Super Bowl rematch lives up to the hype
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
Make one mistake and it will haunt you forever.
Ask Newt Gingrich’s campaign advisor if he’d like to retract his candidate’s grandiose remark about building a colony on the moon.
One simple mistake and you’re done. Game over.
The same holds true in football, especially on the sporting world’s grandest stage.
When the Giants’ Ahmad Bradshaw stutter-stepped before deciding to cross the goal line with 57 seconds remaining in the Super Bowl, giving New York a four-point lead, it appeared that he may have made a grandiose mistake by not taking a knee at the 1-yard line to set up the game-winning field goal as time expired.
TV analysts were quick to point out the gaffe, and I’m sure plenty of the 100 million viewers across the world felt the same way – Bradshaw and the Giants simply left too much time on the clock for Tom Brady and the Patriots to march down the field in epic fashion and win their fourth title in 10 years.
It wasn’t a mistake.
Had Giant’s kicker Lawrence Tynes pulled a Billy Cundiff by shanking one hard to the left, both he and Bradshaw would have been two goats in a pepper patch.
If the vast majority of football fans consider the 2008 Giants and Patriots Act One, as the best Super Bowl ever, then Act Two wasn’t far behind.
The entire game was magnificent theater.
To the victor goes the spoils, and to the Giants, who were 100-to-1 dogs in Vegas after losing five out of six late in the season. Congrats for pulling off the impossible.
As for the Pats – another superb coaching job by Bill Belichick this season. While the game eventually passes most coaches by – witness Mike Shanahan in Washington – Belichick continues to thrive.
He was the driving force behind football’s story of the year – the evolution of the tight end.
Long known for creating matchup problems for offensive and defensive coordinators alike, Belichick shredded defenses in particular this year, sending them scrambling to find linebackers and safeties capable of covering both of his oversized, quick tight ends, which he often had on the field at the same time. Putting two tight ends on the field simultaneously is usually reserved for short-yardage running situations.
Not for Belichick, the innovator.
The tight end torch has now been passed several times. From Ozzie Newsome to Shannon Sharpe to Tony Gonzales to Antonio Gates, and in one big sweeping motion this season, to Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Jimmy Graham.
Gronk and Hernandez were the dynamic duo.
Like Stockton and Malone, Montana and Rice, and Magic and Kareem, Gretzky and Kurri – at least for one magical season.
Still unsure if this season’s three-headed tight end monster should be included in the same sentence as their predecessors?
Gronkowski: 90 receptions for 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Graham: 99 receptions for 1,310 yards and 11 TDs.
Hernandez (playing second fiddle to Gronkowski): 79 receptions for 910 yards and seven TDs.
And that was just the regular season.
Don’t forget about Vernon Davis in the postseason, putting the 49ers on his back and carrying them all the way to overtime in the NFC title game.
Carter left out of the Hall … again
What to think about Cris Carter not being selected into the Hall of Fame this weekend?
A travesty of justice.
Carter has been eligible for six years now and stands fourth all-time in both receptions and TDs for wide receivers.
And Bill Parcells, the former Giants coach?
Well, that certainly would have been fitting.
Jeff Sauer is a longtime western Colorado resident and former Roaring Fork Valley resident. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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