Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Hear me out...So about that Super Bowl


March 15, 2017

I have a bit of ADD today and I couldn’t play “Sophie’s Choice” with the two sports stories that dominated ESPN and social media this week. So I’ll touch on both topics for this week’s column. First up, Super Bowl LI.

I never once doubted that the greatest NFL quarterback of all-time, Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr., would lead the New England Patriots back from a 25-point deficit and on to a historic Super Bowl victory.

Not once!

OK, that’s a lie.

I thought the game was a wrap when Brady threw the pick-six in the second quarter. From that point until the fourth I thought we were seeing the crumbling of the Brady/Bill Belichick dynasty. He was absolutely terrible in the first half.

Witnessing Brady’s downfall along with the constant flow of texts from family and friends dancing on his and the Patriots graves was rattling to say the least.

But we all know how the rest played out.

The Pats stormed back, while Belichick Jedi mind-tricked Kyle Shanahan into overthinking his play-calling and Brady locked up the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all-time) status with his fifth Super Bowl win and fourth Super Bowl MVP.

To go from boring blowout to most incredible Super Bowl comeback in 20 minutes of play left a lot to be processed, even almost a week later. Looking beyond the obvious, there were some other unbelievable/hilarious moments.

First was line judge Jeff Seeman. Officials in general take a pounding, granted some of it is deserved, but when they make calls like Seeman did. We need to show the appropriate praise. He made the correct call on the two best catches of the entire game. After Pats WR Julian Edelman had fought off three Falcons to make that jaw-dropping catch, everyone was standing around questioning if Edelman actually caught it. Then in sprints Seeman, with more confidence than any person on the field, confirms the catch.

Seeman’s other great call was the series before when he correctly called Julio Jones catch. If there’s a lesson to be learned in all of this it’s this; we should all trust Jeff Seeman’s judgement and when there’s another Supreme Court opening, he should at the very least get a phone call.

Speaking of Julio Jones’ catch, it’s a damn shame that catch he made on Atlanta’s penultimate drive will be lost in history. That was the best Super Bowl catch I have ever seen. Jones didn’t even need a helmet or others’ appendages to make the catch. He just went up, pulled down the ball against an overmatched Eric Rowe and made you question how we can be a part of the same species.

Lastly and perhaps my favorite moment of Super Bowl LI involved Roger Goodell. It wasn’t him holding the handshake with Brady a bit too long or when Robert Kraft dismissively shook his hand. The best moment was when Goodell was trying to talk and hand the Lombardi Trophy to Kraft but the Pats fans were relentlessly booing him. You could tell at first he was expecting the boos but when they got louder and showed no signs of letting up. It really rattled him, much to my delight.

Some advice for Goodell in the future, accept it. Bring it on like former NBA commissioner David Stern did. This is your creation; you decided to be judge, jury and executioner. You can’t get upset when fans dislike your awful reign.

Moving past those sneaky great moments and on to whether Super Bowl LI was the greatest Super Bowl in NFL history. I say no. It certainly had the best finish but let’s not lose sight of the fact that three quarters of this game were one-sided and boring.

For me the five best Super Bowls were; No. 5 SB XXXII Denver over Green Bay, SB XLIII No. 4 Pittsburgh over Arizona, No. 3 SB XXXIV St. Louis over Tennessee, SB XLII No. 2 New York Giants over New England and No. 1 SB XLIX New England over Seattle.

Those five games were complete games from start to finish, had iconic moments and great finishes.

Charles Oakley vs. James Dolan

For some quick background James Dolan is the owner of the New York Knicks. Charles Oakley is a NBA/Knicks legend during his NBA playing time in the ‘90s and just an overall scary dude if you get on his bad side.

On Wednesday Dolan had Oakley thrown out of the Knicks/Clippers game due to Oakley’s alleged harassment of Dolan. (The two have some history that stems from Oakley being critical of Knicks management.) Then Oakley being a guy who isn’t afraid to fight, got physical with Madison Square Garden security, was arrested and now we have this story.

Look, it is perfectly fine to say both Oakley and Dolan are in the wrong. Oakley shouldn’t have put his hands on security, plain and simple; while Dolan is a sensitive billionaire that can’t take criticism and needs to get some thicker skin.

But after Dolan’s smear campaign and ban of Oakley from MSG on Friday, I’m officially in Camp Oakley.

Dolan is the worst owner in the NBA and one of the worst owners in professional sports. Since he assumed control of the Knicks in the early 2000s the franchise has been the laughingstock of the NBA.

The Knicks are such a clown show, that during his time as NBA commissioner, David Stern took shots at them saying, “they’re not a model of intelligent management,” in 2007. Stern essentially called one of his bosses a moron in public and wasn’t even fired for it. In fact, for most of the 2007-2008 season he blasted the Knicks for their incompetence.

The Knicks have been the model of futility during Dolan’s run. They’ve been an embarrassment on and off the court whether that’s the current Carmelo Anthony saga, Dolan’s handling of sexual harassment allegations brought against Isiah Thomas or just general ineptitude.

If you ever buy a sports franchise look at how Dolan runs his franchise and do the opposite.

I’m all for owners running their franchises as they see fit but when you’re a think-skinned coward like Dolan who doesn’t want to hear any criticism about his objective failures. I’m waiving my defense.

Now what I really want to see is a nearly empty MSG for every Knicks home game to see how long Dolan is willing keep up with Oakley’s ban.


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