The Super Bowl has come and gone (thankfully). At least this year it has lived up to its title. And to be fair to the NFL, the Super Bowl has been an excellent game for the past 20 years or so (really the last real blow out was after the 2002 season when the Bucs blew out the Raiders).
This year's game - despite the blackout and horrid commercials - was really enjoyable. I was pulling against the 49ers so I loved the first half and then the first play of the second half. But then it was all downhill from there until the Ravens last stand in the red zone.
Personally the highlight for me was the blackout, I had to get Cash to bed so I took him upstairs during the hafltime shows, which whether the NFL feels like they have to get ancient rock bands (like The Who or Tom Petty) or current lip syncers (Beyonce) to perform - it still doesn't do the game justice.
I was still able to keep tabs on the game via my Sportscenter app on my iPhone. However, it wouldn't update after the 49ers were sacked on their first drive of the second half. So I went to Twitter to see what was going on in the game.
And that's where I learned of the blackout. What was great about "watching" it on Twitter was all the comments and jokes.
My favorite one was "remember when your big brother was beating you in Nintendo and you unplugged it? Well played Jim." Ha. That's funny. My other favorite one was "somewhere Joe Montana is standing in the dome by a light switch."
Unfortunately, when I returned downstairs to the game, instead of running commercials, which at least are mildly entertaining, CBS was having their crew (led by Dan Marino and Bill Cowher) discuss the game. And it was brutal. Things got worse, though, when they threw it back up to Phil Sims and Jim Nantz the play by play announcers.
CBS's crew is just plain terrible. And that's saying something considering the ignoramus that is Terry Bradshaw over at FOX and that the NFL network features Michael Irvin AND Deion Sanders.
Of course as the 49ers mounted their comeback Nantz continually commented on how the blackout totally changed the momentum.
It's football Nantz. It's sports Nantz. That's why we watch it! What as the Falcon's excuse when the 49ers beat them after being down 17 points? There wasn't a blackout in the NFC title game.
I almost finished the game with the TV on mute!
While yesterday the sports world basked in the Ravens glory, today the sports world is all abuzz with can the Ravens repeat and will the 49ers get their title next year.
This is ludicrous, of course, for the Titans have been waiting since the 1999 season to get their title after coming up one yard short against the Rams. Heck, the Bengals have been waiting for their title since Joe Montana threw at TD pass to John Taylor with 34 seconds left all the way back in 1988. I don't think the Ravens have even had a winning season since their Super Bowl trip back in 2002.
It's just too difficult to repeat these days of free agency, salary cap, and injury.
So that means every team in the NFL, including my beloved Bengals, is starting out 0-0.
That means the draft is a mere 79 days and 12 hours away (ESPN has a countdown clock on their webpage).
This year there is clearly no number one player for the Chiefs to take, and certainly no quarterback is worthy of that spot (we might not even have one go in the first round!). So that'll make the top of the draft entertaining.
As far as my Bengals go, here are my early, early, early projections (at least for the first three rounds):
Round one -
ILB - Kevin Minter (LSU) - Malaluaga was terrible for the Bengals and his contract (mercifully) is up.
Round two -
RB - Andre Ellington (Clemson) - he's not very big (just under 200 pounds), but he's productive and explosive. The Bengals already have a fine RB who can grind out 3, 3, 4, and maybe a ten yard gain here and there in BJGE. However, they have nothing resembling a big play threat in the backfield. Ellington would change that. Plus, it's been the fashion of NFL teams to bring in smaller "Scat Backs" to help change the pace of the running game.
WR - Deandre Hopkins (Clemson) - AJ Green is a stud. Mohammad Sanu was solid as the #2 receiver until he broke his foot. The Bengals don't have any other threats at WR. Hopkins has okay size and great speed to help take the pressure of Green. If Andy Dalton really is the QB of the future for this team, they need to surround him with playmakers. If he doesn't perform then, well, it's time to move on.
Round three -
S - Matt Elam (Florida) - I see him falling in the draft. But when I saw him play, he was a nasty hitter and all over the place. The Bengals have gotten by with very average safety play for a decade now. They got lucky with Reggie Nelson rebounding to be a solid player. But they have nothing opposite him. Time to upgrade. If they don't go ILB in the first round, I'd love to see them take the top rated safety in the draft, Kenny Vaccaro out of Texas.
Yes, hope spring eternal NFL fans. At least until training camp opens in July!