A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Monday, February 06, 2006

Dark Days

Football is over (Pro Bowl doesn't count in my book), and March Madness is still three weeks away. Sigh. Mike Whatshisname and Ted "Doh!" Thompson have managed to put together one of the worst staffs I've ever seen-- I have no faith in their ability to have a successful draft in April. I hope I'm wrong.

For the record-- I would've been dead wrong about the Super Bowl. I really thought Seattle would win, though I expected a close game. Certainly Seattle's chances were not helped by what seemed to be blatant favoritism by the referees, but really Holmgren has no one to blame but himself and his staff. His team played sloppy, made stupid mistakes at critical times, and seemed totally unaware that Pittsburgh likes to run trick plays, particularly with Randle El.

That said, the offensive pass interference call on Daryll Jackson was absurd. OPI is called once a year as sort of an obligatory offering to the tenet that neither player should push off, but the offensive player has to almost kill the defensive player to draw a flag. Daryll Jackson did not kill the defensive player. He didn't even pick his pocket. He pretty much gave him a nudge-- a move that Michael Irvin caught 92.34534566% of his passes with. Horrible call. Ditto the "chop block" call on Matt Hasselbeck-- I mean, how hard is it to figure out that Hasselbeck was trying to tackle the guy with the ball (which he succeeded in doing, for Pete's sake) rather than block the guy in between? Really bad officiating-- all through the playoffs when the stakes are at their highest, culminating in some dreadful officiating in the Super Bowl. Note to Paul Tagliabue-- figure out a way to improve the officiating in general, and instant replay in particular, or there will be a negative impact on your game's popularity.

But Pittsburgh deserved to win. They didn't play great, as they had in the previous three games, but they played better than Seattle and earned their extra-large Super Bowl title. So, congratulations to Bill Cowher, to the Steelers' players, and to the ownership and management personnel. A heck of a close to the season, beating a #3, a #2, and two #1 seeds to win the Lombardi Trophy.


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