The Back Nine can’t get over this sick feeling that football is over for another year. It’s either that or the result of the chef at the Japanese restaurant Saturday night firing sake down my throat like he was trying to put out a fire.
10. Overall, I have to say that it was a very enjoyable Super Bowl Sunday. Grilled some wings, ignored the 12-hour pregame stuff and watched movies and women’s hoops leading up to kickoff. There were only eight penalties in the game, more than 600 passing yards and plenty of drama. Great job by CBS not to focus on the unnecessary and instead concentrate on the game (that’s how the big boys do it, ESPNU). The Back Nine was into it (pulled a hammy jumping on the Saints bandwagon) so the end result was the perfect way for the night to end. The Who, as someone tweeted, should change their name to The Was. I thought they rocked it pretty good at the end, but watching Roger Daltrey sing was like that awkward moment when you hear your grandmother singing, “Who Let the Dogs Out?” at Christmas. I thought the commercials were pretty funny, especially in the first half. Doritos, Snickers, Bud Lite were my favorites. Thumbs down to Dr. Pepper and Dockers (“I wear no pants?” What the … ?)
11. Which brings us to the commercial featuring Pam and Tim Tebow. Either the people at Focus on the Family are brilliant or this was another example of the media taking a simple fact (Tebow to appear in Super Bowl ad) and blowing it up into something it is not (Tebow to show aborted fetuses on TV). The ad was well done, a little e-Harmony-ish, and sent a simple message. I bet there are some people out there who feel a little embarrassed at the stink they raised. But why wait until we finally see the commercial to pass judgment on it?
12. Of course, there are two things everyone is talking about today — Drew Brees with tears in his eyes holding his son on the field and Sean Payton’s gutsy call for “Ambush” at the start of the second half. That’s the name for the onsides kick that changed the game. I thought Steve Young made a great point after the game when he said the Colts were following their game plan perfectly. Hang in there for a half and then explode on the opponent in the second half, just like they had all season. “The Saints had to do something bold,” Young said. And boy, did they. But it’s like any risky call. If it doesn’t work, you give Peyton Manning a short field and it’s 17-6 and maybe you get blown out and the media has a field day with you. That’s why they call it risk/reward.
13. Which brings us to the Jackie Smith Award. Who gets it this year? (Smith dropped a crucial touchdown pass for Dallas in Super Bowl XIII that would have tied the game against Pittsburgh). You could certainly point to Hank Baskett. Baskett had the onsides kick hit him in the chest and couldn’t hang on. Maybe he was nervous because his wife Kendra (another of the famous for being famous reality show faux celebrities) publicly promised a lot of sex if the Colts won the game. But I’m going with Reggie Wayne, who failed to finish his route on the game-deciding pick-six and then dropped a touchdown pass because he knew he was going to get popped at the goal line.
14. Also this weekend we found out about the Hall of Fame, and as expected, Jack Youngblood will finally have some company, as Emmitt Smith will become the second Gator enshrined. That was a no-brainer, but the 44 voters had some really tough choices. According to Peter King of SI.com, who is a voter, Floyd Little got enough votes because of extensive research and salesmanship that came from Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post. That’s just the way it works. If you have the wrong guy making your presentation, you’d better have unbelievable credentials. What I find hard to understand is why Cris Carter is still not in. Or Andre Reed. Or Roger Craig. Anyway, enjoy this year’s presentation because it may be a long time before another Gator makes it.
15. After a successful week of hoops, the Gators have moved up to No. 48 in RPI and would be in the NCAA Tournament if the season ended today. However, it does not. Like I’ve said all along, it’s not supposed to be easy to get in, and Florida will face five teams ranked higher in RPI (No. 6 Kentucky, Tennessee and Vandy, who are tied for 18th, No. 27 Xavier and No. 35 Ole Miss). Florida’s record against top-100 teams is now 4-5. But more than anything, we’re seeing a team that is playing with some confidence. You keep winning the tight games and you expect to win them.
16. Or if you are LSU, you would like to be in some close games. Half of the Tigers’ 14 losses have been by 16 or more points. LSU is now 0-9 in the league and has a real chance to become the first SEC team to go 0-16. Georgia Tech was the last to go winless, 0-14 in 1954, and you know what that got the Jackets. Right out of the league. (Just kidding Techsters. Save the e-mails.) I’m not saying that was a long time ago but I wasn’t born yet, and I’m older than dirt. LSU’s best chances to get a win would appear to be at Auburn and at home against Georgia, but peeps, I’m just not seeing it. What’s amazing is that the Tigers won 13 league games last year. Just shows you how fickle college basketball can be.
17. Another example of how the whole league benefits from the SEC’s deal with ESPN — there will be 46 national broadcasts of baseball games. Last year there were eight.
18. For you iPodders try out “Ragged Wood” by Fleet Foxes, “You Wouldn’t Like Me” from Tegan and Sara, and let’s go old school with The Who and download “Behind Blue Eyes” so you can remember when Daltrey could sing.
19th hole: You spend a whole day snacking and you never feel full but you never feel hungry. That’s Super Bowl Sunday. The Back Nine needs a real meal. Could be a meatloaf night.