I am maybe the dumbest Madden player on Earth– fake field goals (even though the game tells your online opponent when you’re not kicking), onsides kicks, throwing when I should run, running when I should throw. I overthink things, try to outsmart my opponent when common sense calls for simplicity. But Pete Carroll has not only survived doing that stuff… he’s thrived on it. The Seahawks converted a fake field goal and an onsides kick in the NFC Championship game. They won by throwing aggressively down-field in overtime. They scored at the end of the first half in the Super Bowl on the ballsy decision to throw a pass with six seconds left. A guy who worked at Foot Locker earlier this season was their player of the game. They even put themselves in a position to score early on their final drive with gutsy vertical passing plays. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that, on second and 1 from the 1, Carroll decided to zig when ALL SIGNS POINTED TO ZAG by passing with an inconsistent quarterback and average receivers, instead of giving the ball to the best short-yardage running back in the world, whose nickname, Beast Mode, roughly translates to run through large men for hard-fought yards in potentially-Super Bowl-winning situations. I’m not a math person (I use a calculator to compute tips on $100 bills), but I’m guessing that the chance of gaining one yard – scoring a touchdown – by giving the ball to Marshawn Lynch on up to three-consecutive plays was at about 82%. Remember– time wasn’t a factor. There was over a minute to play when Lynch ran to the 1 on first down. The Seahawks would’ve had more than enough time to execute three running plays, with or without that one timeout they had left. Unreal. I’ve spent the last 10 hours trying to figure out would would’ve happened if an Eagles coach made that call and lost the team the Super Bowl. I’m thinking death, or at the very least at literal coup at NovaCare.
Let’s hit it!
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Les Bowen’s Tweet about Roger Goodell and Rachel Nichols made CNN. Please don’t encourage him:
Arian Foster ruining Stephen A. Smith as he eloquently describes the beauty of Marshawn Lynch not talking to the media.
Yes, let’s. Lots of strange decisions yesterday by NBC, which brought seemingly every one of its on-air employees not named Savannah Guthrie (in the President’s kitchen, drinking beer) to Arizona for the Super Bowl because more is obviously better. On one hand they bravely let Bob Costas shred the league’s overtime rule and allowed Al Michaels to opine more freely than you might expect… on the other, they not only cut away from Doug Baldwin’s pooping celebration, but also refused to replay it, and they didn’t show (or really even talk about) Jeremy Lane’s nasty arm injury. They didn’t discuss what at least appeared to be a concussion for Julian Edelman, or was was one for Cliff Avril. And the melee at the end was just glossed right over. Not saying all of those things weren’t secondary to a great game… but still, the whitewashing was in full-effect.
One of the Tweets of the night, of Pete Carroll’s phone:
This is good, too:
Madden correctly predicted the score of the Super Bowl. It also correctly predicted the best team in the game. The Patriots have been unstoppable in it all year.
Jon Caramanica of the NY Times was onto something with his thoughts on Katy Perry’s performance…
All in all, this was a halftime show that was notably unafraid of the feminine; in that regard, it was on par with the Beyoncé spectacular of two years ago (although vocally and performance-wise, Ms. Perry is no Beyoncé).
With that Beyoncé show, this performance helped bring a definitive end to the several-year drought filled with dad rock that followed the 2004 Janet Jackson-Justin Timberlake wardrobe debacle: Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, the Who. In that stretch, only Prince approached something like youth, or raunch, or joy.
… until he needlessly threw Bruno Mars under the bus:
Since then, the halftime show has skewed younger and more colorful. But it is now running up against the limits of the marketplace. Last year, the slightly underfed Bruno Mars was the main attraction, a reflection of the utter dearth of viable contemporary male pop stars.
Um, Bruno, unlike most male pop starts not named Justin Timberlake, is genuinely talented, writes or co-writes most of his own stuff (and other stuff, too). There may be a dearth of male pop stars currently, but Bruno would be near the top of the list in any generation.
Anyway, Caramanica wrapped up by nominating Taylor Swift to perform next year, thus winning me over.
New episode of Crossing Streams is posted– discussing whining media. LibertyBroadcast.co.