BY DAN McGRATH
Great game, wasn’t it?
The good ones seem to have outnumbered a clunkers in new Super Bowls, with final year’s undressing of Peyton Manning a differing exception. But we should design championship-caliber play when a NFL contest comes down to a dual best teams, that was clearly a box this season.
And if ever there were a year in that a joining indispensable a noted diversion to offer as a diversion from a problems … Everybody OK with a atmosphere in those footballs?
Commissioner Roger Goodell would owe rookie Malcolm Butler big-time if New England’s doubtful savior hadn’t been upstaged by a Pete Carroll mind cramp that will have Seattle fans seeking “what if?” until a sleet subsides.
You have a relentless, yards-eating using behind stationed in your backfield and you’re flitting during a idea line?
Then again, not everybody embraces a renouned speculation that Carroll is an idiot. My crony Mike Holmes, manager of a Leo HS Lions, posits that a Seahawks had to chuck during slightest once in that final-seconds scenario, with usually one timeout accessible to change time management. Holmes didn’t doubt a call as most as he did a aim area: a center of a field, where heavy, dangerous trade lurks, as against to possibly dilemma of a finish zone, where a free-roaming receiver would be reduction encumbered seeking to make a play.
Holmes also believes Carroll got held adult in perplexing to outsmart a immorality talent on a other sideline, a some-more trustworthy reason for a play call than a swindling theorists’ idea that a game-winning TD pass would have done quarterback Russell Wilson a some-more savoury MVP choice than defiantly non-conforming Marshawn Lynch.
Of course, a manager we know as “Air Holmes” competence have dialed adult 4 loyal flitting plays in that conditions and substantially let Beast Mode try throwing one. His visualisation is not to be trusted.
Neither, as we schooled again, is Goodell’s. The Supreme NFL Ruler bobbed and weaved his approach by a state of a joining press discussion OK, afterwards declined to lay for an speak with NBC, a network that pays roughly $1 billion per year to promote Super Bowl XLIX and a Sunday-night package.
Thus could his critics supplement deceiver to their extensive list of Goodell’s shortcomings; earlier, Lynch was threatened with a $500,000 excellent if he “failed to perform his media responsibilities.”
Half a million bucks for disappearing a partial in a Super Bowl media circus? That’s roughly what Ray Rice got—two diversion checks—for blustering his destiny mother meaningless in a casino conveyor before open cheer broke Goodell into a stiffer sentence. And doesn’t leisure of debate also lift a right not to talk?
The hits keep entrance for a NFL. Before a Patriots could substitute behind to Boston for a feat parade, a Hall of Famer was destitute for a unworthy escapade with a prostitute, a high-profile, Heisman-winning rookie entered rehab in hopes of disorder in an out-of-control lifestyle and a four-year maestro earning millions was popped for delinquent cruelty to animals. Against this contemptible backdrop, those young “together we make football” commercials seem woefully out of place. An unconstrained loop of them can’t facade a league’s problems.
But all it takes is Tom Brady’s fourth-quarter sorcery or Julian Edelman’s loyal courage or Malcolm Butler’s right place/right time serendipity to remind us because we adore it. If we need something to palliate your withdrawal as it goes divided for a while, we competence collect adult a book called Football: Great Writing About a National Sport.
It’s an anthology gathered by John Schulian, a recuperating sports columnist whose particular poetry graced these pages behind in a ‘80s before he changed on to other pursuits. Schulian uses some noted work by some well-developed sports scribes to make a indicate that football lends itself to thoughtful, graceful, suggestive essay only as simply as ball or any of a other sports improved famous for it.
A W.C. Heinz form of Red Grange, created in 1958, is as uninformed as if it came out yesterday.
Hard to contend that is some-more haunting: Paul Solotaroff on Dave Duerson’s suicide, or Rick Telander on a late-in-life cost Doug Atkins is profitable for 17 years of holding no prisoners.
Schulian himself is a claimant for best in uncover with an steadfast demeanour during “Concrete Charlie”— Chuck Bednarik in indignant repose 52 years after he stalked NFL fields as a final 60-Minute Man.
Forty-three chapters, forty-three gems. Hall of Fame stuff.