Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Givens goes from Catholic Disney World to Real Disney World

That Brady guy from scUM does pretty well too

Ellen makes a good point: whenever there isn't a standout performance for a winning Super Bowl team, the MVP usually goes to its QB. That's why I wanted Givens to get that second TD catch, so he'd have a legitimate shot at MVP. It probably would've taken 3 TD catches, though, to beat out Brady for MVP. Plus, Givens was one of three New England receivers to have a good day. Deion Branch had 10 catches for 143 yards, and Troy Brown quietly caught 8 for 76. Antowain Smith rushed for 83 yards, so it was a good all-around day for the Patriot offense.
The Panther pass offense also had a good day. When you have good receivers, as Carolina does, all you have to do is get it to them, which any NFL-worthy QB can do (just as any NBA player can get 15 points given enough minutes). Jake Delhomme is obviously NFL-quality QB, and he got the ball to his receivers when he needed to. All he needed was a line to block for him. They had trouble at the start of each half, and as a result Carolina kept getting stopped on 3rd down. But, late in the halves, the line held and Delhomme got the ball to Muhammad, Smith, and Proehl.
The last few Super Bowls have been some of the best ever played, and this one definitely lived up to the standards of its recent predecessors. We got inpenetrable defense followed by offenses that couldn't stop scoring, and then the second half started and the same thing happened all over again! The Panthers couldn't run, their DLine couldn't stop the run, the Patriots couldn't punt, Fox went for 2 too early, Vinatieri couldn't buy a field goal... until it really counted. What a game.
David Givens finished the playoffs with 7 catches for 163 yards and 2 TDs.

The Commercials

The commercials were built up big time this year. Some commercials even had teasers, and the Jimi Hendrix commercial was actually shown in its entirety the night before. With all that buildup, of course this year was a little disappointing. The "Simpsons" commercial was good, as was the ref getting chewed out. Everyone liked the donkey one, and it was OK, but Bud has done better. Unfortunately, Cederic the Entertainer may have jumped the shark with this last one. Anyone want to see Starsky and Hutch with me this spring?


Some notes:
  • I now know why I don't usually watch the Super Bowl half time show.

  • There quickly came a painful realization that some these "stars" haven't had a hit in a few years.

  • The American flag is not to be worn as clothing ever - especially when you have to cut a slit in the middle to wear it.

  • Justin Timberlake is a tool. Water is wet. Scovil is tall. It's old news. This has been played out, so I won't go into it here.

Jones wins Capital One Challenge

Teammate Rutherford comes back strong in win

Further impressing pro scouts, Julius Jones helped take home the Capital One All Star Challenge trophy. Teammate Rod Rutherford of Pitt, filling in for the announced John Navarre, started slow and finished last in the moving target competition. This meant Julius went first in the obstacle course. Going first on the wet turf, he took it a little carefully. Fortunately, receivers Roy Williams of Texas and Reggie Williams of Washington took it even more gingerly and finished behind Jones. Chris Perry went last and won the event, but had Julius not gone first, he may have won this one. Next up was the throwing distance competition. The catch was that the pass had to land on a "landing strip" target. J-Lo (Jared Lorenzen of Kentucky) went first and missed both times. Rutherford went next and hit both times. Casey Claussen of Tennessee was next. He hit the target the first time, but just barely. Knowing he'd have to put more on his second throw, he ended up missing the target. Chris Perry's teammate Jeff Smoker missed the target twice, and although their team was leading the whole way, Rutherford and Jones were now within 4 points. The last event consisted of the receiver/running back running through a course that simulated pass patterns, and stopping at 5 different spots to turn around and catch the pass. Jones was the only player to catch all 5 balls. Since this was the only event where points scored counted towards the final score (all other events awarded 10 points for first, 8 for second, 7 for 3rd, and 6 for 4th), Smoker/Perry and Rutherford/Jones ended tied for first. The tiebreaker was points scored in the last event. Once again, Jones was the only player to make all five catches (taking his time helped), so the trophies went to Julius and Rod Rutherford.

Another great site

Be sure to check out Misha Tseytlin's Blog, one of the links in the right column. He talks about sports, offers Madden 2004 tips, and discusses politics. Also, he has been nice enough to link to this site, a move that opens both of our pages to more readers.

ND Women's Basketball 23 in AP Poll, 12 in RPI

ND Men? Not so good

The Irish women have won five straight, including wins over #17 Miami and #23 BC. Their 13-7 record, coupled with a #3 strength of schedule, has earned the women's team a #12 RPI ranking.
The men's team has combined a 10-7 record with the 73rd strongest schedule and comes out with a #82 ranking in the latest RPI. Coach Mike Brey is planning on moving Chris Thomas to a 2 guard in an attempt to shake things up. This is February, which means March Madness is next month, so this team better get its act together soon.

I'll be at the Cavs-Lakers game tomorrow, so the next post will come Thursday. Because I actually spent the past few days not sitting in front of a computer, the baseball preview has been delayed a little bit. Transaction wire and Era of Ara will definitely be on the agenda for this week.