Back Nine: Super Bowl was more enjoyable without the hype
Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, February 4, 2013 at 10:18 p.m.
The Back Nine comes at you after a weekend that included a rocking O-Dome and a rocking Super Bowl party. Yes, it was a pretty good weekend.
10. First of all, I don't think I've ever enjoyed a Super Bowl more than this one. Maybe it was a coincidence, but I decided early on to try to go the whole two weeks without watching one minute of pre-Bowl hype. It seemed to make the whole thing more enjoyable. Or it may have been that I like offense and there was plenty of it in this game. Or it may have been that it was a great game. It's funny how we seem to get great Super Bowls year after year after going through that stretch where they were always blowouts. Four of the last five and six of the last nine have been decided by less than a touchdown. From 1984-94, the average margin of victory was 24.6 points. There was also the great intensity on the sideline displayed by the Harbaugh brothers. And while the power outage certainly put a damper on things, it did allow everyone to make a decision — stay for the rest of the party or go home. It was bizarre, to say the least, but when in New Orleans you have to expect the bizarre.
11. I don't know if the power outage helped San Francisco. I fully expected the 49ers to rally before the lights went out because of what happened in Atlanta two weeks before. But because play was delayed 35 minutes and they did rally, the two will be joined at the hip forever. Can you imagine if San Francisco had won the game. Ravens fans might still be rioting. I also wonder if at some point Sunday night Will Muschamp slapped himself on the forehead and said, “Power outage? Why didn't I think of that?”
12. You can question the lack of a holding call on the fourth-down play at the end and certainly Jim Harbaugh did. But my real problem was the second-down call from the Baltimore 5-yard line. I don't get it and I guess I never will. In the same stadium, Florida did the same thing. When close to the goal line and your offense is already dealing with shrinkage of the field, why roll out and reduce the field even more? Of course, when you live by a mantra you can't come off of it. You know my mantra — B.A.W. Bootleg Always Works.
13. So now the Jets are saying they want to trade Tim Tebow. Whatever. For whatever his flaws, it makes me sad to see such a good guy treated so badly. But here's the thing I don't get. The trend in the NFL is to go with the read-option offenses with the quarterback running some. Uh, isn't that better suited for the former Florida quarterback than a conventional NFL offense? I just don't understand how San Francisco can change its offense in the middle of the season for a new quarterback, but there's no team in the NFL willing to take a chance on Tebow. I mean, how much worse could it get in Cleveland or Oakland or Kansas City? Or Jacksonville?
14. I thought that the basketball game Saturday night was a lot of fun. I'm not condoning anything Marshall Henderson has done in the past, but it's a lot more interesting when there is a villain on the court. There was one time when Henderson was taking the ball in bounds right in front of our press row seats and he was talking to himself. “Shoot. Miss a wide-open shot like that,” he said. I'll say this — when he shot and missed, it was always a surprise. Henderson is going to make this year's SEC Tournament in Nashville interesting. Meanwhile, the Gators steamroll on.
15. Florida's RPI is at No. 3, one spot ahead of Arizona, which beat Florida. It goes back to the difficult non-conference schedule the Gators played which includes Middle Tennessee. When you watched that game, you had a feeling that was a team that would be tough to beat and the Blue Raiders are now 20-4 and 32nd in RPI. I don't think it's a coincidence that Florida is playing at such a high level after playing such a tough schedule. Let's face it, though. One reason you can play that kind of schedule is because you have a veteran team. That's also a big reason why Florida is so good defensively — experience.
16. The Back Nine loves to watch golf in HD and the Phoenix tournament is probably in the top six or seven (after the majors and The Players and, well, let's say sixth then). I just think the course is gorgeous (I was fortunate enough to play TPC Scottsdale once during Florida's trip to the national title game in Glendale) and there is nothing like the circus at the 16th hole. If you haven't seen James Hahn's “Gangnam-style” celebration of his birdie on the hole Sunday you need to Google it. It was a very good tourney for three former Gators. Matt Every finished in a tie for ninth, Billy Horschel in a tie for 11th and Brian Gay in a tie for 24th. Horschel, who earned his Tour card back at Qualifying school, has had a great West Coast swing so far and is 28th on the money list. Gay, who wore an orange and blue outfit Sunday, is second in the FedEx Cup standings.
17. The Tweet of the Week comes from Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze. The Rebels are about to bring in a historic recruiting class and there have been questions about how that could possibly happen within the rules. So Freeze took to the offensive on Twitter — "If you have facts about a violation, send it to compliance@oleMiss.edu. If not, please do not slander these young men or insult their family.”
18. The hip is getting better which means the walks are getting longer and the music is playing louder. Try these downloads — “Amazing” by One Eskimo, “Letter of Intent” by Ducktails (yes, in honor of national signing day) and your classic cut for the week is “All I Really Want To Do” by The Byrds.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.