the more overrated bands in rock history.
---Alicia Keys impressed me tonight with her rendition of "America The Beautiful". But seeing the kids from the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind was pretty powerful. The performance spoke for itself.
---Cris Collinsworth is a hack. Quit apologizing for the Eagles, Cris. They were 13-3, no matter what they did in their final 2 games.
---That moment with Bill Belichick and his father Steve was one hell of a moment.
And I'll end my Super Bowl post on that note. Jacksonville was able to pull off a Super Bowl and the New England Patriots are once again world champions.
Here's to next season, when the Seahawks hopefully play well enough to represent the NFC in Detroit's Ford Field on Feb. 5, 2006.