Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Bucs; the combination of an efficient offense and a dominating defense made them Super Bowl champions last night. After watching the Bucs last night, it is hard to fathom how that team lost to the Bears back in October scoring only 19 points in that game. Let me make 5 overview comments/takeaways from the game last night:
- I did not like the officiating; they made several calls that looked “ticky-tack” to me and yet allowed lots of behavior that could well have drawn unsportsmanlike conduct flags. The officiating did not decide the outcome, but I have seen games with better officiating.
- The injuries to the Chiefs’ OL were significant. The Bucs have a good pass rush; last night it looked like the Fearsome Foursome.
- Todd Bowles called a great game on defense for the Bucs; he turned the Chiefs into a one-dimensional offense.
- Purely from an entertainment standpoint, this game was not particularly interesting from about the second quarter on. The outcome was not really in doubt for the last 35-40 minutes of playing time.
- Between the advertisers’ virtue signaling and the NFL’s proclamations to demonstrate how “woke” it is and CBS’ incessant hawking of its new show, Clarice, are you ready to take to the streets to demand the return of the Budweiser frogs, the Clydesdales and the day-trading baby in his crib?
I must correct an erratum from last week’s Final Football Friday. It came to me in an email from the person who is the Chief Logistics Officer for our annual Las Vegas Fall Pilgrimage – – a tradition seeking a return to normalcy in 2021. Last week, I said that a memorable Super Bowl moment was Tom Brady’s Hail Mary pass against the Eagles falling incomplete. Then I added this:
“Why that is particularly memorable is that if it had been complete, the Pats would have won the game AND Tom Brady would have broken the all-time NFL record for most yards passing in a game – a record that has stood since 1951.”
Here is the correction that needs to be made from my email notification:
“A minor nitpick – if I recall correctly, the Iggles won that NE SB by 8 (41-33), so I think your statement is wrong. So actually they would have needed a 2-point conversion just to tie.”
That is not a “minor nitpick”; that is what happened in Super Bowl LII; my memory was faulty.
While I am in the mode of passing along email comments, I also received one over the weekend from the “reader in Houston” with another correction/clarification from the Final Football Friday. In there, I said that Tom Brady had not been rated as a high school prospect when he graduated. That is technically accurate – – but there is more to the story and a lot of the additional information can be lifted from the email I received:
“I don’t know which ratings service(s) that you’re referring to, but Rivals.com is probably the most “reliable” high school rating service. It never had a chance to rank Brady in 1996 because it didn’t start until the early 2000s.
“FYI – Chad Pennington (Jets), Giovanni Carmazzi (49ers), Chris Redman (Ravens), Tee Martin (Steelers), Marc Bulger (Saints) and Spergon Wynn (Browns) were the six QBs drafted ahead of Tom in the 2000 NFL draft.
“As Brady came along before the advent of Rivals.com, there was no ranking for him by them, when he was at Serra HS (San Mateo) before going on to Michigan. Even at Michigan, he had to sit behind Brian Griese for two years and then, though he became the starting QB his last two years there, he platooned with Drew Henson.
“Even if Rivals.com was around in 1996, Brady wouldn’t have even been the best QB in California, since Carmazzi threw for almost 10,000 yards in his high school career and there’s definitely no way to really know where Tom would be ranked in the entire national recruiting class.”
The reader wonders what rating service(s) I was using; the answer is none of them. I did a Google search on something like “Tom Brady high school prospect ratings” and got nothing; so, I varied the search a bit hoping to clarify and still got nothing. Ergo, I concluded that he had not been rated as a prospect coming out of high school since the same sort of search query worked in the other cases cited.
I also mentioned last week that the Washington Wizards are off to a miserable start – – they are 5-15 as of this morning – – and Bradley Beal is getting frustrated. He leads the league in scoring average (33.5 points per game), but he told a local reporter:
“I just hate losing…it’s been tough.”
Beal has been with the Wizards since the 2012-2013 season. In that time – – and not adding in the results for the current season – – the Wizards record has been 309-337. You would think he would have acclimated to losing by this point…
And speaking of the NBA – obliquely – the league is going to stage an All-Star Game in early March. What a bad idea that is… The league is struggling to put on its regular season games amid the pandemic and its byzantine COVID-19 protocols. And so, instead of just taking a breather in the schedule hopefully to clamp down a bit on positive tests and contact tracing demands, the NBA will gather up a lot of players and move them to a site where they can play a totally meaningless couple of games along with even more meaningless events like the Slam Dunk Contest. Someone in the NBA Executive Suites must have been sleep-deprived for about 96 hours to come up with that idea.
Finally, I said the NBA should take a break in the season “hopefully” to clamp down a bit on COVID-19. Let me close today with the definition of “hopefully” from The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm:
“Hopefully: A word meaning ‘probably not.’ As in, ‘Hopefully, I will be able to make your newborn’s upcoming circumcision.’”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………