Bryan Altman, CBS Local Sports
While this may sound somewhat sophomoric, losers can sometimes be winners too (think gym class in elementary school). So here are a few people that won and some that lost on Super Bowl Sunday, regardless of what color jersey they were wearing (if any).
1. Marshawn Lynch
Maybe Marshawn Lynch should speak with the media more often. The only quote that came from Lynch was in response to a reporter who asked him “Are you surprised that you didn’t get the ball?” referring to Seattle’s decision to throw on second down. Lynch’s reply was simply and succinctly, “no, because football is a team game.” You might not agree with the way he handles his business all the time, but his team-first attitude combined with his play on the field has more than likely secured his future in Seattle.
2. The Unknowns
To say that Chris Matthews and Malcolm Butler were both game-changers for their respective sides would be putting it way too lightly. Butler saved the Patriots’ season as we all know by now, but also Matthews made a name for himself on pro football’s biggest stage and became Russell Wilson’s favorite target overnight. This is one of the amazing things about sports: In one game, Matthews may have gone from practice squad reject to a starting wide receiver while Butler became a New England hero for life in the blink of an eye. So congrats to Butler on his first career interception and to Matthews on his first career touchdown; you both picked a good day for it.
3. NFL Officiating Crew
When you see headlines like “Bad Call Overshadows Super Bowl” you automatically think the refs messed it all up. Somewhat lost in all of the hoopla surrounding the Seahawks’ decision is the fact that the NFL’s officials, led by nine-year NFL veteran Bill Vinovich, nailed that call and every other call on Sunday. The refs did exactly what they were supposed to do and remained irrelevant. Too often during the regular season and even occasionally in the playoffs, a major call overshadows an otherwise amazing game. That was not the case on Sunday and the referee’s deserve a pat on the back because of it.
1. Legion of Boom
Up 24-14, it looked like the Legion of Boom had pinned its ears back and was prepared to put the final nail in the New England Patriots’ coffin. Until Tom Brady took over and Seattle’s vaunted defense allowed the Patriots to march down the field twice and take the lead for good with just under two minutes left in the game. And if that weren’t bad enough, Seattle’s defense took an offsides penalty when they had New England backed up inside the one yard line with 20 seconds to go. That erased any slight sliver of hope they may have had. Even more unfortunately, the Seahawks’ defense then lost their cool and started an all-out brawl with the Patriots. They went down swinging metaphorically after already suffering the knockout blow in reality.
I’ll be the first to acknowledge that we can all be a bit temperamental when it comes to analyzing our favorite and least favorite Super Bowl ads. But it certainly didn’t take long for the court of public opinion to rule that Nationwide didn’t exactly appear to be “on our side” in their Super Bowl commercial.
Nationwide has since claimed that they were simply trying to “start a conversation” about preventing child injuries around the home and not to sell insurance. I think we would have all been much happier if Nationwide went with Peyton Manning singing about chicken parmesan instead.
3. Ricardo Lockette
Obviously the decision to throw the ball was not the correct decision. That doesn’t change the fact that Ricardo Lockette could have immeasurably helped the poor decision to throw and the subsequent poor throw by Russell Wilson. Lockette didn’t notice the oncoming defender, relinquished positioning to him, and allowed himself to get completely blown off the ball physically when Malcolm Butler came in for the Super Bowl-clinching interception. A little bit more awareness and Lockette could have at least attempted to break up the play.