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2.05.2006

Super Bowl XL post-mortem 

Bleh. Stevie Wonder and the Stones were competent, but pretty flat in the pregame and halftime shows respectively.

Tom Brady conducted the opening coin flip. Seeing him smirk and cackle as the predominantly Steeler crowd booed him was priceless. Also present at the coin flip, as one of the Seattle Seahawks' 26 captains for the game, was Harvard alum Isaiah Kacyvenski.

Neither team seemed to be at their peak. At the beginning of the game, it looked like Matt Hasselbeck was going to carve up the Steelers secondary, but then made a lot of inaccurate passes and was hurt by a bunch of drops over the last three quarters, with or without pressure. Joey Porter and Troy Polamalu didn't seem to be really big factors on the pass rush; Seattle just made a lot of offensive mistakes. Also, the clock-management on their last drive of the first half made them look like they had taught by Herm Edwards.

Ben Roethlisberger never got into a groove the entire game, after three excellent games in the AFC playoffs. I'll lay part of the blame on the offensive-playcalling. Run on first down, run on second down, throw on third down. Gets predictable after as while. The TD pass of the reverse in the second half was beautiful, even if Pittsburgh runs it several times a season.

I think we can all agree that having two weeks between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl sucks. If people really want to the attend the Super Bowl, they'll find a way to get there within a week.

There were a lot of key calls that went against the Seahawks. I thought most of them were correct except for the pass interference against Darrell Jackson (negating a Seattle TD) and the below-the-waist hit against Matt Hasselbeck (which helped the Steelers on their last TD drive). In particular, I'm pretty sure Ben Roethlisberger's TD was good (he appeared to just sneak the ball over the front edge of the goal line stripe).

Congratulations to Hines Ward for winning the Super Bowl MVP award. Five catches for 123 yards, each of them really important. This is likely the high point of Korean achievments in professional athletics, even if you discount it by 50 percent.

Jerome Bettis, who you may have heard is from Detroit, had a very Bettis-like 14 carries for 43 yards. This includes him getting stuffed from the 1-yard line on consecutive carries, then just barely getting enough of a block to allow Roethlisberger to score the Steelers' first TD. The guy has been so overweight this season it's unbelievable. Still, since he's from Detroit, I'm happy for him. I still haven't completely forgiven him for going to Notre Dame though.

Bettis is going to be tough call for the Hall of Fame. He was a real force in his early years with the Rams and Steelers, but it's hard to vote for a guy with a career yards-per-carry average below 4.0.

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