Princeton Times

Sports

February 9, 2013

Jeff's Sports Corner: recapping the Super Bowl

PRINCETON — I have been watching Super Bowls for a long time, but Sunday’s game was definitely the most unique set of circumstances under which a Super Bowl has been played. A potential blowout of a game gets a character change thanks to a partial blackout of the Superdome and becomes an exiting game that was in doubt until the end.

I find it amazing that a control-freak league like the NFL allowed itself to be caught flat-footed by such a circumstance. As a viewer, that was more agonizing to endure than even the worst Super Bowl blowout, a 34-minute stretch of essentially dead air.

As for the game itself, the first half lived up to my predictions, as Joe Flacco had his way with the San Francisco secondary. The only thing the 49ers had going for them  was the fact that Vernon Davis couldn’t be corralled by the Ravens’ defense, which kept everybody else in check on the 49ers.

Post-blackout, Colin Kaepernick turned into a right-handed version of former 49ers great Steve Young, not only running, but hitting, Davis, Michael Crabtree and even Randy Moss with key passes. Kaepernick and Frank Gore ran in scores, and David Akers hit a couple of field goals. However, the Ravens had enough to hold them off, even with a tactical decision by coach John Harbaugh to have his punter run out of the end zone, giving the 49ers a safety, in order to avoid a potentially disastrous punt block.

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I will say this for the “Battle of the Brothers.” Jim Harbaugh needs to tone down the intensity considerably or he’s not going to have a long coaching career. He’s an example of what John Madden calls a “Type A” personality or super-intense, which tends to lend itself to shortened coaching careers.

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It was nice to watch SportsCenter on Monday and not hear the words “Rodriquez,” “Te’o” or “Armstrong” mentioned. The respective situations they’ve been involved in are tedious to go over and, in the long run, not really relevant to anything. Reporters are wasting their time on such matters.

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A couple of more notes related to the Super Bowl. First, Flacco took flak over saying he was an elite quarterback in the pre-season. While he’s not quite at the Brady-Brees-Rodgers-Peyton Manning level just yet, his post-season performance has pushed him into the next tier of quarterbacks, and he’s younger than the top four and most of his competitors on the next tier. Another Super Bowl win will solidify him on the elite level.

Second, I think the NFL’s feelings over the referees’ lockout led them to not place their best crew out there in the Super Bowl. That game was the chippiest I’ve seen with frequent flare-ups between players, including a player shoving an official, which should have been an automatic ejection.

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The next big event on the scene is the Daytona 500, the start of the NASCAR season. I’ll work on that for next week’s column.

I can be reached c/o Jeff’s Sports Corner, P.O. Box 1199, Princeton, WV, 24740. I can also be reached at delimartman@yahoo.com or jharvey1@frontiernet.net or on Facebook.

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