One Writers Running Diary of Super Bowl XLII

New York Giants running backs Ahmad Bradshaw (44) and Brandon Jacobs hug each other after the Giants beat the New England Patriots 17-14 during the Super Bowl XLII football game at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008 in Glendale, Ariz.

Since I mentally allotted the rest of the night to watching the Super Bowl, and all of its pregame glory, I figured I should keep a running tab on my thoughts. Here they are:

2:30 Perfectville – Brilliant idea, but I dislike seeing those old grumpy Dolphins receive more star treatment. They’ve already let the success of one season 36 years ago clog their judgement.

2:58 Frank Caliendo: “Why doesn’t Terry Bradshaw ever finish his books? Because he runs out of crayons.”

3:00 Fox has put Ryan Seacrest on a red carpet on which celebrities are walking as they make their way into the Super Bowl. He first interviews Roger Goodell on the red carpet. The best part of the interview, besides Goodell unsurprisingly sidestepping a prediction for the game, was watching Goodell’s daughter ignore his hand and walk with her mom instead.

3:06 Michael Strahan’s nickname? Laehc im na harts. His name backwards. Yeah, it is pretty dumb.

3:11 Grumpy old coaches: In the regular segment with Barry Switzer, Jimmy Johnson admits that after defeating the 49ers (“the best team in the NFL”) two weeks earlier in the NFC Championship game, he had never been as confident going into a game as he was going into Super Bowl XXVII against the Bills.

3:19 Ryan Seacrest calls Laurence Fishburne “baby” and “man” within two seconds. God I hate Hollywood.

3:37 Fox shows Tedy Bruschi playing with his kids on the field prior to the Super Bowl in Jacksonville a few years ago. And every woman across the country just went “Awwww, look at how cute they are!” Super Bowl fever. Catch it!

3:40 Fox cuts back to Seacrest on the red carpet and I can’t help but think of him freaking out about Jessica Simpson not wanting to talk about anything in her personal life before asking for a chocolate chip cookie to settle down. If you haven’t seen Knocked Up, then I don’t expect you to understand the previous sentence.

3:45 Amp is sponsoring the NFL pre-game show, but will you really even think of buying Amp the next time you’re at a grocery store?

3:47 I just learned some random Super Bowl facts: Twelve million pounds of chips were consumed on Super Sunday. Pizza sales doubled with men eating an average of four slices and women ate three. Fifteen percent of our country called in for food. Five percent of all the avocados that will be bought this year were bought yesterday. In a semi-related note, 20% of antiacid sales that will be sold all year will fly off the shelves today. You want more?
The average visitor to Super Bowl week makes $200,000 per year and will spend $600 per day.

There will be 140 million viewers, four million of whom bought a TV on Sunday, specifically to watch the game.

Company that run advertisements during the game saw their Web site traffic increase by over 400%.

Finally, the 2008 Super Bowl will have a $9.5 billion economic impact.

3:51 Jillian Barberie is now Jillian Reynolds. Who knew? There’s a clip of her at the Maxim party on Friday night, where she interviews various celebrities, half of whom have TV shows on Fox. One nugget that we learn: Michael Clarke Duncan likes Tom Brady because “he has a cool girlfriend.”

4:08 Welker used to be called “The Natural”. How original. Donte Stallworth is called “Julio”, although he refers to himself as “Nico”.

4:11 The Caveman, from those Geico commercials: “I’m not 100% in love with your tone right now.” I am going to use that on my parents, friends, roommates, co-workers, my boss, the conductor on the subway, the bartender who throws me out of the bar, maybe even the cop who is beating me with his nightstick.

4:21 Marissa Miller is shown on the Super red carpet. Wawaweewa!

4:48 Fox runs an ad for their new show, Unhitched. They show one clip of a scene where a dad spills ice cream on his baby’s head, then licks his baby’s head for the ice cream. I still can’t stop laughing.

4:49 Jimmy Johnson is a bastion of knowledge. He says one of the reasons the head coach will meet with refs before the game is to notify them of any trick plays they might run, thus preventing the refs from throwing a flag for what they might think is suspicious activity.

4:58 The Super Bowl really is something. There is still an hour and a half before kickoff, but already there are fans sitting in their seats, watching an Alicia Keys concert. And she’s wearing the biggest hoop earrings any of us will ever see. I could throw a football through those things.

5:08 The WaMu guy is now doing commercials for Chevy!

5:35 Fox shows Eli running by Brady on the field, with Eli smiling. Brady isn’t.

5:55 The reading of the Declaration of Independence by NFL players. Damn, that was some strong stuff. How can you not get pumped up for a game after hearing the document on which our nation was built? I had chills the entire time.

6:06 Troy Aikman makes a very salient point that you can never really tell what Eli Manning’s emotions are. He’s right. Eli was brutalized by the New York media all season. I can attest to that, since I live in NYC. The Giants remained patient with Eli and obviously have been rewarded as Eli is developing into a very good quarterback. He’s not great, yet. If the Giants win today, and he plays well, he could be headed for greatness.

6:06 Right after Aikman’s comment about Eli’s emotions, or lack thereof, Brady is shown running around on the field, yelling like he’s William Wallace on the battlefield. Talk about a difference in two quarterbacks.

6:11 The Giants, in white uniforms, run out to Kanye West’s “Stronger”. Cool song, good tempo. They look fired up, but still somewhat reserved. Like the moment isn’t taking over their emotions.

6:12 The Patriots, in blue, walk out of the tunnel with a stonefaced Tom Brady leading the way. He looks so focused, you could punch him in the face and light his hair on fire and he still wouldn’t know you were there.

6:13 The Patriots run onto the field to Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train”. Their season, starting with Spygate and continuing with their record-setting offensive performances, Rodney Harrison’s steroids suspension, perfect season, and number of highly-hyped late-season contests, has certainly been on a crazy train.

6:18 A former American Idol winner sings the national anthem. Fox, always number one in self-promotion!

6:26 Brady even looks pissed that the Pats lost the coin toss. His body language shows that he just wants to get on the field and make this thing official. Still waiting for the first Super Bowl commercial not promoting a Fox show, by the way.

6:33 Eli gets a six-man rush in his face, but calmly converts a third down pass to Plaxico.

6:35 Eli converts another third down, this time to Steve Smith. The o-line gave Eli great protection.

6:36 Bud Light firebreather gets a chuckle. The Godfather spoof by Audi was great. The R8 looks NICE.

6:40 More than seven minutes into the game and the Giants have picked up their third first down. And they are bleeding the clock. Exactly what a team should do against the Pats: keep their offense on the sidelines.

6:45 With 5:12 left in the first, the Giants knock in a field goal. 15 plays, ten minutes of possession for the Giants. 3-0 Giants.

6:46 Pepsi’s “Night at the Roxbury” commercial was solid. Joe Buck reinforces the notion that white men shouldn’t dance – or bob their head.

6:48 Bud Light just coined another term. “Going on a cheese run”. Perfect.

6:56 Matt Light is doing a great job on Osi Umenyiora. Light is quick and powerful, and is really keeping Osi away from Brady.

6:58 The screaming squirrel was another solid one. The insect screaming was hilarious.

7:01 With the first play in the second quarter, the Pats strike back with a touchdown. 7-3 Pats. There was nothing different on their first possession than what they have done in their previous two playoff games. Normally in big games, you’ll see offenses come out of the gates with nervousness and an uneasy chemistry. That isn’t the case in this game.

7:12 Aikman makes a great point about the Giants running backs picking up the blitzing Patriots. Eli is getting three or four seconds to throw each pass.

7:13 Eli finally turns it over. But it is really Steve Smith’s turnover, as he doesn’t handle a low
pass that should have been caught. Eli threw a much worse pass to Plax in the end zone in the first quarter that was tipped and nearly intercepted by Ellis Hobbs.

7:17 Twenty minutes of gametime have elapsed and Randy Moss still hasn’t had a ball thrown his way. I thought the Pats would throw deep to him early and often, but the Giants are assigning corner and safety coverage to Moss.

7:21 The Giants get a H-U-G-E break by recovering Ahmad Bradshaw’s fumble. New York’s biggest concern was holding onto the football and it could have been devastating if they had turned over the ball deep in their territory.

7:25 Naomi Campbell dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is fun to watch. She has perfect legs, a beautiful face, and just enough Catherine Tramell in her to scare off half the male gender. So far we have had spoofs on The Godfather, Night at the Roxbury, and Thriller.

7:28 The Giants are executing their ideal gameplan. Hold onto the ball, don’t turn it over, and
apply pressure on Brady. They’re still losing, but if they keep playing this way, they will make a big play to turn the lead their way.

7:36 Again, the Giants luck out on not turning over a fumble. Luck really is on their side right now. The Pats didn’t score after their interception and missed out on recovering two Giants fumbles. Not to mention Hobbs almost intercepting Manning’s tipped pass in the first quarter. Every team needs some luck to win and the Giants certainly have it in their corner.

7:37 Randall Gay just dropped a possible interception. Man, the Pats can’t get capitalize on anything.

7:38 I’ll never eat Plantars again. All I can think of now are unibrows and hairy moles. Truly disgusting.

7:42 The Doritos Mouse costume was possibly the best so far. I think any time a rodent beats up a guy in a suit, there will be plenty of laughs that will follow. And There Will Be Blood!

7:43 We are over twenty-eight minutes into the game and Moss finally had a pass directed his way. No dice, however, as Brady underthrew the pass while getting a safety rushing his grill.

7:48 The Giants again stifle a Pats scoring opportunity as Justin Tuck forces Brady to fumble and the Giants recover. Tuck is nearly unstoppable on the line of scrimmage tonight. Strahan is getting pressure, and the Giants are blitzing successfully.

8:17 First half thoughts: 1. I’m surprised the Pats aren’t more aggressive on offense. Why not throw downfield more to Stalworth or Moss? I realize Moss was thrown at late in the half, but the Giants are smothering the Pats. The Pats need to space the field.

2. The Giants receivers have dropped some crucial passes, but the Giants have lucked out. They have recovered their two fumbles, the Pats dropped one interception, and almost caught another.

3. The Giant front four is playing great, very physical and aggressive. And they are blitzing at just the right times.

4. Brady looks tired. He looks hurt. And the Pats are still leading. Will be interesting to see what second half adjustments are made concerning the Pats’ pass protection.

8:28 Umenyiora is dominating at the beginning of the second half.

8:37 Brilliant decision by Belicheck to challenge whether Chase Blackburn got off the field before the Pats snapped their punt. Belicheck is as savvy as they come.

8:43 Once again, the Pats let another scoring opportunity pass them by. It’s unreal. The Giants are playing faster, more aggressively, and seem to be relishing their underdog role more than the Patriots savoring their chance to become a legendary team tonight.

8:51 Eli is playing a great game. He threw a near perfect pass to Plax in the endzone that was batted away brilliantly by Asante Samuel. Then Plax dropped a tough but catchable pass on the next play.

8:52 The E-trade talking baby commercial made me laugh out loud. Two of my hardest laughs have come from a ten-year-old picking his nose (the Shaq jockey commercial) and an infant throwing up on himself. I’m all class.

8:57 Brady hitting Welker on slants is the only thing the Pats have been able to do consistently well offensively.

9:00 Brady tried to go downfield to Moss but was hit right as he threw. Brady is going to need a long, relaxing massage from Gisele in the morning. Bastard.

9:04 Belicheck’s decision to pass the field goal and go for it on 4th and 13 could be the difference in the game. In a game that has been tough to get any offensive rhythm, I’m not sure how coaches can be so willing to pass up good scoring opportunities. And right now I consider a 49-yard field goal to be a good scoring opportunity.

9:11 Eli continues to play his guts out. He is calm in the pocket, although that’s largely due to the stellar play of the Giants offensive line. But Eli is putting his passes right on the money, he’s throwing with authority, and is handling the game on his terms, much like what most of us expected Brady to do.

9:20 I can’t believe Brady just overthrew Moss on a post downfield. Brady hit Moss earlier in the drive on a slant, but Brady is throwing without confidence. His ankle can’t be helping, but his main concern has to be the Giants in his face every time he drops back. It seems like the Giants have officially won the psychological battle in this game. If a team rushes a quarterback enough times in a game, the quarterback will eventually expect to be pressured every time he drops back. And Brady looks like he is expecting the rush every time.

9:24 Manning just missed a golden opportunity as he scrambled to his left and overthrew Plax on a lobbed throw. The Giants don’t convert on third down and now the Pats get another chance to gain back the lead. Wow, the Giants might have missed a chance to ice the game. Plax had at least 20 yards of room ahead of him if Manning, on the run, hadn’t lobbed the ball too far out of his reach.

9:26 I’ve just realized, with 7:54 left in the game, that there haven’t really been any trick plays. The Pats ran a fake reverse on their first play from scrimmage, but the play calling has been fairly timid since then, from both teams.

9:32 Welker just made his eleventh catch of the game, with under five minutes remaining. If the Pats win, I would guess he will be named MVP. He has kept several drives alive tonight for the Pats, even though the Pats haven’t finished a drive with a score since their first possession of the game. Unreal.

9:37 My gosh, Brady missed possibly his easiest throw of the night by overthrowing Moss at the far left side of the endzone. Moss broke off his corner by running an out towards the front left corner but Brady threw too much to the corner. You just don’t see this type of inaccuracy from the two-time Super Bowl MVP. Ankle problems, skittishness from getting blitzed all game, I don’t know what it is.

9:39 And then Brady throws an easy touchdown pass to Moss. 14-10 Pats. Under three minutes remaining.

9:51 Asante misses an interception. The ball was thrown a little high for Asante to reach, but if he had, the Patriots would be on their way to a fourth Super Bowl.

9:52 Eli made the play of the game in somehow keeping his balance after nearly being pulled down by two Patriots, regaining his composure and launching a 32-yard pass on 3rd and 5 to David Tyree, who kept the ball wedged between his hand and the top of his helmet and was pulled down backwards. What great composure Eli is showing in the biggest drive of his life and what a great play by Tyree to keep the drive alive.

9:57 Eli to Plax for the touchdown. 17-14 Giants. Plax ran a simple slant and go, Hobbs’ knees buckled, and Eli had an easy pass to Plax in the endzone. Thirty-five seconds left in the game and the Pats have three timeouts.

10:10 The New York “football” Giants have just won the Super Bowl. The Patriots couldn’t get anything going on their last drive. Brady threw a perfect 60- or 70-yard pass downfield to Moss, which was batted away by a Giants defensive back. That was really the last gasp from the Pats. The Giants, having defeated Tampa Bay, Dallas, and Green Bay on the road, and then defeating the Pats, are truly a great team.


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One Response to “One Writers Running Diary of Super Bowl XLII”

  1. Jesse says:

    Purely awesome