Post- Super Bowl musings
Now it's no secret that I am not exactly a fan of NFL games that don't feature the Buccaneers. For me, the season ended December 28th when the Bucs walked off the field having lost to Oakland and I only occasionally switched to the playoff coverage through January. But even I have to admit that I enjoyed Super Bowl XLIII and watched through to the final play of the game.
Enough has been written on the success of the Steelers and failure of the Cardinals to not add any more to the on-field events, but a few comments on the other events of Super Bowl week have lingered in my mind since Roger Goodell presented the 44th Super Bowl trophy to Dan Rooney.
Yes 44th Super Bowl - any reason why it's one more?
I alternated between Sky's HD coverage of the game to BBC's in-game analysis. It was no contest between Kev, Jay Schroeder and Neil "One suit" Reynolds to the trio of Jake Humphery, Mike Carlson and Rod Woodson on BBC1. Neil is a top bloke and great writer/PR man but he would be the first to admit that Mike is the ultimate analyst on this side of the Atlantic.
There are no advert breaks on the BBC remember and they only do this live coverage once-a-year but were superb on all fronts. The part where Mike admitted he had seen Bruce Springsteen in concert in 1975 and the look on Woodson's face was quality. "Rod is a real pleasure to work with, and the same age as my wife, which is too young" Mike said when I spoke to him after the game. "And I wasnt 'admitting'. I was boasting!"
At least Sky have ditched the awful Fanzone commentary (they couldn't find two UK-based Cardinal fans) and only once went to the Super Bash party for an inane interview (once too often). And Jerry Rice may be the greatest receiver in NFL history but he is the worst colour analyst I have ever seen. I almost (and stress almost) felt sorry for Nick Halling working with him.
The pre-game shows were good as we could all play "Been there" when they showed a Tampa location. Selmon's, Busch Gardens, Ybor City, all easily recognisable. And of course when it comes to the actual show, no-one does it better than the Americans. Please can they teach the FA how to do it?
Bruce Springsteen was superb at half-time, even the part where he slid across stage and smacked his bollocks into the camera, and Journey on the pre-game were magnificent. Steve Careford and Geoff Reader have been telling me for years to listen to their music. Since last Sunday, I have been.
And the reason for 44 Super Bowl trophies against 43 actual games?
Super Bowl V was won by the Colts who were owned at the time by Carroll Rosenbloom. A few years later, he "traded" franchises with Robert Irsay and whilst the latter become owner of the Colts, Rosenbloom took over the Rams. And he took "his trophy" with him.
In 1982, Irsay finally got fed up with waiting for Rosenbloom's widow, Georgia Frontiere to return the trophy, so he got permission from the NFL to order another one. So the Rams have two Super Bowl trophies even though they have only won one on the field.
Paul Stewart, February 2009