Never before have I seen a football game lost on the first play from scrimmage, but that was what happened with this year’s Super Bowl between the AFC Champion Denver Broncos and NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks. As Peyton Manning lined up behind center on Denver’s first play, he stepped up to adjust the play and center Manny Ramirez snapped the ball as if Manning were still in place in the shotgun formation, sailing the ball over his head and into the endzone, where Knowshawn Moreno landed on it for a safety. The Broncos were down 2-0 twelve seconds in the game, and had to kick the ball away, and even then, with more than 59 minutes of game time remaining, it already felt over.
The collapse didn’t end there, but that was perhaps the most ridiculous moment of ineptitude. The second half didn’t start off any better for the Broncos. Down 22-0 and kicking off, instead of having the strong-legged Matt Prater boot it into the endzone, he popped up a short kick, the team’s plan to stop wild card Percy Harvin from being able to return the kickoff. That did not work, as Harvin fielded the kick, passed within arm’s reach of five Denver special teamers, and waltzed into the endzone to put the Seahawks up 29-0. It didn’t get any better from there.
More on this game, and picks from the season, after the jump.
Super Bowl Picks: 1-1
Overall Record: 126-129-10
I’d like to say I saw this one coming, but though I correctly picked the winner, I thought it’d be close, and far less high-scoring, as my incorrect Under pick shows. I don’t really think anyone saw this coming, as pundits seemed to be split between the Seahawks and the Broncos, with many already talking about what winning the game could do for Peyton Manning’s legacy. Would winning this game make him the greatest quarterback of all time? I guess we’ll never know.
We wouldn’t have known anyway, because choosing a greatest quarterback of all time is more like choosing your FAVORITE quarterback of all time, and then choosing which criteria define an ALL-TIME GREAT to fit your argument. This game still doesn’t make me think Manning is a worse quarterback than Tom Brady, or that either one is better than Joe Montana was at his peak. In fact, if you’re going by a quarterback at his PEAK, could you do better than Kurt Warner? Or Dan Marino, who never even won a ring? It’s a pointless argument. I’m not saying we never should have these arguments—they’re fun to have when sitting around with friends who are as equally sportsnerdy as I. But I don’t really want to read them from daily newspaper columnists or hear them from ESPN talking heads. Because when it comes down to it, they’re just as biased as we the fans are.
I was disappointed in this game for a number of reasons. First, I would have preferred to see the Broncos win because I’m one of those people who likes Peyton Manning, because he’s fun to watch play. I like a number of the Seahawk players, but they always play and beat my hometown Rams, so I could never really root for them, especially when a win for them means a smile on Pete Carroll’s face (insert joke about this Super Bowl victory being vacated within 5-10 years).
It was also disappointing because it was a terrible game. We haven’t had a blowout like this one since the nineties, when the Super Bowl was regularly a joke of a game. We’ve become spoiled by close championship contests since 2000, so a terrible game ending the season is no longer the norm, and even more a crushing disappointment than when they occurred in an era when Michael Jackson was not only still alive, but performing epic halftime shows.
Finally, it was disappointing because, like the rest of this year, I was only half-right on my picks. Since I’ve started doing this, this has been my worst year, and though it wasn’t terrible like the year Bill Simmons or Colin Cowherd had picking the games, I think more of my gambling acumen than this.
It doesn’t seem like it now, because September is so far away, but there’s always another season, though. And I can always gamble on NBA regular season basketball results, right? Stay tuned for more Organized Sports, non-football editions, rolling out soon.