Well, as a 1990’s-esque Superbowl blowout is in the books, here are a few thoughts i had about the game, the NFL and Bruno Mars.
1. The Game:
For me, as a Seahawks fan and former Seahawks employee, I was so happy for that organization for the win. Lots of great people there, and I am happy for Paul Allen. Paul has done a lot of things that are amazing for the Seattle area and Northwest in general. He is also a great guitar player and lover of music.
The part of the game that I am not happy with is the laziness of the media in terms of Peyton Manning. Peyton is one of, if not the best quarterbacks in the history of the game. Watching his linemen get knocked back into him play after play, seeing him have to get rid of the ball in two seconds or less, knowing they couldn’t throw the ball down field because there was no time and seeing the blanket coverage of his receivers shows that no quarterback in the conference could have done better. To think that this loss diminishes his legacy is silly. You want to know what Peyton’s legacy is? Look at Indianapolis after he left. Look at how he has taken average teams with terrible defenses to the Super Bowl. Look at how a single drop by Pierre Garcon or an onside kick are keeping him from being a two time Super Bowl champ.
Just throwing this on Peyton is silly. Like his famous predecessor John Elway, Peyton has taken teams that wouldn’t even be in the playoffs and put them in the biggest stages in the game.
So bravo Seattle, you are the best team in the NFL, and by a pretty nice margin. Boo media, for taking a team game and throwing it on the shoulders of one guy. Guess who snapped the ball in the endzone on the first play? Not Peyton.
2. The NFL
I was listening to the Dan Patrick Show this morning, and they talked about the rumors of potential rule changes that would not allow tackling around the knees and eliminating the extra point. With all of the rules around spearing and protecting players from concussions, defenses are aiming lower and lower when tackling players. I don’t really care much about the rule. At some point you are choosing to play a violent game and you know the risks. If they pass the rule, fine, scoring records will be rewritten. If they don’t, fine, ACL injuries will happen from time to time.
What bothers me about this topic, and the topic is the lip service given to protecting players. To eliminate the extra point or low hits, and then propose a whole additional game in the playoffs or an 18 game season is counter intuitive to protecting players. Want to protect players? Go to a 10 minute quarter. Allow ties and eliminate overtime. Take away pads and helmets and see how people choose to tackle and block. The end of Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid would have been less impressive if they were wearing Iron Man armor.
If you are really concerned with protecting players, do things that protect them. Yeah, I know Gronkowski got injured on an extra point. Name one other marquee player that has done the same? But i know the Superbowl would have been less exciting if Percy Harvin couldn’t play because of his concussion. Giving a strike zone for tackling, shortening the season, shortening games, eliminating practices and capping the number of games a player can play before they are forced into retirement are things that will protect players. But none of those are on the table and no one wants those. All the other items are just ways to score more points and eliminate pointless parts of the game. Saying it protects players from injury is just for lawyers and perception. If you are going to make it harder to tackle and then add games, you don’t give a crap about injuries. You just want more points, more excitement, more games and, ultimately, more money.
3. Bruno Mars:
As a kid, I spent a few summers in Detroit with my Dad. In that time, I listened to a lot of blues (Superman by B.B. King was on perpetual play) and we watched a lot of Soul Train. My older brothers listened to two things. Metal and Soul. If they were hanging out with guys or driving, Priest and Maiden were their bands of choice. If a girl was over? James Brown, Marvin Gaye and Al Green were on the record player. So I had a lot of exposure, for a kid growing up in Corvallis Oregon, to the magic of R&B and Soul.
For me, watching Bruno Mars was like watching Smokey Robinson or James Brown. His band was exciting, his songs were catchy, they put on a performance in a style I have always adored. I have always liked Bruno, from a distance. I never change the station when one of his songs come on and I love how musical his music really is. It is not produced, it is crafted. So watching him at half time was a real treat for me. While his songs are current, his presentation is throw back to a style of music that shaped my childhood. Lots of people will point to The Beatles as the soundtrack of their youth. To me, it was Stevie Wonder, the Jackson Five and Smokey Robinson.
Oh and Priest, Rush, Maiden and Van Halen, but there is always room for quality Soul music in the Peter71 playlist.
As one final note, BRAVO to the Fox sound people. The half time show sounded like a live concert video and the whole audio experience of the Superbowl was notably superior to anything i have heard in the past. Not something that gets a lot of press, but think back to Bruce Springsteen and The Who and you will find that the audio was really lacking. Not the music, but the actual sound production. Fox Sports nailed it this year and I loved it.