1. I understand why Denver Broncos fans are upset about the Super Bowl, but I don't understand why so many other NFL fans are panning the game. The scoreboard may have been lopsided, but the performance on the field was riveting. If you can't appreciate and admire what the Seattle Seahawks did to Peyton Manning and the rest of the Denver Broncos, I don't know what to tell you.
2. The thing that impresses me so much about what Seattle does on defense can best be summed up by the play of their linebacker, Malcolm Smith (Super Bowl MVP). Forget that he is a seventh-round draft pick or that there are a handful of other guys who come to mind first when you think of Seattle's defense. On the game-ending interception of Colin Kaepernick's pass to Michael Crabtree in the NFC Championship, Smith raced to get to the end zone to be in position for...something. Plenty of times in the league, that pass gets tipped away and lands harmlessly on the turf. I have no doubt that the majority--if not all--of the defensive coordinators in the NFL preach to their players the importance of keeping yourself in the play and moving to support your teammates and to the ball. You can say Smith was lucky to be in position to intercept Manning's deflected pass last night, or lucky to be in position to recover that fumble that Byron Maxwell punched out, or lucky to be in position to haul in that Richard Sherman tip two weeks ago. In my mind, nobody is that lucky. The Seattle defense is full of guys that relentlessly do their jobs. They seem to do every single little thing well--every single time. Their physical toughness is matched only by their mental tenacity, making it feel like they are playing with 15 guys on defense. It's must-see television.
3. Since I know you all care about my financial wheelings and dealings, I can report to you that my streak of winning the coin toss bet stands at one...again. (Last year, all my research and analysis was thwarted by a TERRIBLE toss.) I put my money on "tails" last night, mostly because of game-time weather predictions. When the head referee went all Richard Sherman on Joe Namath's first attempted toss, I was screaming at the television. All of a sudden, I knew why my friend was so eager to take "heads." Clearly, the fix was in, and somehow Roger Goodell had figured out how to predict the outcome of the coin toss based on the first 20 or so revolutions of the coin while also arranging a means of communicating that to the field so that the referee with the best hands in the business could intercept it in the air. Needless to say, I was not comforted at all by the fact that my odds of winning still stood at 50-50 for the second toss.
4. I don't think that the crop of commercials during this year's Super Bowl stacks up against previous years, but there were still some good ones. As a huge Bob Dylan fan, I am biased toward the Chrysler commercial that featured him, his words and his voice (there was actually a second yogurt commercial that featured his music). I thought Tim Tebow's commercials were fun and I also thought that the Doritos Time Machine commercial was good. I think the worst commercial of the night was the Maserati spot that came fairly early on in the broadcast. Based solely on that commercial, I have decided that my family will not be purchasing Maserati...ever. The Budweiser "Hero's Welcome" spot was a good one, but what made it better was when they cut to the soldier who was featured in the commercial sitting in the stands at the game.
5. If I had to guess one of things spoken at the majority of Super Bowl parties last night: "Kam Chancellor plays special teams?!?!?" Yup. As we have talked about here a lot over the last few weeks, the best special teams units in the league are anchored by guys at the safety, linebacker and cornerback positions. The Seahawks are loaded at these spots, but they still play defensive starters on special teams...because they believe it matters. You hate to risk losing a guy with Chancellor's abilities on a special teams play, but you feel pretty good about your team's ability to keep the opposing special teams unit out of the end zone with him out there. I favor pursuing dominance in all phases of the game, and I hope that in 2014, our special teams units employ the best available eleven guys. The only players I would make unavailable for the job: Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris, Trent Williams and Ryan Kerrigan.
6. The Seattle Seahawks give teams like the Redskins hope. Nobody was talking about this franchise as on the cusp of dominating any Super Bowls a few years ago. John Schneider, the Seattle GM, deserves a ton of credit for the way he churned that roster in desperate pursuit of depth. Perhaps it is too much to ask that every team has a GM capable of doing the same thing, but there is a lesson that anyone can learn here: there is a right guy who fits perfectly at every spot on the roster, and you have to wade through the entire pool of NFL-eligible players--not just the elite end of the pool. Schneider's toughest task lies ahead of him, as he will need to either replace some of his bigger name guys, or start paying out huge contracts to keep them. He is likely rather confident that he can find replacements when he must, due to his success thus far, but he does have irreplaceable players on his team right now that will have get paid...and soon. The Redskins face a couple of those decisions this offseason, though they find themselves on the opposite side of the curve from where Schneider sits.