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Super Bowl running diary part one
The last Super Bowl before the impending Bears dynasty got off to a good start
Did you enjoy the Super Bowl last night? Sure you did. It was a somewhat well-played, pretty entertaining game. So let’s re-live the big moments in my running diary of “the big game.” It’s so big it takes two parts to squeeze it all in.
After five hours of pregame on NBC in which they didn’t spend nearly enough time discussing how egregious Devin Hester’s Hall of Fame snub was (I would have talked about it for four hours and 57 minutes) it’s finally time for the actual game. And, we’re reminded how the Patriots screwed the player introductions for everybody in the Super Bowl after 9-11 by coming out as a “team.” Now nobody can do it the old way without everybody calling them selfish.
They introduce the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award nominees. Darren Waller of the Raiders showed up in a t-shirt and shorts. I can’t say I have a problem with that. He’s attending a football game in California, was he supposed to wear a tux?
I didn’t bet on the length of the national anthem, but I did bet on whether the person singing “America the Beautiful” would accidentally sing “above the fruited plain” as “above the fruity place.” For the ninth straight year, I lost the bet. Someday.
I assume anthem singer Mickey Guyton is former Giants defensive back Myron Guyton’s daughter. Kind of a Jordin Sparks - Phillipi Sparks deal?
Did the writers of the new Sandra Bullock movie just think we’d all forgotten that Romancing the Stone was ever a movie?
NBC has a promo for a new show that shows a guy jumping over a car. Yes, I remember when Joey Gathright played for the Cubs, too.
Billie Jean’s toss ends up heads and the Bengals defer like the cowards I always knew they were.
It’s Michelle Tafoya’s last game as NBC’s sideline reporter and she’s been about as good as anybody can be in a job that isn’t really necessary. Her replacement, Kathryn Tappen is also doing the game, and I’ll never be able to look at her without thinking somehow Dee Reynolds wandered in front of the camera at a football game.
Ooh, now we’re up to ‘dinosaurs in the snow’ in the continuing cash grab of Jurassic Park sequels that nobody asked for.
Hey, you want to see something cool? The theme to Jurassic Park is a genuinely incredible piece of music. Here’s John Williams conducting the Vienna Philharmonic as they perform it. Let it play as you read the rest of the column, it’ll make everything more dramatic.
Rams home games usually have Michael Buffer doing the pre-game hype up, but it’s the Super Bowl, and Frank doesn’t have a movie coming out so the NFL gives us The Rock and it’s…fine because it’s The Rock, but it’s not Michael Buffer getting us ready for the rumbling. And what is with the maroon pants, Dwayne?
Remember, I bet first play pass for the Rams, because Sean McVay can’t help himself. Let’s hope I get off to a decent start tonight. And…it’s a handoff to Cam Akers, who is averaging less than three yards a carry in the playoffs. Well now I hope the Rams lose by 1,000 points.
Second play is a pass and it gains eight more yards than the run did. Thanks for nothing, McVay.
Akers manages to block his left tackle on a pass play and Stafford gets sacked. Innovative.
Is that Keith Ortego returning punts for the Bengals? Wait, no. That’s some guy named Trent Taylor.
Joe Burrow’s first play is a pass. See, McVay, Zac Taylor gets it.
After Joe’s first pass goes for eight yards, the Bengals don’t gain yardage on two runs. The Bengals go for it and throw a pass at the guy Jalen Ramsey is covering. Clearly, Zac Taylor doesn’t get it.
Collinsworth correctly points out that the design of the play brings the linebacker covering Samdje Perine right to where the pass is going to be thrown. Whoopsie. Your reminder that even though Taylor was McVay’s QB coach with the Rams, he played at Nebraska where they still think of the passing game as just a way to ‘pitch the ball forward.’
Swing pass on third and two to Cooper Kupp and he catches it five yards short of the first down and then…gains 20 yards. He’s pretty good. Apparently Matt Nagy designed every Bears’ third down play as though Cooper played for him.
Stafford finds Odell Beckham for the game’s first touchdown.
Remember all the stuff the Rams traded to the Browns for Odell? Oh, wait, that’s right. He was on waivers. The Browns cut OBJ because he made their quarterback feel bad. There’s a reason the Browns have all those Super Bowl trophies in their trophy case.
Bengals go three and out, but at least this time they get to punt. Progress?
First penalty is delay of game on the Rams. They were about to snap the ball but three guys shifted at once and they didn’t have time to all get set before they could snap it. It’s basically the design of every pass play the Bears have had since 2018.
Ortego…Taylor, whatever, with a nice punt return. First really good play for the Bengals. If their gritty, white punt returner remains their most impactful player, they’ve got problems.
After a first down run by Joe Mixon, Joe Burrow finds Ja’Marr Chase for 46 yards down the sidelines. It’s an insane catch by Ja’Marr.
Remember in preseason when Ja’Marr was dropping passes and people thought the sucked? People are dumb.
The Bengals drive stalls and they settle for Evan McPherson’s 13th field goal of the playoffs. That’s the thing nobody talks about with the Bengals. They only have five touchdowns in the playoffs, and they only scored more than one in a game once.
End of first quarter - Rams 7, Bengals 3
Third and 11, Stafford finds Odell for 35 yards. Then a wheel route to Darrell Henderson for 25. The Rams gained more yards on those two plays than they did in their last Super Bowl appearance. Probably.
Kupp makes anytime touchdown bettors very happy and gives the Rams a 13-3 lead.
The lead stays that way, even as Johnny Hekker gets to do his Garo Yepremian impersonation and throws an interception after he botches the snap on the extra point try. Unlike Garo’s, his pick is not returned for a score.
So what happened? Johnny dropped the snap, Tony Romo style. If only we knew a special teams expert to tell us why that happened.
The unsuccessful extra point could bode well for my bets for a two point conversion and for an octopus.
Joe throws the first touchdown pass of the Super Bowl for the Bengals. Joe…Mixon? They ran a toss to him and he threw to a wide open Tee Higgins to make it 13-10.
Because 75% of the mammals in our house are dogs, The Puppy Bowl is on TV two. I’ve got to admit, I don’t quite understand the scoring rules for this.
And, there’s this. You hate to see it.
Odell drops a pass on second and nine and is down with an injury. Looks like the pass hit him on the knee. I mean, I knew Matt Stafford could throw hard, but wow.
On third down before the two minute warning, Stafford rolls out and waves Van Jefferson to go deep and throws an interception. Lions fans finally know what it’s like to feel like Super Bowl fans.
After the interception, injured Bengals player Vernon Hargreaves runs onto the field to celebrate. He’s dressed like Darren Waller and gets a penalty for being on the field out of uniform. It would have been better if he’d been tackled by security.
Leonard Floyd sacks Burrow and somewhere Ryan Pace turns to a guy next to him at Dave and Buster’s and says, “I traded up for that guy.” The guy says, “And then what happened?” And then he asks Pace to hurry up, count the game tokens and give him the stuffed unicorn he just won.
The Bengals end up having to punt the ball back to the Rams before the half. Thanks, Vernon.
Michelle says Odell is “questionable” with a knee injury. She also tells us it’s the same knee he tore the ACL in two years ago, also against “the Bangles.” I hope she pronounces it that way on purpose.
On third and one with 18 seconds in the half, Stafford throws incomplete to Van Jefferson down the field. Not only does it mean the Rams are punting, But on the play before Kupp stayed in bounds and the Rams used their third timeout, meaning the dumbest bet I made, that a team would use all six timeouts, is still alive!
Halftime: Rams 13, Bengals 10
Nice of NBC to give us a few minutes of Drew Brees saying nothing as we prep for the halftime show.
The non-Drew Brees halftime show lived up to its hype. Not an easy thing for it to do, and somebody sound the Dude alarm, new shit has come to light!
Bengals kicker Evan MacPherson stayed on the field during halftime and watched the halftime show instead of going to the locker room where he…he’s the kicker. Why would he need to go the locker room? Was the special teams coach going to tell him, “This half, the strategy is to make the kicks,”?
Evan MacPherson is now my favorite kicker of all time (other than Cairo Santos, of course) Even if the Bengals lose, at least he got to see an unquestionably awesome show.
And, he got to see the coolest musician in history do his thing. Yes, hip hop tuba guy.
And that guy, Tuba Red, does requests.
So that’s it for part one. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion.