Commercials, Super Bowl and Full Tilt

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006, 12:53 am

Some actual semi-poker content here. I’m watching the Poker Superstars show that was televised on NBC before the Super Bowl, and I have to say that the Full Tilt commercials are pretty goddam funny. I was somehow distracted during the Lindgren-Matusow commercial featuring the Hammer, but it looked pretty funny. The Lederer-Seidel commercial was pretty funny.

But the Phil Ivey commercial made me laugh out loud and demanded a rewind. “Have a nice day,” Phil says, and Mean Gene laughs. It’s his expression, and the tone of his voice. Outstanding.

The Super Bowl commercials I only half-watched, as I tried not to spontaneously combust. I liked the FedEx commercial very much. The Hummer commercial was friggin awful. The Diet Pepsi “Brown and Bubbly” was beyond friggin awful. I’m switching to Coke, right now. I liked the Bud commercial in the stadium with the fans turning the cards.

If I was commissioner of the NFL, I would get rid of the Super Bowl halftime show. It’s gotten ridiculous, and while the Stones weren’t as horrible as some folks say, why is an 45-year-old English rock band playing during our biggest sporting event? It’s like Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band playing at the FA Cup Final. It bewilders. Last year it was Paul McCartney. This year the Stones. What’s next, do they dig up and reanimate Mozart? A concert solely of whalesong from a dozen humpbacks swimming in specially constructed tanks at midfield?

I’m pretty pissed off about the constant bitching on ESPN and beyond about the officiating. Partially because the Seahawks have some reason to be pissed. To my mind there are only 2 plays that had any impact. The Big Ben TD was a touchdown, or was close enough you can’t complain. Or, if you want to complain, the Steelers score on 4th down and an inch and the point is moot. The Hasselback personal foul meant nothing, as Hines Ward would’ve scored on the reverse pass had the play been 15 yards further back. Moot.

So we have the Darrell Jackson interference and the holding penalty. Let’s say the Seahawks get both calls. Let’s even assume that the Seahawks score a TD after the pass down to the 2 yard line. That only ties the game up. And in those circumstances I think the Steelers still win. Because if the score had been 14-7 instead of 14-3, I don’t think the Steelers call the play that Big Ben threw the pick on. With an opportunity to go up by 2 scores I think the Steelers would’ve just run the ball and either scored or, more likely, kicked the field goal. Giving the Steelers the lead. At best, those calls cost the Seahawks 11 points. Meaning the game wouldn’t quite yet be in Seattle’s control.

I’m a big believer in fair play. I think the officiating was pretty poor, in this game and throughout the playoffs. I found myself not enjoying the win because I want the game to be adjudicated fairly and the win without taint. But to say that the officiating cost the Seahawks the game stretches credulity. Maybe with a tie game Big Ben leads the Steelers on a triumphant game-winning drive. Steelers did make 2 first downs late playing ultra-conservative. I think I’ve finally cleared away whatever residual guilt I feel about the win.

That said, good Lord, the officating needs to get fixed. How many terrible, huge calls were there in the playoffs? Dozens. As I said before, officiating an NFL game is a daunting task. They need full-time refs.

Another thing. Why the hell do they rotate a different, brand-new ball in for every play. The balls are slick, they haven’t been rubbed down, and they have a logo right where the QB’s thumb goes that makes it even more slick. I don’t blame Big Ben’s problems on the balls, but why on Earth would you introduce this idiotic variable into the biggest game of the year? The league showcase? Is it really necessary to extract a few extra thousand bucks out of the game and impact the game? How about we get rid of the ludicrous halftime shows and let the teams use rubbed-down balls?

The Super Bowl is so overhyped that its become a parody. Short of Jesus returning to Earth in the middle of the 2nd quarter, the game can’t live up to expectations. Look, obviously I’m a pretty serious football fan. I like football. I don’t like pretentious self-serious nonsense. Lose Media Day. Lose the halftime show. Lose the footballs treated liked each is the Shroud of Goddam Turin. Play some football.

The chances of this happening? Less than absolute zero.

Pictures tomorrow, from my friend at the game and maybe some from the parade tomorrow, if anyone I know has a camera. Gonna be cold. Awesome.

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6 Responses to “Commercials, Super Bowl and Full Tilt”

  1. anon Says:

    it was rigged.

    Seattle 10
    Pittsberg 7
    Referees 14

  2. OneTrueRock Says:

    Gene,

    I just wrote up a huge reply, and the stupid commenter ate it………………arghhhgh

    Any no here is the short version.

    Went to school at IUP, so I have some insight into the mind of the Stillers fan.

    Here is what I see in the game.

    The Jackson TD. I personally didn’t see any advantage gained from the jackson pushing motion. If they score there, it could set the stage for a huge first half, which they were dominating. The thing to remember is that the ref doesn’t through the flag until the Steeler turns around and gets in his face.

    The big bed TD, is just a bad break. The call is almost impossible to call in slo-mo, let alone on the field. Again though the ref runs in an points to the ground as if he is down, then see Ben squirm and the ball over the line and rules TD. If they rule him down, I don’t think they could have overturned that either. Personally I think they kick the field goal, and are happy with a tie at halftime. If not they either get 7 or 0.

    The holding play was the biggest IMO. A touchdown after that play would have given them a 17-14 lead, not a tie. I saw no holding. Huge huge play.

    Finally the ridiculousness of calling a penalty on an inept attempt at a tackle by a QB is mystifying. Not sure where they even thought that one up. Pesonally I think it has impact. The Stillers don’t try trick plays until around mid-field, so with out 15 gift yards, they may not get a chance to try the play. They certainly don’t try it from their 30-35 or and probably not if they are down by 3.

    The pass was absolutley amazing though!! I enjoyed watching it.

    So that is all JMO, but when you see the Hawks have about 400 yards in offense, and turn the ball over less times that the Stillers, I would think they would have won.

    The stillers had 3 penalties, against the Hawks seven, which cost them 70 penatly yards, plus another huge chunk for plays that got called back. I think it made a huge difference in the game.

  3. DuggleBogey Says:

    You’re blaming slick balls for your quarterback’s performance? Then how was Hasslebeck throwing darts?

    After they called the “illegal block” call on a TACKLE, the Seahawks knew the game was over. Why continue to play hard if the officials are working against you?

  4. CJ Says:

    Yeah, itÂ’s whiningÂ… and yeah, it likely didnÂ’t affect the outcome of the gameÂ… butÂ…

    1) Offensive pass interference call: Terrible call. I donÂ’t believe it was a push off. Jackson changed direction and reached out to see what kind of separation was made. There was contact, but hardly a pushoff. More disturbing, however, was that the official didnÂ’t throw the flag until well after the play after the Steeler DB complained.

    2) Big Ben pass at the line of scrimmage: Close, close, close. Was the ball over the line before he releasd it? Maybe the right call, but yet another that fell the Steelers way.

    3) Big Ben TD: Did he cross the goal line? Maybe. It was very close, and IÂ’m not sure he did. More disturbing, however, was the linesman who came running in with one arm up as though he was spotting the ball only to mysteriously change his mind when there was no way new information forced him to change his mind. ThatÂ’s two late calls, both against the Seahawks.

    4) Holding: Are you kidding me? The OLineman had the defender locked up, but did not pull the player down, nor did he grab any jersey. IÂ’m frankly not sure what the official saw on this play and it was the difference between being ahead and being behind. Huge call.

    5) Low block penalty: Are you kidding me??? Hasselbeck made a tackle. That canÂ’t be illegal. And it gave the Steelers the field position they needed for that trick play.

    6) Game penalties: The Steelers had 2 false start penalties on the first drive and just ONE penalty the rest of the game. HmmmÂ…

    It was a horrible season for officials, a worse postseason and one of the worst officiated Super Bowls IÂ’ve ever seen. ItÂ’s a shame we even need to have the discussion.

  5. No Fan Bias either way Says:

    There is no doubt the pathetic officiating (mainly against the hawks) influenced the game. The only people who don’t see, or concede, this are stellers fans. I have no allegiance to either team but want to see a good, fair game.

    The hawks dominated the steelers in the first half and the score would have been much more if not for the friggin WRONG penalties.

    The steelers would not have momentum going into our out of the locker room in the second half and thus the hawls would have been in a different mental state.

    The second half BS was just so obvious it was incredible to see and I can’t blame the hawks, although I’m sure it was subconscious, on giving up when it was clear they were not the chosen team.

  6. skitch Says:

    And don’t forget the NON-CALLS on the Stealers – a horse-collar tackle on Alexander by Porter; an offsides on the mystery-holding play; and a delay of game which resulted in a timeout.

    Yes, the ‘Hawks had a bad day and they couldn’t get themselves together. But it’s like playing Poker when you’re stuck… get antsy and make poor decisions. Easy for the Stealers to limp in with crap and suckout on the River.

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