February 6, 2006
Bettis Bowl Blog
by Dave Sabo
12:00 You’re looking live at Ford Field in war-torn Detroit, Michigan! This Super Bowl XL edition of “NFL Live” is hosted by Stuart Scott, Sean Salisbury, Ron Jaworski and Don Vito from “Viva La Bam”…oh, no, wait – that’s Ditka.
12:03 Well, I was wrong. The show doesn’t open with a “Jerome Bettis is from Detroit, the same city in which the Super Bowl is being played!!!” story. Nope, it opens with the most over-hyped story from Super Bowl XXXIX, Terrell F#$%in’ Owens!
12:05 With his ridiculous remarks about “black on black” crime, McNabb has ensured that there is no side to root for in this pathetic story. And Hugh Douglas might be the biggest jackass of all. Why ANYbody would want a cancer like Owens on their team is beyond me.
12:10 So, I was off by eight minutes on when the Bettis story would pop up. Did you know that Jerome is one of only four people to be awarded the key to the city of Detroit? I forget two of the other three, but the one I DO know is Saddam Hussein. Yes, THE Saddam Hussein. Seriously.
12:14 I can’t take this Bettis crap anymore, so I’m flipping over to the Rockets game.
12:24 Thirty-five seconds left in the first and the Rockets lead the Knicks by two.
12:31 Nice feature on Lofa Tatupu. Twenty years ago, he was four years old and went to visit an elementary school with his dad, then a fullback with the Patriots. They joked around and Lofa tackled his dad, prompting a teacher to say the Seahawks could use him.
12:41 With 6:21 left in the first half, the Rockets lead the Knicks by nine.
12:43 ESPN Classic is showing “40 Things You Didn’t Know About the Super Bowl.” In Super Bowl XX, the officials gave the Bears extra time they shouldn’t have had and they kicked a field goal just before the half. So they should have only won 43 to 10.
12:46 Before Super Bowl XXVII, Garth Brooks balked about singing the National Anthem. Officials found John Bon Jovi in the crowd and had him ready to go when Garth changed his mind. So there are two things I didn’t know about the Super Bowl. Two things I couldn’t care less about as well.
12:51 There may be a new corollary to my theory that you can predict a Super Bowl winner based on the quarterbacks’ names. A quarterback wearing #8 always wins. Troy Aikman won three and Steve Young and Trent Dilfer won one each. Looking good for Hasselbeck and the Seahawks.
12:54 This feature on mountain climber, Ed Veasters, giving the Seahawks motivational speeches looks too boring for words. Back to the Rockets.
12:59 Rockets 45 – Knicks 42 at the half.
1:03 ESPN Classic is now airing “40 Minutes That Define the Super Bowl.” Of course, it all started with the AFL-NFL merger.
1:10 Ah, one of my favorite Super Bowl stories. Max McGee stayed out all night before Super Bowl I. He was a back-up and had only caught 7 passes all year, so the chances of him playing were slim to none. He showed up for the game with a monster hangover. Two plays in, starter Boyd Dowler went down and that meant McGee had to play. His first play, he made a one-handed catch on a ball thrown behind him and scored the first touchdown in Super Bowl history. He finished the day with 7 catches for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns. All with a hangover.
1:14 Flipped over to NFL Countdown to miss Ditka and the Bears. Oh, wait Ditka still has more to say. Back to the Rockets.
1:19 Tracy’s 1 for 8 and it’s tied with 10:15 left in the third.
1:21 Back on Classic, Broadway Joe’s guaranteeing a win in Super Bowl III. NFL Films makes its mark and begins its rise to prominence with their slow-motion shot of Joe trotting off the field waving his index finger. This segues nicely into the story of how Hank Stram came to be mic’ed up for Super Bowl IV. Long story short, he wouldn’t do it unless they paid him. A thousand dollars. Smart move, though as “Keep matriculating the ball down the field, boys” and “65 Toss Power Trap” became part of the lexicon.
1:27 Troy Polamalu’s ankle has been acting up all week, if he can’t go, Pittsburgh could be in trouble. Did Salisbury just say that Roethlisberger is “the face of the NFL”? The Steeler hype is out of control.
1:29 Geez, what happened in New York? The Rockets lead by 12 with 4:30 left in the third quarter.
1:35 I never knew that Lynn Swann suffered a concussion in the AFC Championship game before Super Bowl X. It was doubtful he would play until Cliff Harris ran his mouth and said if he DID play, he’d get hurt. His first catch was the masterpiece along the sideline where he displayed superb body control. Then he pulled off the circus catch over Mark Washington where he tips the ball up and catches it as he’s falling. And, finally, he makes the beautiful over the shoulder catch for a 64-yard touchdown. Washington is again the victim. Pittsburgh wins going away. Way to go, Cliff.
1:40 I missed the beginning of this Ken Hamlin (Seattle CB) story on “NFL Countdown.” Apparently, he was beaten up in a melee at a club, got his head cracked open and almost died. Then, one of the suspects in the beating turned up dead later that night. And now, nobody will talk about it. It sounds REALLY shady.
1:46 Geez, what happened in New York? It’s tied with 10:15 left in the fourth.
1:51 Back on Classic, John Riggins brushes Don McNeil aside like a bothersome gnat and wins Super Bowl XVII. I win my first ever Super Bowl bet. A kid gave me the Redskins straight up for $5.
1:57 There’s a lot of man-love for Hasselbeck on “NFL Countdown” right now. I think Salisbury would have his kids… or die trying.
1:59 Is there a bigger ass-clown than Joey Porter right now? Is anybody surprised that somebody shot his dumb ass? His own teammates admit that they have to back up all his talking. That guy is a bozo dee-lux.
2:05 Jaws thinks all Porter’s talking is good for the Steelers. Frankly, if they have to use that statement from Jerramy Stevens to get up for the game, they’re already in trouble.
2:09 Salisbury says all the yapping is good because it’s taken the pressure off Roethlisberger.
2:11 If the Rockets-Knicks game goes into overtime, ABC has to delay the pre-game show (and the execrable Chris Berman), right? Right?!
2:17 With a minute left, the Rockets go up by 5. Looks like I’m stuck with 4 full hours of Berman.
2:19 On ESPN 2, Jackie Smith drops a sure touchdown and costs the Cryboys a Super Bowl win. I LOVE that play!
2:24 And he drops it again on ESPN Classic!
2:28 With Jalen Rose’s pathetic 3-point attempt, the Rockets take the win and avoid overtime. Here comes Berman.
2:32 Here’s Jackie dropping that pass again during the pre-game intro. And right after it, here’s Kevin Dyson wussing out. I love that play even more.
2:33 Not even 2 seconds into the show and Berman’s already trotting out his awful, tired Lombardi impression. Followed by his even worse John Facenda. Oh, how I hate him.
2:34 Why does an incomprehensible crack-addict have a job in broadcasting? Though, it’s nice how he didn’t make the Hall again.
2:44 Bill Belichick is generally regarded as the most boring guy in the NFL, so, of course, ABC brought him for their pre-game show.
2:51 This feature on Joe Namath and Super Bowl III is nothing but a test to see if he’ll try and make out with reporter Sam Ryan (Ryan’s a chick, by the way). Joe appears pretty sober, so no such luck.
2:54 Martha Reeves sounds awful. This is the worst version of “Dancing in the Streets” ever. Well, except for that version that Mick Jagger and David Bowie recorded in the ‘80’s.
2:58 ABC might be on to something with all these commercial breaks where they break, come back for, literally, a 90-second fluff piece and then go back to commercial. More commercials means less Berman.
3:02 A nice feature on Matt Hasselbeck and family. If the Seahawks win, are Matt + Tim > Peyton + Eli? I think so. Growing up, his friends joked that his middle name was “Son of Don.”
3:10 I’ve been wondering what James Spader’s been up to since “Less Than Zero.” This “Boston Legal” promo fills me in. He’s been hitting the buffet. Hard.
3:16 By all means, ABC, give complete a-hole, Jack Tatum, more pub. Twenty-seven years later and the scumbag still refuses to apologize for paralyzing Darryl Stingley. He’s never spoken to him nor made any attempt. He’s still telling the same lie about Stingley not wanting to talk to him. I didn’t know he got his leg amputated due to diabetes, though. Good. Serves him right.
3:22 They’re estimating that the crowd will probably be 70% Steeler fans, thus setting the Super Bowl record for greatest concentration of a-holes in the stands.
3:27 More Joey Porter. Man, I hope he gets drilled. At least nobody mentioned Bettis and Detroit. He’s from there, ya know.
3:30 Never mind. Jerome Bettis. He’s from Detroit. Just kill me now…
3:36 Bringing George Wendt in to do the “Super Fan” skit was a good idea, poorly executed. He’s phoning it in. And Berman had to get into the act with a “Da Bearssss” during the intro. Yeah, it’s all about YOU, Chris.
3:37 Okay, the “We purchased one of your hips on eBay” line was funny.
3:44 A feature on Ben Roethlisberger. Congrats, Ben! You’ve surpassed Belichick as most boring man in the NFL!
3:47 Wow! An hour and seventeen minutes until the obligatory shot of troops in Iraq.
3:52 The best part of this feature on Iranian hostage, John Hohman, is Jim McKay’s narration.
3:56 I was just about to write that this pre-game show isn’t so bad whan I saw that Jimmy Kimmel will be making an appearance.
3:59 Bill Cowher just LOOKS like a dick. He plans to intimidate Shaun Alexander early.
4:04 When Michael Irvin is making the most sense of the four guys on your crew, there’s a problem. He’s saying that the Seahawks aren’t sitting in the locker room worrying about the Steelers. The other three are convinced the Steelers intimidate them.
4:16 I return from whipping up a batch of queso to find Jimmy Kimmel not being funny to a laugh track. If only the Nuge really HAD shot him with a cross bow.
4:18 I hope having that Muppet pig butcher “These Boots Were made for Walkin’” instead of Jessica Simpson and her unfortunate man-chin means we won’t be seeing either of them again.
4:35 Nearly 20 minutes of pure, unadulterated Steeler ass kissing. Never have I wanted a team to lose as badly as this.
4:41 This is the most non-descript pre-game show ever. It’s not really awful, it’s not painfully boring, it’s certainly not good, though. It’s just…there.
4:48 The best feature of the day! Belichick talking defense. He’s actually effusive. He believes that if Seattle is to win, they’ll have to test Pittsburgh’s corners and work the seams.
4:56 I’m sorry, but after the “Holmgren tells Insider he’d like more potatoes” headline on that ESPN spoof site, I can’t take this feature on him seriously. Kudos to his wife and daughter for their missionary work in Africa, though. They’re there right now instead of in Detroit.
5:05 Say what you want about Detroit (and I’ve been there, it’s a pit), but Ford Field looks like a fabulous venue.
5:08 Just noticed that ESPN2 is up to Super Bowl XXV highlights. I’m just in time to see Dyson wuss out. It NEVER gets old!
5:11 Nice feature on Shaun Alexander. Photogenic, outgoing, confident without being cocky and now, MVP. Why doesn’t he have more national exposure? Oh, yeah, he plays in Seattle.
5:18 I just looked up the phrase “fluff piece” in the dictionary. It said, “Robin Roberts interviewing Mick Jagger.” What does performing at halftime of the Super Bowl mean, Mick? Big paycheck.
5:24 To their credit, ABC waited nearly three hours before busting out the “Bettis is from Detroit” story. And, also to their credit, they kept it mercifully short.
5:32 The most striking thing about this pre-game show is the sheer number of commercials. I think I’ve watched more of the “Poker Superstars Championship” during commercial breaks than I have of the pre-game show.
5:41 Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Joss Stone and India.Arie are the pre-game entertainment. They perform a very nice medley of Motown standards and Stevie Wonder’s greatest hits, which is marred only by the presence of John Legend, Joss Stone and India.Arie. Why is Legend singing “Isn’t She Lovely” when you’ve got Stevie Freakin’ Wonder RIGHT THERE!! And would somebody PLEASE tell Joss Stone that looking like you’re in pain while you sing scales in your bare feet doesn’t mean you’re talented. What a waste.
5:50 There’s nothing like hearing Berman wrap it up cuz…no more Berman.
5:55 Man, the Seahawks ARE playing a road game. That’s a lot of fat people waving a towel. The bingo halls and cigarette outlets are empty tonight in Western Pennsylvania.
6:02 Shouldn’t “Super Bowl MVP, Desmond Howard” be considered an oxymoron?
6:11 Yes, we’re all tired of the Bettis story, but letting him run out by himself was nice.
6:14 They should have let that choir sing the Anthem on their own. And, seriously, Horatio Sanz sounded better last night on SNL during the Aaron Neville, Aretha Franklin and Dr. John skit. That was really bad.
6:16 No luck with the Pizza Hut commercial. Jessica’s back with her man-chin.
6:20 That Dr. Seuss thing? Yeah, um, WTF?!!
6:23 Grant Winstrom and the Seahawks win the toss cuz “tails never fails”!
6:27 I made my call on Friday, Seattle 24 – Pittsburgh 21. But I wouldn’t mind a blowout. Kickoff!!
6:28 Seattle will start at their own 18.
6:32 A promising drive stalls at the 48. They whole intimidation thing isn’t really working out for Pittsburgh.
6:34 False start on the Steelers.
6:35 Willie Parker goes nowhere.
6:36 Seattle jumps all over the screen pass to Parker.
6:37 False start.
6:38 Three and out. Yeah, Joey, they’re REAL soft. The Seahawks will start on their own 36.
6:41 First down past the 50.
6:44 A holding call puts Seattle in 3rd and long. The Seahawks are beating themselves.
6:45 Hasselbeck dodges a bullet. That pass should have been picked off although Pittsburgh is actually better off with a touchback on the punt.
6:48 Parker goes nowhere.
6:49 Three and out for the Steelers.
6:50 Seattle starts with great field position near the 50.
6:54 Darrell Jackson breaks free and is brought down at the 28.
6:55 Hasselbeck has all day to find open receivers…TOUCHDOWN! Hasselbeck to Jackson. But, it’s being called back for pass interference on Jackson. What a ticky-tack call.
6:58 Seattle settles for a 47-yard field goal. DJ Hackett couldn’t haul in a Hasselbeck pass on 3rd and long.
7:01 Pittsburgh starts on their 20.
7:04 Three and out. Again. The first quarter ends with the score with Seattle up by 3.
7:07 A great return by Peter Warwick… is brought back by a holding call. Seattle is just killing themselves.
7:10 Big Blitz! And Hasselbeck coolly beats it for the first down. You know whose name I haven’t heard since the pre-game? Yup, Joey Porter’s. Did he even suit up?
7:12 Chris Hope bails Joey out by knocking the ball out of Jerramy Stevens hands. On the replay, that looks like it could have been a fumble.
7:15 Pittsburgh has yet to record a first down. They start on their 20 again.
7:16 Bettis’ first carry. Gain of 2.
7:17 Finally, a Steeler first down. And Randle El acts like they just won the game.
7:18 Nice end around by Ward for a pick-up of 18 yards. Huh, the big, bad Steelers have to resort to razzle dazzle to move the ball. Joey must be livid.
7:20 And Roethlisberger chucks up the wounded duck for the pick. Oh, how I wish they had a camera isolated on Joey.
7:25 A weak effort by Mack Strong leaves Seattle with 4th and inches. They punt.
7:26 Randle El gets hit and comes down awkwardly on the return. He looks to be in a lot of pain.
7:30 An ugly shovel pass bails Roethlisberger out and Pittsburgh picks up the first.
7:31 Pittsburgh is showing signs of life. Roethlisberger finds Cedrick Wilson for 22 yards and the first down.
7:32 Roethlisberger overthrows a wide open Hines Ward in the end zone.
7:33 Winstrom! Sacks Ben and pushes Pittsburgh out of field goal range.
7:34 On 3rd and 28, Roethlisberger eludes the rush, checks for the line of scrimmage and then throws up a prayer that Ward answers at the 3.
7:36 Bettis to the 1.
7:37 Bettis for a loss of 1.
7:40 Big Ben with the keeper for the touch…HEY!! No way!!! He didn’t get in! There’s no way! Challenge and bring up 4th and goal form the inch line!
7:42 What a bunch of BS! I wonder if Joey’s gonna cry about the refs like a little girl like he did after the Colts game. They just GAVE Pittsburgh the touchdown.
7:50 Oh, that was close. Jackson just couldn’t get the second foot in bounds.
7:51 Don’t act with any urgency, Holmgren. I guess he missed how well that didn’t work out for Philly last year. Just lollygag up to the line, fellas. And then the Steelers bail them out with a timeout. What horrible clock management.
7:52 Jackson out of bounds again. So close.
7:53 And the 54-yard attempt by Brown is no good. Real nice clock management there. Jeebus.
7:54 So it’s Pittsburgh 7, Seattle 3 at the half. Seattle should be whupping these chumps. They just can’t finish drives off and are killing themselves with mistakes, dropped passes and penalties. Holmgren’s yelling at the refs about that bogus touchdown. A little late there, Mike.
7:55 I couldn’t be any less interested in the Rolling Stones.
8:03 Halftime analysis: Seattle is manhandling the Steelers, but can’t put any points on the board. Pittsburgh couldn’t have played much worse, but are somehow leading at the half. Well, it does help when they GIVE you a touchdown.
8:10 The Rolling Stones open with “Start Me Up.” And they sound atrocious.
8:13 I’m assuming this second tune is off the new album. Does anybody really want to hear this instead of say ‘Jumpin Jack Flash” or “Satisfaction”? What balls these guys have.
8:17 Ask and ye shall receive, although this sucks so bad. I mean, third-rate cover band bad. And Mick’s old lady arm flab ain’t helping. People really pay in the 1000’s of dollars to see this? REALLY?
8:18 Yes, Mick, please, please, PLEASE take it on home. And don’t bring it back.
8:28 Between the score and that god-awful halftime show, I’m a little salty right now.
8:30 And the second half is underway. Pittsburgh, starting at their 24, should be looking to make a statement here.
8:32 Well, that IS quite a statement. Willie Parker goes 75 yards for the touchdown. Was he even touched? That’s a Super Bowl record, by the way. Pittsburgh 14, Seattle 3.
8:39 Alexander breaks loose for 16 yards.
8:40 Stevens has the chance to make a statement, but drops his second pass. Maybe Joey’s right and he IS soft.
8:41 Brown misses a 51-yard attempt after the drive stalls. Seattle is letting this one get away.
8:44 Nice catch by Hines Ward. The momentum is all on the Steelers side now.
8:46 On 3rd and 4, Ward loses his man, makes the catch, breaks a tackle and makes the first down.
8:47 Bettis rumbles down to the 10 for the first down.
8:50 Roethlisberger throws the dumbest pass possible and gets it picked off by Kelly Herndon. He’s got blockers, but he’s downed at the 20 after returning the pick 76 yards. A Super Bowl record. They MUST get into the end zone here.
8:54 Hey, Joey, how would you characterize that touchdown by Stevens? Soft? Oh, wait that would be your coverage. Pittsburgh 14, Seattle 10.
9:00 Seattle regains the momentum as the Steelers go three and out.
9:03 Stevens returns to dropping passes.
9:05 Seattle goes three and out.
9:09 The Steelers go three and out.
9:10 The Seahawks will start at their own 2 following a great punt by Gardocki.
9:11 Hasselbeck scrambles for the first down.
9:14 Hasselbeck to Bobby Engram for the first down.
9:18 And again for 15 yards.
9:20 Alexander punishes the Steelers defense on back-to-back runs.
9:21 And after a holding penalty and a sack, they’re out of field goal range. It’s like they don’t WANT to win this.
9:22 Holy smokes!! Was that Joey Porter?! Did he actually make a play?! Alert the media cuz you know he’s gonna want to talk about it.
9:23 And Hasselbeck throws the pick. And he makes it worse by committing a personal foul…
9:25 Which is complete BS. Come on guys, at least TRY to look impartial.
9:27 On 3rd and 2, Ben picks up the first on a QB draw.
9:28 You knew the gadget play was coming sooner or later and there it is, a reverse pass by Randle El to Ward for 43 yards and the touchdown. It’s run to perfection, but I’m sure Joey is furious that Cowher would stoop to such weak play calling. Why don’t they just line up and beat the Seahawks like men?
9:34 Hasselbeck scrambles for a first down…FUMBLE! But, was he down by contact? They’ll review it. Somebody definitely had a hand on him.
9:36 Call on the field overturned! First down.
9:39 Sack! They really gotta go for it here, but they’re punting. They’ll pay for such weak play-calling.
9:42 Bettis dropped for a loss.
9:43 Bettis for five tough yards.
9:45 First down on the dump off to Randle El. This could be the beginning of the end.
9:49 Ben boots on 3rd and 2 for the first down. It’s almost over.
9:53 The two-minute warning. Seattle has held them, but it’ll take a miracle with them down by 11.
9:55 Seattle will start on their own 20.
9:57 Jurevicious for 35 yards to the Pittsburgh 39. Take a shot and then kick the field goal.
9:59 Or just screw around while time runs off the clock. What a mess. It’s 4th and 10. Here’s the game…
10:00 FIRST DOWN!!
10:02 Well, that was godawful. After three terrible plays they turn the ball over. They should have kicked the field goal and hoped for the best. But, no they just wandered around and blew any chance they had. What a terrible effort. All Pittsburgh needs is a kneel down. And I ain’t stickin’ around for THIS celebration.
Not a good year for commercials, but Budweiser had some good ones. “Magic Fridge” and “Streaker” were pretty good. Sprint’s “Crime Deterrent” was good. All the “Desperate Housewives” promos were good. As was the “Lost” “Addicted to Love” promo.
Well, now it’s time to settle in for the long wait until the draft, so pick a side (Young or not) and start acting snarky, and I’ll see y’all in April.