02/02/15 by Rennie Detore
If you watched the Super Bowl only for the halftime show or commercials, you certainly missed one monumental game between two evenly matched, top seeded teams from their respective conferences.
The commercials ranged, as usual, from memorable to modest, and Katy Perry and her special guests performed admirably, but center stage belonged to the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks. The 2015 version of the Super Bowl truly was remarkable from start to finish with everything you want out of a big game: controversy, superb catches, lead changes and a finish that left certain fans stunned and others equally amazed.
The final play saw a rookie Patriots cornerback step in front of a pass from Seahawks' quarterback Russell Wilson, who inexplicably was throwing a slant pass on second and goal while their beastly and brutal running back Marshawn Lynch was nowhere near the play.
Seattle was trailing 28 to 24 at that time with about one minute left to play in the game when Seahawks' head coach Pete Carroll outsmarted himself and instead of running on second and goal from about the two yard line, he opted for a pass that backfired.
The Patriots win hopefully quells (although it won't of course) the notion that they didn't belong in the big game after being accused of deflating footballs in their AFC Championship win over the Indianapolis Colts 45 to 7 two weeks ago. This Patriots regime also finally captured that elusive fourth NFL Championship, and so did Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, arguably the most successful quarterback and coach combination of all time.
Brady set new Super Bowl records for total touchdowns thrown, passing Joe Montana. Brady's 12 TDs goes nicely with his now 3 Super Bowl MVPs and the title of greatest quarterback of all time, even in the face of controversy such as "deflate gate" and "spy gate" years earlier.
On the larger scale, much beyond the Patriots proving doubters wrong by winning a game where the footballs were accurate as far as pressure goes, the NFL once again proved its naysayers wrong when you take a long, hard look at the product on the field. That sentiment goes far beyond getting a few million dollars for a 30 second Super Bowl commercial or having a halftime show that rivals any $100 per ticket concert you'll see on the market.
No, this is about the NFL constantly being mired in off the field issues and what, for most entities, are revenue threatening, public relations black eyes, yet still emerging as the most popular sport in the United States in spite of it all. Ray Rice, Adrian Pederson, domestic abuse, child abuse and anything thrown at the NFL doesn't seem to slow down the juggernaut that is professional football. That isn't to suggest the Rice or Pederson stories aren't appalling and awful. They're hideous acts that the NFL needs to deal with beyond public service commercials but rather with the heaviest of hands.
This is more about the on the field competition that never seems to slow down but rather only get better as the season progresses, culminating with a Super Bowl that lived up to the hype and beyond. The NFL isn't perfect, hardly in fact. The league has a lot to do to clean up its image off the field. On the field, however, the game is thriving.
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