Super Bowl Observations
I watched the game this morning after having various bizarre dreams about it last night. The edited 40-minute version was thankfully ready and waiting on my Apple TV, though I foolishly tried to get it on my desktop first and through my squint caught that it had gone into overtime (and saw a 49er on the cover of NFL.com), so I had assumed they won and that I had lost all my bets.
The other way I knew OT was for real was the “40-minute” version was 50 minutes. But it wasn’t just that. It was also the excessive number of replays and having to listen to Tony Romo go on and on during them about nothing. I don’t know how many times I exclaimed out loud by myself in the office to Romo “Shut the fuck up already!” but it was more than two. I can’t imagine what it was like enduring that for the entire game.
The game was close and dramatic, but kind of dull. There weren’t a lot of great plays, both defenses played pretty well, more or less as I expected. I had predicted 24-19 Chiefs and so 25-22 wasn’t bad. I also won about $400 ($250 from dumb sportsbook app that cost me an extra $120 because it duplicated my props rather than leaving me extra money for the Chiefs) and more from some side bets. All things considered, I’ll take it, especially because as I said, I thought I had lost!
Had Patrick Mahomes beat Tom Brady in the Bucs-Chiefs Super Bowl and also in the AFC title game overtime, they both might have five Super Bowl wins each. As it stands, Brady is up 7-3.
How about the state of the kicking! It’s true Jake Moody had a big PAT blocked (though the whole game after that would have been different had he made it), but both kickers broke the all-time record for field-goal length in a Super Bowl, and Moody nailed a go-ahead 53-yarder with two minutes left. The Scott Norwood era this is not.
I love missing the halftime show, the commercials and all the rest of the distractions. They know they have a gigantic audience, so they shove as much as they can at you, and escaping the seizure of your time and attention span is worth a couple hundred bucks minimum.
Kyle Shanahan passed up the chance to tie the game in the fourth quarter on 4th-and-3 from the 15 yard line, converted the fourth down and wound up getting a TD (the one on which Moody’s PAT was blocked.) I would have kicked there with 12:00 left, FWIW, but it worked out.
To beat Mahomes, you have to blow him out. You really don’t want to get into a “who-has-the-ball-last” contest with the guy. He’s too calm, too poised in the biggest moments. His running was also a big factor in the game.
The Chiefs defense really held the 49ers receivers (and even Christian McCaffrey) in check. They didn’t have a single play of 25 yards and only three of more than 20.
You don’t see Nick Chubb and the Browns getting ultimate Super Bowl winning penetration, do you? For that you need Hardman. Seriously though, what an ending. After his exile to the netherworld known as the Jets and nearly fumbling away the season in Buffalo during the playoffs, being the guy to catch the season-closing pass is pretty redemptive. (He also caught a 52-yard pass before Isiah Pacheco’s fumble in the first half.)
The only thing I have left to do for NFL now is wrap up my accounting later today — 2023-24 was a loser, not a massive one, but still a net negative.