Monday, February 02, 2015

Monday 2/2 Super Bowl Hangover Quickie

*The decision not to give the ball to Marshawn Lynch is the worst play call in the history of pro football.

*It's been a while since I went full-blown "instant history/hysteria," so it's nice to stretch my legs a bit. (That makes me more productive than Marshawn Lynch on the Seahawks' last offensive play of the season.)

*The justification for the "Worst. _____. Ever." siren is the combination of the stakes (Super Bowl championship), the moment (come-from-behind TD, virtually the final play of the game, coming after one of the greatest catches in NFL history) and the context (would have denied the Pats a title), the context (would have won a back-to-back title for Seattle) and the context (Lynch is the NFL's best RB).

*It's not enough to say "Worst play call in Super Bowl history" -- because it is the Super Bowl, that makes it vastly bigger than if the play call happened in, say, Week 6 (or even an earlier playoff round). It is the context that justifies the superlative.

*Looking for a reasonable/rational defense of the play call? Vox outlines a good one, but it comes with a worthwhile caveat about over-thinking it. (Let's also say that Malcolm Butler made a phenomenal play -- if that ball drops for an incompletion, it's very likely Lynch runs it in on one of the next two plays, and the history of the NFL is altered. That Butler was an undrafted rookie makes it all the more incredible.)

(Update: As always, read Bill Barnwell for a measured take on the situation.)

*All in all, it was as entertaining of a Super Bowl as you could have asked for.

*Postscript: The ads. It was basically a given that Budweiser would run away with the ad title, but improbable that Nationwide would be the ad "everyone is talking about," if only because of how grim it was. Personal favorite: Always' #LikeAGirl ad. (Notable: There were a LOT of "dad ads" -- I liked the Toyota Camry one. The Nissan one didn't speak to me at all.)

-- D.S.