February 09, 2011
A Bizarre, Yet Satisfying Week
This was one of the most bizarre weeks in Super Bowl history. The cold and messy weather that we expect to see in New Jersey at Super Bowl XLVIII arrived three years early. The city of Dallas had apparently hired Mayor Bloomberg to head their Department of Public Works for the week.
Steelers' quarterback "Big Ben" Roethlisberger was caught by TMZ crooning Billy Joel's "Piano Man" late Tuesday night at a piano bar in Ft. Worth. CBS football analyst and former Giant quarterback Phil Simms was accused of threatening ESPN's Desmond Howard after confronting him regarding comments Howard made last October about Simms' son, Matt. And on Friday, six people were injured after being struck by ice and snow falling off the domed roof of Cowboys Stadium.
This was most likely a far cry from Jerry Jones' original vision when the Big D was chosen to host Super Bowl XLV. I'm sure Jones dreamed of America's team celebrating a Super Bowl victory in their new billiondollar showcase after a week of fun and sun in the warmth of central Texas.
What turned out to be an awful week for Mr. Jones and the NFL wasn't much better once the main event rolled around. Hundreds of disgruntled fans were moved from their seats as their safety was called into question. Christina Aguilera botched the singing of the National Anthem. Before twelve minutes of game time had elapsed it appeared the Packers were on their way to a rout of the Steelers. On top of that, the commercials were awful. Instead of persuading me to buy Bud Light, the folks at Anheuser-Busch gave me a reason to stay with Coors Light. Frito-Lay convinced me to stick with North Fork Potato Chips rather than switch to Doritos. The commercial for Pepsi Max confirmed my loyalty to Coke, and Chevrolet ensured I buy Ford for my next vehicle. At least by halftime the Steelers closed the gap to 21-10. The best part of the halftime show was Usher's dance moves and ogling Fergie on the big screen. With 30 minutes of game time left and the Packers receiving the ball to start the second half, the chances of a turnaround to the evening seemed unlikely.
A quick three and out by the Packers to start the second half gave the Steelers a chance to get back into it. They capitalized with an eight yard touchdown run by Rashard Mendenhall. Just like that, with a score of 21-17, Super Bowl excitement was back. Four preseason games, 16 regular season games, three playoff rounds and the season was coming down to the last action-packed 15 minutes.
A fourth quarter which included two touchdowns, a two-point conversion, and a field goal came down to the final drive. Big Ben had made a name for himself on final drives. Could he launch himself into the pantheon of all-time greats with another come from behind victory in a Super Bowl? Alas the Steelers couldn't get the job done and the Packers were Super Bowl XLV Champions. In the end, we got a great game that came down to the final drive. Despite a perplexing week, a mediocre first half, a disappointing set of commercials, and a half time show that left me longing for Springsteen, the NFL gave us what matters most in the end: an exciting second half in a game that came down to the wire. As a fan, I'm fully satisfied.
Pete is a Montauk resident, producer at ESPN Radio 1230AM, and host of "The Pete Mundo Sports Talk Show", live on your airwaves, 88.7FM WEER Hamptons Community Radio Tuesday and Thursday nights from 7-8PM. Pete can be reached via e-mail at Peterfmundo@gmail.com.