Patriot’s Day

February 2, 2004
Patriot’s Day

by Dave Sabo

2:00 PM I actually began watching CBS coverage of Super Bowl XXXVIII at noon, but their initial offerings (“MTV’s TRL at the Super Bowl” and “Phil Simm’s All Iron Man Team: Old School Edition”) were so unbelievably bad, I flipped back and forth between ESPN2 and ESPN Classic and watched past Super Bowl highlights. This also sucked because a lot of it consisted of Switzer era Cryboy action. At least, “Super Bowl Today” is off to a good start, Bum Phillips RULES!

2:03 PM Not that you’d know it from the print media, but apparently everybody loves Houston. I think I figured out the problem with the newspaper guys. They’re so used to being treated like crap by the locals in Cali and Florida during the Super Bowl, that a little Texas hospitality comes off as “anxiety”. How else can you explain their bewilderment at being asked if they’re “having a good time” or if there’s “anything you need”. How very sad.

2:08 PM Is it a requirement to have one know-nothing jackass on every pre-game show (to be fair, last year, ABC employed TWO in Berman and Stuart Scott)? How else do you explain Deion’s continued employment?

2:15 PM Okay, people have been treating the Panther’s front four like the Purple People Eaters or the Fearsome Foursome or the Steel Curtain or Doomsday for the last two weeks. Now, direct comparisons are being made. You gotta be kidding me.

2:28 PM I “missed” Dick Enberg’s “Build-A-Hall-Of-Famer” segment. From the sounds of the wrap-up, I’m better for it.

2:33 PM Deion on a bull. And I thought it couldn’t get any worse than last year.
This is soooooo bad.

2:34 PM What was the basis of choosing Jeff Fisher to break down the match-ups,
his uncanny ability to be consistently out coached in the postseason? At
least he shaved that ridiculous beard he grows every year in the playoffs.

2:36 PM Deion’s response to Fisher’s analysis, “Tell us something we don’t know.”

2:39 PM Over on the NFL Channel, the Titans are getting beaten by the Rams (SB
XXXV). I gotta remember to flip back over in time to see Dyson give up
a yard from glory. That play always makes me laugh out loud.

2:41 PM Man, I was afraid Jimmy Kimmel (the very definition of “not funny”) would show up. Thankfully, they did a “Crank Yankers” bit. But, why’d they have to rag on Yao Ming? That was pretty mediocre until Strahan’s “I’ll put a foot in your ass” line.

2:46 PM Jeez, this is, like, the 50th Wachovia commercial. How much did they spend?

2:51 PM A feature on the Ravens Terrell Suggs and Kyle Boller. Because NFL fans are just DYING to know! Suggs and BOLLER? Really?

3:00 PM Coming back from commercial, we get a 30-second blurb about the field. It’s been the most interesting piece of this broadcast since Bum’s intro. Seriously.

3:05 PM Exhibit A as to why Steve Spurrier is currently hooking golf balls into the woods somewhere in Florida this afternoon. He had no use for Stephen Davis, but loved Trung Canidate.

3:11 PM Sam Wyche? Really? I’m willing to bet your average Super Bowl viewer cares even less about Sam Wyche than he does about Suggs and Boller.

3:16 PM Spongebob Squarepants!? Once again, really? Sadly, it ranks right behind the bit on the field on the interest scale.

3:19 PM Forgot to switch back to see Kevin Dyson define a franchise, but just caught Jermaine Lewis punk the Giants with a kick return for a TD. Man, the Texans ought to look into that kid.

3:23 PM More Crank Yankers. That’s Sarah Silverman yanking Trent Green. How not funny is Jimmy Kimmel? Sarah Silverman was a real hidden talent on SNL and was hilarious on stage doing standup…until she started dating Jimmy Kimmel, who sucked all the funny out of her.

3:25 PM This year’s “Gotta Have It” gadget? That Labatt’s hockey helmet, “Pez”-style beer dispenser.

3:30 PM This is sooooo worse that last year. Armadillo races, Deion with player’s wives and kids (and still the dimmest bulb in the room) and other awful schlock. Honestly, if it weren’t for the location shots around Houston coming in and out of commercial, I’d throw in the towel.

3:40 PM Do they sell those rhinestone encrusted jerseys that Rodney Harrison’s wife is wearing? That’s worse than those lime green and magenta MLB “fashion jerseys” from a few years ago.

3:55 PM Just got off the phone with the folks back home. Easily, the most enjoyable 15 minutes of the afternoon.

3:56 PM Not only is Duran Duran about 17 years past irrelevant, but they’ve chosen their least well-known “hit”. I guess “Rio” or “Hungry Like the Wolf” were too obvious.

4:01 PM So, is the roof gonna be open or closed? Earlier it was gonna be closed, but now it may be open. The weather looks great so, what’s the deal?

4:05 PM 989 Sports “Game Before the Game” is 8 and 0 in predicting the winner of the Super Bowl. I already know how this turns out and Bill Simmons is right, 989 Sports Stephen Davis is the greatest running back in history.

4:12 PM The 30-second blurbs coming out of commercials (like this one about the Lombardi Trophy) have been the best thing about this entire broadcast. CBS should be ashamed.

4:15 PM I almost dozed off during the halftime show preview.

4:19 PM Give it up for the soldiers of the 1st Armored Division at Freedom Rest, Baghdad, Iraq! Especially for putting up with the inanities of that CBS correspondent.

4:28 PM Thank you, ESPN2! Clicked over just in time to see Dyson wuss out!

4:33 PM Digital Boomer Esiason has no upper lip, but is just as unintelligible as real Boomer. And digital Deion apparently buys his suits from a different store than real Deion and since Deion said what I was thinking, I’ll repeat it. Digital Deion looks like an extra from Planet of the Apes.

4:40 PM Roof’s gonna be closed. Damn.

4:47 PM I don’t want to come off sounding insensitive, but it is really creepy how many sons of NFL QB’s have health problems. Esiason and Kelly and Jeff Hostetler and a bunch of others. And I didn’t even hear about Trent Dilfer’s son dying recently. And if you really want to know how big a prick Jim Kelly is, just catch a tape of him making his son’s bout with Cystic Fibrosis all about Jim Kelly. Luckily, Jim doesn’t feel sorry for himself about it. Dick.

5:00 PM I actually dozed off, this is so bad. I snapped awake just in time to see Dyson and the Titans come up losers again. This time it’s during some spaced themed piece narrated by Charlie Sheen…because, now that John Facenda is dead and James Earl Jones is, apparently, unavailable; Charlie Sheen is your go-to guy for voice-over duties.

5:05 PM No wonder everyone is complaining about the lack of hype, Fox and Belicheck are answering the most boring questions ever asked in the most boring manner possible.

5:07 PM I’m keeping an eye on Ty Law. Steve Smith just guaranteed he’d beat him. Law says if Smith turns his head away from him at the line of scrimmage, he’s gonna get cracked. Well, never mind. Law’s gonna cover Muhsin Muhammed, not Smith. CBS should just die.

5:13 PM See all that snow behind Dubya? The wind chill was around zero this morning and there’s snow on the ground like that from Southern Virginia to Maine. Explain to me again how awarding the Super Bowl to DC or New York City isn’t the stupidest idea ever suggested.

5:20 PM On the off chance that Jake Delhomme plays a big role in a Panthers win or that Jake Delhomme wins MVP, we get a short bio on Jake Delhomme by Leslie Visser. Hey, Leslie, could you say “Jake Delhomme” a few more times? I bet Mulate’s in Breaux Bridge, LA has good food.

5:35 PM I’m volunteering to do stuff around the house an HOUR before the Super Bowl. This is interminable. Just unbelievably awful.

5:38 PM Everyone picks New England to win, but predicts a close game (Nantz calls OT). WHAT? Has ANYBODY WATCHED the Panthers this year? Yeah, New England wins. And they cover. Easily.

5:45 PM It’s a friggin’ crime that Willie Nelson’s got to play second fiddle to a no-talent buffoon like Toby Keith. What a depressing scene.

5:50 PM Aerosmith better be giving Mike Myers royalties. They were washed up until he revived their careers on “Wayne’s World”. They’re gonna be the Rolling Stones soon. Did those parachutists BASE jump from the top of Reliant? That’s pretty impressive.

5:59 PM Nothing against Sam Jackson who’s great, but how much ass would that intro have kicked if John Facenda were still alive?

6:06 PM The Panthers “highlight” reel included plays from the Falcons and Texans games; both losses. And, now, EVERYONE is going to be introduced as a team. That’s impressive ONCE.

6:10 PM Dodge Viper? The New Vette? Lamborghini? Ferrari? All garbage!! It’s all about the new Ford GT, baby!

6:15 PM The less I say about that “tribute” to the astronauts the better.

6:18 PM Beyonce will be singing the National Anthem and since I’m not expecting much from her, I won’t be real disappointed when she goes all “Star Search” on it.

6:20 PM Yup, pretty bad. The word “brave” is and always has been one sustained note, not 27 different ones.

6:23 PM Coin toss. It’s tails (ALWAYS call tails) and Carolina will receive. For the record, barring a massive rash of injuries to New England’s starting 22, I can’t think of a scenario in which Carolina wins.

6:26 PM That’s right! Ford GT, baby!

6:28 PM He Hate Me takes the kickoff up to the 23. You know, Rod “He Hate Me” Smart is looking into legally changing his name to “He Hate Me” so he can wear it on his jersey.

6:30 PM Well, Carolina obviously wants to run, but the Patriots are gonna make Delhomme beat them. They go three and out.

6:31 PM Giving up 25 yard punt returns won’t help.

6:32 PM Or 16 yard completions on first down.

6:33 PM Or 5 yard runs up the gut.

6:35 PM Is Chris Palmer calling plays for New England? A draw on third and fifteen?

6:38 PM And Vinatieri shanks it right. That’s seven straight trips into the red zone with no TD’s for the Patriots.

6:42 PM Six and out. Get used to it Carolina fans.

6:47 PM Now New England gets into the act. Three and out, punt.

6:51 PM Delhomme completes his first pass. For one yard.

6:52 PM Nine and out.

6:53 PM Fumble! But, Brown falls on it. New England starts in Carolina territory.

6:54 PM I love “Eye Vision”!

6:59 PM The Mars rovers read that reverse by Brady and the Pats!

7:00 PM Disaster averted on that low snap. It’s as if New England wants to give this away.

7:04 PM Carolina avoids going 12 and out thanks to a defensive holding call that comes with an automatic first down.

7:06 PM And three plays later, they punt. This is worse than the pre-game.

7:09 PM Mercifully, the first quarter ends. New England should be romping, but they’re unable to convert on third down. They’re 0 for 4.

7:16 PM Carolina begins the second quarter by going 3 and out.

7:26 PM New England comes up short on third and inches. Belicheck’s gonna go for it.

7:27 PM Antowain Smith gets drilled on the carry. It’s close, but he looks to have made it…but, then again, the replay shows it’s really close. The panthers will challenge.

7:32 PM Play stands. First down, New England.

7:37 PM Adam Del Greco has his second field goal attempt blocked! The Panthers take over.

7:41 PM Oh, man! Jake didn’t see that one coming! Sack, fumble, Patriot’s ball.

7:46 PM Touchdown Patriot’s! All set up by a Brady 12 yard “scramble”. Now, THAT was ugly.

7:50 PM He Hate Me gets killed on the return; the Panthers commit 2 penalties on one play and are in business at their own 5 yard-line. Can you say, “safety”?

7:52 PM Delhomme completes his second pass of the day. He was 1 for 9 for one yard until now.

7:53 PM He completes his third pass for another first down.

7:54 PM And his fourth for another. That’s obviously not Jake Delhomme out there. Check his papers!

8:00 PM What the..!? Delhomme to Steve Smith for 39 yards and just like that it’s tied. Two minutes ago “Jake Delhomme” is having the worst day throwing in Super Bowl history. Now, he’s Johnny Unitas.

8:04 PM New England comes right back – Brady to Deion Branch deep into Panthers territory.

8:07 PM Third and inches from the four yard-line, Brady play fakes and hits local boy, Givens, for six. Three minutes ago, this was the worst Super Bowl ever.

8:12 PM A squib kick puts Carolina near mid-field and New England is heading to locker room already which allows Davis to rumble straight up the middle to the 32 yard-line. The Patriots just GAVE them a field goal. Twenty-four points in just over 3 minutes. Unbelievable! Screw the halftime show; Janet, Justin, Puffy and Kid Rock? I’ll pass.

8:41 PM Good call, Dave. The wife just informed me Justin Timberlake yanked Janet Jackson’s top off. The one year I pass on the halftime show…

8:44 PM Fan on the field! Has this ever happened before during the Super Bowl? Great “security”, guys. At least, the only shot the audience saw was from the rafters. Now, he’s just an a-hole that nobody will ever recognize.

8:46 PM New England goes 3 and out.

8:54 PM Jermaine Wiggins gets airborne for the first down.

8:55 PM FUMBLE! But, it’s ruled incomplete. Man, Carolina got away with one there. Muhammed had it tucked in. Another rule they need to look at.

8:58 PM Punt.

9:04 PM New England punts.

9:08 PM FUMBLE! Nope, Delhomme down by contact.

9:15 PM For all the talk about the Carolina front four. They’ve yet to get to Brady and Smith is just rolling.

9:17 PM Great execution on the play fake leads to a big completion down the middle to Daniel Graham.

9:21 PM Touchdown! Brady to Fauria…wait…out of bounds…and a flag.

9:22 PM It looked like he got both feet down on the replay. The flag’s on Carolina for defensive holding. Half the distance and an automatic first down. How do you not challenge that? A turnover here would be HUGE.

9:24 PM Moot point as Smith bangs it in from the two. With the extra point, it’s 21 – 10, New England.

9:28 PM “Delhomme” is on fire. He evades the rush and throws it up for Smith. First down.

9:30 PM And the Panthers just won’t go away. DeShaun Foster scores on a nice run (and some poor tackling). Fox gives “Delhomme” and the offense a vote of “No Confidence” by going for two. This makes no sense at this point in the game. And, of course, the try fails.

9:40 PM The Panthers defensive line certainly hasn’t lived up to the hype. Faulk blows through the middle, straight up the gut. The Patriots are running all over them and setting up the play action.

9:43 PM And, of course, they make me look stupid by swarming Brady and forcing the pick.

9:50 PM Uh, oh. If you took the Pats and gave the points (like me), time to worry. “Delhomme” buys some time, Smith gets behind rookie Eugene Wilson and they hook up for a quick six. If Fox had just kicked the extra point last time…and they fail on another 2-point conversion.

10:00 PM The Panthers smell blood and are all over Brady, but he keeps making plays. They’re in Carolina territory.

10:09 PM Touchdown! Brady to…Mike Vrabel!? Whatever. They’ll go for two. Direct snap to Faulk who goes in. Pats up by seven.

10:10 PM This drive should decide it. Foster for six and then six more.

10:14 PM The Patriots are just giving it away. I think we’re going to see overtime here unless New England sacks up.

10:20 PM Yep, “Delhomme” beats the blitz and hits Ricky Proehl for the tying touchdown. This has turned into what might be the greatest game in Super Bowl history. It’s right up there with Super Bowl XXXVI. If it goes to overtime, all bets are off.

10:21 PM And Kasay kicks it out of bounds! What a disaster! Does ANYBODY want to win this thing?

10:26 PM Brady maneuvers them down to the Carolina 24 on passes to Brown, Graham and Branch. This is exactly what New England wanted, to put the ball in Brady’s hands late and have him make plays. He’s done that and with eight seconds to go, it’s up to Adam Vinatieri.

10:28 PM And, just like two years ago, Vinatieri hits the game winner! It’s good from 41 yards out. What a game! As usual, I have zero interest in the post game. I’m tired and my head hurts. I’ll wait to call my buddy, Mike, tomorrow. He’s from Boston and the last time this happened he was overseas. This time, I’m sure he’s indisposed at the moment. From the sounds of it, Houston put on a good show and will hopefully become part of the permanent rotation and, if everything goes according to plan, I won’t have to watch it up here in Maryland.

The commercials sucked for the most part although the Budweiser ref’s nagging wife and sleigh ride spots were funny. And the AOL spots with the Paulie’s from Orange County Choppers were good. Other than that pretty forgettable.

So, that’s it for the 2003 season. Can’t wait for training camp to open!