USA TODAY Sports
Joe Flacco went all in on himself and took down the biggest jackpot imaginable.
1. Well...Baltimore is going to be hard to live with for a while...
2. As Robert Griffin III made his way toward the stage to accept his Offensive Rookie of the Year award on Saturday night, I could not believe how healthy he looked. Didn't they completely reconstruct his knee a few short weeks ago? He looked better than he did in the second half against Seattle. On the award itself, I was convinced that voters had talked themselves out of choosing Griffin because of the presence of Alfred Morris as well as the success of the team against the Browns when Cousins started. When his name was called, I was honestly and legitimately surprised and excited. Redskins fans suffer from a variety of psychological disorders resulting from the emotional abuse the team put us all through since the 1990's, but we have a real inferiority complex when it comes to our own greatest players. The affirmation that goes with Griffin beating out Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson is as exhilarating for the organization as it is comforting for the fanbase. The only people that have been telling the world that our guys are great for quite some time has been us. I think that all three of those quarterbacks earned the right to hoist that trophy, but I believe that it would not have been as meaningful for the other two franchises/fanbases as it was for ours. In Indy, between Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck, they have been conditioned rather well for quarterback dominance. In Seattle, the expectations surrounding Wilson were not even close to those surrounding Luck and Griffin, not to mention they are literally busting with young superstar talent up and down their roster.
3. In the violent, grueling world of football, you would be hard-pressed to find guys willing to turn down a fortune in order to spin the wheel for one more season in the hopes that a bigger fortune awaits. Talk about your all-time gambling success stories. Joe Flacco pushed back an unsigned contract across the table to the Ravens in the offseason, saying, "I'm worth more than this." Then he big, fat went out and showed them. When they sit back down at the bargaining table this time, Joe shouldn't even show up. He should just send his Super Bowl MVP trophy. This may help a superstar get a better deal ahead of a contract year in the future, but is also reinforces the notion that professional athletes turn in their best performances when a contract is on the line.
4. I was absolutely not rooting against Baltimore--until they jumped out to a huge lead early in the Super Bowl. I just wanted a good game to watch. I wanted there to be meaningful action deep into the fourth quarter. I did not want to see one side get run over, and I especially did not want to see the read-option/pistol scheme get debunked on the biggest stage. I firmly believe that if that power outage had never occurred, the Ravens may have won by 30 points. Prime suspects in the case of "Who turned out the lights?" are: Roger Goodell, Joe Montana and every company who paid for a commercial in the fourth quarter.
5. I was very unimpressed with the commercials as a whole during the game. Some of the better ones were ruined because we saw them all last week when they were pre-released (an absurd situation all by itself). Instead of bashing the lunacy of black-labeled, golden-amber beer from Budweiser and the uninspired commercial that announced it, I thought I would applaud two others. The Joe Montana Miracle Stain commercial run by Tide was awesome. It was a cool mini-movie that actually tied the story to both the product AND the Super Bowl--I know, crazy, right? The other one I liked that probably failed a bit to achieve this exact feat was the Samsung commercial featuring Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen. Those two created one of the greatest and most-quoted friends trash-talking scenes in recent memory during "The 40-Year Old Virgin." Watching those two trade barbs was awesome, even if it was you know, somewhat contrived. I fully believe that these two just sat down and went at each other for hours and they put the best stuff on the commercial--or the stuff most allowable on network television. The outtake reel from this commercial is likely GOLD, Jerry...GOLD!
6. As an older brother and fierce competitor with my younger siblings, I had a way to at least kind of relate to what was happening between Jim and John Harbaugh. Quick story: growing up, I used to play Bases Loaded on the original Nintendo with my little sister. She loved playing the game, and I loved absolutely demoralizing her nine innings at a time. My brother had decided to turn his attention to other games because I really had this game wired and it seemed that I could not be defeated. The thing is, my kid sister learned the game. She got better and better. Double-digit blowouts first turned into single-digit wins and eventually became late-inning escapes. Then one day, it happened. Late in the game, it was apparent to everyone (me, my sister and the digital soldout stadium) that my team was heading for a loss. The joy of finally beating her older brother was already setting in on my sister's face. Against triple-digit losses, this one win stood for so much...for so many. It was as if younger siblings everywhere were preparing parades and parties. As my toe glanced across the reset button on the power bar that the TV and the Nintendo were plugged into, my eyes remained glued to the game. As the power flicked off and back on, my shock and outrage at the untimeliness of such a power surge was immediately followed by heartfelt sorrow for my sister. As she struggled to find the words to express her feelings of distress, I cursed the local utilities and the manufacturers of the breakers that had surely conspired to prevent her from achieving what had seemed impossible for so long. (Katie, I am sorry...you played a great game that day.) This story occurred to me as the lights went out in the Superdome last night--even more as I saw what Jim Harbaugh was able to do once the power had been restored.