If you go back about a year in time, the question surrounding Superbowl XLVIII was “What Happened to Peyton Manning?”. This year, the question is “Pete Carroll, what the fuck are you doing?” or “Why would you throw the ball on the goal line with the best running back in the league and under a minute of game left?”. This question has been asked so much in the past 10 hours, that it’s almost cliché, but yet, still perplexing. Regardless of Pete Carroll’s accolades and achievements to be, this question will be the anchor that weighs his legacy down. The call he made will live in infamy, being the undercurrent of every conversation regarding his coaching career. People around the NFL or those involved with sports journalism will more than likely keep it politically correct and say something to the effect of “You’re not a coach, you don’t understand how defenses line up or what calling a play in that situation entails“, whatever. The fact of the matter is, 9 out of 10 coaches are banging that shit in with Marshawn Lynch (Pause) for six, for the lead and most likely for the ring. It seemed like all the stars were aligned for the Seahawks to make it two in a row, especially after Jermaine Kearse made a catch that will forever live on Superbowl history highlight reels. With everyone in anticipation of an explanation, Carroll said:
“We sent in our personnel, they sent in the goal line; it’s not the right match up
for us to run the football…So on second down we throw the ball really to kind of
waste the play…”
I get it, at that point you’re trying to avoid Tom Brady getting the opportunity to win the game with any time on the clock. That’s the equivalent of seeing Derek Jeter, in his prime, bottom of the ninth with a man on second and a chance to win the game, or a determined Michael Jordan with the ball in his hands in the 4th Quarter. Despite that level of understanding, even if you are going to pass it, why call that play? why not a little screen pass?. Either way, you can’t take anything from the rookie, Malcolm Butler, who made his first interception at the best time he possibly could.
Despite the drama, this was one of the most competitive Superbowls to date. Tom Brady performed in his normal fashion when it mattered most. He was moving down field with rhythm, connecting with Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman on multiple occasions. Edelman & Brady looked like long time partners in crime, with 9 of 12 passes completed and 109 yards as a duo. Russell Wilson came to play a good game as well, regardless of the call-heard-round-the-world & his struggle to get a completion early on, he finished with an impressive 110.6 passer rating. The pleasant surprise that was Seahawks wide-out Chris Matthews is a bittersweet story. Coming into the game, the man who was a footlocker employee when the season started, had never caught an NFL pass but ended up with some of the biggest completions, as well as a game tying touchdown at the end of the first half. Unfortunately, it was all in a losing effort, due to another Tom Brady happening and Pete Carroll cementing himself as the Bill Buckner of play-calling.
It’s a shame that this play inevitably overshadows how great Superbowl XLIX really was. This game only furthered the legacies of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick (Still don’t like that prick). Aside from that, it represented two eras overlapping, with the Patriots being the dynasty of the past 15 years (Though the Pats don’t seem to be done yet) and The Seahawks more than likely being the dynasty of the future. Seattle still has a bright future for years to come, as long as all the key elements of this young and vicious team stay in place & in sync.
Sidebar: Stop complaining about The Seahawks defense starting a brawl at the end of the game, that’s what defines them as a team, and if you’re being honest with yourself, you know that’s what makes shit entertaining. Any form of entertainment needs a bad guy, whether it’s sports or movies.