A bunch of random thoughts on the Super Bowl: Enjoy your Spaghettio bath, Eli. You earned it.

Eli Manning is the balls.

I have a lot of thoughts on the Super Bowl, so rather than try to shoehorn them all into some kind of column, I’m going to take the lazy way out and post them as random thoughts.  Let’s just get right to it:

– Rob Gronkowski was a complete non-factor.  In pregame warmups, he had absolutely no explosion getting out of his stance whatsoever.  However, although I personally didn’t get to see him run and cut, the reports were that he looked OK running and cutting.  Obviously, that wasn’t the case during the actual game.  The Giants recognized it early, and didn’t give him any kind of special attention at all.  In fact, they were often covering him with Chase Blackburn, which would be an absolute matchup disaster for the Giants with a healthy Gronk.

– I was very surprised to see the Giants trust Jerrel Jernigan returning kicks.  In one game during the preseason, Jernigan attempted to field 5 punts.  He muffed three of them, and fumbled a 4th.  And yet, in Super Bowl XLVI, he was the first player to touch the football.

– The safety was just an atrocious, careless play by Tom Brady.  How hard is it to throw the ball out of bounds in the general vicinity of one of your receivers?  He had all day to get rid of the football, and chose to throw it 45 yards downfield, not within 20 yards of another human.  It was certainly an unconventional intentional grounding call, but it was the right call.  Kudos to referee John Parry for having the stones to make that call.  It would have been easy not to throw the flag there.  Nobody would have really complained all that much.  But he did, and was right.  I’ve been slamming the NFL referees all season, but they were excellent yesterday.  There was a pass interference call (or no-call) that could have gone either way, but I thought they reffed a near perfect game.

– The flats were open for the Giants ALL NIGHT.  If Eli didn’t like what he saw downfield, he dumped it to the flats to Jake Ballard, Henry Hynoski, Bear Pascoe, and Ahmad Bradshaw.  It was there all game.  The Pats simply didn’t cover the flats, and it killed them.

– Earlier in the week, I noted that the Giants haven’t fumbled since Week 13, more than 2 months ago.  They fumbled three times yesterday.  Two of those fumbles bounced the right way right back to them.  The third the Pats recovered, but the play was negated by the Pats having too many men on the field.  My wife, not an avid football aficionado, asked “How could they have 12 players on the field?” I didn’t have a good answer for her.

– I thought the Giants tried to get far too cute with Jason Pierre-Paul.  By putting him on the interior, you get his ability to get those tree limb arms of his in the air to bat passes at the line, but if I’m Tom Brady, I’d much rather have JPP trying to play volleyball than coming at me off the edge.  Furthermore, the defensive play call on the Danny Woodhead TD was baffling.  Why would you have JPP drop back in coverage on such an important play?  Have you ever been crabbing?  Have you ever seen a feisty crab get out of the trap, extend his claws wide, and sort of dance around from side to side while simultaneously moving backward in a feeble attempt to defend itself?  That’s kind of like what JPP looked like in coverage on that play.  I’m sure you Giants fans will re-watch the game at some point.  Check him out on that play.  It’s kind of comical.  Anyway, the point here is… JPP is a phenomenal player, and what he does best is rush the passer.  Don’t drop him into coverage on the last play of the half.

– Jerod Mayo is not James Harrison.  Same exact offensive AND defensive play calls in 2 different Super Bowls, and two wildly different results.



(Much more after the jump)…

– The Patriots’ drive to close the first half was a clinic in time management and QB efficiency:

Down and distance Result
1st and 10 at NE 4 (4:03) (Shotgun) PENALTY on NE-70-L.Mankins, False Start, 2 yards, enforced at NE 4 – No Play.
1st and 12 at NE 2 (4:03) (Shotgun) 12-T.Brady pass short left to 83-W.Welker to NE 9 for 7 yards (34-D.Grant).
2nd and 5 at NE 9 (3:34) (Shotgun) 39-D.Woodhead up the middle to NE 15 for 6 yards (59-M.Boley).
1st and 10 at NE 15 (3:01) 12-T.Brady pass short right to 87-R.Gronkowski to NE 35 for 20 yards (21-K.Phillips).
1st and 10 at NE 35 (2:32) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 39-D.Woodhead up the middle to NE 39 for 4 yards (95-R.Bernard).
2nd and 6 at NE 39 (2:00) (Shotgun) 12-T.Brady pass short left to 81-A.Hernandez to NE 49 for 10 yards (59-M.Boley).
1st and 10 at NE 49 (1:40) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 12-T.Brady pass short right to 81-A.Hernandez to NYG 43 for 8 yards (26-A.Rolle).
2nd and 2 at NYG 43 (1:20) (Shotgun) 12-T.Brady pass short left to 39-D.Woodhead to NYG 36 for 7 yards (26-A.Rolle). PENALTY on NE-54-B.Waters, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at NYG 43 – No Play.
2nd and 12 at NE 47 (1:12) (Shotgun) 12-T.Brady pass short right to 81-A.Hernandez pushed ob at NYG 45 for 8 yards (59-M.Boley).
3rd and 4 at NYG 45 (1:05) (Shotgun) 12-T.Brady pass short right to 81-A.Hernandez pushed ob at NYG 33 for 12 yards (59-M.Boley) [26-A.Rolle].
1st and 10 at NYG 33 (1:01) (Shotgun) 39-D.Woodhead up the middle to NYG 32 for 1 yard (59-M.Boley).
2nd and 9 at NYG 32 (:38) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 12-T.Brady pass short left to 83-W.Welker to NYG 22 for 10 yards (31-A.Ross; 21-K.Phillips).
1st and 10 at NYG 22 (:29) (Shotgun) 12-T.Brady pass short left to 39-D.Woodhead ran ob at NYG 11 for 11 yards.
1st and 10 at NYG 11 (:24) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 12-T.Brady pass short middle to 39-D.Woodhead to NYG 3 for 8 yards (59-M.Boley). Penalty on NYG-72-O.Umenyiora, Defensive Offside, declined.
2nd and 2 at NYG 3 (:18) (Shotgun) 39-D.Woodhead right guard to NYG 4 for -1 yards (90-J.Pierre-Paul).
3rd and 3 at NYG 4 (:15) (Shotgun) 12-T.Brady pass short left to 39-D.Woodhead for 4 yards, TOUCHDOWN.


– My wife is a teacher.  Her school has this yearly “talent show” that I’ve been to a few times.  My buddy Steve also formerly had a wife that taught at the same school, and we used to grade each act, with written commentary.  We’d then exchange notes, and hilarity would ensue.  It was mostly pretty mean.  The majority of the acts are God-awful.  Some kids played the piano, or the violin or something.  That I could at least respect.  But more than half of them either “acted out a song,” a la Napoleon Dynamite, or they did little more than lip sync.  The lip sync acts always got the worst grades from me and Steve.  Madonna’s halftime show really wasn’t much different than the worst acts at my wife’s school.  I mean, Madonna’s act had gladiators, preachers, breakdancers, flashlights, tightrope jumping Jew-fro guys, and it apparently achieved world peace at the end, but if you take away all the pomp and circumstance, I could have done in my living room with a hair dryer what was Madonna was doing on stage.

  – Hakeem Nicks took a vicious shot from Patrick Chung.  I thought he might be done for at least a series after that one.  Nope.  He was right back in there.  That’s not the first shot Nicks has taken like that this year.  Tough dude.

 – On the Blackburn INT, I thought Brady actually had something there.  Gronkowski had gotten behind him, but Brady simply under-threw it.  Pretty badly, too.  But that could have been a TD with a stronger throw.

 – It was semi-amazing that NBC had the “sideline cushion” graphic ready to go merely seconds after Mario Manningham’s mental error on his non-catch down the sideline.  It was as if they knew he was going to do that or something.  And not only that, Cris Collinsworth was ready for it, too.  Without skipping a beat, he was right on it, explaining the sideline cushion as the graphic came up.  That’s TV broadcasting at its finest.

– Speaking of Manningham, the game in some ways came down to one guy making an incredible catch, and another guy dropping a relatively easy one.  If I were to have guessed who would be the goat of Super Bowl XLVI, Wes Welker wouldn’t have been anywhere near my radar.  Meanwhile, Manningham’s catch was gorgeous and fearless all at once.  He was bracketed by two defenders, was right up against the sideline, knew he was going to get smacked, touched his toes in, maintaining control all the way through.  If you’ve ever played wide receiver, you know how ridiculously tough that catch was.  Great throw, too, I might add.

– Speaking of Manningham once more, he’s a free agent this offseason.  I can’t help but wonder how many extra millions that catch earned him.  The Redskins need a WR.  The Eagles could be in the market if they let DeSean Jackson walk.  Obviously, the Giants would like to retain him, but it’ll be tough to pay your #3 WR the kind of money Manningham is likely to be offered in free agency.  He has become a very intriguing player to watch this offseason in the bEast.

– The end of the game was classic Tom Coughlin football.  Bleed the clock, set up for 3 to win it.  Except… Ahmad Bradshaw sort of messed up that plan, but he got away with it.

– I can’t help but wonder if there was some home cookin’ going on with the clock operator.  The Super Bowl, after all, was played in Indy, and if you were to ask most Indy fans who their most hated team is, the majority of them with say the Patriots.  Watch the clock in this video.  The clock operator lets 2 full seconds run off after Brady spikes it.  You’ll hear Al Michaels say the Pats are trying to get a couple seconds put back on, but they never did.  The Giants were going to win this game regardless of those 2 seconds, but this is just abhorrent that this occurred.  There’s no excuse.  This would be a terrible job by a clock operator in 10 year old basketball league, much less the final drive of the freaking Super Bowl.  Just awful.  There’s no way in hell that clock operator should ever be allowed to do another game again.

– The Giants are dumb, by the way.  Had they lost to the Falcons in the first round they would have had the 22nd overall pick.  Now they’ll draft 32nd.  They chose immediate gratification over building for the future.  Idiots.

– And finally, Eli Manning… Enjoy your Spaghettio bath, my friend.  You earned it.


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  10. JM says:

    All right Mr. Kempski. Fess up, why in the world do you have an Eli Manning toy figurine?

    1. Doesn’t everyone?

  11. Joe Dubyk says:

    can i ask why gmen fans are so damn hard on kevin gilbride? He’s got two rings and he might not be flashy but he plays basic football and utilizes a balanced offense with heavy emphasis on the play action……sure he has a couple baffling play calls (but all play calls can easiliy be judged on hindsight), but overall, hes damn good, damn good

    1. ct17 says:

      The problem I have had with Gilbride is that while 80% of it is good, 5% is just so downright awful you wonder what he is thinking. The constant running on 2nd and 10 – defenses run blitz us because they know it is coming, and it never gains any yardage, but we do it five times a game. He even runs on 2nd-and-goal from the 10 yard line, as if 3 yards will make it any easier. The inside screens are awful, all year they were huge failures. Most fans hate the frequent draws as well. The lack of creativity. There is never anything new. Eli had a very successful bootleg Week 1, we did not see it the rest of the season. Lately there have been lots of deep balls on 3rd-and-short. Get the first down.

      A lot of the above was seen in the Super Bowl.

      1. Free Plax says:

        Totally agree, I sum up Gilbride like this he is either on his A game or his F game with no in between. However over the last couple of season’s i really have not had a lot to complain about.

  12. ATLeagle says:

    So, is it true then that if you put a Manning in a pot of boiling Spaghetti-Os that it will jump out, but if you place him in room temperature pasta and slowly increase the heat, he will just sit there until he becomes a tomato?

  13. Imp says:

    Stupid Giants winning the Super Bowl against the stupid Patroits. As an Eagles fan, I hate this season. Blah.

    Anyway, Giants fans have nothing to be ashamed of. Did Giants get lucky throughout the playoffs? Yeah. But they took advantage of the luck they receive. Are they the worst team to ever win a Super Bowl/NFL championship? Probably, but they still won regardless. They won and did what they need too. Good for them.

    Now go 0-16 next year so that I can be happy again.

    1. Free Plax says:

      Come on Giants let’s piss everybody off one more time Repeat baby!

  14. JenFromNoVa says:

    Hmmm, poor teams get to select early in the draft so that they have the opportunity to become better and possibly win the Super Bowl. Hmmm, the Giants lost a few stinkers during the regular season and peaked at the just the right time to go on an AMAZING Playoff run and win the Super Bowl.

    Yeah, I think I’ll take the Giants being the worst team to win the SB (and no, I am not, and never would be, ashamed – what a ridiculous concept) and I’ll take the lowest draft pick, no question.

    Haters can say all they want about Welker could have made that catch, or that the clock operator screwed up (which the refs could have fixed if they chose to) – yada, yada, yada but the fact of the matter is, Eli Manning now has TWO SUPER BOWL WINS and TWO SUPER BOWL MVPs. And he deserved them BOTH. It was quite a chess match last night and the Giants were the better team.

  15. McG says:

    Those 2 seconds, plus the 5 on the Bradshaw TD, plus IMHO the seconds that were run off while the Giants were running the POLISH DEFENSE.

    1. Smitty2K3 says:

      I recorded the game on DVR so I went back to look at that Bradshaw TD. It wasn’t five seconds. But there were legitimately three seconds that ticked off the clock after Bradshaw hit the ground in the end zone. It might’ve been four or five from the point he crossed the goal line. But three after he hits the ground is ridiculous.

      1. FinnEagle says:

        Yeah I meant two seconds on the spike and 3 seconds on Bradshaw run=5seconds.

        1. Smitty2K3 says:

          I didn’t see your comment. I was just replying to McG.

          But yeah I agree with you. There was very clearly 5 total seconds that were lost for the Patriots. That could’ve easily been one more play for the Pats. I just can’t believe there wasn’t more stink made of this.

  16. brisulph says:

    Agreed on JPP (most of BBV would be right with you)… duded needs to be on the edge, rushing the passer and eating running backs. He is best there, hands down (no crab style).

    Wait, you watch the halftime show? Why? Of course, the fact I was cramming about an hour of chores (kitchen work and driveway shovelling) into 20 minutes is probably why I caught none of it, but I don’t watch it any year. Who cares about the show, as I am watching a FOOTBALL game.

    As for the clock stuff, every game has lost seconds here and there, so i am not buying this theory. if you want to see a true rip off of home cooked clock manipulation, I give you this from last week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_HK37lwMy4

    Speaking of theories I don’t buy, I highly doubt Coughlin went out of his way to get a penalty (not his style).

    1. Wow, that hockey game clock is crazy.

      I agree that there are lost seconds here and there in every game, but it’s a much different story when, again, it’s the final drive of the freaking Super Bowl, it’s an obvious clock-stopping situation, whistles are clearly audible, and the referees are waving their hands over their hands to stop the clock. It’s not like it was a second. It was two, which is an eternity in that spot. Home cooking or just incompetence… either way… whoever was operating that clock need not have that job.

      1. Free Plax says:

        Doesn’t matter, maybe the patriots score on a second hail mary, but the Pat’s defense blew it, they couldn’t stop Eli when it counted, and Brady needed more than a few seconds to score a TD

      2. brisulph says:

        Thing is, same thing was brought up after SB42, and how the Arizona clock operator wasted seconds on the Pats (even while the Giants had the ball no less). This is a lazy conspiracy theory, regurgitated every year by the losing fans, and nothing more.

        1. I’m not a Pats fan, and I was more than careful to note that it ultimately wouldn’t have affected the outcome. My only point is that the clock operator did an absolutely horrid job. Read nothing more into it that that.

          1. Free Plax says:

            Question isn’t it up to the Patriots coaching staff to notice the clock and bring it to the officals attention?

            1. Michaels seemed to think they did notice. But there’s only so much they can argue that. They have to get the next play call in. The play clock is ticking.

        2. Smitty2K3 says:

          To be fair, my wife even wondered aloud why two extra seconds ticked off the clock on that Brady spike. And she couldn’t have cared less who won. So it’s not only losing fans (or fans rooting against the Giants) who cared or noticed. It was just fact. Those two seconds ticking off was completely egregious.

      3. Smitty2K3 says:

        Those two seconds that came off the clock were completely inexcusable. I can see maybe 1 second. But two seconds on the final drive of the Super Bowl is completely ludicrous. Granted, it doesn’t have a HUGE effect on the game, but those extra two seconds could potentially give them one more play.

  17. Ryan says:

    Anyone else catch the Polish Defense the Giants ran with around 20 seconds to go. 12 men on the field to defend the pass and give up the penalty at the cost of 7 precious seconds. Although Buddy Ryan would have put 13 out there.

    1. Anders says:

      I wasnt sure if that was on purpose, but actually commit that penalty was an advantage for the Giants.

      1. Ryan says:

        Yeah Buddy did it deliberately, I agree that Coughlin probably wouldn’t intentionally do that. Effective nonetheless.

    2. RogerPodacter says:

      the guy was trying to run off the field and didnt get off in time. it wasnt intentional. (unless he was purposely running real slow)

  18. Tom says:

    JPP = crab trying to defend himself. That actually made me laugh out loud – this blog is a must read.

      1. giants fan says:

        I was screaming at Perry Fewell for dropping JPP back in coverage. REALLY PERRY? REALLY?

  19. […] Big Super Bowl post from Jimmy Bama.  Good stuff, if you can tolerate the subject. […]

  20. bdawk4ever says:

    I saw somebody on Twitter say that the difference between the Eagles and Giants is one stupid Ronnie Brown play.

    Ugh, but at least I know the Giants are the Worst Super Bowl Champions ever. I’d be ashamed if I was a Giants fan.

    BTW, its hard to blame Welker for that dropped ball. It really was a bad pass by Brady.

    1. I don’t think they’re ashamed at all.

    2. giants fan says:

      But we’re still superbowl champions right?

    3. brisulph says:

      XD… ashamed? Dude, no. if your team had gone 9-7, winning the Super Bowl, would you be ashamed? Be honest.

      1. bdawk4ever says:

        Yes I would be. I was uneasy back in 2008 when the Eagles were in the NFC Championship game at 9-6-1.

        I don’t want to win a Super Bowl like the Giants. Outscored in the regular season. Swept by Rex Grossman. Lost to Vince Young. Lucky in the playoffs.

        F that.

        1. Free Plax says:

          Being that you have never seen a SB championship, I would say you should not be a snob on how or when your team win’s one, there are no style points in the Super Bowl kid.

          1. JoeyW says:

            Eagles fan here and I’ll take a SB anyway it comes

        2. BrianS says:

          I would gladly take “worst superbowl champion ever” than the current state of the Eagles’ trophy case. (I am an Eagles fan…not taunting)

          The Eagles have been the regular season juggernaut and the inconsistent team that seemed to get hot at the right time, but have nothing to show for it. I grudgingly respect the Giants for finishing the job when they blunder into the playoffs.

        3. brisulph says:

          They don’t ask how, they ask how many. In this case, “how many” is now at 4.

          See Free Plax’s response… he summed it up. Winning one is what matters.

        4. Logan says:

          As an Eagles fan, I completely disagree. I’ll take a Lombardi even if it comes after a poor regular season.

        5. Smitty2K3 says:

          Stop with this nonsense. Did the Giants get lucky? No question about it. Were they a bad team during the regular season? Absolutely. But if the tables were turned and the Eagles won a SB like they just did, I wouldn’t be ashamed at all.

          The only people that maybe should be ashamed are Kyle Williams and the clock operator in Indy last night.

          1. Free Plax says:

            Funny thing about winning the Super Bowl, is nobody remembers the breaks that went your way, they only remember the Lombardi your team has. Anybody remind Tom Brady how lucky he was to have the Tuck rule called when he clearly fumbled and the Raiders recovered and were about to win the game…. Nope, the only thing they remember is Brady won 3 Super Bowls.

            Winning the Super Bowl is a rare thing for any franchise.

      2. D3Keith says:

        There is no such thing as an ashamed champion. Stop it. You cannot argue this point and maintain any credibility.

    4. Free Plax says:

      Better to be the wost Super Bowl Champion than a 10-6 non playoff team, I tell you that much.

    5. WeNeedLinemen says:

      I think that’s a touch unfair. They were an incredibly beat up team through the first half of the year. By the play-offs with major players like Tuck starting to recover some form they were a good side.

      Eli is one of the better QBs in the league. Bradshaw is one of the better RB’s in the league. The with Cruz’s emergence they have one of the best receiving corps in the league. The o-line was banged up and struggled to run block but provided Eli with pretty good pass-protection.

      On defense their secondary struggled and the linebackers were ordinary but when that defensive line is healthy it is probably the best in the league.

      I’d say in JPP and Tuck (if he comes back healthy) they’ll have the two best defensive ends in the entire league next year.

      That said, to an extent you’re correct. It could have been the Eagles. They came on strong at the end of the season and were one of best teams in the league in December. However, the difference wasn’t Ronnie Brown, it was Coughlin’s and the Giants organisation’s ability to cope with early adversity that set it apart from Andy Reid’s inability to merge all those new acquisitions into his team.

      1. D3Keith says:

        Fair enough.

        As weird as it is that the Giants wouldn’t have even been in the playoffs if there had been a decent team in the division, they beat three of the five best teams in football over the course of the regular season in the playoffs (Packers, 49ers and Patriots; I’d put Saints and Ravens in the group too).

        There was nothing fluky about it.

        Factor in that the Giants, with all their preseason injuries, should have been thrilled just to make the playoffs and get bounced in the first round, and it’s even more amazing.

        They were a flawed team in some ways, but not when it counted. Champs, fair and square.

    6. bula says:

      welker most definitely should have caught that ball. when the best possession receiver the league gets two hands on the ball, it should be a catch. had brady led him by a yard or two, the safety was right there for the break up and/or pick

  21. FinnEagle says:

    Watch the Bradshaw run. He crosses the plane at 1.01/1.00 left and the clock runs down to 0.57. Thats 5 seconds that the Patriots got screwed. Probably doesn`t change much, but with 5 seconds you can do one 10 yard out pretty easily and make the hail mary little bit easier.

    1. slandog says:

      Is there such a thing as an easy hail mary?

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