10. C’mon, are folks really offended by the middle finger? Not sure who or what M.I.A. is, but he/she/it became infamous Sunday by upstaging Madonna and flipping the bird to 110 million viewers on NBC. No biggie. CBS was initially fined $550,000 by the FCC for Janet Jackson’s nipple slip in 2004, but that ruling was overturned on appeal. I haven’t flipped anyone off since probably high school, but you have to go out of your way with prudeness to be offended by it during the Super Bowl. Most confusing part of the halftime show was the “World Peace” shoutout to Ron Artest.
9. It was a nice story and the deceased wife of Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft was apparently a great woman, but that’s the danger of blatantly playing for someone. Now that Tom Brady repeatedly pointed to his MHK patch but somehow Myra Hiatt Kraft didn’t magically pinball his last Hail Mary to a diving Rob Gronkowski for a Hollywood-script touchdown, doesn’t that do a disservice to her legacy?
8. A Super Bowl has never gone into overtime. But, thanks to a bad call by referee John Parry, two of them have now started with safety. The other was Super Bowl IX, when the Steelers led the Vikings at halftime, 2-0. (If you put money on that 75/1 odds prop bet, congrats!) Looked to me like Deion Branch broke in instead of up, causing Tom Brady’s first-quarter pass over the middle to look ridiculous. But intentional grounding on a pass over the middle? Never seen it. And if that’s the case, how can quarterbacks be allowed to routinely throw the ball 20 yards out of the back of the end zone to preserve field-goal position?
7. I know he was beaten on Mario Manningham’s fantastic, key catch, but former SMU cornerback Sterling Moore can play on my team any day.
6. Eli Manning has more Super Bowl rings than Peyton Manning. Eli Manning has more Super Bowl MVPs than Troy Aikman. Eli Manning is a lock for the Hall of Fame since only Jim Plunkett is a two-ring quarterback left out. And, another sobering thought, former Cowboys’ draft-pick bust Isaiah Stanback (4th round in ’07) now has a Super Bowl ring.
5. And to think, the Cowboys were thiiiis close to beating the Giants and winning the NFC East on Dec. 11. If only a wide-open Miles Austin runs under the Tony Romo bomb …
4. As far as Super Bowl commercials: Seinfeld is baaaack! Barry Manilow pimping their rides must make macho, tough pickup drivers nauseous. Peeing in the pool is one of life’s hidden pleasures. “We-Go” is the coolest dog ever. No, Samsung, we are not the least bit intrigued about a phone that comes equipped with a pen. Ferris Bueller drives a Honda CRV, same as yours truly (thanks Vandergriff Honda!). Jack in the Box’s line of the day: “You may now eat the bride.” And regarding the vampires in the Audi ad: Would they really need a campfire to stay warm? And, when hit by the car’s “daytime” lights, wouldn’t they all instantly vaporize at the same time instead of one-by-one?
3. Biggest play of the game was Wes Welker’s drop. New England led 17-15 and faced a 2nd-and-11 from New York’s 45 with 4:05 remaining. Without a Giants’ defender within five yards of him, Welker jumped for a pass that was a little high and a little behind him at the Giants’ 22. Momentarily with both hands and control off the ball, he lost his grasp before falling to the turf. Two plays later the Patriots punted, the Giants drove 88 yards and … Welker shaved off his mustache in the losing post-game locker room. “That’s a play I make a thousand times,” said Welker. Not an easy or routine catch, but one you expect him to make. During his impending sleepless nights, Welker should call the Rangers’ Nelson Cruz to commiserate. Game 6 of the World Series ring a bell?
2. We just watched a Super Bowl won by an inadvertent touchdown. Ahmad Bradshaw failed to tackle himself at the 1, reluctantly, accidentally fell backward into the end zone and thereby jeopardized his team’s ultimate success. Weirdest touchdown in Super Bowl history.
1. When you beat three teams that were a combined 44-7 en route to a title, it’s no fluke. But … no way around it: the Giants are lucky. New York was fortunate – their skill or scheme had zero to do with it – that Romo overthrew Austin or else they wouldn’t even had made the playoffs. New York was fortunate – their skill or scheme had zero to do with it – when 49ers’ punt-returner Kyle Williams allowed a kick to glance off his knee for a free seven points in the NFC Championship Game. And New York was fortunate – their skill or scheme had zero to do with it – when Welker dropped his pass. New York also recovered two of its own fumbles, was gifted seven points by the Patriots having 12 men on the field, awarded a field-position-flipping advantage when New England lined up offside, and was lucky that Patriots’ linebacker Jerod Mayo didn’t turn his head on a slant pass to Victor Cruz in the end zone late in the first quarter. If he sees that ill-advised throw by Manning, it’s a 102-yard touchdown the other way. Yes, the Giants are the best team. But they are also the luckiest.