Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of weeks, you’ll have seen that Sunday brought the 2018 NFL Season to a close with the Superbowl, which saw the New England Patriots emerge victorious over the LA Rams in what turned out to be one of the lowest scoring and most Defensive ‘bowls in recent memory.
Personally, I didn’t think the game was a classic (Sorry Gee!). You may be aware that I’m more of an offensive man than a defensive one, so the fact that the score was just 3-0 at half time meant that we were in severe need of something worth staying-up for… unfortunately, that meant Maroon 5, who produced one of the worst Superbowl half time shows I think I’ve ever seen!
The half time show feels like it’s lost some of it’s magic. It’s a good few years since we’ve had a show which I’ve genuinely looked forward to… It’s not that long since we had a run of shows which included Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Who, The Boss, The Rolling Stones and Prince, so the latest crop really have struggled to offer up anything worth sticking around at half time for. At least it gave me time to go and make some pop-tarts and a hot chocolate… A stark reminder that I’m getting old!
Back to the game though, and one thing which surprised me was the performance of Jarred Goff. He’s looked good all season and has been a real shining star of Sean McVay’s time with the Rams. He looked very shaky all game, and found himself making poorly judged throws, being rushed often, and got sacked 4 times. On the other hand, Tom Brady (the supposed ‘GOAT’) didn’t do much better – he only made 30ish more yards, and his completion percentage wasn’t a huge amount better than Goff’s, but what he did have was Julian Edelman, the eventual game’s MVP, who did a fantastic job at making extra yards after the catch and generally causing the Rams Defence all sorts of problems.
None of my bets came off either… I stood to win £85 had the Rams won the game! On the plus side, the defensiveness of the game gave us a good look at what Brian Flores, Miami’s newly anointed Head Coach, was capable of. If Sunday was a job interview, I’d say he well and truly passed with flying colours, even if he did have the might of Brucey B behind him.
But I think the main thing which came out of the game, and actually probably of the season as a whole is what a brilliant job the NFL (along with Sky and the BBC) are doing at raising the awareness of the game over on this side of the pond. I lost count of the number of people who spoke to me about it over the weekend, and have spoken to me about how they caught some of the game since, and while neither the game or the halftime show were classics, there’s definitely something to be said about the prospects for the league going forward.
This became even more clear to me on Sunday afternoon when I was walking home from the King Power stadium. 2 young lads were behind me who couldn’t have been more than about 11 or 12 years old. They’d just left a football (soccer) game where they’d seen their team unlucky not to get something of a result, and they were talking about how much they were looking forward to the Super Bowl! One was talking about how Tom Brady was going to have a huge game and throw for “like… 500 yards!” And the other was more concerned about how Todd Gurley was going to get “at least 4 touchdowns!”. While neither of them were correct (it would have made for a much better game, I think we can all agree… well, maybe not ‘all’) I was seriously impressed that 2 lads of their age were talking about The Wrong Football the same as you would expect them to be discussing the ‘other’ football!
We’re winning… keep spreading the news, and I’ll speak to you all in a few months!