Saturday, January 31, 2009
It's only a game
Those four words. Right now I wish I could get $5 for every time my father told me that as I was involved with either playing or watching a sporting event. A couple of years ago annoyed that the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving game had a country singer performing on the field at halftime, I said that. The reaction from my father half asleep in the chair was the quickest he moved in the last ten years.
FYI, my rant filter has been turned off. Sorry.
Having recently discovered that I have most of the symptoms of a person who has a social disorder called Aspergers syndrome I have tried to pay more attention to how I appear when speaking to others. Having had the tendency to look away, stand at an angle to the person I am speaking towards and not standing straight for many years, it has not been easy to change. Like losing weight, many years of bad habits can not be overcome in a month.
One of the symptoms is an over abundant knowledge of specific topics. The Super Bowl and football are right at the top. Except for XVIII where I was working at a bowling alley score keeping for a 9 month long tournament, I have seen and vividly remember every game since VI. Thanks to books, magazines, and now the internet, I am basically an encyclopedia of Super Bowl history and whenever something happens in the game, I usually state a fact before it is mentioned in the broadcast.
In Super Bowl XIX, the Miami Dolphins, led by Dan Marino who had his best season, traveled to the San Francisco area to play the San Francisco 49ers, led by Joe Montana, at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, CA. After watching the university of Miami win an NCAA football title in its home field the previous year, I was not happy. My father stated since the 49ers do not play home games there, I can't call it a home game for them. My reply, "If an earthquake make Candlestick Park unusable, the 49ers would play there." In October 1989, 5 seasons later, the earthquake that delayed the 1989 World Series forced the 49ers to host the New England Patriots at Stanford Stadium as Candlestick park was repaired. Note: 49ers head coach Bill Walsh stated that Super Bowl XIX felt like a home game to the team.
It became very apparent in the first half that the same defense which overcame starting QB David Woodley to get the Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII was not the same one as it failed to do much to halt the 49ers. However, the Dolphins thanks to a late first half drive and a turnover on the following kickoff regained momentum scoring twice in the final minute of the first half.
Then came the long, boring halftime show. Both teams came out flat in the second half and the 49ers won. Would a 15 minute halftime made a difference? Not sure but I would have liked to see that.
Yes, I long for nostalgia in sports. Though I can understand why rules need to be created for safety and to improve the game, I would still prefer a Super Bowl played in the afternoon rather than early evening so the game does not end at 9 PM and a marching band on the field (like the one from the University of Michigan for Super Bowl VII) instead of an overdone show featuring an old time music performer. No I did not find Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction worth watching. I was hoping that it would eliminate that type of future show. It only changed the type of act on stage. Will it be Bob Seager for XLIV?
I have been asked what would make me watch a Super Bowl half time performance instead of watching something on another channel, turning the tv off, going outside or playing a video game sometimes missing a good portion of the third quarter. Easy, someone I have a picture with. Penn and Teller did a magic trick as part of the Super Bowl XXXVII pre and post game show (where they put a note stating Tampa Bay 48, Oakland 21, Dexter Jackson MVP in a tube they suspended before the game and opened afterward) but I doubt they would ever be considered halftime worthy. Weird Al? That is another story for another post.
What do I think will happen in the game? After the officiating crew in Super Bowl XL made bad calls handing the title to retiring Jerome Bettis and Pittsburgh, I have rooted against the Steelers the past few years. Going into the playoffs, I stated that the top two teams in the AFC south, Tennessee and Indianapolis, and north, Pittsburgh and Baltimore along with New England who did not make the playoffs are better than every NFC team going into them (after the New York Giants er their top wide receiver shot themselves in the leg). Since the Arizona head coach is a former Pittsburgh coach, he knows their offense well and it showed in 2007 when Arizona beat Pittsburgh.
I will be watching the game hoping the outcome will be decided by those in white with black and gold and red with white instead of those wearing black and white stripes. I think it will be a closer game than anticipated Pittsburgh winning 27-23.