Exciting times. For the first time in history an African-American Head Coach has made it to the Super Bowl. In fact not only one has made it but two have made it. So in reality in two weeks we will see the first ever African-American Head Coach win the Super Bowl. Nothing against Lovie Smith (who is a great coach, what he has done with the Bears is amazing), but I really hope Dungy wins it. Dungy is my favorite coach in the NFL and finally he has reached the Super Bowl after constructing Tampa's Super Bowl winner only to be canned the before the season they won it in.
Now I must say that the Colts-Patriots games was one of the best I have seen this year. I didn't get to watch the first half, but the second half was amazing. I must give credit to Peyton Manning for keeping his cool and leading his team to victory. Congratulations Peyton, now I beg you please do not choke against Chicago.
Now everyone knows from my earlier post that I was cheering for the Patriots and Tom Brady. Deep down I wanted them to win, but I really wasn't emotionally tied to them winning the game like I would be to a Vikings game. There were some questions I had about the officiating in this game. Three plays come to mind (Now I am not saying that NE should have won this game because in every game there are questionable calls, but some of these baffled me to no end).
1. The Saturday fumble recovery for a touchdown. It was a correct call, don't get me wrong on that. What I found amusing was the line judge who came in. If you were watching the game closely he came running down the line as players were scuffling to recover the fumble. What went largely unnoticed was his initial actions as he was running down the line. The Line Judge was pointing to the ground with emphatic up and down motions which signifies the player was down, but once he got up to the pile around the recovery he looked down and then emphatically signaled Touchdown. Now he got the call right as the CBS review showed, but I really have to wonder if a NE guy would have recovered it if he would have called touchback?
2. How in the world was Hobbs flagged for pass interference on that Manning to Wayne in the end zone pass. Yes, he never looked back, but he also never touched Reggie Wayne. Now, I guess I can understand the officials call because that was a quick play (although I was sure without the slow motion instant replay that Hobbs never touched Wayne), but the emphatic approval of the call by Simms and Nantz drove me crazy. How can they say that is obvious pass interference, they had the benefit of seeing that Hobbs never touched Wayne. By Phil Simms account any defender should be called for pass interference if they have their back to the QB are close to a WR and the ball hits them. Seriously that was a crappy call, but an even crappier analysis of the call by the announcers.
3. Now the phantom interference call wouldn't have been that bad if Reche Caldwell hadn't of been mugged by the defender on the Patriots drive later in the end zone. It was obvious in real time that the defender got to Caldwell before the ball did and that the ball was catchable since Caldwell got a hand on it. What was Simms analysis on that one. The officials determined that the contact did not have an effect on the reception of the ball. What Phil? How in the world would the contact not have had an effect on the ability of Caldwell to catch the ball especially since he got a hand on it, and correct me if I am wrong, but isnt the new rule that hey aren't supposed to contact the WR and the only excusable contact would be incidental contact or contact where the defender was making a play to intercept the ball and had a play on the ball. The Indy defender had his back to the QB and clearly got to Caldwell before the ball did. Bad call.
Either way, I dont blame the officiating for the outcome of this game. The Colts just played better and deserved to win. However, as ProFootballTalk mentioned in their live blog, could Jim Nantz suck up to the Colts any more than he was that game. It was obvious through all of the second half that he was pulling for Manning and the Colts. Tom Brady has been demystified. Had he lead NE to victory with 54 seconds left I would have wrote this whole blog about reasons why the HOF should start to make his bust right now. I already think he is a HOF but that would have solidified it for sure.
2 Weeks until the Super Bowl. Go Colts and Tony Dungy!