Super Bowl XLIX: The Good The Bad & The Ugly

Andy Livingston

All roads pointed to Glendale Arizona, host of this year’s Super Bowl and the end to a tumultuous NFL season that was riddled with controversy. The game itself was a great contest between two of the top teams, but also was littered with issues that were not able to transcend the issues that hung around the league all year. If you think that sounds dramatic, that’s not even close to how dire those commercials were.

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The Good

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Marshawn Lynch
His ability to get stuffy journalists to whine like children is unparallelled, and as we saw throughout Super Bowl week, Marshawn Lynch was in full Beast Mode on Sunday. Finishing with 102 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries, Lynch—as he has done all season—stabilized / carried the Seahawks offense during the first half and had he gotten the call from the one-yard like with time expiring, the Seahawks would have repeated as Super Bowl champs.

Malcolm Butler
Speaking of that last play from the Seahawks, it was Malcolm Butler’s interception that sealed the Patriots’ fourth Super Bowl victory, quickly picking up the pass play and stepping in front of his receiver. It was a great play for a rookie from a small school who will undoubtedly get glossed-over in the history books because, a: it was a terrible play call from the Seahawks with Marshawn Lynch in the backfield and b: Any mention of the Patriots without giving all credit to Tom Brady receives an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in life.

Kanye West at Super Bowl

The Bad

Russell Wilson
DangeRuss failed to complete a pass in the first quarter, was sacked three times, hit another four times and even though his receivers repeatedly made acrobatic catches to bail him out, he often looked flustered by the Pats secondary. And then there’s the INT. Might as well just label it now, like “The Catch” or “Wide Right,” Wilson is responsible for “The Interception.” Sad really, considering he didn’t call the play. But he’s a third-year starter with a Super Bowl victory under his belt, he would’ve been well within his rights to question a pass play from the coaches with Marshawn Lynch in your backfield. Deserved or not, this will hang over him for a while.

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Julian Edelman and the Concussion Protocol
Late in the third quarter Edelman was hit hard by Kam Chancellor, taking a moment to get up and showing signs he was rattled. He stayed in and ran a few routes in confusion that seemed to further indicate he was not all there. An independent medical consultant asked for Edelman to be pulled, but that requested was ignored by the Patriots.

In a season where “concussion” was probably the most spoken phrase after “domestic violence,” the NFL failing on the big stage like this could leave a sour taste in your mouth after a season of swallowing bile.

The Ugly

Jeremy Lane’s Injury
Don’t scroll down (of Google it) if you’re squeamish, but trust it’s a gnarly arm injury that forced Lane out of the game after picking Tom Brady in the Red Zone. The Seahawks secondary was already in a weakened state, but Lane being out created a mismatch that Brady was able to exploit all night. The Seahawks were forced to line up linebackers in nickel situations and Seattle just didn’t have the speed to match up with the Pats receivers or Rob Gronkowski.

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The Halftime Show

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Maybe it was the dire commercials that littered the first half, but Katy Perry’s halftime performance was at least a sign of life when so many kids were dying. Perry’s stage jumping with acid drenched visuals, dancing trees and sharks, a giant tiger kinetic sculpture, impressive 3D floor designs and the appearance of Missy Elliott was a nice, creative flourish, even if you didn’t know any Katy Perry songs. The less we heard about (or from) Lenny Kravitz the better. Overall, a pretty posi experience after witnessing broken wrists, missed passes and the most ghoulish collection of advertisements in Super Bowl history.

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