1. They say life is short. I wonder how short life really is when you have to wake up every morning for the rest of your days questioning your decision NOT to hand the ball off to Marshawn Lynch either once or twice from the 1-yard line in the closing seconds of the Super Bowl. That, my friends, is a long life.
2. If Pete Carroll can overthink it, so can this guy. I mean, right away, my scheming mind immediately wondered if the Seahawks were already moving away from a dependence on Lynch. After all, he is due a new contract, and the 'Hawks have two young backs ready to take over--if it is actually humanly possible to replace #24 with a mere mortal. Is there ANY chance someone in the building feared a 15-yard penalty for a crotch grab that would have changed the kickoff position and given Tom Brady a puncher's chance at the bitter end? I will NEVER believe that the call was made for time management. On what planet does Marshawn Lynch get stopped--TWICE--from that spot on the field? Hell, there was even the remote possibility that the Patriots would let them in just to be able to give Brady the ball back.
3. You can't slip bad play-calling past a Redskins fan. We know it when we see it. We are certified in the field. Technically, a Redskins play-call would have been something thrown behind the line of scrimmage for a loss, but Pete Carroll still gave Steve Spurrier a run for his money. If he would have only left two people in to pass protect, he would have nailed it.
4. The halftime show was legit. Lenny, Missy and Katy were great. I can't help but think back to the halftime show during the last Redskins Super Bowl appearance. The Skins were locked up with the Bills and the halftime show was called "Winter Magic," a celebration of the winter and the Winter Olympics. They constructed a fake ice rink made out of sheets of Teflon, and Brian Boitano and Dorothy Hamill FIGURE SKATED while Gloria Estefan sang. Nobody watched it because Fox was airing a live episode of "In Living Color" at the same time, with a timer in the corner of the screen so you didn't miss any game action. Our last Super Bowl was literally the last crappy halftime show--at least from a billing perspective. The very next year, Michael Jackson played the halftime show, and from then on, it has been a parade of big names. Whether you are a Katy Perry fan or not, you likely watched last night's performance. I was not aware of any other major network offering alternative programming for the halftime period. The NFL got that one right.
5. The game is over, but the postgame drama is just beginning. Unfortunately for Roger Goodell, he is likely going to have to do something about the deflated balls. I understand that documentation from AFC Championship gameday referees is not supportive of any book-throwing punishment, but they have proof of an infraction with the balls themselves. When Goodell leveled the Saints, Sean Payton was essentially penalized because "ignorance is not an excuse." That language is going to haunt Goodell in this process. Look, I don't believe for a second that Roger wants to punish Robert Kraft and the Patriots. In truth, I don't think the infraction is bad enough to warrant any kind of crippling sanctions. That said, dismissing the incident altogether could do more damage for the league and for Goodell personally than any other response. It is not just about doubt settling in among fanbases around the country--that doubt is coming from Bill Belichick's peers. Coaches and general managers around the league might be afraid to blatantly call out the Patriots for appearances of shadiness (except for Marty Hurney), but I would bet the deed to my house that the league's back channels have been flooded in recent days with "suggestions" on what Goodell should do.
6. I think the Patriots will suffer two forms of punishment--neither of which is going to keep them from celebrating a fourth title. I do see draft picks involved. Spygate is going to factor in here, and if that is true, the Patriots may very well have to forfeit at least a first-round choice. (If THAT is true, the Redskins high second round pick just got higher...Michael Phelps-style.) In addition to this, the NFL is almost certainly going to change the rules surrounding the chain of custody of game balls. The resulting new regulations will almost certainly be referred to as, "The Belichick Rule," or "The Brady Rule," or "The Patriots Rule." If I'm Robert Kraft, that would not sit well. Billionaires tend to buy pretty heavily into the "sticks and stones" argument, but even so, it would be a black eye on one of the most dominant organizations in pro sports.