I thought that the biggest risk for the Steelers was Rashard Mendenhall fumbling at a key point in the game; I even said so last Saturday on my radio show. As it turns out, his fumble in the second half led to the Packers TD that put the game out of reach. You can't turn the ball over three times and win a championship. Pittsburgh turned it over three times, and Green Bay scored three TDs off those turnovers. That was the difference.
The game itself was okay, but Pittsburgh played sloppy, especially in the first half, Green Bay dropped way too many passes, and the field was utter crapola in terms of traction. Did they spray it down with Pam® before the game?
I wonder how stupid all those people standing outside Jerry's UFO freezing to death and watching the game on big screens felt about spending $200 each for THAT experience...probably still better than the 400 people who paid for seats inside the stadium who were told, "Uh, sorry, we forgot to install your seats." The late, great Molly Ivins called her home state of Texas "the national laboratory for bad government." Evidently that reputation has seeped into the private sector as well.
I liked most of the commercials, but none of them were instant classics. The VW/Darth Vader ad was a favorite for most (myself included); John Williams' "Imperial March" is simply the most awesome piece of music to come out of Hollywood, ever. I also liked the NFL Network ad that showed all the casts of the classic sitcoms of the '70s, '80s and '90s. A couple of others that didn't attract as much attention but that I liked a lot was the Kia Optima "Epic Ride" ad, where the car was zapped from place to place through time and space, and the CarMax "I feel like a kid in a candy store" ad. The writer in me loved all those creative similes!
I didn't hate halftime, and I'm not a Black Eyed Peas fan, but it was at least interesting, even though the sound and the light tech was ridiculously amateurish. If Prince could play in a monsoon three years ago in Miami, you'd think that they could figure out how to turn on a microphone and some stage lights inside a dome.
Congrats to my friend Joe Bancroft, a Wisconsin native and die-hard Packers fan, who is basking in the afterglow of victory. Evidently he's forcing someone else (a Bears fan) to wear the "Cheesehead of Shame" as part of his celebration. As a Vikings fan, all I get is half-hearted pity, much like Cubs fans receive around the middle of August.
Who's likely to be there next year? I don't get paid for this, so here goes:
NFC: Dallas, Green Bay, Atlanta, New Orleans, Tampa and Philly.
AFC: Colts, Jets, Ravens, Patriots and Chiefs.
Rams? Won't beat out the Niners for the division next year. Vikings? Rookie QB. Maybe I don't care if they sign a new CBA or not. Nah, I still care. I love this game!