Archive for March, 2015


13 Mar

Yes, more than 5 weeks after the fact is always a good time to do a recap of an event no one is talking about anymore isn’t it. My apologies, and to make up for it I will do a quick Superbowl Recap and splice it with my thoughts on the NFL free agency and then promise to shorty post another recap regarding this year’s Oscar contenders (yes timely again I know, but I actually saw all of the best picture nominees for the first time). Sound good ok?

With respect to the game itself, what can you say? It was one of the greatest games (Superbowl or not) ever played capped by one of the dumbest decisions ever made (Superbowl or not). Backing up though, here is what I will say, Seattle had a real shot at coming into this game and by winning it, becoming this decade’s dynasty team (i.e. in the same vein as the Patriots of the 2000s, the Cowboys of the 90s, the 49ers of the 80s, Steelers of the 70s…you get the picture). Like New England, Seattle started slow this season and the moment Seattle fans really started to worry (or should have) was when my beloved Cowboys actually beat the Seahawks in Seattle. Yes, this was a banner year for Dallas, but with their suspect defense which was better but hit or miss all year, they had no point beating the Seahawks at that point in the season (my hats off to the much maligned Jason Garrett for the this game and the season in general). However, once the cancer that is Percy Harvin was removed and Marshawn Lynch’s acrimonious relationship with management began to heal, coupled with San Fran’s predictable implosion (Harbaugh vs. Management that began pre-season), you got the feeling that nothing was going to stop Seattle. Of course there was the conference finals against Green Bay, but as I have said many times good teams always find a way to win games they shouldn’t (more on this in a second however) and although Seattle probably loses if Williams doesn’t go down with 5 mins remaining after making a pick and the backup TE Brandon Bostick had not decided to be a hero and step out of his role and fumble away the one-side kick, Seattle’s own plays forced many of the situations which resulted in the come from behind win.

So once the stage was set, here Seattle is poised to make history as the first team in over 10 years to win back to back titles and establish itself as the dynasty of the decade against the dynasty of the last decade the Patriots. However before getting down to the game I want to say something about the Patriots and the whole deflategate incident. While popular opinion has seemed to be that because the Patriots defeated the Colts so soundly in the AFC championship game, that the fact that they somehow came into possession of 11 out 12 illegally deflated balls should be overlooked and have no bearing on their status as legitimate AFC champions. I however am not in this camp. Regardless of the result, if you enter into a contest having taken steps to cheat or act in a manner that runs afoul of established practice you should automatically be disqualified from play. Period. That’s the way in several level of sport from the highschool level where ineligible players render a team’s victory vacated, same way in college with teams forced to vacate wins due to team or player impropriety, and even at the pro-level in many sports. For example, is it logical to say ok well Ben Johnson cheated but because he won by such a large margin the fact that he took steroids is rendered inconsequential as he would have likely won anyway even without them? Hell no! So why are we as the public supposed to accept the argument that teams who cheated should be absolved due to their margin of victory? This is absolutely absurd. This is also why the drug related witchhunt is equally bogus and any retroactive punishment that has transpired thus far is mind boggling. When a player on team or several players are found to have taken drugs and if you are not going to vacate a team’s wins, suspend them from play, or personally doc players pay retroactively for the impugned period (and potentially the future) and automatically bar them from Hall of Fame’s then the rest of the talk surrounding penalties is just conversation. Teams mint money, fining them does nothing, the only way to punish them is to threaten their legacy. Furthermore if the only punishment to players for past transgressions are puny fines or other slaps and the wrist are the only penalties and they are allowed to keep their fortunes and allowed to continue to play then what is the point? Maybe the point is to drum up a lot of press for the sport with these bogus and insincere talks of being concerned about illegal drug use and fairness only as a tool to make more money? I know major sporting leagues and billion dollar corporate sponsors can’t be interested in making more money…can they?

Alright, cheating rant aside I will get back to the topic at hand. The Seahawks are playing for their dynasty in this game pure and simple. They match up EXTREMELY well against the Patriots as they are almost better versions of the only two other franchises that perpetually give them fits in the playoffs; the Ravens and the Giants. With a solid running game and stout defense anchored by a tenacious defensive line the game was screaming for the Seahawks to win this game. In fact when the Vegas odds were released, I was shocked that the Seahawks were the underdogs, so of course I took them:


Graded Bets

Ticket Accepted Decided Type Description WagerPrice Stake +/-


8:43pm 18-Jan-15 1-Feb-15 American Football
New England Patriots vs Seattle Seahawks (-1) for Game.   1.900 55.00 -55.00
28 – 24


0:26am 23-Jan-15 1-Feb-15 American Football
New England Patriots vs Seattle Seahawks (+0) for Game.   1.970 101.00 -101.00
28 – 24
156.00 -156.00

And for a while things looked tremendous for the Seahawks. They were following the script to perfection stifle Brady in the pocket, lock down his receivers, and then run the ball on your end and kill the clock. However, not long after Katy Perry’s dancehow coupled with the now famous shark, the Seahawks began to ease up and make questionable calls. Not only that they were aided by the referees who sporatically developed blindness whenever Seattle was in possession of the ball. For example how the refs missed the interference call on Darnelle Dockett by future hero Malcolm Butler was inexplicable and really turned the tide in the game as Seattle punted shortly thereafter. In any event the sum of the game is that by the 4th quarter Seattle had blown a ten point lead and was now down 4 to team they were handily beating only a few minutes ago. Of course as we all know they were still not out of it and Russell Wilson and co. put on one of his best drives when it counted the most. Of course the most heralded play is universally recognized as the 1 and 10 bomb to Kearse which he caught after it being tipped by 6 different parts of his body. For me the catch was better than the David Tyree catch and it was almost enough to seal the game.


On first and goal from the 5 with just over a minute and the score 24-20 you were almost expecting the Patriots to let the seas part and have Beast mode walk into the endzone similar to the Giants’ last Superbowl win where Ahmad Bradshaw was allowed to stroll into the endzone ass-first in an attempt to get the ball back with as much time for Brady. But no! The Patriots up 4 were in a totally different position. So Beastmode ran (almost quietly) for 4 quick yards and set his team up with three tries to get in from the one with the clock running. For me, the real hero of this game is the guys who tackled the Beast Patrick Hung and Dont’a Hightower. In any event Beastmode is shut down but with the clock ticking the Seahawks are right where you think they want to be…or are they? Much has been made about the fact that the Patriots did not call timeout and at the time I thought this was a huge mistake, because even if Lynch is stuffed here the clock continues to run leaving the Patriots less time and if he gets in you have also lost valuable time. However, the counter argument that I have heard is that this was a deliberate ploy by Belicheck to fluster the Seahawks and force them to throw in order for they themselves to not run out of time. Of course this is a results based league so the Belicheck supporters have it. On the very next play instead of giving the ball to the best short yardage and physical running back in the game the Seahawks inexplicably decide to throw it and worst of all not even with a run-fake but with the worst hat-tip off all with a 4 wide receiver set up totally parallel to the goal line. Of course the rest is history. The Patriots and Malcolm Butler read the play perfectly and in a manner of 3 seconds the Seahawks go from cinching the Superbowl to absolutely giving it away. If you saw Tom Brady on the sideline it was obvious that he was in Giants post-game mode already and this ring was an absolute gift from the heavens. And it really was.

Of course by now you are probably saying, well wait a minute, how come on the one hand you say good teams find a way to win games and that the Patriots had a Superbowl win gift wrapped to them. Well my answer is that the two can be mutually exclusive and not inconsistent. The x factor in distinguishing one from the other is how it came about and whether the perennially “good” team took the game from the jaws of defeat with their own playmaking. While one could say it was Belicheck’s craftiness in not taking the timeout is what forced Seattle to lose the game, I don’t buy that. At that point Belicheck if indeed that was what he was thinking was absolutely grasping at straws. And even if he somehow mindtricked the Seahawks into throwing the ball in that situation, it was Seattle decision to choose that terrible formation, not call a timeout themselves or simply throw the ball away. I get it if you find that it is a very thin line even under my own analogy but the difference between genius and stupidity is often a very fine line and so is the line between comedy and tragedy. Seattle’s loss was absolutely tragic, but they only have themselves to blame for this instance, all the other missed calls by the refs are one thing, but this goal line call is all on them and as such so is the ensuing loss because from that play on the game was only in their hands. Albeit briefly, until it wasn’t and the game all over. I may have been on the losing end of a $300.0 swing, but the Seahawks lost much much more.

Of course they are all millionaires so do not feel too bad. Now it is on to next season and let’s see if the Giants much like the Olympics are back again after 4 years.

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