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NFL Super Bowl XLVI Recap, Legacies, & Spy Gate

Victor CruzFirst of all, congratulations to the World Champion New York Giants on their hard fought and well earned victory over the valiant New England Patriots. Even though my pick, the Patriots lost, the game was awesome. I think that this was one of the best Super Bowls ever.

I believe NFL Network is replaying it on Wednesday at 8pm EST (check your local listings), so I definitely recommend the replay. The game had everything. It had some great offensive plays. It had defensive highlights. Also, there was a lot of drama from the opening gun to the clock winding down to 0 at the end of the game. This game had to have been one of the more entertaining games I have seen in years.

Fellow Camelclutchblog.com blogger Jeff Peck wrote a wonderful recap of the game in his blog, http://camelclutchblog.com/nfl-super-bowl-xlvi-winner-thoughts/ already, so I won’t be doing a lot of that. I respectfully disagree with some things he said slightly, but he did a great job.

What I will be doing is giving my own take on the game. I will give my own opinion of the game, and how it went. However, I will spend a bit more time on the aftermath, specifically on a lot of the reaction of fans and the media. I will be getting into a discussion of certain NFL players on a certain team in Western Pennsylvania, and that city’s media’s obsession with a very overblown “scandal.”

I hope my readers enjoy this, so here goes.

This was a nail biter of a game. As I said, and I admit that I was wrong in my predictions blog that the Patriots would be the winner. However, the one thing that I do feel good about was that one of the points I was trying to make was that the Patriots much maligned defense, as Coach Belichick would say , “did its job.” They shut down Victor Cruz. They , as they have done all year, kept the Giants under 27 points. This defense was the only defense to allow 27 points or less. The national media acted as if this defense was going to be blown out and obliterated by the Giants’ weapons on offense, and that did not happen. Unfortunately, for the Patriots, the defense did not capitalize on three fumble recovery opportunities. One was called back because of a careless 12 man on the field penalty.

The Patriots offense did not help out the defense any. Tom Brady committed a safety, even though I question why the flag was not thrown immediately. Anyway, the injured Gronkowski was wide open on that play. Brady should have thrown the ball to the sidelines. Brady broke the Super Bowl record for consecutive completions, and had a pretty decent game otherwise with 2 TDs, and 1 INT, but he was not helped by drops by his receivers. Sure, a couple were from bad throws, particularly the much discussed Wes Welker drop that, if caught, would have likely iced the game for the Patriots as they were going to get that first down, and would have milked out the clock.

The Giants did a great job in the game overall. They are the first 9-7 regular season game winner to win the Super Bowl since the NFL went to a 16 game season. That being said, the reasons they were a 9-7 team popped up at times, and late in the game, the Giants did something that I thought was going to cost them the game. The three fumbles is one of them. I just could not believe that they fumbled the ball like that. I am almost sure that ball security is emphasized by Tom Coughlin. They were lucky to recover all of them. In the fourth quarter, when they took those time outs, and were only left with the two minute warning, and the one time out, I was wondering what was the deal. Again, they were lucky that Brady and Welker did not connect, or their proverbial goose would have been cooked.

Eli Manning had a good game. He seemed to be in command of the offense. Great running job by both Brandon Jacobs, and Ahmad Bradshaw. Victor Cruz did get in the end zone, scoring the first touchdown after the safety was scored, and did do his salsa dance, but was double teamed all night. Hick made some great catches, and Manningham made that sensational side line catch late in the fourth quarter. It wasn’t Lynn Swann territory, but it was an awesome catch. The Giants defense did a very good job. Justin Tuck was great in particular. In my opinion, he should have been voted the MVP. Maybe one day we can get someone else on the defensive side besides Ray Lewis as SB MVP. I think Tuck should have gotten it in SB MVP. It is boring always seeing the QB getting it (unless your name is Roethlisberger who didn’t deserve it the first time, but should have gotten it the second time). Tuck’s sack on Brady may have impacted Brady’s play as his left shoulder which has been bothering him the last few weeks had to be checked out by the doctors on the sideline. Tom checked out well enough to go back in the game. The Giants had Tom on the run at times, but the Pats offensive line did a good job overall protecting Brady.

The game pretty much came down to who made fewer mistakes. The Patriots just made too many mistakes, and didn’t execute. That is basically what the game came down to. The Giants didn’t make a lot of mistakes, and they won the game. The Patriots beat themselves, in my opinion.

Now, to the aftermath of the whole game:

Eli Manning and Canton, and being better than Peyton:

As former WWE wrestler the Rock says, “Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa (pause) Whoa.” I heard on both ESPN , and NFL Network all the experts talking about Eli Manning’s winning his two Super Bowls and the two SB MVPs, and how he is a NFL Hall of Famer, and he is better than Peyton. As Bill Parcells (who should have been elected this weekend , but that’s another story) says, “Don’t put the guy in Canton yet.” Look, Eli is an elite QB. The way he has been carrying this team, he has been elite. He has earned the elite level. However, it is not easy to get to a Super Bowl, and let’s give the guy a few years, and see what he accomplishes. I also don’t think he is better than his brother, not by a long shot. Eli is going to have to do a lot more as far as wins, and all to get close to his brother. For example, the Colts had at least 10 seasons with 12 plus wins. The Giants under Eli Manning has 2 rings, that is true, but has yet to accomplish anything CLOSE to that.

Brady and Belichick’s Legacies

Well, of course, we are going to have bloggers, and columnists debate whether the legacies of either or both Brady and Belichick are going to take a hit. Well, in my opinion, I say a resounding NO to both. We are talking about the most winningest Coach/QB tandems in NFL History in the Super Bowl era. Let me start with Tom Brady. I really do not think this loss hurts his legacy. After all, the great John Elway is 2-3 in Super Bowl wins, and that does not stop people from thinking of him amongst the greatest of all time. To some, Elway is THE greatest of all time.

On ESPN’s PTI, Mike Wilbon has stated many times that Elway is the best of all time (his opinion). I think it enhances it. My argument is that if you look at the roster, it is an above average team on offense, with no deep threat, with a substandard defense. How did they get to the Super Bowl? Brady carried them there. He played through the pain of tendinitis in his throwing elbow, and a first degree separation in his left shoulder, just to get that team there.

Sure, he is taking heat in Boston, and from Brady haters, and such, but I could care less. That team does not get their without him. What I am saying is that this loss does not erase all of his accomplishments. There are too many to list, but his legacy is already secure. Yeah, Eli beat him twice in Super Bowls. The great racehorse Kelso lost to a horse named Beau Purple five times, and had a rivalry with another horse named Gun Bow. Kelso is still remembered as one of the greatest racehorses of all time.

As for Coach Belichick, you can just about say the same. The man is brilliant. Year in, year out, he has that team ready to play. I know the man is not Mr. Congeniality, but he is not there to cut wrestling promos, or to give the press a comedy act. He is there to coach. It makes him easy to hate. However, one can not argue with his success. He coached one of the greatest QBs ever to play the game, and he just coached this team with a lot of players hardly anyone has heard of to a Super Bowl appearance. He is still a great coach.

Jealous fans, Gisele’s out burst, and the Scandal that won’t go away:

I end this with a little bit of a rant. After the game was over, I saw many fans tweeting hateful stuff about the Patriots, and trying to jump on the Giants’ bandwagon. I also saw people trashing the Giants, and such. These are fans of the other 30 teams of the NFL. What I find annoying, and I see this every years, so this is not directed at anyone in particular, but I never understood why fans of the other 30 teams have to trash the two teams who are in the Super Bowl. I understand it is free speech, and they have a right to express their opinion, but I am just expressing mine here. These two teams made the Super Bowl. Don’t get upset because your team didn’t make it. Of course, Tom Brady was the main target. I guess a lot of people are jealous of his success. I mean, he was the 199th pick in the draft in 2000. Don’t get mad at Brady because your team passed on him.

After the game, as she was walking to the VIP elevator, Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen got into it with a bunch of Giants fans who were taunting her. Frustrated, and angry over the loss, Bundchen shouted back “My husband can’t throw the ****ing ball and catch it too.” She essentially threw his receivers under the bus. Now, while she should have just ignored them and just walked right passed those dopes, and not dignified their idiocy with an answer, her reaction was understandable considering that she was very upset over the loss, and was concerned about her husband and his well being, and wanted to get down to him.

I am NOT defending her cursing out the fans, but I can understand why she was upset. The FANS were not angels either. They behaved poorly. I mean, their team won the game, and there was no need to come after the family members of the opposing team. I just thought that was uncalled for by the fans. Hey, she may be a super model, but she is still Brady’s wife, and deserves respect just like anyone else’s spouse. This is a non story, but tell that to the media.

Now the scandal that won’t go away, or what I call “Pittsburgh’s Obsession.” I call it “Pittsburgh’s Obsession” because the only team, and fan base that even gives a hoot about this scandal 5 YEARS LATER is the six time World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Well, let’s throw in the Jets, and former Giants receiver Amani Toomer, but this is an obsession of the Steelers and their fan base.

The scandal that I am referring to is obviously Spy gate, one of the most overblown sports scandals ever. I am not going to go into the whole thing because everyone knows what happened with the Jets catching the Patriots filming them on the sideline of Game 1 in week 1 in the 2007 season, and the rest is history. Now, I was not blogging back then, so I never really gave my opinion, but here goes. I just thought the whole thing was overblown. The Patriots got caught, and were punished, and that should have been the end of it. I admit they were idiots for doing it after a memo was sent out to all 32 teams to not doing such a stupid thing. However, I really didn’t think it was all that. The “scandal” was really about sign stealing, and that has been done for years in baseball. I am sure it is still being done now in baseball. I honestly think the game comes down to more than just signs and signals. You have to execute the plays.

Again, I am NOT saying what the team did was right. I never said that, and I never will say that. I have a very different perspective on things. I am not a huge fan of big business. They will cut each others’ throats to make a buck, and to gain an edge over the other. Why do people think there are laws against insider trading? I mean, the now defunct WCW used to do underhanded things to its then rival WWE like give away WWE’s match results. Does anyone think that is honest?? Of course, that bit them in the rear when they gave away Mick Foley’s WWE Title win with the line , “That will put butts in the seats.” Corporations are so cut throat. In horse racing, jockeys will block the favorite down on the inside rail, and such, so the favorite doesn’t get a good trip. It does NOT make what the Pats did right, but I am just saying that they were not the only entity.

They just got caught because of their heated rivalry with the Jets. If it was that big a deal like fans and some self righteous media say it is, why did Eric Mangini say awhile back that he wished he never said anything? If other coaches like Bill Cowher (who admitted on Felger and Massorratti show on Dec 3, 2010 that he did his share of sign stealing. (see link)) knew about the filming, why didn’t THEY blow the whistle if it was such a huge deal? I just think Spy gate is a weak excuse for people to use against the Patriots to try to discredit them.

One such fanbase that loves to hide behind Spy gate are Steeler fans, and the Steeler media. This fanbase thinks that they are entitled to a Lombardi every year. Well, that is not how life works. I mean, the day before the Super Bowl, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette posted an article about how the Patriots are haunted by Spy gate. It contains goofy comments from Amani Toomer saying he would put asterisks on the Patriots’ three Super Bowls, and Hines Ward is whining about how the Pats need to win this one to clean up their three others. I mean, let’s get real here.

In 2001, the Patriots were the better team. The Steelers QB was Kordell Stewart. I mean, seriously. Stewart is one of the worst QBs the Steelers ever had. In 2004, the Steelers had a rookie QB in Ben Roethlisberger facing the Patriots who were the better team, despite the Steelers defeating them in the regular season. For those who conveniently forgot, the same Steeler team with Big Ben nearly lost to the Jets. If the Jets’ kicker makes just ONE of those kicks that he should have made, bye bye Steelers, and the Steelers would not have had to be whining about Spy gate for that year.

After the Super Bowl Sunday night, of all people, Steelers LB James Harrison, the poster child (a lot of times unwarranted) for illegal hits on his twitter account, tweeted “Cheaters never win.” Steeler Safety Ryan Clark said “0-2 since Spy gate.” Someone replied saying “So says the guys whose team lost to Tebow in the playoffs.” Ryan said “But not to Brady.” Harrison quoted Clark and said “True.”

Well, this is some of the idiocy, and arrogance I was talking about. So what if the Steelers beat Brady and the Patriots in the regular season? They didn’t get a chance to beat the Patriots when it COUNTED because like the arrogant dopes that they are, they could not get past the worst QB in the NFL because they put 8 guys in a box , daring him to throw, with no safety help for their cornerback. I think that is the point the respondent was trying to make to them. Besides, if those two are trying to say that the Pats can’t win without cheating, “people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.” I mean, there are plenty of Seattle Seahawk fans who still feel robbed of a Super Bowl. Besides, a guy like James Harrison who has been suspended a game, and has been busted twice for domestic battery should be the LAST person to judge anyone.Just saying.

I mean, to the city of Pittsburgh, let it go already. You can’t change the past. What’s done is done. Time to let it go already. You all can’t do anything about what has happened, or what could have happened, or what may have happened or whatever. Your former Senator Arlen Spector not only stole the spotlight at the Super Bowl, the day before the game, but wasted our tax dollars on this “scandal.” Of course, karma paid Spector back in spades. Just let it go already. Steelers got six rings.

Well, I have said my piece.

Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/missedgehead

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric’s work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

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