Somewhere among a billion comments in cyber world--or perhaps in a pearl of wisdom at the bottom of the ocean--lies a logical explanation for the Seahawks self-destruction in Super Bowl XLIX. Yes, Football America and all you Seattle football fans, it will be that difficult to find.
As much as I have pondered, wondered, and even paced the floor, I can find no good reason for abandoning the Colossus of Seattle, Marshawn Lynch, when the team was within one foot of the goal line--in the final 20 seconds of this year’s Super Bowl. For God’s sake, it was only second down. Or at least fake the ball to the Beast and let Russell Wilson scoot wide for the goal line.
Can’t you hear John Madden screaming “ ball control, ball control?”…“I cannot believe that call,” said ABC color commentator Chris Collingsworth.
The decision to force a “pick” pass over the middle of the Patriot’s defensive line, stacked as tight as sardines in a can--make that 11 tunas in a 12-foot box--will go down in history with Hitler’s decision to let the British Army escape at Dunkirk, with LBJ’s decision to send combat troops to the jungles of Vietnam, and with McCain’s decision to put Sarah Palin on the Republican ticket in 2008.
Yes, friends, it was that bad.
For 59 minutes Seattle matched New England, point for point, and should have won by two, but lost by four. So instead of celebrating a second straight Super Bowl championship, the Legion of Boom became a stifled whimper
Coach Pete Carroll tried to put a corporate spin on the decision, but it’s not selling on Twitter or in Seattle. To his credit, he did not throw his quarterback, Russell Wilson, under Katy Perry’s stage. The decision was staff consensus. That means the Offensive Coordinator, Darrell Bevell, made the bold--dare we say stupid--call and through his headphones, Mr. Carroll concurred.
Except for that one play, Seattle competed like champions. Surely they would have rambled to victory over any other team. But Bill Belichick’s Patriot squad is not any other team. They won 15 games this season. Incredibly, this was their sixth trip to the Big Show in the Belichick-Brady era.
All week the patriots rehearsed a game plan designed to cope with the Seahawk’s defensive juggernaut. QB Tom Brady needed to release a pass within 2.3 seconds or be sacked. Savvy and still quick enough--unlike Denver’s Peyton Manning in last year’s Super Bowl loss to Seattle--Brady did just that, completing 37 of 50 passes and suffering only one body slam.
This victory guarantees that mastermind Belichick and MVP Brady will one day be inducted into the Football Hall of Fame--no natter what else happens in their future NFL career. Their fourth Super Bowl ring--in six tries--puts them in immortal NFL company.
Jack T. Scully is an entrepreneur and writer who resides in the beautiful Champlain Valley of northern Vermont. Active in the Vermont high-tech community, he is also a novelist, poet, and blogger. His Pilgrim's Rest blog contains inspirational essays, original pictures and media -- all designed to foster universal kinship and tolerance, peace and love, self-reliance and simplicity. His novel Eyewitness is available at Amazon.com and is currently being presented for hardcover publication.