Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl Postscript

Few quick notes on the Super Bowl from yesterday:

Almost a psychic…..If you read my previous Friday mailbag you’ll remember that I made a handful of Super Bowl predictions. I correctly predicted that the Steelers would win…which they did. I predicted that James Harrison and Woodley would each cause turnovers….which they did. I even correctly predicted that Kurt Warner would commit exactly two turnovers and Big Ben would have one interception. However, despite getting all of those minor details correct I missed one major one…margin of victory. I thought the Steelers would cover the 7 points….which they did not, and I’m out a few bucks. Thus is gambling. I still think it was a better investment than the stock market.

Madden dropped out after the seventh grade…. John Madden said something that really got to me during yesterday’s broadcast. After receiving the opening kickoff, the Steelers went all the way down the field and Ben Roethlisberger appeared to run the ball into the end zone. After a Cardinal’s challenge, it was determined that he was actually down by contact about a foot short of the end line. Coach Tomlin elected to kick the field goal instead of going for it on fourth down from a foot. Madden agreed with decision and called it “the percentage play”. I HATE IT WHEN ANNOUNCERS SAY THAT!!! They are completely wrong. Kicking a field goal from the one yard line is not the percentage play. Although taking the three points might be “conventional” wisdom, anyone who is has taken math through the eighth grade can attest to the fact that it is not the percentage play. The probability of scoring a touchdown from the one yard line (let alone inside a foot) is about 80-85%. So therefore, you have a have an 80% chance of scoring six points. The extra point is converted about 97% of the time. So some quick math tells me that if the Steelers had gone for it from a foot their expected outcome would have been roughly 5.77 points ( 6(.80) + 1 (.97) = 5.77 ). The expected outcome of attempting a 12 yard field goal is about 2.94 points ( 3 x .98 = 2.94; its about a 98% likelihood of converting a 12 yard field goal). What do all these simple calculations tell me? Despite what the John Madden’s of the world will tell, the real percentage play is going for it from a foot.

Referees should change their colors to black and gold… The fact that my wallet was rooting for the Steelers to win big should make me pretty unbiased when I ask the question: Were the refs throwing yellow penalty flags or were those Terrible Towels?
The most terribly officiated game I have ever seen is still the Super Bowl three years ago, when the refs ran the Seahawks right out of Detroit with penalty flags and blown calls, but the officiating in this Super Bowl was pretty slanted as well. A few glaring plays come to mind.
During the first half Edgerin James was called for a questionable 15 yard “chop-block” penalty on a second down that killed a very promising Cardinals drive. In the second half, when the Cardinals D-fense was poised to get off the field on a third down, Karlos Dansby was whistled for another 15 yard penalty roughing the passer penalty for merely bumping into Roethlisberger as he let the ball go. The back judge said he hit Big Ben late. No way. The two very worst calls were saved for the last few minutes. After Santonio Holmes made a great catch on the go ahead touchdown, he walked to the ten yard line and preceded to do a premeditated and rehearsed celebration with the football (he seemed to have been channeling Lebron James pre-game chalk exercise). This should have resulted in a fifteen yard penalty against the Steelers on the kickoff because any celebration where you use the ball as a prop is suppossed to be beyond individual referee interpretion, and an automatic 15 yard penalty. However, this celebration that was broadcast into the homes of no less that 150 Million people went unnoticed by the refs. The biggest gaff occurred on the very last play when Kurt Warner was ruled to have fumbled. To me it looked like an incomplete pass. It looked with Warner’s arm coming forward. At the very least you need to stop the game to review it. Most important play of the year and they don’t stop the game to take a look at it? What’s worse is the fact that the Steelers were whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct on the play for celebrating. Since this was a dead ball foul, no matter what the result of the review, the Steelers would have been penalized 15 yards. If the play was review and overturned the Cardinals would have had first and 10 from the Steelers 20 yard line and would have been able to run one maybe two more plays. To cover their asses the NFL issued a statement at 2:30 AM in which they claim to have reviewed the play in the booth. 2:30 AM! This was four hours after the end of game! Even if this were the case, than that means they looked at the play for less than 25 seconds since the Steelers snapped the ball with about 20 seconds left to go on the 45 second play clock. By comparison, they stopped the game to review the Holmes go-ahead touchdown for close to five minutes.

The Cardinals faced a pretty daunting task going up against the guys wearing black and gold yesterday. Little did they know they’d also be up against the guys wearing black and white stripes.

What a terrific role model…and hey he’s going to Disney World! Santonio Holmes was named MVP of the Super Bowl and immediately became America’s new darling. This is the same guy who on Tuesday admitted to being a drug dealer as a teenager and this year has been arrested on at least one drug related charge and suspended for a game. Let’s look at a timeline of the rise of Santonio Holmes:

- Born: March 3, 1984
- (1999- 2003): Dealing drugs and occasionally playing football at Belle Grade High School in Florida
-(2003-2005): Played wide out at Ohio State; leaves school after three years and is taken in the first round by the Steelers
-May 27, 2006: Arrested charged for disorderly conduct in Miami Beach
-June 18, 2006: Arrested charged for domestic violence and assault in Columbus, Ohio
-October 23, 2008: Arrested for possession of marijuana (legal and NFL disciplinary charges still pending); suspended for one game by the team
-January 27, 2009 - During Super Bowl media day, freely admits to dealing drugs as a teenager. His motivation?.... to feed a starving family? No. To help his single mother working three jobs pay the bills? No. To get himself some fancy Air Jordans? Bingo.

- February 1, 2009: (about 9:30 PM) Caught four balls on the Steelers final drive Each catch was punctuated with an elongated "look at me" celebration with the ball (preventing its immediate spotting by the referees) while the Steelers were trying to run their hurry-up offense.
(about 9:35 PM) Makes spectacular go ahead touchdown catch, and then makes one of the most selfish plays in Super Bowl history by celebrating with the football which he knows is an automatic 15 yard penalty. However, he is bailed out by the refs when they swallow their whistles.
(about 10:30 PM) Named MVP of the Super Bowl and sets record for using the pronoun “I” in the acceptance speech.

-February 4, 2009 - Will ride the float at Disney World with Mickey and Minny waiving to the little kids at Disney.

What a role model.

No comments:

Post a Comment