..on to the draft!
Well fans, another Super Bowl come and gone. At least this one was exciting down to the last play, even for those without a dog in the fight. It seems like years ago, there was a long stretch when Super Bowls were runaway affairs decided well before the end of the first half. That pattern has been broken in the last decade, with many games going down to the final series of the fourth quarter. There is something to be said for parity football which gives all the weapons to the offense and ties one hand behind the defense’s back.
A couple of pass plays in Sunday’s final moments will make the hall-of-fame Super Bowl replays, obviously, the great catch by Mario Manningham along the sidelines, dropped down a stove pipe by Eli Manning. The other was the so-called drop by Wes Welker which would have put the Pats in position for the win. Welker did get his hands on the ball, but was forced to twist his body around against his momentum to do so. If he had hung on, it would have been a tougher and more spectacular grab than Manningham’s.
The ball was there, but only just. If there is blame to be meted out, I think Brady and Welker share it. Welker might have made the catch, but Brady could also have made the routine throw to an open receiver. You win and lose as a team, as they love to say. I think it was Cris Collinsworth who said Welker makes that completion 99 times out of 100, but I don’t think that is fair at all – more like 50-50. Still, that’s the difference between winning and losing the big game, whether a player will be remembered as good or great.
Now we fans of the Purple must turn our attention to the 2012 draft in April. Speculation runs to the probability that St. Louis, picking in the second spot, will trade down to someone – (Cleveland?) – who thinks Robert Griffin III will make a franchise QB. If so, the Vikes should surely jump all over Matt Kalil, the blue chip left tackle from USC who will protect Christian Ponder’s blind side. If St. Louis decides on Kalil instead of the trade, then that option is open to the Vikes, who could still find a top prospect at OT, and then have extra picks with which to retool in a very deep draft. In addition, there are top quality free agents available this year at all of the Vikings’ positions of need.
The general hullabaloo surrounding the Super Bowl from commercials and half-time show were curiously flat this year. None of the commercial messages were particularly memorable, and Madonna could barely muster tacky, coming nowhere near shocking. She looked old, tired, and flabby despite a million dollars worth of help from the plastic surgeon. Her colleague, M.I.A., delivered a suitable message to the viewing public with the middle finger – **** you all, this is prerecorded and we’re mailing it in.