Every day there are three things, none worth devoting an individual post to, but each worth at least mentioning. Sometimes, though, there's a Super Bowl...
1) Sports, man. For as tough as it it to be a sports fan these days, we're not getting shortchanged in the games that matter most. Since last April, we've gotten the best-ever ending to an NCAA Tournament title game, an epic comeback against an historically great team in the NBA Finals, one of the most memorable World Series ever, a College Football Playoff title game that came down to the last second, and the first-ever overtime Super Bowl that cemented legacies and saw the champion author the greatest comeback in the history of the NFL's title tilt.
2) GOAT 1. Even Brady's biggest detractors are conceding that he's the greatest quarterback of all-time. As uneven as he was for most of the night - he was vintage surgical Brady in the game's final two drives (the Edelman catch off a tipped pass did help save him). It's not just that he has five titles, it's that he's spaced them our across more than a decade and a half while playing a sport that A) doesn't lend itself to longevity and B) almost guarantees that no one can really, truly sustain greatness.
Montana and Bradshaw were obviously all-time greats, but both crammed their titles in shorter windows. Montana's four rings came within eight years. Bradshaw's four championships were won within six years. Both are truly impressive, but there's something about winning five titles in 16 years while also going to to other Super Bowls, authoring the league's only 16-0 regular season, never having a losing regular season, and winning title number five right before turning 40 that puts Brady in a class by himself.
I said this randomly to people last night, there are six quarterbacks in my lifetime that, if they were down 28-3 in the third quarter of a big game, I would've not counted out. Manning, Rodgers, Elway, Montana, Roethlisberger, and Brady. That's it. Those six. And yes, I'm leaving out some of the great QBs of all-time.
3) GOAT 2. Belichick had something to do with that, of course. His teams have won 31% of the last 16 Super Bowls, and played in 44% of the last 16 Super Bowls. The accomplishments speak for themselves, but the thing about Belichick is that during his entire New England tenure, he's had no peer.
In the 70s, the argument for who the best coach in the NFL was a good one. Noll. Landry. Shula. Madden.
In the 80s, there were Walsh, Parcells, Gibbs, with three of those holdovers from the 70s still active.
In the 90s, it was Johnson, Holmgren, Cowher, and Marv Levy, with Parcells when he was actually coaching.
Since about the middle of last decade, it's been....
I don't know. Tony Dungy has been retired for about almost a decade. Mike Tomlin? McCarthy? Uh, Coughlin? For 30-35 years, you could've had good arguments about who the best coach in the NFL was. For the past 10-12, it hasn't been a debate. Belichick is so different, so all-knowing, so willing to adapt, change, and yet stay firm in belief of his system, that he has no real challenger to his throne.
4) Commercials. For the most part, meh. Again. I tweeted this last night....
Wanna know why there's been such lack of creativity in the Super Bowl ads over the past few years? It's been because advertisers are so afraid to be run through the outrage cycles that they'd rather play it safe than be a little daring. Being funny usually means being willing to take a risk, and it often means that the laughs will come at someone or something's expense.
There was a time when we could handle gentle poking, provocation.
Not any more.
There's been reaction to the tone of some of the ads. I'll leave that analysis to others, but I will say that if what upsets you most this morning is what was shown on a television commercial, then you are living quite a charmed life.
5) That was the best team in the AFC that fell behind by 25. There's a big part of me that wants to point out that the team that dug itself a four-possession hole and looked painfully slow and non-threatening most of the night was indeed the best team in its conference, which should prove how wide open the AFC will be next season, given how many "good" teams face significant questions heading into next season. This was going to allow me to make the case that the idea of the Bengals playing in a Super Bowl is not that far-fetched.
Then I remembered that the Patriots have Belichick, Brady, an interesting chip in Jimmy Garoppolo, the least amount of cap money committed to 2017's payroll, and that they'll get Rob Gronkowski back.
Yup, they'll be exceptionally hard to de-throne.
6) OT rules. I don't like them. Never have, never will. I think college OT is better, even though I think those rules should be tweaked to where teams begin possession at the 45 and not the 25. But at least there, both teams get a chance to possess the ball, no matter what.
The rule should be tailored so that every team has a chance to possess the ball
7) Halftime. No task in music or sports is as thankless as the Super Bowl halftime show. You're asking one artist to appeal to a mass audience, and adding the imperfections that come with TV and the difficulty in trying to replicate a two-hour concert in a 12-minute window. So I always take it easy on the halftime act, no matter what it is. And my expectations are always pretty low.
If you like Lady GaGa, I'm guessing you liked her performance.
If you don't, I'm guessing you didn't.
I have no real opinion.
8) This is really good. Say what you want about the coach, and the guy doing the interviewing, but this is good TV...
9) This is as classy as it gets.
10) And everything about this is fantastic.
Radio Show: Rocky Boiman - who called Super Bowl 51 for the BBC - joins me at 3:33. We have a ton to get to today, starting at 3:05 on ESPN1530.