Santa Maria Sun / Sports Lead
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 48
The Benchwarmer: A not so "super" bowl
BY KRISTINA SEWELL
As a journalist and a writer, I’ve learned that professional sports and events like the Super Bowl or the Olympics provide wonderful fodder for my columns; they set my sarcastic juices flowing.
So came and went another Super Bowl—and another grueling post-game Monday. One day we might have an America where the day after the Super Bowl is a national holiday, so people can recover from the game-day adrenaline rush and the post-stomach-stuffing coma. If this ever does happen, a revision of our priorities might be warranted.
As a Packers fan and a longtime loather of the Denver Broncos, I was rather indifferent to the outcome of this game. I care for the Seahawks about as much as anyone else in California. However, they did earn points in my book when they took down the 49ers and Colin Kapernick. (Anyone think he will learn some class by next season? I didn’t think so, either).
Then there are the Broncos—I don’t like them and I never have. Leading up to the game, I was surprised to find that there were so many Broncos and Seahawks fans out there. Where ya’ll been for the last decade? But like magic, the fans showed up when these teams started winning. Some less charming people might refer to these individuals as “bandwagon” fans.
On one hand, it was cool to have two teams in the game who have not won a Super Bowl in a long time, if ever. The last time these teams had a match-up was 1990. And let’s not forget all the amusing jokes about the game being a super “bowl” (Colorado and Washington are two states that have legalized cannabis).
The day of the game arrived and, like everyone else, I cleared my schedule, prepped snacks, stocked my cooler, and geared up for the festivities. Kickoff time ticked closer; ESPN reviewed the fabled game predictions. The network even showed a map that was largely orange (the Broncos were the favored team).
I have also learned, perhaps most importantly, that there is no end to the surprise you experience with professional sports, and the 2014 Super Bowl was no exception. While there weren’t any outrageous 15-minute power outages or uber-enthusiastic Ray Lewises to speak of, the way this game played out left me thinking: “Wow, that was weird.” With one bad snap, the game was off and rolling in favor of the Seahawks. It took all of 12 seconds for me to realize this was going to be a wild game. Bronco quarterback Peyton Manning struggled to receive protection from his No. 1-ranked defense (not a good time for the defensive line to forget their jobs). Unable to leave the pocket, Manning hurled balls to places he normally doesn’t. The first quarter saw only two minutes of possession by the Broncos, who were down 8-0 after the first.
The second quarter saw more of the Broncos struggling and handing out turnovers like candy. As the players trudged off to the locker room for halftime, the score was 22-0. Some said the Broncos didn’t give up until after halftime, but judging by their faces as the camera panned down the Denver sideline, you would have thought all hope was lost.
Despite the events of the game, the highlight of this year’s Super Bowl was the halftime performance. I give props to Bruno Mars; he put on a show and surprised a lot of people. But the mighty Red Hot Chili Peppers—my favorite band of all time—KILLED IT with a rocking version of their classic “Give it Away.” Call me biased, but they brought energy to the stadium. Of course there were the commercials (just a measly $4 million for a 30-second spot) that brought some laughs, my favorite being the “Best Buds” commercial for Budweiser.
The third quarter rolled around and after the 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Matt Prater of the Seahawks, I deduced that nothing magical happened for the Broncos in their locker room.
Much of the same continued, with dud passes and no push from the Broncos. The Seahawks’ Jeramine Kearse made the Broncos look like scrambling amateurs as he danced his way down the field for another touchdown. Denver finally made it on the board with a touchdown and a conversion.
By this point, I am sure you get the picture. The fourth quarter saw more relentless attack by Seattle, and Richard Sherman was carted off the field with an ankle injury. I am sure 49ers fans everywhere were chuckling to themselves about that. It seemed “8” was the magic number for the Broncos as the Seahawks stomped on them for a 43-8 victory.
While Denver will go down with the worst offensive performance in Super Bowl history, Seahawks’ head coach Pete Carroll will go down as one of a few elite coaches who have won a national college championship and a Super Bowl.
By the end of the game, I wasn’t sure whether to be mad or confused. Denver seemed disorganized and unprepared for the onslaught of Seattle. It was like they didn’t even show up to play. I suppose I was hoping for more of a competition—the two best in football duking it out. But what we got was a blowout.
Keeping with their season mantra, the Seahawks took it to the Broncos with unrestrained fervor. I do feel for Peyton Manning, who is undoubtedly one of the best the sport has seen. Numerous times now, he has stood on the proverbial doorstep of glory unable to cross the threshold.
With that being said, football has come and gone again with no shortage of excitement, shock, scandal, or disappointment. So we remind ourselves there is always next year for the teams we love, and if you’re me, you wait for the promise of baseball season.
But what do I know? I’m just a Benchwarmer.
Staff Writer Kristina Sewell’s favorite RHCP song is “Turn it Again.” Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.