Okay. So this will not be the seasonal wrap-up post. I will post that and the chaos awards on Friday. I wanted to get the SB summary post out of the way first. But I know you want the picture, so here it is:

So that game kinda ruled?

To my smugness and disappointment, the first half went pretty much exactly how I expected it to go. The Eagles basically controlled the game with ball control offense, moving methodically, maintaining the line of scrimmage, and winning the short yardage fights on 4th downs. The Chiefs were in it, but they were on their heels and had been essentially gifted one beautiful moment of chaos when Hurts fumbled the ball and the Chiefs ran it back. Outside the first drive the Chiefs had, which was a quick score, it felt like the game wasn’t actually that close. I expected the second half to open up into something worse. Instead, the opposite happened. The Chiefs played lights out, perfect football, and the Eagles slowed down. The defense crumbled, and chaos reigned. The Chiefs not only caught up, they pulled ahead! Partially due to former utterly useless Giant Kadarius Toney catching a wide-open touchdown that the Eagles failed to cover and then with the biggest punt return in NFL history, where he switched back after a stumble and took it down to the 5 to set up yet another touchdown the Eagles didn’t cover. But the Eagles weren’t done without a fight, and Jalen Hurts orchestrated another outstanding drive and 2pt conversion to tie it. The Chiefs had 5 minutes to try and win it, and they did. Chaos reigned once more as Mahomes, who had to be high as fuck, scrambled 30 yards on a bum ankle to set them up in field goal range with just under two minutes. That was when the bad chaos crept in, and the refs called a penalty they had ignored all day: defensive holding on James Bradberry, former Giant, and Eagles star corner. Instead of an easy kick and the Eagles getting a chance at a 2 minute drill to thrill us just a little more, the Chiefs effectively got gifted the game, and one of the better Super Bowls in history ended with a sour note in the back of our mouths.

Okay, recap over, opinions time. If you will allow me one short brief interjection of self-indulgence:

Okay, now that I got that out of the way, a more measured response on many of the topics for discussion, starting with the elephant in the room. The Penalty.

It was defensive holding. I don’t think that part is arguable. You can make the case that it didn’t really affect JuJu’s movement, but it’s impossible to argue Bradberry wasn’t holding his jersey. The problem here was the timing of the call. When certain dipshits argue that the NFL is rigged, it’s plays like this they point to, where a pivotal moment is suddenly affected by refball. While I still don’t think anything is rigged, I get why these people point here. The call was ticky tack, the kind of call that if it wasn’t penalized, probably wouldn’t cause a massive uproar outside some bitter Chiefs fans had they lost the game. It was the fact that it happened then, essentially deciding the game, with a penalty that had effectively been ignored up to this point. The game was pretty well called before this moment. I think the several long replayed calls like the incomplete pass, Goedert Catch, and Devonta Smith drop were all correct. The refs had been doing the usual thing of letting the players play. Maybe that’s why Bradberry figured he could give JuJu a little tug and be fine. It was such a weird time and not extreme enough of an example for the refs to suddenly decide to police this. The call was correct, but it felt wrong, and I think what most of us are really angry about was that it robbed us of a better finish.

Was Philly a fraud this whole time? No. It was fair to speculate whether the Eagles were as good as their record when they faced cake competition for most of the season before this point. Watching this game the impression I got was that the offense was just as legit as advertised, but the defense and their many sacks might have been overrated. You don’t get this far by being a fraud though, give the Eagles credit.

Mahomes is just…he’s fucking amazing. Even now, years into his dominance, I still love watching him play. He’s so much fun. I love him. Honestly, if Hurts wasn’t an Eagle, I’d love him too. Hurts is very likable. I wish I could retroactively give him an Eagles 2017 ring and strip it from Carson Wentz. Andy Reid is a delight and he and Mahomes will probably play out their careers into the sunset together. Nick Sirianni has extreme bro-douche energy, but I kinda like that about him. He’s a good heel.

Kadarius Toney. Toney was an annoyance for me this year and I will own my salt about it. I hated the draft pick, I didn’t like his attitude, and I hated that he was basically always hurt and didn’t appear to want to be there. I liked that we traded him away, woeful WR room and all. He did nothing of value for us. Then for the rest of the season he’d occasionally catch a pass and do his wild Toney jukes a few times, and run 50 yards for a gain of 17, and analysts would swoon and talk about how the Giants were so stupid for letting him go. HE DID NOTHING FOR US. HE WAS WORTHLESS AS A GIANT. He had exactly one really cool game last year, that was it, and watching everyone flip out and fawn while he ended the game with 3 catches for 32 yards made me feel like nobody actually knew what the fuck they were talking about. He wasn’t special for the Chiefs either, his magical ability in KC was staying more healthy and catching the occasional pass. He wasn’t even relevant in the SB until the Eagles forgot how to cover and he caught a touchdown anyone reading this could have scored on. But I’ll give him this: he saw my anger, and he decided to spite me, by making probably the biggest game-changing play in the entire bowl with that punt return. The thing is, I would have taken 3 Super Bowl MVP Kadarius Toneys if it meant the Eagles lost, so in the end, thank you Toney. You were a worthless Giant, but I hope you are happy now. People will croon for ages about how the Giants couldn’t find a way to use his talent, but I cannot stress enough that he was worthless for the Giants, and going to KC was probably the best possible outcome for him to succeed, and he still wasn’t special. Yet. Things might change.

Chaos: We had some great chaos! The fumble return, the punt return, the 4th downs, the Eagles falling apart on defense, the Chiefs won the game and the chaos gods were on their side. Root for chaos, my friends.

The halftime show: pretty meh! First off, props to Rihanna for doing that while pregnant, that obviously resulted in certain limitations and I won’t fault her for any of that. But the show itself just wasn’t interesting. The Super Bowl halftime show is a spectacle showcase and her showcase amounted to a bunch of floating platforms slowly moving up and down and some dancers basically doing the same thing the whole time. No special guests, no big set changes, no big choreography showcases, nothing. I know Rihanna was limited, but that wasn’t an excuse for everything else being underwhelming. Katy Perry can’t dance and her halftime show was full of variety and nonsense. The Weeknd isn’t a dancer and he had Covid limits and they still did a bunch of shit with him. If anything this was an opportunity to do more around her. Middle of the pack halftime show. Not bad, especially if you like her music, but won’t go down as a memorable one. I haven’t even seen any good memes out of it yet, which is a bad sign in this day and age.

The commercials sucked, as they always do now. Throwing celebrities at you to mug at the camera using pop culture references to trick you into thinking it’s funny because you recognize the thing. I laughed once, at the Pringles commercial when the air traffic controller guy used his stuck hands as his wands. That felt like a throwback to the ages when companies actually just tried to make a funny 30-second bit.

But let’s take our final moment to talk about possibly the most embarassing thing about the Super Bowl: the field. If you are a grass field guy, you took an L during that game. This single factor may have been one of the quietest yet most influential factors. Players were slipping everywhere, any players trying to cut or turn the corner seemed likely to slide. It may have actually been the reason neither team got much pressure, especially the Eagles, who rely on that. The grass is unbiased so you can’t blame it for one team losing, but that field sucked. I can’t believe the NFL quality control people failed the product! Classic NFL move.

Is this a top-10 SB? I think it might be. Some other contenders (not in order):
42 (18-1)
51 (28-3)
25 (Wide right)
43 (Steelers/Cards)
52 (Philly Special)
3 (Joe Namath’s guarantee)
34 (one yard short)
36 (Tom Brady #1 over the Rams)
49 (Malcolm Butler pick)
47 (49ers/Ravens blackout game)
32 (John Elway Helicopter)

That’s 11, and probably missing a couple of contenders from the 80’s and 70’s, which I don’t remember on account of not being born yet. Would you rank this one higher than at least two of these games? I could be persuaded. The last call really bummed me out on this one but as a game, it really does deserve to be up around here.