Monday, February 06, 2006

super bowl xl autopsy

i'm disgusted. my philosopher of football (steve) once had me convinced that the those whistle-wearing zebras play a far greater role in the outcome of an nba game than an nfl game. however, i don't think i'd be using much hyperbole to say that sunday's super bowl xl was the most lopsided example of officiating that i've ever seen. honestly, i'm tempted to write a letter to the nfl and demand an apology.

but settle down, andrew, let's take a step back. stay calm...think happy thoughts...

okay, happy thoughts. well, before football there was ping pong. every day after school, my bestfriend and i would sprint into my basement lair and play game after game of ping pong. in fact, we developed an entire pro-ping-pong league. brandon and i were ping-pong gods. i don't mean to imply that we were unbeaten titans of the table; yes, brandon had a killer slam and a crazy-goose style which he recently described as 'a bit out there,' and, yes, the chatty play-by-play crew (that'd be brandon and me) aptly dubbed one of the 'players' on one of my better teams 'stonewall jackson' (i.e., the little white ball of ping-pong goodness just never made it by me), but really our table tennis divinity was less suggestive of our mad-hot skills than our at-will tinkering within the league. because we each managed (and played for) about half of the league, we could doll out wins and losses between our teams with unabashed favortism. in other words, if my bamboo chargers posted a losing record against brandon's teams, i could still pull enough victories from within my set of teams to assure the bc of a mid- to top-seed in the grand, end of the season tourney.

aside from an explosive atmosphere of fun competition, the nfl should bear little resemblance to my ping pong days. it's ridiculous to postulate that nfl commissioner paul tagliabue is pulling strings like some grade school gepetto...right? well, something isn't right. regardless of how i fiddled with the win/loss columns or attempted to stack our table tennis tourneys, it always came down to a gritty showdown, brandon and i in a last race to 21 points.

but the boys in black and white (or is that yellow and white?) seem to think they're nfl gods (more like nfl demons if you're a seahawks fan).

okay, okay, my analogy may be full of holes and a bit silly. after all, i see no easy way to incorporate dropped balls (jerramy stevens) and injuries (andre dyson; marquand isn't that an odd name? manuel, and rocky bernard) into the ping-pong parallel. and how does one explain holmgren's odd play clock management style? in any case, these issues, while important, all seem secondary. let's face it, the mvp award should have gone to referee bill leavy.

my stomach's getting queasy, so its about time to wrap up this rant. before i go, i want to share one last ping-pong memory. occasionally, our ping-pong battles would be disrupted by a parental cry from above or by the low hanging ceiling or, believe it or not, what one of us perceived as a questionable call. in these cases we developed the most indisputable method of settling arguments: 'the do-over.' that is, we would simply serve the ball again and replay that point. perhaps a super bowl with this many bad calls should steel a page from the andrew-brandon playbook, perhaps it simply deserves a do-over.