Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Post Mortem

The only thing missing from Super Bowl XLIII was Roger Goodell running on to the field, screaming "Ring the bell. Ring the bell," while handing the trophy to Ben Roethlisberger telling him to run back to the locker room (while looking pissed off). Then Kurt Warner could have spit in McMah ... err ... Goodell's face, punched him and then started making an "AFL" signs with his fingers.

Here's some advice Kurt. When you are in the booking meeting, and they tell you ... "You are going to throw a desperation pass in the final seconds," don't believe them.

Not that there is any conspiracy or anything. Though, if somebody can produce the video where Santonio Holmes got that second foot down, it would be greatly appreciated. But when you are looking for angles, booking the former drug dealer to Super Bowl MVP, that's a pretty compelling story. And with so many Steelers fans in the stands, it makes sense to send the crowd home happy.

Raven and Seahawks fans now have some company, as the Cardinals join a group of teams wondering why the Steelers always get the benefit of the doubt on every call. In fact, watching the Steelers play in a Super Bowl is akin to watching Duke play in Cameron Indoor Arena. They might as well just have Dickie V. calling these games.

No matter what the call is on the field, it always seems to go in the Steelers favor. If the Steelers get near the end zone; touchdown. If a Steelers receiver looks like he caught the ball; automatic completion. A quarterback may or may not have thrown the ball; automatic fumble. The Cardinals had to waste a challenge on a blatant forward pass in the first half. In fact, the officiating was so horrible, the Cardinals had to use both challenges early.

Not that the Cardinals didn't make their mistakes (Kurt Warner's interception being one), but the Steelers are always given the benefit of the doubt and -- funny -- there is never enough evidence to overturn the original call. And seriously, they couldn't spend the extra two minutes to review that final fumble?

The obvious answer here is that the NFL wanted to rush the end of the game. The league didn't want a lengthy review running into valuable prime time television. And let's face it, the NFL is nothing more than a revenue generating machine. The fact that this was a great game was merely a bonus. Why muck it up with a review. A Super Bowl is never going to end that way.

The odds of the Cardinals pulling that game out was remote, but the NFL opened itself up for criticism for not reviewing that final play. And it's a shame, too. This might have been one of the greatest Super Bowl, ever. Instead, it's going to be remembered for it's Soprano's-like finish. The only thing missing was Journey.

  • For the record, Holmes used a "prop" during his end zone celebration, and the Steelers should have been penalized 15 yards. Holmes used the ball as a "shaker" and mimicked LeBron James' pregame ritual. Dumb rule, for sure, but it has been called all year.
  • Credit must be given to Ben Roethlisberger. He led the team down the field for the winning touchdown and he's now a two-time Super Bowl champion. Not bad for a guy five years in.
  • The Kurt Warner Machine redeemed his first-half interception, but just couldn't do enough to get his team the win. Still, this run to the Super Bowl has earned his spot in the Hall of Fame. There isn't even much of an argument. And you had all better hope that I don't end up with a vote on the Hall of Fame committee some day.
  • Larry Fitzgerald is the truth. Wow. He would have been the MVP if the Cardinals could have played a little defense in the final minute. NFL Network's Rich Eisen predicted that this would be the first Super Bowl to go into overtime. Having the Cardinals lose is worth it, just for him to be wrong. At least he won't try to write another book again.
A TV station in Tucson had its Super Bowl broadcast interrupted with some porn. And that seems fitting since the Cardinals were getting screwed anyway.

Is Super Bowl Monday a holiday yet?


R.J. said...

It was a great game and the Cards should have won. That last call was one of the biggest screw jobs I've seen since Brett Hart "lost" that WWF title match to Shawn Michaels.

Good comeback by Big Ben. I hope he remembers to wear a helmet this offseason.

Sun Devil said...

Dude, the refs made a lot of calls that went the Cardinals' way too. The games was poorly officiated in favor of both sides at different times. All-star attorney Ed Hochuli should have been the ref, as he has only made one error, ever, and that was OK because it favored the Broncos.

The Cardinals lost because Kurt Warner gave his homage to Brett Favre at the end of the first half.

Also, the end of the game was disgustingly and horrifyingly reminiscent of the 1997 Rose Bowl. The Cards played a soft prevent-style defense and that allowed Ben to carve it up. It caused some terrible PTSD flashbacks for many a Sun Devil.

And wrestling references? Seriously? NASCAR is more credible than wrestling. Even if it's just as scripted and attracts the same fans. Take the hint Adam: Daytona is 2 weeks away.

THN said...

Believe me. That final play might have been a fumble. But the fact that we are talking about that instead of this being a great Super Bowl is kind of a bummer.

But I have to give props to Ben. He made the plays. The Steelers made the plays. Great game, disappointed that the NFL officials resemble Keystone Cops.

THN said...

BTW, if they review and it's overturned, the Cardinals are going for the winning score from the 29-yard line because of the penalty. That makes things kind of interesting, but still kind of unlikely.

Anonymous said...

Waaaambulance 54 where are you?

The Hatriot said...

While Kurt Warner is now .333 in Super Bowls he has two things to be grateful for: First, his wife's sexual orientation reassignment therapy seems to have taken. He probably hardly ever comes home to find her with her fist up some cheerleader's skirt any more. Secondly, thanks to THN, he has the cleanest pair of balls in town. Cowboy Honk? RaiderFan called to say your "the refs screwed us" schtick is tired. Cardinal Fan, your team still gets to play in the NFL's JV league so you may get back to the playoffs next year, be grateful for that. Arizona? First Johnny Mac gets his ass kicked in November, now this. At least you still have your astroturf lawns and legions of bitter old white folks waiting to die. BTW, did anyone else catch Kurt Warner's post-game interview where he rejected God and all his works and sacrificed an infant to Ba'al? Lastly, I hear Goodwill is already making room in the bins for Cards jersey discarded by their "fans". All the fashionable homeless will be sporting Warner jerseys next year!

Scott said...

Why the Rich Eisen hate? He's about as controversial and threatening as a Fresca.

Diane said...

Whine much? The Cardinals were successful with both challenges, and overturned a TD and a fumble, for chrissakes. And then they got a bonus challenge, so they didn't "waste" one.

And moving your empty hand forward doesn't turn a fumble into an incomplete pass.

Now Warner can retire and devote his time to the Palin 2012 campaign.

DAWUSS said...

I also didn't know Indianapolis had so many Steelers fans.

Random said...

couldn't care less who won this and it was an exciting game. But the officiating was pretty shady IMO. That fumble should have been reviewed, just to nip controversy in the bud.

Diane, you're missing the point. They shouldn't have had to challenge something that was so obviously wrong. Gimme a break.

That being said, Warner not throwing that INT at the end of the half would have changed the whole complexion of the game. So in the end, despite shredding that vaunted defense, it was that one play that made the difference.

Ben Fatassburger having two SB is criminal. Especially with the mediocre season he's had this year. At least they gave the MVP to Santonio.

Diane said...


Actually, my point would be that it was a no harm/no foul situation since the call was overturned and they received another challenge to use.

Whining about a call that had no effect on the game, and for which the Cards suffered no detriment, is just lame.

Tommy Tuck Rule said...

There was some rank-ass calls in this game especially going against the Cards. I would have been handing in my NFL-fan card if the Steelers would have put up 7 on that roughing the HOLDER call. C'mon, he was falling into him and popped up. But AZ overcame all those calls to take the lead. There is one camera angle, which they did not show enough, that shows Holmes' left toe down. That was the angle coming from behind the line of scrimmage and close up. It was in, as much as i hate to say it. Yes there should have been a review, of that last play too. I just wish the Cards would have won, cuz man Brenda Warner is hot now and we would have seen more of her. Sorry Adam, but you know it is true. You should make her a Weak Ender girl now.

DAWUSS said...

One quick question: Do we put the Kurt Warner Machine in the same category as Jeff Hostetler, the Mannings, Trent Dilfer, Mark Rypien, and Brad Johnson?

THN said...

I love when people only want to read what they want to read. Missing the point on a lot of it. Scratch that, make that most of it.

Kurt Warner has the three greatest passing games in Super Bowl history. It's not his fault that he's .333. He channeled his inner Faver/McNabb at the end of the first half, but more than redeemed himself.

Scott, there is very good reason for the Eisen hate. Trust me.

Sun Devil, I was thinking about the 1997 Rose Bowl, too.

Kyle said...

*Santonio Holmes puts Rodgers-Cromartie in the Sharpshooter*

Bokolis said...

I was thinking the same on the final fumble. According to the commie NFL rules, that was an incomplete pass. The next play from the 29 would have been a good sweat.

I thought the final TD was a catch, not that it mattered to the officials. Either way, it wasn't getting overturned. No doubt, the officials had a hard-on for the Cards. Even when they gave them the safety, it probably cost them about 20 yards of field position, the ensuing result notwithstanding.

If you pluralized Ravens, this must really have done a number on you.

What's the timetable for those two flanking Warner's old lady becoming Weak Ender girls?

THN said...

You're right Bokolis ... the plural of Raven is inexcusable.

The Hatriot said...

Shorter THN:
Clap louder!

Kaiser said...

I'm pretty sure the reason the ref was stammering all night is because he was thinking about Goodell breaking his legs if the Cardinals somehow managed to overcome the fix.