Super Bowl a super dud

By Steve Sell
February 03, 2014

Two weeks of hype for that? Are you kidding me?

The Super Bowl was the Super Snore, as the 43-8 score would indicate. The commercials were as flat as the game or the beer, take your pick. Once Bruno Mars was done shuffling his feet like James Brown and then Percy Harvin returned Denver’s curious pop-fly kickoff for a touchdown to start the second half, television sets across the country were being clicked off about a million a minute.

Boy, what a letdown. I really thought this game had a chance to be something special, among the five or 10 best I have seen. And I have seen every single Super Bowl as I watched Numero Uno on a 19-inch black and white TV set when the game was nothing more than curiosity. This one had all the excitement of Super Bowl VI (Dallas 24, Miami 3) or Super Bowl XI (Oakland 32, Minnesota 14).

How could it bomb? It was the most prolific offense in NFL history (Denver) against perhaps the best defense to play in the game since Chicago’s famed 46 defense of 1986 (Seattle). And for the fourth time in five meetings when the best offense and best defense collided, the defense won. 

Who says old school isn’t cool? I’m sure Vince Lombardi was up there in heaven smiling since he always favored a great defense over a great offense. The game has changed so dramatically, with all the advantages going to the offense, that a defense-first team winning seemed unlikely ever again.

The first play from scrimmage was a tipoff of things to come. Denver botched the opening snap, resulting in a safety, and it was game-on for the Broncos’ ineptitude. They couldn’t seem to get out of their own way as they silver plattered this game to the Seahawks early.

Would the game have turned out this way had it not been for the first play? You never know, but the way Seattle brought the heat on Peyton Manning and the suddenness the Seahawks took the lead, I believe this would have been their day.

Denver was all thumbs and the poster child for Murphy's Law. It couldn’t catch the ball, couldn’t throw the ball without it being tipped and ran it only 14 times because the game got away from it so quickly 

Seattle didn’t really have to do that much offensively — it didn’t have to, thanks to its pack-of-wolves defense. Russell Wilson was uber-efficient, making a lot of his plays with his feet. For all the talk (by others) of Marshawn Lynch being a beast, the quiet man's numbers were pedestrian — 15 carries for 39 yards. Harvin was an X-factor with his kickoff return and a couple of key big runs early, which gave the Denver defense much more to think about everytime he came in motion.

Seattle scored on a safety, a kickoff return and an interception return. And it could have been worse, as it didn’t take advantage of its field position early, settling for a pair of field goals. This was as dominating performance as there’s been in the game since Tampa Bay crushed Oakland 48-21 in 2003 (my, how those teams have fallen).

Like Kansas’ basketball loss at Texas Saturday, the Broncos just delivered a clunker. It happens. But you really had to feel for Peyton Manning, who is feeling the heat’s scorch after an abysmal game where he looked ancient. You have to wonder if his window has finally closed, or is there one more run left him in.

Seattle would appear to be built to last. It’s young, but greed has a way of getting in the way of the common cause. With the bombastic personalities on this team, everyone is going to want their fair share of the pie and somebody’s not going to be happy. Some of the stars will move on for greener pastures and be overpaid by other teams just because they played for a  Super Bowl winner. That’s the way it is in the NFL. The days of dynasties are over. Now we just have to figure out who will be next year's Seattle.

The Chiefs?