BREAKING NEWS : Indiana coronavirus cases increase to 51,612; 2,567 deaths Full Story
BREAKING NEWS : Allen County reports 18 new COVID-19 cases, 1 new death Full Story

The worst Super Bowl ever

Article Image

CNN's Hines Ward talks with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and wide receiver and Super Bowl LIII MVP Julian Edelman after the game.

Posted: Feb 4, 2019 4:50 PM
Updated: Feb 4, 2019 4:50 PM

The worst Super Bowl in history has just ended, and I am debating whether to:

A. Go to bed.

B. Throw bricks at my television screen.

C. Rush to YouTube and start watching "Diff'rent Strokes" reruns.

D. Find some sort of hypnotist who — with enough session time, or with simple surgery — can forever eradicate the last four hours from my brain.

I am not exaggerating. Super Bowl LIII was not merely bad. It was a boring, lame, non-suspenseful, never-ending, drool-puddle exercise in all that can suck about professional football and the surrounding hoopla. If one is a fan of batted down passes and 2-yard runs up the gut; of the majestic follow through of a punter's leg and the flight of a field goal as it misses the mark ... well, mazel tov. The NFL will happily sell you a $175 commemorative short-sleeve hoodie.

Or, put differently: My mother and father — Hall of Fame-worthy sports ignoramuses— spent their afternoon having tea on a neighbor's patio while eating dried prunes and debating the merits of General Electric's line of dishwashers.

I envy them.

Under normal circumstances, I might not be so upset. The Super Bowl, though, is my thing. The first one I watched was held on Jan. 25, 1981. I was an 8-year-old kid in Mahopac, New York, and the matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders promised to be one of the great nights of my life. So I slipped on the Vince Ferragamo Rams jersey Grandma had bought me for Chanukah, knelt before our 13-inch color Zenith and prepared for the explosive miracle that is professional football at the highest level. In my right hand, I cradled a John Riggins-autographed pigskin. In my left, I held a numerical roster of both teams.

Then I lined up a bunch of Coca-Colas (Not Pepsi — sorry NFL) and absorbed.

The game was technically poor — a 27-10 Raider blowout that featured Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski launching one fluttering quail after another. I loved it. The colors, the player introductions. I loved the bright lights of the Louisiana Superdome, shining off the silver Oakland helmets. I loved the Afros and the mustaches and the eye paint and the very fact that a Homo sapien named "Petey" Perot (Eagles lineman) walked the Earth. These weren't mere men. They were the grandest of gladiators, performing athletic ballet.

The Super Bowl — that Super Bowl — turned me into a fan, and year after year I anticipated the game and all its trimmings. Not every matchup was fantastic, and not all of the performances legendary. But even when, say, the Chicago Bears pummeled the New England Patriots 46-10 in Super Bowl XX, there were legitimate issues to discuss. Would Walter Payton score his touchdown? (No) Was Jim McMahon clinically insane? (Sorta) Were the Bears the greatest defense of all-time? (Yes)

Now, as I sit here ramming myriad sharp objects into my eyeballs, I ponder all the things that went so terribly wrong with Super Bowl LIII. Sure, 97% of America is sick and tired of Tom Brady's perfectness and Bill Belichick's lumpy sweatshirt. But this is so much more than the mere dry-mouthed fatigue of a hackneyed storyline.

No, this is the NFL failing to address the uncalled pass interference penalty from two weeks ago — one that would have almost certainly resulted in the far-superior New Orleans Saints (not the Rams) being in Atlanta.

This is the NFL trying to convince us (via advertisements featuring Martin Luther King Jr.'s speeches) that the whole Colin Kaepernick thing never happened; that — hey! — we love when blacks speak out, just as long as it doesn't affect our image or our profits.

This is the NFL bringing forth the lamest halftime show in modern memory, in part because Adam Levine of Maroon 5 felt empowered to (ew) remove his shirt, and in part because so many musicians made clear by their absence that they would no longer support the league's entertainment efforts.

This is also the league's hype machine coming home to roost. Back in the day, the Super Bowl lead-up meant two hours of pregame analysis. Nowadays, though, it's an endless barrage of questions, comments, podcasts, Tweets, shows, more shows, more shows, more shows.

It's one prediction after another; one talking head after another after another. Who will win? What will the score be? Is Tom Brady near the end? Is Todd Gurley better than Freeman McNeil? Will this be a great Super Bowl, a double great Super Bowl or the greatest Super Bowl since the last great Super Bowl?

Ultimately, what we're left with are two football teams playing a game.

A game that stunk.

This commentary has been updated to include the writer's affiliations, appearing in the Editor's Note.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51079

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12019693
Lake5588248
Elkhart353959
Allen2939134
St. Joseph210669
Hamilton1691101
Cass16449
Hendricks1454100
Johnson1340118
Porter82638
Tippecanoe7709
Vanderburgh7276
Clark69544
Madison67464
LaPorte61628
Howard59858
Bartholomew59745
Kosciusko5754
Marshall5449
Noble51328
LaGrange4849
Boone48244
Jackson4783
Delaware47152
Hancock46736
Shelby45425
Floyd40644
Morgan34231
Monroe34028
Grant31826
Dubois3046
Henry30018
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27410
Dearborn25823
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Vigo2528
Warrick25029
Harrison21722
Greene19432
Miami1932
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1649
Wayne1546
Daviess15017
Perry14710
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1352
Ripley1307
Franklin1278
Gibson1202
Wabash1162
Carroll1142
Fayette1067
Whitley1066
Starke1043
Newton10010
Huntington942
Jefferson862
Wells821
Randolph794
Fulton731
Knox710
Jay700
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush613
Posey570
Spencer541
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 64214

Reported Deaths: 3036
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin11724445
Cuyahoga8979393
Hamilton6781207
Lucas2952305
Marion274539
Montgomery244035
Summit2327209
Pickaway222241
Mahoning1928239
Butler182147
Columbiana137860
Stark1214114
Lorain112069
Trumbull104578
Warren97725
Clark80010
Delaware69815
Fairfield66717
Tuscarawas60410
Lake58923
Medina58232
Belmont56922
Licking56812
Miami50631
Portage49259
Wood48851
Clermont4737
Ashtabula44744
Geauga42543
Wayne37253
Richland3715
Allen35641
Greene3439
Mercer29910
Erie27122
Holmes2595
Darke25626
Huron2402
Madison2169
Ottawa17324
Sandusky16015
Washington14620
Ross1443
Coshocton1423
Athens1391
Crawford1385
Putnam13715
Hardin12312
Morrow1201
Auglaize1094
Jefferson1092
Muskingum1001
Union931
Preble901
Monroe8917
Hancock861
Lawrence830
Guernsey823
Clinton811
Hocking809
Williams762
Shelby744
Logan711
Ashland672
Carroll673
Fulton670
Scioto670
Wyandot635
Brown611
Fayette550
Defiance533
Knox531
Champaign511
Highland501
Van Wert471
Perry441
Seneca412
Henry330
Paulding300
Jackson280
Pike280
Adams261
Vinton232
Gallia201
Noble140
Harrison131
Meigs130
Morgan110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 70°
Angola
Scattered Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 81°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 71°
Decatur
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 72°
Van Wert
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 72°
Dry start to the work week
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events