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A Super Super Bowl 38

And no dot-com commercials.

by Dear Jon
February 2, 2004

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A Super Super Bowl 38_Dear Jon-And No DotCom Commercials Super Bowl 38 had everything for everybody: It featured a corny interview with President Bush and a sappy NASA tribute for people who drape their Sundays in the flag. If you don't like corny and traditional and family-centered patriotic fervor, Super Bowl 38 also featured sexual assault between pop stars Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson for the voyeurs who like it extreme and nasty. For nostalgaic voyeurs who want to relive the kinder, gentler 1970's, Super Bowl 38 had a streaker.

The commercials featured strung out biker dudes experimenting with AOL engines. We could not have a Super Bowl without chimpanzees in commercials, of course. Most epic of all was the battle between senior citizens over a bag of potato chips. Budweiser still made the best commercials, though. The best of all was what looked like another car commercial as a man races a private plane to deliver a tube of lipstick forgotten by his super-model girl-friend, only to discover that the tube left in his car, was not hers. True.

As far as the game went, the first 25 minutes of action took one hour to play. It was scoreless and boring, but at least the time went quickly. There was a minor burst of scoring (24 points) toward the end of the second quarter to revive interest in the game. The fourth quarter exploded with 37 points, meaning that all 61 points in the game were scored in 20 minutes of regulation.

The story in the first 20 minutes was that the big hero kicker of the Patriots missed two field-goals, one wide-right, and one blocked. So the game had great defense at the beginning, an explosion of offense at the end, and in the middle Special Teams played like a comedy of errors.

Tom Brady put up the numbers to deserve the MVP. It takes a Super Bowl champion team to score 32 points on Carolina's defense. The scoring from both teams was too ridiculous to consider anyone on defense, and the special teams were penalized on practically every kick or punt. Brady's only miscue was an interception in the end-zone early in the fourth quarter. That evened out the breaks: New England opened the scoring after recovering Carolina quartback Delhomme's fumble at the Panther 20 yard-line.

It is refreshing to see a game come down to the wire. For all the domination of defense for two-thirds of the game, and the one explosion of scoring in 20 minutes, the game turned on special teams. That is the way it should be, since we still, to this day, call this contest "FOOTball."

New England missed two field-goals and their punts had a habit of bouncing backwards early. But the play of the game was Carolina's kick-off after tying the score with 1:08 left to play. The kick went out of bounds. That is against the rules. On the penalty he Patriots got the ball at the 40 yard-line with enough time-outs to attack the Panthers with the entire play-book. And they did, and they drove, and they kicked the winning field goal.

Compared to last year's dominating shipwreck, the whole Super Bowl this year was vastly improved. Commercials were entertaining again and the football kept us watching even four hours after kick-off. I dock half-a-star from a four-star rating for two reasons: The first twenty minutes really were dull, and, either Justin Timberlake or Janet Jackson or their agents or MTV producers need to be arrested.

Maybe all of them can be arrested, as well as the designer of that shmarmy astronaut on the moon who was holding his flag all through the national anthem. Ashcroft should be able to find some provision to crack down under the Patriot Act. Meanwhile, kudos to the REAL Patriots and their Panther opponents for a tough act to follow.

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