Super Bowl Open Thread


Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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111 Responses

  1. Avatar Kolohe says:

    The kitten bowl announcers are pawsitively making sure they make the lion’s share of puns among all broadcasts today.Report

  2. Avatar zic says:

    Not a football fan, not going to watch.

    But I do reside in NE, and I do think there’s some importance to refuting sloppy statistics, so at least consider what Nate Silver has to say on deflategate:

    and I’m sure someone will check the balls pre-game. So if the Pats do win, if they don’t fumble, I expect some patriotic eating-of-crow on behalf of giving undue credence to sloppy mathReport

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Does the rant have to be drunken?Report

  4. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Kate Upton needs to raise taxes in order to afford a better armor classReport

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Where do you find the images for your pieces? Your images are always aces.Report

  6. Avatar greginak says:

    I guess it’s to late to join a fantasy football league for this season. Oh well.Report

  7. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Big year for dads and fake legsReport

  8. Avatar Kolohe says:

    I’m genuinely enjoying this halftime show – good combo of showmanship and over the top set design. It’s definitely a technical marvel. I would have enjoyed a live blog / tweeting of it from Dr. Sanders and Ms. Woodhouse.Report

    • Avatar RTod says:

      I would have enjoyed that as well, if for no other reason than I’d have like them to explain to me the symbolism of Katie Perry’s fertilizing a giant egg sack at the end.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      Dude she rode a giant Voltron in lion mode POWERED BY NINJAS and twerked on Lenny Kravitz on live TV and danced with sharks and re-created the “The More You Know” PSA series in a frickin drone.

      What else would she have had to have done to impress you?Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        I hated Perry and Kravitz. Missy Elliot was good and I’d have liked to see much more of her.

        And I don’t want to make this all about Perry’s physical appearance, but her outfits were simply unflattering last night. Everyone in the room — which was an even mix of males and females — agreed. I actually liked her hair and thought her makeup looked alright, but each outfit seemed worse than the last. She seems to have a nice figured but her clothes were not doing her any favors.

        Also, I narrowly missed my in-house prop bet in which I wagered a buck on Kravitz wearing leather but having a fully exposed chest. I underestimated the potential for a mesh tank top.Report

      • Avatar j r says:

        If you don’t love Lenny Kravitz in chain mail, then I have to assume that you are dead inside.Report

      • Missy Elliot was good and I’d have liked to see much more of her.

        Does not compute. Then again, we’re talking about the person who sings my least favorite song of all time singing my least favorite song of all time during the Super Bowl, so I would say that.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        Wow. Are we talking about Get Ur Freak On? I love that song. And I love Missy Elliott. And I’m mostly not a hippity-hop kinda guy. (Those latter two facts may be co-supporting points.)Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        When Perry put on the big jacket for Elliott’s numbers I was thinking to myself “She actually wants to bee seen wearing that by this many people?” It was that bad. But that’s Katy Perry. She’s impressive in that way. She’s just, Whatever.Report

      • @michael-drew Yup, though I like a reasonable amount of hip-hop. The only song that has approached it in terms of level of annoyance caused for me has been “All About That Bass.”Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        I was very much not tuned into pop radio through the time when that song was on, so I can imagine having it burn a hole in my brain in such a way that I hat it forever, as All About That Bass is currently doing to me. But it didn’t, so now I find it fun and funky.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        When the SB was in its Old Men Only a Baby Boomer Could Love phase, The Who, Springsteen and McCartney basically played their instruments and sang. Now that they’ve moved on to contemporary performers, whoever produces these things seems to think they also need a special effects budget rivaling that of the Avengers.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:


        I had forgotten Lenny Kravitz was playing until right before the game. Then I’m watching and Get Ur Freak Comes on… I literally was thinking “Seriously, she’s going to try to cover this?” I couldn’t conceive that they’d bring out Missy Elliott unannounced.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        I didn’t see Kravitz, which is probably good, because I hate that man’s music with an intense passion.

        I knew Elliott was going to perform, but I don’t think I’ve paid attention to a Super Bowl halftime show since I was a kid, and Katy Perry was not going to be the artist who got me to watch one. I was outside talking to my neighbor when I started to get texts about how trippy the show was, and came back in to see for myself just as Elliott’s portion of the show began.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:


        They almost always have an unannounced performer. As soon as I recognized the song, I thought, “Are they…?” And then when they showed Missy — who wasn’t immediately recognizable — I thought, “I think they are…” and when she hit the lyrics, I thought, “THEY ARE!”

        I’ll also say that Perry looked wildly out of place during that number. I’m no expert on dance and certainly won’t attempt to create a hierarchy of the different dance forms… but Perry looked so stodgy and awkward next to Missy and her backup dancers.

        At the same time, it is possible she’d be getting ripped for appropriating a dance style she is not well versed in had she really gone for it so maybe it is better she just sort of went through the motions.

        I don’t really care… I was just excited to see Missy Elliot!

        I’m pretty sure at least one of us (probably you?) included her in your playlist for the Hip Hop symposium. Or did you do a piece on the women of hip hop? I’m trying to remember what actually made it to ‘print’ and what was simply bandied about behind the scenes. Regardless, if none of us (and I’m including Glyph and @j-r who was awesome in the comments there) did a women of hip hop piece, I demand someone (not me) do it.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        I think ‘almost always’ might be a small exaggeration (maybe not), but, yeah, it wasn’t that there was someone unannounced, it just seemed like she was either too big or just too… off the wall to believe she would be it.

        As far as Katy in that moment… totally. But the jacket that fit her much as a duvet cover would didn’t help her look any less out of place there.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:


        I actually missed Perry up until that same point, too. And then I bailed before being subjected to Kravitz. I also figured there was a decent chance “unannounced Missy Eliott” for me was really just, “why would I think I had paid attention to the right sources enough to hear about it anyway?”Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        I may have included her in my playlist, if not the actual piece. I did include her in this post about women in hip hop.

        And now I will spend the rest of the day listening to Eternia.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:


        Awesome! I need to go back and re-read/listen to that one.

        I do wonder if, when you are in the position that Missy Elliot was, it might make it easier to shine. She doesn’t have to carry the show and because she is more of a ‘niche’ performer, she doesn’t have to worry about appealing to everyone. She seemed freer… Perry didn’t seem restrained but did not seem loose… though I’m hardly qualified to really speak on the matter. Elliot’s stage presence was the best of the three and that is what tends to resonate with me when watching a performance.Report

      • Avatar morat20 says:

        It is Katy Perry. She wears what she wants and the fashion rules of lesser mortals do not apply to her, for better or for worse.

        As for actually playing/singing — my brother (who has always been heavily involved with music and the fiddly sound bits) mentioned that no one sings in a stadium because the acoustics are awful and the end result generally sounds horrible. If they DO perform in a stadium (like Paul McCartney, for instance) they tend to tote around a few million in speakers and sound gear that takes ages to set up and calibrate, so they don’t sound horrible.

        It’s just easier to lip sync to it being played over the stadium’s speakers, because then everyone gets the sound at the right time and it doesn’t sound awful.

        I’d have to agree — I was in a marching band in high school, and ‘phasing’ was a constant hassle. It was a great deal of work for the drum majors to keep time off of what they saw, and not what they heard (and for the band to keep time off the drum majors, and not what they heard). If you didn’t, things would hit the stands…not quite in sync, which sounds awful and would quickly get worse.Report

  9. Avatar Will Truman says:

    I get why people hate the Patriots. Why do they hate the Seahawks? Pete Carroll?Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      I would guess that Carroll is part of it. Ran from USC just before the NCAA sanctions hit. Has piled up multiple $100K or higher fines from the NFL for breaking rules. He may not do things wrong on the field, but he has a long history of off-field rules violations happening on his watch.

      My only complaint with the Seahawks is the defensive secondary’s style — bend the rules on holding and downfield contact on every play and dare the refs to throw that many flags. Just me, but I suggest that it’s not a coincidence that their season turned around this year right at the time when the league backed off on the early-season crackdown on such violations. That’s not a big complaint — the rule is not what’s on paper, it’s what the zebras call.Report

    • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

      [Comment deleted by ed.]Report

    • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

      It’s funny though that people don’t hate Seahawks owner Paul Allen with the vitriol with which they hate Bill Gates.

      Maybe because he hasn’t really worked there since 1983.Report

  10. Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

    So it turns out Doug Baldwin is the thug.Report

  11. Avatar ScarletNumbers says:


  12. Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

    And of course the thugs start a fight. Typical thugs.Report

  13. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    What the hell were the Seahawks thinking throwing a pass there?Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      The same thing they were throwing a pass instead of kicking a field goal at the end of the first half.

      Live by Pete Carol, die buy Pete Carol.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Looks like the Seahawks ran into the same cheating brick wall that Tebow did.Report

      • Avatar Don Zeko says:

        But what’s the upside to throwing instead of running? They still get a full set of plays to make the touchdown, and it’s not like you get super bonus points for a passing touchdownReport

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        “Every time you throw the ball only three things can happen and two of them are bad.”Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

        The thinking, I suspect, was sometimes you do what the defense isn’t expecting rather than what they are.

        Clearly, this was the wrong move.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        It was a boneheaded call to begin with. They could have slid that in on the ground, easy.

        Instead, they went for the pass — a really risky move when they had at least two more plays they could have made before they went for the hail mary approach..

        Then the guy that picked it off? He absolutely read that play. You could see it in the way he moved. He absolutely knew where it was going, left his man and picked it off. Just solid, ballsy move. New England better through that man a freakin’ party and give him a raise.

        He was smart enough to see it, quick enough to take advantage, and won them the Superbowl.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        They thought a running TD was worth 3 points?Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        Well, earlier in the game they threw a pass to Lynch. The receiver was upset about that and to placate him they promised that later in the game he’d get to take Lynch’s turn.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        Maybe Carroll’s sleeper pick in his his fantasy league was Ricardo Lockette.Report

  14. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Loved the look on Tom Brady’s face after the miraculously-didn’t-hit-the ground-ball was caught. “Jesus fishing Christ, now what?”Report

  15. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    I hated having to pick the lesser of two evils there, but as a Green Bay fan I found a sort of bitter, schadenfreude-inspiring symmetry in seeing the SeaChickens get victory literally snatched away from them at the last possible moment by a) a bad coaching call b) astonishing execution from an unlikely opposing player and c) an instantaneous-seeming meltdown of player discipline. You know, sort of a St. Catherine’s Wheel of Football Justice thing going on.

    Which felt appropriate after the dark, grim commercials.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      I still don’t know how I feel. Grateful to have gotten that far? Glad after that first quarter and a half we weren’t blown out the other building? Angry to come so close and trip so badly in the last minute? Count that last interception as God changing his mind about the Kearse catch two plays prior?

      Between today and the National Championship, this is apparently the Year of the Bridesmaid for my teams.Report

    • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

      Which felt appropriate after the dark, grim commercials.

      Especially the pizza phone-call one.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      I found a sort of bitter, schadenfreude-inspiring symmetry in seeing the SeaChickens get victory literally snatched away from them at the last possible moment by a) a bad coaching call

      Yeah, this. Marshawn between the tackles, three times is the charm. And not even hindsight. Just bad play calling, even if the converted.


    • Avatar DensityDuck says:

      Well, if it hadn’t been for a fluke catch they wouldn’t have had anything “snatched away” because they’d have turned it over on downs at the 40.

      PS Butler almost blew the game for the Patriots by stepping out of the end zone. If he’d just knelt down it would have been a touchback and put the ball on the 20 instead of the 2. Admittedly it was a long shot that the Seahawks could have managed anything, but it was a long shot that put them there to begin with. And you can’t blame the guy for being unbelievably pumped up after making that interception.Report

      • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

        Be fair, you can’t expect him to stop on a dime.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        He had a lot of momentum, I don’t think he was join to be able to get down in the end zone there.

        It would have been pretty exciting if there had been a safety there, though, with Seattle having an opportunity to win with a field goal with about 20 seconds to do it.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        …Not that was it wasn’t exciting. Just thinking about what would have wrung every last bit out of that awesome game.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        As far as I could tell he was running across the endzone, not out of it. But like I said, he was probably pretty pumped about getting the game-ending interception and not really thinking “okay, so I need to go to ground here to make it a touchback”Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        Looking even closer, Butler catches the ball just as he comes across the goal line (ball hits his chest just in front of it in my estimation); his right foot comes down in front of the goal line (ball right on the goal line); his left foot comes down across the very front edge of the goal line; then he takes a big step with his right foot into the end zone and follows with his left; then he pushes back forward and advances the ball out and to the one-and-a-half yard line.

        His momentum actually was back toward the end zone after making the catch due to collision with Lockette, and it pulled him into it. He caught the ball literally on the goal line; he had no idea whether the refs would say he caught it in the end zone or say he caught it in the field of play and carried it back in, nor what replay would say happened. If the call was that he caught it in the field of play and carried it back into the end zone & downed it, that would be a safety.

        He really had no choice but to take it out of the end zone if he had any significant doubt about whether he caught it in the end zone. And, indeed, a close look suggests he caught it in the field of play before being knocked back into the end zone. So he definitely made the right decision. (Though you’re right that, at the point at which he found himself in the end zone, he did have a (split-second) decision to make; it wasn;t just momentum that determined where he went down.)

        I recommend everyone take a super-close, super-slomo look at that play. Since he did take it out, nothing really rides on where he caught it. But consider that he could very well have decided that he thought he caught it in the end zone and the best thing to do was go down. Under that scenario, it would have been one of the physically narrowest calls to be made at the most consequential/latest moment in a one-score Super Bowl ever. That just underscores the significance of the decision Butler made there to take the ball out. If he goes down, it’s very possible that the Seahawks are having the ball kicked to them down only two with twenty seconds on the clock.Report

      • Avatar Mo says:

        Except the fluke catch was on the same set of downs as that atrocious non call on DPI.Report

    • Avatar Pinky says:

      Lawful Evil 28
      Chaotic Evil 24Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        (I was googling pictures of “Hitler vs. Stalin” for my idea of a Superbowl open thread but then figured that that probably would not have been particularly well-received and figured that someone else should probably post it.)Report

    • Avatar KatherineMW says:

      That was a painful end to the game, but very satisfying for Green Bay fans, I’m sure.

      I now have empathy for the US women’s hockey team. (I already had empathy for Green Bay.) It hurts to see your team snatch defeat from the jaws of victoryReport

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        You mean at the Olympics last year? My god, that was devastating.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW says:

        Yes, the Olympics. For me, it was awesome and one of the two best hockey game I’ve ever seen (the other was the men’s gold medal final in the Vancouver olympics, obviously). For US fans, it had to be painful. For the US team…I’m assuming the aftermath involved copious amounts of alcohol.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        Any outcome’s aftermath would have involved copious amounts of alcohol. I’m assuming it involved considerable amounts of property destruction.

        FTR, we dominated every inch of the ice for basically all of that game. I don’t know a ton about hockey, but I was absolutely stunned at what I was seeing. I don’t know how you guys won that.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW says:

        I was stunned as well. I has pretty much given up by the last few minutes of the game, and then…Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        Someone put something in their coffee. I don’t know. They were playing possessed.Report

  16. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Have the riots started yet?

    Seriously, they should have this game first thing in the morning.Report

  17. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    I love Russell Wilson. That was a bummer for him.Report

  18. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    I sure-hell wouldn’t want to be a Nationwide rep tomorrow morning.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe says:

      The weirdest part, which relatively few people seem to be commenting on, is the complete tonal shift between the America’s Sweetheart Mindy Kaling ad and the next one.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        That was an ad for Nationwide, too? The Mindy Kaling ad had literally nothing to do with insurance at all. Someone figured out how to link Peyton Manning singing to his meatball sub and that particular brand of insurance. But Mindy Kaling stealing food and molesting Matt Damon was just a goofy non sequitur.Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman says:

        What’s interesting is that the Mindy Kaling ad was leaked early and shoved through the roof in terms of pre game advertising advertising (at last we first meet for the first time and for the last time!) Meanwhile, Dead Kid Ad was just obliquely referred to as “we think it’ll surprise some people”.Report

  19. Avatar Randy Harris says:

    Slight defense of play call that resulted in interception. Second down, Lynch given ball, failed to score; Seattle calls last time out. Third down, they “need” to pass because a failed run would result in the clock running out. Thus, this potential sequence has a down on which the Seahawks would need to pass. Why not do it on second down when the Patriots were expecting a run?

    This is only a slight defense of the call, however. The way Lynch was running the ball, he most likely would have scored (90%?) had he been give the ball on second down. If he didn’t score, then pass on third down knowing a incompletion would still give Seattle and opportunity to run it in on fourth down. Off the wall odds: Run on second down, 92% chance of Seattle victory; pass 86%. Should have gone with the run, but there is a small amount of logic behind throwing the pass.Report

    • Avatar morat20 says:

      Nah, it was overly clever coaching. “They’re gonna expect Lynch to run the ball (because that’s the smart move), so we’ll fool them and throw it”.

      Everyone expects Lynch to run the ball, and he still makes 2 to 3 yards a run. They should have hurried-up and tried the run. Worst case, they get knocked back a few yards and call a TO — and have a little more room to maneuver to throw.

      But honestly, Lynch would have scored. The Pats run defense isn’t tight enough, and Lynch is good for the yard pretty much any time.

      It was a too-clever coaching call that backfired atrociously.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      Yeah, I don’t think calling the pass on 2nd down is absurd. The Patriots are stacking the line against the run, so a pass to the outside (maybe to the gargantuan receiver who’d scored in a similar situation at the end of the 1st half?) where there’s little or no chance of an interception isn’t unreasonable. Throwing the ball into a clogged middle? That’s historically stupid.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        I don’t want to get to into things because I’m still too depressed about the game, but that play is exactly why I hate one-read plays. Wilson — who generally demonstrates phenomenal decision-making abilities — didn’t get to employ them there. It was catch the snap, set, throw. No reads. No options. That’s okay when you have six seconds and a hesitation can cost you points. I would have preferred to see then line up under center, use a little misdirection, and go strength on strength. But if you are going to throw, I think you play action or bootleg Wilson or at least give him multiple reads. ANYTHING but blindly throw the ball and hope for the best. Ugh.

        And this isn’t MMQBing. I’ve hated that sort of play call forever. Let your best players make plays.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        And this isn’t MMQBing.

        Nice try. But it literally is.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:


        I guess it depends on how we define MMQBing.

        What I mean is that I’m not saying, “Well, it failed, so it was wrong.” Even if it succeeded, I don’t like that play call. I’ve never liked that play call. I know we can’t and shouldn’t evaluate decisions based solely on outcome. We have to look at process. Case in point, I think Belichick going for it on 4th-and-short against Indy in their own territory a few years back was the right call. I didn’t love the particular play call, but I thought the decision making process was correct EVEN THOUGH it failed. I’ve never liked those sorts of plays. Never ever ever ever ever ever ever. The only time they aren’t awful is A) when you have a situation like Seattle had at the end of the 1st half or B) on 1st or 2nd down when you have a big, powerful WR who can physically overmatch a DB he is lined up one-on-one with alone on his side of the field. And, still, I’d rather you let Russell use his head in the latter situation and allow him to make a read.

        Am I second-guessing Carroll? I suppose I am. But I was first guesting him as well. When they came out in what looked like a possible/probably passion formation, I said, “This doesn’t look good.” When I saw Lynch break outside on the snap… meaning it was almost assuredly not a run… I said, “No…” When I saw Wilson plant and raise his arm to throw, I said “ooOOO!”Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        We always want to think that, but we never really know what we’d be saying if the events had been otherwise, much less are we able to prove it. That’s why it’s all MMQBing no matter what. The trick is to just be cool with MMQBing even though it’s a pretty low-value exercise. It’s sports; the point is only fun anyway.

        When it gets rough is when it’s not sports, but that’s when we find out that MMQBing is just that. When it’s more serious stuff, I think our instinct is to be much more hesitant to give clear “they should have _____ed.” All the same cautions should logically apply with sports, but, it’s sports! Who cares? Go ahead and shoot from the hip.Report

      • Avatar switters says:

        M Lynch had 5 carries this year from the opposing teams 1 yd line. -1 Total yards. One touchdown. And the pats had their goal line D in the game.

        Would any team find their most successful play or player and run it 3 straight times? No, of course not.

        To sum up – its questionable a lynch run gives them the best opportunity to get in. More questionable when it becomes clear the Pats are playing the run. And even it lynch did give them the best chance, they would not have run him three times in a row, even if the clock wasn’t a factor. Which meant they were going to run something else. For one, if not two of the final three plays.

        Carroll gets a pass.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:


        This is why I like to rely on the numbers. For a number of these situations, we have good data on optimal strategy. The Packers’ kicking in the NFC Championship? Sub-optimal strategy. With reams of data to back that up. You can win playing sub-optimally and lose playing optimally. But you are going to win more than you lose if you play optimally.

        The Seahawks’ play call is harder to evaluate because there are more variables than “kick or go for it”, but I’m fairly confident the numbers we do have would say they made a sub-optimal call there. Which is why I think this isn’t quite what we mean when we usually invoke the term MMQBing. MMQBing — to me — means we are using hindsight to evaluate outcomes with the benefit of knowing exactly what happened. Using data analysis to determine the preferred course of action and comparing the actual course of action to that is something very different… at least to me.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        I feel like I was right to question McCarthy’s strategy in that game, and that you’re right to question that playcall yesterday. But all that rightness is still occurring under one big MMQBing umbrella as far as I’m concerned. Use all the data you want to prove your point; if you’re not a coach and you’re critiquing coaches’ decisions on Monday morning, you’re MMQBing.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        And this isn’t MMQBing.
        Nice try. But it literally is.

        It’s literally MMHCing, or MMOCing. And by now it’s MAHC/OCing.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:


      • Avatar Jim Heffman says:

        It’s worth remembering that Lynch’s big runs were when defenders came from the side. If someone stood him up, he stopped; this actually happened a number of times. So while I still think that Lynch was the guy to go with in that spot, it’s entirely possible that he wouldn’t have made it in (and time run out in the scrum as he tried.)

        Also, to get all eleven-dimensional chess here…Lynch isn’t the NFL’s favorite guy at the moment. And if you put The Entire Super Bowl on him making a run and he fails, there would be a ton of talk about how Lynch Is Undisciplined, Lynch Doesn’t Deserve This, Lynch Needs To Learn. Instead they put him on the outside as a blocker, safely away from potential screwups, and we can all just sort of pretend that “just here so I won’t get fined” was a funny joke we all laughed at and not A Thing at all.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        “Hey Marshawn! What were you doing in that last play?”

        “I was just there so I wouldn’t get fined.”

        With a little polish, I think that we could make this a meme for 2 or 3 minutes.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        “Hey Marshawn! What were you doing in that last play?”
        “I was just there so I wouldn’t get fined.”

        That’s a win.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        possible/probably passion formation

        Making Kazzy ask “Christ, what are they doing”?Report

    • Avatar j r says:

      I’m with @kazzy on this. Not only do you have arguably the best running back in the game, but you have arguably the best running QB in the game right now.

      Give the ball to Lynch or play action bootleg with Wilson running for the pylon and having the option to throw.Report

  20. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    Does anyone think that sequence is fireable for Bevell? Including obliquely ‘throwing Lockette under the bus’ afterward and providing a semi-coherent explanation in the first hours after the game?

    I think that it’s absurd to be talking about firing a coordinator on the basis of performance in the Super Bowl a year after winning the Super Bowl. Thirty teams would give a promotion to someone for doing as well as that. But I’ve got a little homerism going here, because Bevell is Rose Bowl-winning QB for my hometown & alma mater college team. He’s my boy. Nevertheless, I think I’m right.

    Others’ thoughts?Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:


      What did Bevell say afterwards? I haven’t read any follow up. But I will say that the call itself was certainly not a fireable offense. Depending on how he handled it afterward… it is possible if he acted in a way that risks losing the respect of his players.

      I also found it odd that whichever NBC guy asked one of the Pats’ guys on the podium about “Wilson’s play call”. Where was he getting that from?Report

      • Avatar greginak says:

        Bevell said Lockette could have gone stronger to the ball on that last play. Seems lame to me. The defender was there ahead of him. It was poor play call and a poor throw. Wilson shouldn’t have tried to force it in although that is a super quick decision.Report

      • Avatar Mo says:

        This is the look Wilson had, he wasn’t forcing it in.

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        It’s definitely lame. It was a bad moment for Darrell. (He didn’t name Lockett, FWThat’sW; just said “‘We’ could have made a stringer lay on the ball.” Not saying that’s worth a lot.) But it was just one moment, at a really tough, um, moment.

        If it in fact does result in his losing the players, okay. That’s a problem when it becomes apparent. But I can’t see making a move because it could happen. I don’t think the players would be justified in abandoning trust for Bevell on the basis of the one comment. If it is or becomes a habit, that’s totally different. He’s not good enough (or not clearly good enough yet) for something like that to fly. (Unlike, say, Belichick, who would be. But you don’t usually get to where BB is by doing things that lose locker rooms.)Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Bevell shouldn’t have said that but I otherwise agree with your assessment, @michael-drew . That shouldn’t lose him the locker room. And if it does, it means there were/are probably other problems with him. But a bad play call and a poorly thought out comment shouldn’t undo what he’s accomplished thus far.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:


        Did you see this:

        That is some woefully idiotic thinking (though it may be after-the-fact attempts at justification).

        Interestingly, there is a box in that article saying that running plays from the one are slightly less effective at scoring than passing plays from the one (61% to 58%). That isn’t a perfect comparison because I’d want to know what percentage of possessions — not just plays — are scored on when a team runs versus passes on 2nd and goal from the 1). So, passing wasn’t necessarily totally boneheaded, but I think that particular play — where Wilson doesn’t have an opportunity to make a read or a play but simply catches and throws — is too limited.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        Yeah, it was all-around bad. But I don’t place a lot of weight on someone being unable to satisfactorily explain the thinking behind a mistake when they’re in the midst of the full brunt of the consequences of same mistake. Partly, that’s due to it being a mistake (whether the person admits it yet or not.) I don’t even expect them to admit it htat quickly: not an hour prior they deemed X the best of all options. NOw they’re supposed to say it was a catastrophic error? That’s demanding the exact thing we decry in everyone else: results-based assessment.

        I just don’t put a lot of weight on the immediate post-game explanation of controversial calls, especially not this controversial in a game of this magnitude. I would be unable to form words, much less sentences. I also don’t recall a time when this much heat came down on a coordinator as fast and directly as it has on Bevell. Usually the HC takes this heat.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Carroll does appear to try to be taking the heat, saying he called for a pass.

        I think this is just part of the new (sports) media. Instant, instant, instant.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        Yeah, no, I don’t think Carroll is ducking. The press just homed in on Bevell in a way I haven’t seen with a coordinator in a big game before. Largely I think because your take is the most common one – that the call to pass isn’t the absolute end of the world, but the particular play call was. And Pete has taken responsibility more for the former, though I think his comments kind of suggest he fully knew that that’s the play they’d call there (to me). But the play call is understood to be on the coordinator.

        I’m probably partly just being protective of Bevell. But here’s the William Guru Barnwell showing that they did get exactly the look they wanted on the play, and how great a play it was by Butler to get the pick (along with a lot of reasons why it was still the wrong call):

      • Avatar Mo says:

        Interestingly, there is a box in that article saying that running plays from the one are slightly less effective at scoring than passing plays from the one (61% to 58%). That isn’t a perfect comparison because I’d want to know what percentage of possessions — not just plays — are scored on when a team runs versus passes on 2nd and goal from the 1). So, passing wasn’t necessarily totally boneheaded, but I think that particular play — where Wilson doesn’t have an opportunity to make a read or a play but simply catches and throws — is too limited.

        @kazzy This also isn’t a perfect comparison because it is an average of all teams. So you include good passing teams, bad passing defenses, bad rushing teams and good rushing defenses in there. In this situation, you have a set of pass catchers that are not well-suited for goal line work (no Gronk or Witten at TE, no Dez or Calvin at WR) going up against one of the top passing defenses. OTOH, you have one of the best power backs and rushing QBs going against a merely average rushing defense. Just because league averages say that three point shots have a higher expected points scored than 8 foot shots doesn’t mean that Dwight Howard should start chucking up threes.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        Barnwell also points out that that’s for this year; over five years running plays are slightly more effective. (Though this year there was a higher rate of lost fumbles on runs from the one than INTs on passes from the one. But that’s one fumble lost and 2 INTs so I’m not sure that’s meaningful data.)

        Also, and this is the real kicker: Barnwell says that the Patriots were the worst defense in the league on power-running situations, and fifth-worst in stuffing the run for no gain. So, like, run it, Pete.Report

  21. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    I watched a football game and a hockey game broke out! (Seriously, brawling when you know you’ve lost the game is our thing.)Report