Well, that was pretty good, wasn't it? I don't think it will go down as an all-time classic, but it delivered what we expected: two elite offenses moving the ball at will. It was a bit of a weird game, because there weren't a lot of big plays, just long methodical drives. I think both teams punted once apiece... no, I remember the Colts punting twice. Whatever. A defensive clinic it wasn't, which made the end all the more amazing.
I haven't checked yet to see who the MVP was, but it's Brees, right? I mean, who else could it be? He was dominant. As I posted here a few days ago, I've always liked Brees, and I don't think the Chargers are criticized enough for giving up on him after one bad year, then letting him walk after he rebounded. And now he's a Super Bowl champion, and they are still getting upset at home by lesser opponents.
Of course, the thing we'll all be talking about from this game is Sean Payton's two gutsy calls, one of them boneheaded and the other brilliant. I thought going for it on 4th down from the one was a pretty lousy decision. I'm all for aggressiveness, but you have to be smart. In that situation, you need points on the board if you want to stay in the game. And I know he's thinking that he needs a touchdown to stay in the game, but he really didn't. Not yet. But without points, if Indy scores again (and there was no reason to think they wouldn't), then you need touchdowns. Sometimes it's better to play it safe.
Of course, Indy took him off the hook by giving the Saints the ball right back, with enough time that they got the field goal anyway. Hell, maybe it worked out better, because Manning never got a realistic chance to add points at the end of the half. Sometimes it's better to be lucky then smart.
And then there's the onside kick. How awesome was that? Phil Simms had just got done saying that teams often like to defer (meaning that, if they win the coin toss, they choose to take the kickoff in the second half rather then the first; which, by the way, I would do almost every single time were I a football coach) just so they don't have Manning coming out of the locker room with the ball, and then bam! The ultimate ballsy call. I loved it. And it totally changed the game. The Saints go down the field and score, and the Colts defense looked like it never recovered.
But the Saints defense wasn't much better. It really looked like this was going to be a game that comes down to the last possession... until Manning throws a pretty lousy interception, which is returned for a touchdown. And the game might not be over (there were still over two minutes to play), but it sure got a lot more difficult for the Colts. I don't know if Manning's expected Reggie Wayne, or if it was just that lousy a pass. I know the Saints were blitzing, but it didn't look to me like that effected Manning all that much. But I was glad to hear Simms admit that he was wrong in saying before the play that the Saints shouldn't blitz. All damn season I've heard Simms say gutless things like that, and he's almost always wrong. It's very simple: you can't win football games if you don't pressure the quarterback, and by and large you can't pressure the quarterback if you don't blitz. It doesn't matter if you have seven, eight guys back in coverage, a good quarterback will still pick them apart, if given time.
Anyway. Even more shocking then the interception, though, was the Saints red zone stand on the next possession. I think we'd all mentally put another touchdown on the board for the Colts, and then they strangest thing happens: they can't score. And the game's over.
And that's that. Simms and Jim Nantz were their usual passable, vanilla selves. I know others think they are a great team, but I find them dull, and myself disagreeing with Simms more then just about any other big time analyst. The Who were just fine. They've been playing the same songs for almost fifty years now, what did you expect? I did wonder, though, if they were requested by CBS to be the halftime entertainment as an extended CSI commercial.
I missed the big Tebow commercial, and most of the others, because I don't watch the Super Bowl commercials any more then I do during any other game. Can we please just dispose of the myth that Super Bowl commercials are somehow better then normal? It's still just the same garbage per break as usual: three beer commercials, two car commercial, a promo for a lousy show, and a wild card. They're still commercials, and they still suck.
The Puppy Bowl was pretty good, though. I can't believe the Chug was the MVP. But the puppies won, so everyone went home happy.