Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Super Bowl 45: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

This year was a tale of two Super Bowls.  The actual game, the contest, the battle for first place in the NFL and pro football immortality was incredible.  The game had a little of everything and both teams played great.  On the other hand, well, that's the bad and the ugly.

The Good:  The game was great.  It had everything.  It had a possible come from behind win that was thwarted by a (non controversial call, sorry Troy) great play by the stout Green Bay defense.  Green Bay jumped out to a quick lead, but knowing how the Packers play combined the experience of the Steelers, I projected a close game still.  Aaron Rodgers started strong, then took some time off to go talk to Erin Andrews, then came back in and led the Packers to the promise land.  His receivers did him no favors, but in nobody has done Rodgers any favors in his life.  He had to go the JUCO route, transfer to a college who wasn't even scouting him, then fall down the first round when his favorite team didn't want him.  His well documented wait to start behind a legend, then replacing said legend means he was under a ton of pressure and had to battle for all that he has earned.  I'll wait for his movie (directed by the excellent Tommy Wiseau) to come out in a year or two. 

The Steelers were resilient and fought back, but were in too big of a hole to win.  They played well, but gave away the ball too much to compete with the flawless Rodgers.  Their defense didn't play as well as they needed to stop the Packers offense more than they did, since they were bailed out by some ugly drops.  Overall, a good game, with some big plays and unbelievable magic by two Pro Bowl caliber QBs. 

The Bad:  The commercials were once again lackluster.  Most weren't funny, and that was because they weren't trying to be.  It is OK to try and be artistic, or going for something more than the usual slapstick comedy.  I enjoyed the Pepsi Max commercials a lot, and the little Darth Vader commercial was cool.  Good for Brisk Ice Tea for coming back and making a solid commercial, and for Chrysler for making a great (although overrated) commercial for Detroit.  And Kim Kardashian was very excellent as well.  Most of the usual beer and talking baby commercials weren't very good, and the Groupon commercials were awful and not funny.  Nice first attempt, now go away.  I am just glad there isn't forty Go Daddy commercials to break down today.  One is more than enough.

Outside of commercials, the NFL mishandled the whole Super Bowl.  Sure, Dallas is not used to snowfall like they saw this last week.  But they could have made a better effort to fix the situation or bus people in.  And Dallas is getting none of the blame, when Detroit was getting all the blame for their weather in August before the season started in 2006.  Obvious politics played by the NFL about their cities.  Dallas, media darlings and ESPN sweethearts, gets a pass on this terrible mishandling while downtrodden Detroit gets dismantled on every media imaginable when a little snow falls. 

On top of the unfortunate weather, printing off of too many tickets, or not getting enough seats ready, or whatever the excuse, is no excuse.  Three times the ticket price is nice, but it wouldn't cover the disappointment of not seeing the Super Bowl.  Trying to set the overall attendance record for the Super Bowl (it got third place) seemed to be at all cost.  Now they just look dumb.

The Ugly:  The Music of the Super Bowl.  Bottom line.  Christina Aguilera spent too much time trying to jazz up the anthem and forgot how to sing the lyrics.  I know people say its a lot of pressure, but I would think she is used to it by now.  I know shes had a rough year, with a divorce, a terrible box office bomb of a film and now this, but it was still pretty bad. 

The Glee girl was all right.

The Half Time show was just terrible.  I liked having the classic rock lineup the last decade, with Prince and The Boss doing a great job.  The Who were terrible, and some were lackluster.  But the Black Eye Peas were bad.  They were lame, stale and the guests (Slash and Usher) did nothing to spice things up.  I didn't even know they were even to appear.  The presentation was bad, there were many errors and it just didn't feel like the best the NFL could have done.  There is always next year, and don't screw it up.

For the Super Bowl Picks, my entire family was right to believe in the Packers.  My brother Aaron came the closest to the final score out of all of us.  My sister Mary already locked up the win, and went 10-1 in the playoffs this season.  I got second place with 8-3, and successfully picked the NFC and NFL Champions in the beginning with Green Bay, the only one out of my family to do so.  Here are the final standings for the Playoff Challenge 2011:

Mary: 10-1
Weston: 8-3
Mom: 7-4
Dad: 6-5
Sam: 5-6
Aaron: 4-7

For her grand prize, my sister gets creative control over my blog for one whole day.  Whether its telling me what to write of writing herself, she can do what she wants on Season Tickets all day.  I know, be jealous.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Super Bowl XLV Preview

Its so close now I can feel it.  The Super Bowl, my favorite holiday, the biggest game in football history and overall amazing day.  We have two classic Super Bowl champs playing this year, after a decade of fresh faces and first time champs. 

For this version of the Steelers, its their third trip to the big game, winning the previous two.  Big Ben is going for his third ring before hes 28 years old.  Most of the team has played for a title before.  Tomlin has won one Super Bowl before, over the Cinderella Cardinals.  Their only major injury is Pouncey and his broken ankle.  He says he should play.  But even being very hurt, it'll be hard stopping BJ Raji. 

These Packers aren't the same Packers that went to back to back Super Bowls in the mid nineties.  Only two players have Super Bowl experience.  The list of injured Packers could fill up their own blog.  Most of the defense is hurt, and the Ryan Grant was lost long ago.  The Packers have rallied and their backups have stepped up.  They really needed the time off to rest and get healthy. 

The venue this year is incredible, maybe the best so far.  The giant jumbotrons, retractable roof, largest crowd in Super Bowl history all make Jerry's World football Mecca on Sunday.  Sure, we'll all have to find something to watch during halftime, and listen to Troy and Buck for three hours, but this could be the greatest spectacle in western civilization. 

Why the Packers will win:  The Packers will be able to run the ball on the Steelers like the have on everybody in the playoffs.  Aaron Rodgers shakes off the bad game in Chicago and has a big game for the Pack, like he did in 2009 in Pittsburgh.  He gets in a groove early, and doesn't turn the ball over (much) and the offensive line holds up.  Outside of the Hair, the Steelers secondary isn't spectacular and all the talented Packers weapons need to show up.  Quarless could be a big factor, running over the middle and finding seams for big gains.  The Packers have to be better in short yardage situations than in Chicago.  The weather and the dome being closed helps Green Bay more than Pittsburgh.  Green Bay can win a shootout, or a defensive struggle. 

Why the Steelers will win:  The Steelers run all over the Packers, controlling the clock, momentum and the game.  Big Ben makes his big plays and throws many timely passes.  The Steeler defense destroys the Pack's oline, and Aaron Rodgers gets beat up and turns the ball over, having a game like he dad in the NFC Championship game.  Starks can't run on the Steelers defense, and Green Bay is forced to go one dimensional.  The Steelers stop the Packer pass rush, and Green Bay can't handle giving Ben time.  The Steelers play their physical game, like they did against the Jets, and use their experience to win this game.

What will happen:  The Packers and Steelers struggle to find a rhythm early.  The defenses slug it out in the first half, and players get beat up badly.  We see some turnovers, lots of sacks and the score is low, around 7-3.  Then in the second half, big plays break this game wide open and the offenses start to get some points on the board.  Aaron Rodgers takes over the game, throwing some clutch touchdowns.  We see the People's Champ celebration, on his way to Super Bowl MVP. 

Packers 21 Steelers 17

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Super Bowl Pick Preview

The Super Bowl is only a few days away, and I for one can't wait for the big game.  I say this every year, but it still has the same effect.  And since the Internet still works after Blizzard of '11 (up there with the Great Chipmunk fire of '79) I thought I would do my picks with one blog, and a preview with the other.  Also, I had my mom write up a list of kinda Super Bowl related material for all to enjoy.

The Super Bowl is in a couple of days and Weston once again wanted advice from his Mom. He doesn't need it but it's sweet, right?

1. There are only 2 teams left. Pick your favorite. That was easy.
2. When you are yelling at the players through your TV, they can't hear you.
3. Your team isn't going to win just because you are wearing your lucky socks. FYI when you're home get them into the hamper. (Editor's note:  I can do my own laundry)
4. During the game please don't yell so loud that it could be possible for your team to actually hear you.
5. Having a party? Semi homemade style food is acceptable. You should taste my hot wing sauce! (Editor's note: Man, is that homemade hot wing sauce good!)
6. Offer a dessert. How about ice cream novelties?
7. Beverages don't have to mean alcohol. You might be driving on the same road as one of my loved ones. (Editor's Note:  Be careful)
8. Weston, on your way home can you pick up a gallon of milk? (Editor's Note: Yes)
9. I am so sick and tired of all this snow and cold. Who's with me?? Warm tropical island, warm tropical island.
10. Be careful with your money. (Editor's Note:  Yeah, I guess it could fly away)
11. When driving watch out for others. Have you seen how other people drive?
12. Grooby says all dogs should get 9:00 O'clock cookies. Teddy agrees. (Editor's Note:  My dogs are terribly spoiled and get a cookie every night at 9 O'clock.  MacGruber and Teddy are pampered for sure.)
13. I don't like this number. (Editor's Note: Triskaidekaphobia)
14. How about cheese bread, lasagna and 3 layer bars for super bowl? Not an invitation. (Editor's Note:  YEAAAAAAAAAAH)
15. Dad and I are so proud of you and your brothers and sister. And of James and Daniela and the kids.
You have picked great people as friends.  (Editor's Note:  Awwwww, its like the Wonder Years)

Was this suppose to be all about football? Oh well. I guess most of the time.

Here is the picks!  As you may have already calculated, my sister won the top spot, clinching the first ever Corbitt Pick-a-thon. Nobody made a successful Super Bowl pick, but I got the NFC correct, and if the Pack wins, I would have picked the right champion.  Here are our standings, Super Bowl picks and score predictions!  Enjoy!

Dad:  5-5
Mom: 6-4
Weston: 7-3
Sam: 4-6
Aaron: 3-7
Mary: 9-1

Dad: Packers 27-24
Mom: Packers 29-13
Weston: Packers 21-17
Sam: Packers 32-21
Aaron: Packers 35-25
Mary: Packers 21-14