Nick Bakay is blogging on Super Bowl XLII. Get a load of his unique and irreverent insight on America's unofficial national holiday.
Fourth quarter review:
Yes, technically the Pats lead for three quarters, but it felt like they were losing the entire game, and as it turns out there was a reason.
Brady sets up at his own 20 with eight minutes to go. Hits Welker, hits Moss, here we go again?
First-and-goal: Brady misses Moss wide open in the end zone -- credit the Giants D-line with pounding him for four quarters.
2nd-and-goal: Brady forces it in to Welker -- no go.
Injury time out: Shot of Brady, in the huddle, flipping open the play cheat sheet on his wrist and perusing it like it's a novel -- what play are they calling?
3rd-and-goal: Brady to Moss, wide open for the touchdown.
Again: Here we go again?
Eli gets his chance with 2:39 left, ball on his own 17, and a field goal won't do it. Squeeze them tight my friends, very tight...
3rd-and-ten: He's got Toomer. ... Is it enough? No.
Squeeze 'em tighter -- gotta go for it, right? You bet. Jacobs bulls it through for a yard? Or do they get fancy? Nope -- Jacobs -- barely.
Then, Eli shows the most amazing escapability and David Tyree holds on to a pass he has no right holding on to. Unreal effort on both of their parts.
Manning gets taken down, gotta burn a time out.
Finds Smith for the key first down that stops the clock...
And then he finds Burress for the killshot!
Brady gets another shot, but we all knew this one was too much magic to ask for, and it was. The perfect season goes down in flames, and now the Pats face the potential of even further reckonings. Man, losing a Superbowl sucks -- even if you win every single game leading up to it.
As for the Giants, I remain the last person to believe in them, and now I must pay the price: I called this one Pats 31-20, and brother was I way off! I was wrong, I suck, I take my medicine like a man.
All props to the victors -- no one believed except yourselves, and that was all you needed.
MVP's? Where do we begin?
We said earlier that every Superbowl lets an unknown grab the glory, and, simply put, the Giants don't win this Lombardi trophy without David Tyree...
And the world designated the Giants defensive backs as their weak spot, and while all that phenomenal pressure on Brady was the key, these DB's played outrageously well. They shut down Moss until that final TD, they eliminated Stallworth, and while Welker got his usual yards and catch total, they wrapped him up and shut down the RAC yards.
And then we come to the amazing Manning family -- Archie was superb, but he was doomed to spend his career playing for terrible teams that couldn't win. You know what? I'm sure he'd be the first to say, "Who cares?" Now that I'm a father, I get it -- you take pride in what you accomplish in life, but you'd trade it all to see your son do better, drink deeper, and live the dream. Now Archie gets to see not one, but two sons play in the NFL? That's already remarkable. Bump that up to the impossible concept of raising two sons who go on to be winning Superbowl quarterbacks? I don't think there is a VU meter big enough to measure that kind of magic. Let the rest of us bow and acknowledge that something amazing just happened -- something just as amazing as this superb upset.
And with that, we already await next season, the games, the articles, the blogging, with a longing unique to the end of the season. Now where is that warehouse with all those "Patriots World Champ" t-shirts?
Third quarter review:
Nice set by Tom Petty -- it always surprises me how many ubiquitous songs Petty has written, I really enjoyed him, but I always laugh at the fake fans that are hired to run onto the field and pretend they know all the songs. I don't think it's necessary -- and I don't think they're fooling anyone, either.
This group was topped off by an even funnier concept -- the fake "encore lighters." The lit lighter used to tell a band they were so good that we were all inspired to light up our contraband in their honor -- now, it's pen lights. God, I'm old ...
THE GAME: What was purported to be a shootout has now become a chess match regarding field position. Not exactly fireworks, but the tension is, at the risk of sounding like a James Bond villan, exquisite ...
Someone is going to be the goat today, mark my words.
MOST AWKWARD MOMENT: All those cutaway shots of Blackburn pending and following the review of the too many men on the field call. He got spared, thanks to more incredible Giant defense. This is crazy.
SHOCKER: The Pats going for it on fourth and 13 from the 30?! I guess they really don't trust the kicking game after Adam V. Was that one single tear I saw coming down Gostkowski's face? The other shocker is they go deep for six ... to Jabbar Gaffney? Was that one single tear I saw coming down Randy Moss' face?
DISAPPEARING ACT: Scoring! A scoreless third quarter? I did not expect to see that -- and so much for the Pats coming out of the locker room with their guns blazing.
BEST COMMERCIAL: Icebreakers. Five words: Carmen Electra walking in slo-mo… or is that six words? I don't care.
As a new father who saw my son vomit all over his brand new Loverboy rock and roll sweatshirt mere moments before kickoff, I also have to doff my cap to the E-trade child trader -- pretty funny, especially when you find yourself watching the biggest game of the year with a nice little pile of dry puke on your shoulder.
WORST COMMERCIAL: Sales Genie.com appears to be going for the hat trick here -- creepy animated pandas? Wha?
Do the Bud Light Cavemen get their own sitcom, too?
IF I'M THE GIANTS, HERE'S WHAT I'D DO: Score, and fast! You can only ride your defense for so long.
IF I'M THE PATRIOTS, HERE'S WHAT I'D DO: How about some play-action passing? They finally tried it, and even if brady didn't connect with Moss, he had some time ...
Second quarter review:
THE GAME: Hello Amani Toomer! Turned an interception floater into a huge gainer. One of the most underrated players in recent memory.
The Giants O-line is doing an incredible job buying Eli time. I also sense that Brandon Jacobs is going to wear the chrome off those old New England LBs -- what a bull. Did you see that sideline shot of a trainer pouring liquids over Teddy Bruschi's head? It's gonna be a long, snot-nose kind o' day.
And we have a TD-killing interception -- not Eli's fault, but regardless, is this when it all turns dark? 10-7 is a ball game. Down 14-3 is a scary place to be when you play the Pats. The Giants seem to have heard me, that was a huge three-and-out -- still a ballgame.
A low-scoring one, I might add. The whole world saw this as a 70-total-point kind o' day, but so far these teams are scoring like they both run the wishbone.
MOST AWKWARD MOMENT: Peyton giving his own brother the hurry-it-up sign -- although, could you blame him? What is worse than taking a stupid 5-yarder in the red zone.
DISAPPEARING ACT: Randy Moss! Is he even dressed to play today? My god, they finally got him one on that final drive, but this is nuts. Ditto the Pats O-line -- guys, you're all going to Hawaii, you have got to do better than this ...
BROADCAST NOTES: Joe Buck is as good as they get, and while Troy Aikman may not be mister personality, you can't knock the storytellers on this one.
BEST COMMERCIAL: FedEx huge carrier pigeons gone bad was pretty great -- I'm almost shocked it isn't a movie poised to follow Cloverfield.
Iron Man looks great, too, and reminds me of the crazy lyric of the theme song from the old '70's Iron Man cartoon:
Tony Stark makes you feel
He's the cool exec with the heart of steel
But Iron man jet boots a-flame
He fights and fights with repulsor rays!
But the winner has to be the Planters Peanut girl -- Robin and I laughed out loud. Loved the sassy attitude, and for people with peanut allergies it must have been like forbidden porn ...
WORST COMMERCIAL: Year after year, GoDaddy.com thinks it is shocking us, when in fact, all we really leave their commercials with is amazement at their shoddy production values. Cheap, cheesy, not really sexy -- come on, guys -- there is actually a way to do this stuff right.
Tell you the truth, I'm also really sick of the Bud dogs and Clydesdales and their little heart tugging story lines.
Then there's Mencia -- just how many ads does a comic get to star in without getting a single laugh? And when does someone pick up the phone and call his management for a refund?
IF I'M THE GIANTS, HERE'S WHAT I'D DO: More of the same! They are playing this New England offense brilliantly -- no dangerous passing game? Color me stunned -- and very curious to see Belichick's half-time adjustments ...
IF I'M THE PATRIOTS, HERE'S WHAT I'D DO: First off, drink some coffee, or Pepsi Max or whatever it takes to get it going here!
Air out some long balls to Moss and Stallworth -- you gotta back these Giants off and put some fear into them. I'd also switch up my blitz schemes -- Eli has so much time in the pocket he's sipping tea and crumpets back there.
Just as I wrote that, Adalius Thomas got in there and knocked the ball loose -- but the bounce goes the Giants way -- some might see that as an omen ..?
WHO'S GONNA WIN?Giants -- no big plays is exactly how they like it, and the Pats look like they are sleep-walking. However, the repeated failures to score in the red zone may be all New England needs.
First quarter review
ANTHEM: Jordin Sparks: Living proof that American Idol creates stars ... who can no longer sell downloads.
I'm of the school that the Super Bowl Anthem should be about getting an actual legend to bring us all together. It shouldn't be reduced to yet another network promo. Who can forget Marvin Gaye or Whitney Houston (pre-sad junky) at the '90 Bowl? Shivers, right? Sparks? Blech.
Would it have killed them to put a call in to Al Green?
MOST AWKWARD MOMENT: Honorable mention has to go to all those breathless, adoring pre-game roll-ins about the greatness of Bill Belichick. Not that he isn't great, but when a network has to fill nine hours of pregame programming, they rely on a lot of stuff that was clearly taped before Spygate II reared it's ugly little head.
SHOCKER: None yet, with the possible exception of no big pass plays from brady so far ... although that interference call in the end zone pass to Ben Watson certainly would have qualified.
DISAPPEARING ACT: Is Steve Smith the new Amani Toomer? Didn't see that one coming, but then again, every Superbowl someone comes out of the depth chart and takes a leap forward.
BEST COMMERCIAL: Without a doubt, it's Audi -- that car looks awesome, but the shot-by-shot perfect parody of the Waltz/Horse head scene, with a special wink thanks to Alex "Moe Green" Rocco? Fuget aboud it -- here's your winner.
WORST COMMERCIAL: Was sales Genie even a national spot? Yikes.