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Super Bowl Observations

Osprey photo by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Kim Taylor in Alexandrai, VA.

This year the New England Patriots returned to the Super Bowl, led by coach Bill Belichick and dogged (for at least the second time in Belichick's time with the Patriots) by a cheating scandal coming in. Heck, even Bill Nye the science guy got into the act, demonstrating for his fans that a certain temperature change cannot deflate footballs.

The Patriots were there to take the title away from the defending champions, the Seattle Seahawks. Never mind the stylized "seahawk" of the team's logo, I've posted a photo of an actual seahawk here for my discerning readers to admire.

The game took place this year in Glendale, Arizona, University of Phoenix Stadium. The air in Arizona was dry (as always) and windless; the temperature got up to a high of 69 degrees that afternoon. This contrasted with both the northwest and northeast corners of the country, where the two contending teams come from. Super Bowl Sunday was a rainy day in Seattle, with a high of 48. and a snowstorm was bearing down on the Boston area as the game began -- the second such storm in a week.

Enough of the preliminaries, though! The game itself was very exciting, and came with the usual controversies about the calls the referees did and didn't make. But the bottom line: the Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28 - 24, in one of the most exciting endings in the history of the Super Bowl. They stopped a Seattle comeback effort in the final seconds by virtue of an interception of what would otherwise have been a touchdown pass.

Leading up to that point, as noted, there were lots of close plays and calls. The Patriots took the kickoff at the start of the game. The first series of downs brought them quickly to a third down and 2 yards situation. A short pass from Brady to Vereen produced the game's first moving-of-the-chains.

That drive didn't last much longer. The Patriots had to punt after the next series, and this led to what looked to some like a "roughing the kicker" call. The refs didn't call it that way, but the repeated television replays make it look like they bloody well should have.

At any rate the game itself is now in the books, and the Pats in the Brady-Belichick era have four rings. The next one is for the thumb!


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