Sunday, February 2, 2014


Here we are, another year for Super Bowl glory! Who will be the victor?  Seattle Seahawks versus the Denver Broncos.  Excellence manifests in many forms, what will be the dominant theme here?
photo courtesy Rick Osentoski, Associated Press
Rumor has it that the Seahawks, with their super defense, will off-put Bronco Quarterback Peyton Manning, thus forcing a less effective QB.  But in any sport, you need a good offense to win at the higher levels.  I know this through tennis. The hard way :)

I confess I do not know much about football, but at these high levels of championship calibre, the game is enthralling, passionate, and oh so exciting! So much has gone into this highly American event. Layers of security levels to ensure public safety, military chinooks were scaling the air space the day before, let alone the unimaginable logistics of MetLife Stadium operations and management of 130,000 spectators, crowd control, emergency health services, food concessions and marketing, and yes, my favorite- parking.

Athletics comprises all sports. Here, pre-game, is a great article from the New York Times

Take a good look at Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas~

Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
photo courtesy Marcio Jose Sanchez, Associated Press 
Thomas's form is perfect. He could be playing tennis as well as football! Really, look at his arms and hands, both in unison with the ball and the rest of his body.  His actual weight is solid, strong and in balance.  His head is turned directly to the ball, recall in tennis, keep your eyes on the ball!

"It's not about me, it's about we," said by Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Howie Long, commentator and graduate of Villanova University, also a bouncer at Kelly's Bar in Bryn Mawr in the 1970s, not quite sure if we have met or not :) True athletics embraces the concept of teamwork. No man is an island.  So much of athletics relies on team effort.  And to succeed in a sustained manner, to have a value base. Super Bowl winner and coach Tony Dungy, would pray with his players before each and every game.

A great book I picked up quite by chance a few years ago, is written by the Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. "We like the results of winning," a quote of Coach Carroll. True motivation, belief in a system and game, that offers an absolutely new level to your sport, plus your every day life.  A true story, you can find it at Amazon~

Coach Pete Carroll
The Super Bowl trophy is called the Vince Lombardi trophy. Vince came from a modest upbringing in the Bronx, New York, LOVED his sport of football, and was a charismatic motivator with his teammates. Only living till the age of 57, he comprised and experienced at the highest levels, through his Catholic faith, excellence and courage.

So, who will receive the Vince Lombardi trophy tonight?

The Seahawks have the 12th Man, the crowd, the fans, and the Broncos, have... Peyton Manning, who may very well go down in the history books as best football player ever, especially if his team wins tonight. This would then also be the Denver Broncos third Super Bowl trophy.

It's a Bittersweet Symphony plays as the Seahawks enter their arena, the playing field. 

American soprano Renee Fleming opens with the Star Spangled Banner. Such beauty.  This is a moment.  The crowd sings along with her, so taken with her operatic song.  Bravo! 

Seattle wins the coin toss, they choose tails, Broncos will receive. So important, the coin toss, the "toss" the same as in tennis :) Seahawks have first dibs on scoring, setting the pace, the tome for the next few hours till game's end.

First play gets messed up, QB Peyton Manning misses the catch, and a "safety" rule is implemented where the Seahawks get 2 points, in the first play of the game! Seahawk Percy Harvin now has a great fast run to the 30 yard line. A false start, 5 yard penalty. Wow, this crowd is lit!

The Seahawks are off to an early, strong start.  Field kick, now 5-0, hawks. 4 1/2 minutes into the game.

Okay, some time has passed, Seahawks get another filed goal, 8-0 now.  They are racking up little points to make a big statement.

Okay, a touchdown & kick, 15-0 now, Seahawks.

Into the second quarter, wow! Seahawks intercept the ball form a pass by Peyton Manning, and #53 Malcolm Schmidt makes a touchdown! And kick, so the score is now 22-0.  Leave no stone unturned. Speed is of the essence.

Really, so much like tennis. Peyton Manning cannot penetrate the wall of defense the Seahawks have constructed. Another construction point, when the Manning pass was intercepted, a player disrupts the pass to set up for the intercept and it worked!

Now the Broncos have a potential fumble of the ball on the kick off, but deemed okay so Seahawks are not  given possession of the ball. Peyton Manning is definitely out of his comfort zone (what we strive for in tennis).  Brother Eli Manning is watching. You can just see the training in Eli's shadowed stance in the crowd, full, complete, an athlete. One minute left to the quarter. 

Half time now~ Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers performing! About ten singers and musicians here, I had no idea! Good clean music, the crowd is enthralled, really nice show.

What a beautiful stadium at night!  Here;s a great shot, plus a provocative article on sports marketing from Forbes Magazine, much goes on that meets the eye, the end-user~

Forbes~ sports marketing Super Bowl XLVIII
Second Half~
third quarter.

Oh my goodness! 12 seconds into the game and the Seahawks score! Percy Hawkins receives the kick and runs the entire length of the field!  A kick, and score is 29-0. Incredible!

Broncos have possession of the ball, really struggling to get to first and goal, but now Seahawk Sherman is down. Okay, he is all right.

Peyton Manning, Quarterback for the Broncos, is visibly concerned. That may be his usual manner, I am not sure. Sherman playing, quote form him is to "play deep."  Sound like tennis again! Hit your topspin deep??

Coach Pete Carroll has constructed this game where it would be nearly impossible for the Denver Broncos to win this Super Bowl. With 'a little help from his friends,' his players!

Not much really going on at this point, the Broncos are fighting for yardage, but just not happening.  Each time I take a look, I see clumps of Seahawks tackling, blocking.  

Seven more minutes to complete the third quarter.

Lots of teamwork on the part of the Seahawks.  Seahawks make another touchdown!  Player 15 is twirling twice and still made the touchdown! 35-0!

What a sell out, singer Bob Dylan doing a car commercial.  Certainly not the cult renegade of the anti-establishment, solo artist of the revolutionary 1960s. Hmmmm.

Okay, back to the game.  "Anyway you can put up points, the Seahawks have done it," as said by commentator Joe Buck.

However, sports is funny, you must stay focused, not take a break, keep on your game, points can be cannibalized very quickly by the opposition (again, like tennis, especially after you win a set, it is hard to keep the winning going in the next set).

Okay, the Broncos make a touch down now, 35-6. Here we go, could the Broncos catch up now? Now, doing a two point conversion, 36-8.

Into the fourth quarter now.

This is the point in the game when you fall asleep. Good heavens, two Bronco players just head butted each other. Hard. Just not their day it seems. Seahawks have the ball, third down and two now. Great pass up to the 10 yard line now.

Another touchdown!  And the kick! 43-8. I am reading Pete Carroll's book again! Wow! 

The Seahawks are a really tough team to beat, let alone get any points.  Sounds like a few of my singles games, there are always tough opponents out there. The Seahawks found a way to make great strides, and they are not looking back. 

11 minutes left.

Seahawk quarterback Richard Sherman is removed from the field due to an injury. He is sitting up which is good. He will be fine, an ankle injury, up to 6 months perhaps in re-hab.

Under 10 minutes to go.

5 minutes to go. The Vince Lombardi trophy is being carried onto the field, Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen has also arrived on field.

Broncos have the ball, the ball is knocked out of Peyton Manning's hands, now the Seahawks have the ball possession.
The Seahawks are not letting up. Period.

Under 3 1/2 minutes now.

Seahawk Russell Wilson has a nice story. He was consistently discouraged by others as being 'too small,' and his dad said to keep on his dream. His dad, the "king in the crowd."

2 minute warning.

Okay, Coach Carroll gets the gatorade hit! He is smiling, wet and a winner!

45 seconds from the Seahawks first championship!


photo courtesy Tyson Trish


And, the dominant theme here? SPEED. That is what won this championship game.

No comments:

Post a Comment