Do you remember your first Super Bowl?
I do. In fact, it was the first one, and I saw Bart Starr and Vince Lombardi take apart Len Dawson, Hank Stram, and the Chiefs. It does seem like yesterday, which really means I have not only gotten old, but seen a few.
So, how do we contextualize Sunday's upset of the Panthers by the Broncos?
Well, since we all have this figured out, here is my slant on the 2015 season, the Super Bowl, and maybe 2016 a little. Extra points will appear periodically prior to the 2016 mock draft season, but fear not. Some good baseball and DFS stuff is coming!
1) What happened to the Panthers? Duh, the same thing that happened to the Patriots. I truly never saw the Denver dominance of the Patriots coming, especially figuring Peyton Manning was the team's weakness, but that game should have told us all what was possible. I had more than a few conversations into which I injected, "Hey, no one expected Denver to beat the Patriots, so nothing is certain."
That said, I did expect the Panthers to win, but at least I was mindful of the possible results. And, the bottom line is that Wade Phillips and his crew became the offense, while Peyton and company's gig was to make plays, use the clock, and not make any mistakes. Worked like a charm.
2) Is this it for Peyton? I am sorry, Peyton, but like almost everyone else, I wrote you off five games into this year. I was wrong. We all were wrong. I do hope this is it for you, only because I will savor seeing you go out as you did. I did see Willie Mays play too long and fall down in center field. I did see Steve Carlton's final games with the Giants during which he provided live in-game batting practice to opposing hitters. Mind you, I wouldn't begrudge you staying another year after you proved me wrong. You earned that. It is just that doing what you did this past month would be really hard to duplicate.
3) What of Cam Newton? Poor Cam had a tough game, for sure. But, my feeling is this was a good thing for his team and his career. Surely the Panthers were the best team in the NFL in many ways this past year, but they did not necessarily have the toughest schedule. I am not saying the team is not good, for their dismemberment of first Seattle, then Arizona should have said how good they are.
But, that second half against Seattle also suggested that a good and adjusting defense could throw Cam et al off, and that is what Denver did Sunday. As for Cam and the Panthers, they should be able to build upon this year, for they all have a return to the playoffs probability at this point for 2016, and humility and experience will make for a dangerous team.
4) Was it a catch? Who cares. The truth to me was if the ref had called it a catch on the field, it would not have been overturned, just as the "not a catch" call was upheld. Because even with TV and instant replay, we cannot tell. Which is a chance to stand on my "I hate instant replay" soap box.
5) Von Miller, WTF? I play in a league where in lieu of defense, we each play three individual defensive players, and I have been playing Von all year, save bye weeks. He did ok during the season here and there, but nothing like the monster game Sunday. Dude, I am happy for you to be the MVP and all, but should I pick you next year, how about spreading the wealth around a little, ok?
6) Does Wade Phillips get another offer to be a Head Coach? Yes. (Not sure if he would accept, but...)
7) What, Super Bowl 50 dull? I didn't think so. I do like to see lots of offense because it is fun, but the game between Cam and the offense versus Von and the defense was an awful lot of fun to watch tactically. I once told my late partner Cathy Hedgecock that I liked football because it was "chess in motion." She did not like the violence of the game, in fact I am not sure she thought of it as sport per se, but that she understood immediately.
8) Favorite commerical? Invitro Doritos. No question.
9) What of Coldplay? I cannot claim to be a huge Coldplay fan. I wish they either were more Stone Roses Manchester, or Buzzcocks London. That is my personal preference, but the halftime show was really pretty good. Chris Martin and the band were fine, as were Beyonce and Bruno Mars redux. In a way, the halftime was not that far removed from the awful "Up With People", who were what was thought to be a hep halftime group at the time (ugh, I shuddered then, I shudder now), but the truth is we have come a ways since then. Play, bands and opportunities are greater than ever for all, but that still does not mean the field is level for all. We have to keep working at this equality stuff but maybe we are getting there. I think as the Metrons said about the Fedeartion, via Captain Kirk, "there is hope for us."
I can live with that.
Stay tuned for a revamped site, along with our DFS coverage of the NBA and PGA, with NHL on the horizon.