Monday, February 13, 2023

Thoughts on the Super Bowl

It seems to be Philadelphia’s time to be in second place in the sports world.

The Phillies made it to the World Series last fall and didn’t win. They gave it a good shot against a heavily favored team that was probably not cheating this time, but it didn’t work out for them.

The Union lost the Major League Soccer championship game the same day that the Phillies lost the Series. On penalty shots, which is just the worst way to decide anything sports related. Play until someone scores, for crying out loud. Even the NHL, which has instituted penalty shot finales for regular season ties, knows to let them play to the end once the regular season is over.

And last night the Eagles lost in the Super Bowl.

We had a good crowd here to see it – me, Kim, and Oliver representing the people currently living here; Lauren, Maxim, Isaac, and Chase coming back from Main Campus University to join us. There was a pile of food that was moderately nonlethal in small amounts and tasty in any quantity. We’d signed up for a temporary account with the broadcaster so we could actually watch the game. We were set for a festive evening.

It was, it has to be said, a great game – pretty much exactly the game you would want in a meeting between the two best teams in the sport. There was a lot of offense. Surprisingly little defense. A few big plays, most of which went against the Birds, unfortunately. And with two minutes to go the score was tied.

That’s when the referees took over.

You can’t call a ticky-tack penalty – a borderline holding penalty on an uncatchable pass – to decide a championship after a game like that. You just can’t. It cheapened the whole thing and rendered the rest of the game irrelevant.

Without that penalty the Eagles get the ball back down three with a minute and a half to go and two time outs, and then we find out who really wins this game.

For all I know it still would have been the Chiefs. The Eagles owned the first half by a wide margin but the Chiefs owned the second half and by that point everyone was tired. It’s possible that Eagles might still have pulled it out. The odds were against them, but the odds have been against the Eagles from the moment they were founded and it’s not like the Kansas City defense had been all that stellar either. It was an offense-heavy game. It would have gone to the last play, no doubt.

I have no idea who would have won. But it would have been decided by the players and not the refs, and that has to count for something.

Bad calls are part of the game, though, and that’s just how it goes.

I will be glad that the Eagles made it that far, that they put up a hell of a fight, that they nearly won anyway, that they look like they’ll be good for a while and fun to watch.

It was a good year for them.

It’s been a good year to be a Philadelphia sports fan in general.

Fly, Eagles, fly.

No comments: