Tuesday, February 07, 2012

02/07 (SB Hangover) Quickie

It's always a bit startling how quickly the Super Bowl -- the preeminent sports event of the year -- sucks all the oxygen out of the room and then, faster than gameday itself, recedes.

This year, we're left with "legacy" talk -- which is a little ridiculous, particularly as it relates to Tom Brady. Did this Super Bowl loss taint Brady's legacy? Good grief: Of course not.

If Brady (and Belichick) had never won a Super Bowl? Perhaps. But that's not the case: At this point, another championship is gravy -- Brady and Belichick are in the unique position where merely making the Super Bowl adds (and can never detract) from their "legacy."

As for Eli (and Tom Coughlin), of course a Super Bowl ring -- sorry: another Super Bowl ring -- enhances their status in the sport. But "Super Bowl champ" doesn't properly account for what makes the Manning-Coughlin Super Bowl wins stand out: How they won.

I'm left less interested in figuring out where Manning or Brady fit in history -- let alone how they rank order within that history -- than appreciating one of the most dramatic Super Bowls ever.

Superlative: Want a legacy for Super Bowl XLVI? It was the most-watched Super Bowl ever. Its halftime show was the most watched ever. Ha: Remember when NFL pundits were worried about the impact of a protracted lockout? The NFL has never been stronger.

Gisele-gate: First, I don't blame her. Second, you can't expect this story NOT to get blown so out of proportion as to redefine "out of proportion." She's a supermodel. He's the NFL's biggest star. He lost devastatingly in the most-watched sports event of all time. The winning team's media outlets specialize in sensationalism (and hating Boston). Again: I don't blame her.

Kobe: Cracks the Top 5 all-time NBA scoring list. I love his reaction: "I'm not asking for too much, man. Just give me a sixth ring, damn it." (But you just know climbing that list matters to him, particularly passing Shaq.) Watching archival Kobe footage with my kids this morning, it dawned on me that my entire post-college adult life has tracked with Kobe's NBA career. And damn if he isn't still bringing it nightly.

Jeremy Lin Mania (aka "Linsanity"): Lin putting up 25 as the Knicks' surprise super-sub this past weekend was fun. Lin putting up 28 as the Knicks' starting point guard last night officially vaults him into position as the most interesting, exciting and must-see story in the NBA this season. I have to believe the NBA will put him in the "Rookie-Soph" Game during All-Star Weekend, and the NBA's version of the Singularity will occur when Lin matches up with Ricky Rubio, another spectacular storyline this season. But Linsanity, wow. (Trivia: I once owned the domain name "Vinsanity.com." That was a long time ago.)

NFL: Steelers hire Todd Haley as O.C. He's one of those NFL coaches who is way better as an assistant than a head coach. Still: The Steelers do things a very specific way -- Haley never struck me as a "do it their way" kind of guy. Then again, the Steelers jettisoned their old O.C. regime because it was no longer working, so maybe this fresh infusion of ideas will help. The Steelers aren't so far away from winning an AFC title that massive changes are necessary; then again, they did get bounced from the playoffs as humiliatingly as possible. (But that was the defense's fault, not the offense's fault.)

College Hoops: I'm back on the Mizzou bandwagon. Tonight: Kentucky gets its toughest test of the season when Florida comes to Rupp. This is exactly the kind of game that Florida typically loses by 20. But they present a few interesting match-up problems: First, they rely heavily on three-point shooting, which mitigates Anthony Davis' shot-blocking near the rim. Second, Florida's big man Murphy shoots 3s, which will draw Davis out away from the basket. Third, Patric Young is by far the strongest player Davis has seen this season. However! Florida's three-point shooting, however excellent, can be streaky, particularly on the road. Oh, and Florida is a terrible free-throw shooting team. Not that free throws matter when you're down 20 in front of 20,000 rabid Kentucky fans. More than you wanted to know.

Give Quickish a look today -- tons to see from yesterday's Super Bowl post-mortem and a lot to see today.

-- D.S.

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