Welcome to a special edition of the Around The League End Around, looking back at Super Bowl XLVIII. Dan Hanzus serves as your guide.
It was a good Super Bowl for ...
1. Russell Wilson: He's young, talented, clutch and the quarterback of a team with a chance to be elite for years. Sound familiar?
2. Seahawks' defense: Let's face it, if there were a year for the Super Bowl MVP to be given out to an entire unit, this was it. Malcolm Smith went to Disney World, but the truck he was given should just be kept parked next to the basketball court at Seahawks' headquarters.
It was a bad Super Bowl for ...
1. Peyton Manning: Even a Patriots fan had to feel for Manning, who knew by halftime that the opportunity to stamp himself as the greatest quarterback in NFL history had gone out the door in embarrassing fashion. He doesn't want to look at it that way, but 43-8 will leave a mark.
2. Wes Welker: That's 0 for 3 for the Old Spice pitchman. He's going to go full-on Beast Mode with the media if he gets back to this game again.
3. John Elway: The Broncos' executive is no dummy. He knows the Broncos don't have a wide-open window of success like the Seahawks. This was the year to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Denver. This was a colossal missed opportunity.
You knew it was over when ...
Any remaining drama left the building once Percy Harvin took Matt Prater's short kickoff, found a hole and bolted to the end zone to make the score 29-0. Watching from above the lower deck of the Seahawks' end zone, you could see Broncos fans begin to make their way to the exits while Seattle fans started getting pictures together with their soon-to-be champion team in the background.
What the What?
What's a "9/11 Truther," really? Someone with a deep and unending distrust of his or her own government, sure, but aren't they really just people who missed the JFK conspiracy train by a decade or two? With Kennedy well covered, Truthers have turned their attention to America's great tragedy of the 21st century as a consolation prize. Lame.
Oh man, that's cold: Part I
This one is hysterical pic.twitter.com/bmQcvVAYBTâ Jason Barrett (@sportsradiopd) February 3, 2014
Oh man, that's cold: Part II
Quote of the Super Bowl
"(Cris Carter) that said that we were appetizers, right, he told me to Google him. And I did that. I saw that he was a Hall of Famer, which like I said, I respect what he did on the football field. But I also saw two conference championship appearances, none of which he won. And I didn't see any Super Bowl appearances. All that stuff came to me in Google, and I would love for him to come to me ... I would love to show him the Super Bowl ring. If he doesn't want to come and see it personally, tell him he can Google it."
Hero of the Day: Pete Carroll
Talk about full circle: Carroll won a Super Bowl at the Meadowlands, 20 years after his first NFL coaching job ended in a one-and-done canning by the New York Jets. I got to witness Carroll's postgame speech to players in the locker room, and it was clear the affection between the players and their coach is real -- and was before the Lombardi Trophy was hoisted.
Carroll was the right coach on the right team at the right time. Rarely do the football gods smile down on a city like this. For Seattle, it was overdue.
Villain of the Day: Train stations
C'mon locomotives. We gave you the big stage here. The Super Bowl! It's been a series of demoralizing defeats since Henry Ford opened his first factory, and Sunday represented your big comeback opportunity. Instead, you tied 30,000 people to the metaphorical train tracks. Peyton isn't the only one who missed out on a golden opportunity.
"What We Learned from Super Bowl XLVIII" -- Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com
"Peyton Manning falls flat in Super Bowl XLVIII rout" -- Chris Wesseling, NFL.com
As Wess astutely points out, the only silver lining for Manning is yet another chance to change the "narrative" in 2014.
"Percy Harvin saves best Seattle Seahawks act for last" -- Marc Sessler, NFL.com
It took 19 games into the Seahawks' season, but Harvin proved his worth on the big stage.
Great season, everybody. Let's do this again.