Monday, February 2, 2009
ESPN is regularly guilty of the crime of High Over-Hyping.
Whether it's delving into what's REALLY going on in the Cowboy's locker room (crap), figuring out what's REALLY between Kobe and Shaq in 2009 (crap), driving a REAL stake through the heart of Barry Bonds (old crap), asking Andy Roddick's Mom what's REALLY wrong with his game vs. Roger Federer (double crap) or sifting through Tiger Woods' garbage to see what he's REALLY eating while rehabbing (awkwardly likely crap), ESPN has about 38 minutes worth of news in a given day and stretches to 1,440 minutes, making the minutiae of every single angle of every single play.
Not that I don't watch, but that can get pretty monotonous. And by "pretty monotonous" I mean, "Sub-consciously coercing me to harm others."
But last night the Super Bowl lived up to the hype, marking the second year in a row the Biggest Game of the Year was actually in contention for the biggest game of the year. Each marked good offenses, defenses, and big plays.
In fact, two game-winning drives.
Last year, Eli Manning's emancipation from the sure-death grip of a host of New England defenders was only shown up by a ridiculous catch that invokes the lame cliche "Way to use your head! HARF HARF HARF!" The rally lead to a Cheddar Plaxico touchdown that sealed the deal for the New York Giants, defeating the Patriots in their quest for undefeated dominance.
Last night, a fourth-quarter offensive firestorm caught ablaze from the Arizona Arsonist Cardinals, with Kurt Warner throwing for a bajillion yards, all of which to Hairy Larry Fitzgerald, was extinguished by Gentle Ben Roethlisberger's pumping pass to the smallest available bit of real estate in the back corner of the end zone to Santonio "Shower Power" Holmes, capping off a Super Bowl-winning drive.
Each were marvelous catches, in the upper echelon of Super Bowl catches of all-time. But ESPN had the gall to say that Holmes catch last night surpassed that of the year prior by Mr. David Tyree.
Needless to say, I was taken aback.
I found it laughable. There's no way you could look at these two plays and say that last night's play was better than last year's, unless you're from the furthest reaches of the bowels of inner-Pittsburgh (which I doubt, considering that this is a written medium, requiring literacy for its consumption). But then more and more people were jumping on the Steeler morbid-obesity band wagon. Even our own Steve Lattimer jumped on the wagon, mouth full of tater tots and a half-bottle of ketchup, to be washed down with a half pint of KFC gravy.
Just make these considerations, I may even spot the nay-sayers a point.
Touchdown vs. Not-a-Touchdown
This is the only valid point that I see the nay-sayers having a prayer in defending, although I would contend it is surely not enough. Tyree's heads-up play (GET IT?) was only a reception to prolong the drive, rather than seal the game, while Holmes' stab-n-snag last night was the deal breaker for the Super Bowl.
I say that while it's true that Manning-to-Tyree didn't guarantee a win, I would also say that Roethsldfjsf-to-Holmes didn't either. If the Cards had shown anything that night, it was that they had a flare for the fashionably late appearances, and had more than enough time (24 human seconds, 4:52 seconds in Hairy Larry seconds) to score a last-second TD and win the game.
Not to mention the scramble by Manning was far superior/freakish than the tender fat loafings of Roelkjflkjfasaukjfhburger on their respective plays.
Both catches were clutch, and went on to be the most notable plays on the game-capping drives of the winning team. Just because one directly resulted in six, while the other indirectly lead to six.
Game vs. Game
This seemed like it might be a draw, but in fact, I think it only supports my rightness; last year's game meant more than this year's game.
This year brought on the sixth championship of a franchise that isn't called America's Team. While noble the mighty Steelers are, them getting One for the Thum-...One for Another Appendage to be Named isn't that remarkable. What happens when Dallas or San Fransisco gets their sixth? Records are meant to be broken.
So what's better than building on a record? How about assuring another one isn't built. The New York Giants were the only thing standing between the free world and the utter domination of the Prince of Darkness and his gnashing mignons of terror — an undefeated season by Bill Belichick and the Patriots.
I'm happy for the Steelers, I really am. But there was much more history on the line last year.
Catch vs. Catch
The actual physical act of catching the football was far superior by David Tyree of the Giants last year.
"Oh my! How did he keep those feet in bounds?" This was a question asked by literally thousands of people last night as Holmes kept his toes daintily within the end zone to secure another Steelers Super Bowl, and rightfully so. It was a great catch. One for the ages, as I said at length earlier.
So how did he keep them in bounds? He practices.
Receivers are trained on several different skills, from tip drills to toe drills. Tapping the NFL-required two toes is necessary to winning games, whether it be to utilize the sidelines for time-saving measures or — as in the case last night — to pass the ball in such a place that it was only accessible by a tightrope walking receiver and no one else. He has done that move literally thousands of times.
David Tyree hasn't performed that move before or since Super Bowl XLII. In fact, I think it's safe to say that he won't ever do it again. I would go as far to say it will never happen again to anyone ever, but I know that now anytime somebody catches a ball around their head in a manner that may be construed as them using their helmet to catch it, commentators professional and otherwise will scream at the top of their lungs "THAT'S JUST LIKE THAT ONE SUPER BOWL THAT'S JUST LIKE THAT ONE SUPER BOWL THAT'S JUST LIKE THAT ONE SUPER BOWL THAT'S JUST LIKE THAT ONE SUPER BOWL!!!"
Tyree's catch itself was, simply put, much more remarkable. And after all, wasn't that the essence of the "debate' in the first place? Tyree's catch was better, in a more important game, and while it wasn't for a touchdown, it lead to the touchdown that lead to an upset against a far greater team.
Case closed. Until Trent Dilfer opens his mouth and tries to convince America other wise. Yeah, you heard me right — Trent Dilfer was trying to convince other people to think his football-related opinion was right.
There are circus clowns that know more about football than Trent Dilfer, and he, I, Dan Marino and the rest of the American public know that the only reason he has a ring is because of Ray Lewis. Speaking of the last Super Bowl, Jared the Hefty Lefty Lorenzen did more to help his team win a Super Bowl than Trent Dilfer.
Be it known; Trent Dilfer endorses Holmes' catch, which means I can't be wrong.