published Monday, February 4th, 2013

5-at-10: Super Bowl superness, Beyonce and recruiting craziness

We got what we wanted, right? Unless you are a tried-and-true 49ers fan (sorry Uch and Gene and Double-D) or a big-time Ravens backer, the goal was a good game; to answer affirmatively to Maximus' rhetorical "Are you not entertained?" after the Super Bowl.

Mission accomplished, despite the half-hour blackout that likely aided the 5-at-10 more than any household in the country. (When you try to watch a night-time event on TV with kids 5 and 2, you're almost always pausing and recording different parts of the show for bed time, stories, milk, what have you. The 34-minute delay because of power issues allowed the 5-at-10 to catch up.)

From the "Talks too much" studios, let's be Super...

Ravens roll

  • photo
    Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis (52) reacts Sunday after the defense stopped the San Francisco 49ers on fourth-and-goal during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. The Ravens won 34-31
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

So Ray Lewis leaves on the wings of a championship. Depending on your view, Lewis is either the game's best middle linebacker or biggest all-time criminal.

But this morning, because of the finish to what will be a Hall of Fame career, Lewis leaves at the pinnacle of the sport. His Baltimore defense stoned San Francisco on four tries from the 10 in the final minutes of a 34-31 win in Super Bowl XLVII.

In the first meeting of head coaching brothers in Super Bowl history, older brother Jim Harbaugh pantsed baby bro Jim. It was so one-sided that we A) can no longer refer to Jim Harbaugh as the best coach in football if he's not the best coach in his own family and B) were waiting for Daddy Harbaugh to get on the radio and pull a Mr. C or Mike Brady or Ward Clever move and whisper into John's headset, "Go easy on your little brother son, you're the oldest." The Ravens were more prepared from the start, and Jim melted down in the end, blowing an O-ring after a fourth-down pass with plenty of contact fell incomplete. (Quick side note: Yes, there was contact on that play, but the game was infinitely more watchable because the referees let the receivers and the defensive backs play all game long. It was physical, but it was also fair.)

Jim called out the referees in his postgame news conference, a move that will likely draw a fine from the league. To be fair the league should allow the official in question to give a news conference and question Jim's decision to throw four passes from the 5 with one of the game's best running QBs in Colin "Humpty" Kaepernick against an exhausted defense that was without their best defensive lineman. Maybe there was pass interference on that final 49ers' play, but it was not as flagrant or as damaging as Jimmy Harbaugh's pass insistence in the end.

So what do we know?

• We know that Ray Lewis leaves the game for whatever TV studio show he pleases pulling one of the great walk-offs in sports history: Entire career with one organization, overcoming injury to return for a special postseason run that ended in the confetti in New Orleans.

• We know that lil' Jimmy Harbaugh got spanked by his big brother.

• We know that Joe Flacco completed the best four-game stretch in modern NFL history. Dude whipped The Future (Andrew Luck), The Savant (Peyton Manning), The Greatest (Tom Brady) and The Hybrid (Colin Kaepernick) to lead his team to the Super Bowl, he was MVP of the title game and he's a free agent to be.

• We know that these two teams, minus major injury, are going to be in the mix again next year. Kudos to those front offices for putting together complete rosters that have threats all over the field. (Tip of the 5-at-10 Tam O'Shanter to Jacoby Jones, who would have gotten our MVP vote.)

• We know that football games are now on hold for seven months. This Super Bowl set another ratings record with 114.1 million viewers (of the TVs in America that were on, 71 percent were tuned to the Super Bowl). Thanks for another great season.

—————

Super This and That

— Maybe it was the lip-synching controversy, but Ms. Beyonce hit the halftime stage with an attitude that was circa Ray Lewis 2000 and Mike Tyson 1988. "Why's she so angry?" the Mrs. 5-at-10 asked, and it was what everyone was thinking. (Well, that and where's the stripper's pole? Wow, you were kinda waiting for the folks on the front-row to hit Beyonce with some singles, huh?). In her mad attempt to prove to everyone she was singing, she only did a fraction of the verses in between some great dancing. She's got mad skills, there's no doubt, and it's next to impossible to put together a concert in a 20-minute halftime. But wow, she was motivated and torqued.

— As disjointed as the halftime show seemed at times, the pregame was the opposite. We give Alicia Keys an "OK" (girl can flat sing and playing the piano was a brave move, but memo to artists everywhere — our national anthem is a great song, please refrain from adding words and verses and crazy riffs and interpretations). That said, if the Sandy Hook elementary chorus and Jennifer Hudson singing America the Beautiful didn't make you tear up, well, sorry about you losing your soul. It got seriously dusty in the 5-at-10 compound for sure.

— On San Francisco's final drive with less than three minutes to go and trailing 34-29 inside the Ravens' 10, LSU coach Les Miles took to the Twitter with this gem: @LSUCoachMiles: Could be 4 down territory! You think so, Doctor? Who's writing The Hat's social media script, Phil Simms?

— Speaking of Phil Simms, there needs to be an intervention. That guy is take-away-from-the-show bad and considering the audience for the commercials, he may have forced a large number of folks to mute the broadcast and turn the volume up during the commercials. How is that even possible? If he said "First down is the best down to throw" once he said it a half dozen times, and it's not like it's on the "Four score and seven years ago" level of profound or clever. Put it this way, if a baseball announcer kept saying over and over again, it's important to throw strikes, well, you'd have Tim McCarver. And kids, the goal should never be to announce like Tim McCarver. This is the single biggest sporting event in the country, and Phil Simms is the best we got? That's hard to believe.

— The amount of megabucks spent on Super Bowl commercials is mind-boggling. It's $3.8 million for 30 seconds, or more than the career total of the average working American's professional wages for half a minute. Read that again. No commercial is worth that. Sorry. Here are the five ads we liked best: Dodge's "So God made a farmer" (and yes kids, that was the old-school genius of the one and only Paul Harvey); Bud Light's "Lucky chair;" Budweiser's "Brotherhood" about the guy and his Clydesdale; Doritos' "Goat4Sale;" and the Jeep's military commercial. While we almost included the Oreo's "Whsiper fight" we'd be remiss not to mention the fact that Oreo flooded Twitter with this photo https://twitter.com/Oreo/status/298246571718483968/photo/1 during the blackout. That's quick thinking.

— Here's hoping that Joe Flacco doesn't get too much grief for dropping the F-bomb in a postgame celebration that was caught on camera. Seriously, the guy was on the field, in the moment after winning the Super Bowl. Let's move along.

— As for the 5-at-10's Super Bowl picks, well, here's hoping you shared in the good entertainment. We had the Ravens plus 3.5 (winner), over the 47.5 (winner), over the 154.5 rushing yards for the 49ers (winner), under the 7 seconds for the postgame Harbaugh embrace (winner) and under the 2:15 on the Key's national anthem (loser, although we're not sure whether her 150-second rendition included the extra verse she added or not). In the other props, we hit on Beyonce showing cleavage, the Harbaughs both wearing hats, the longest scoring play being more than 45.5 yards and the first score coming inside the first 7:30 of the first quarter. We had long-shot picks on Ray Lewis or Vernon Davis as the MVPs. All told we went 8-1 on straight bets Sunday and missed the pool play on the MVP (so 8-2) to finish the NFL postseason 18-8. Good times indeed, and hopefully you were properly entertained.

———

Recruiting

Our SEC ace David Paschall had a story in Sunday's paper about the crazy recruiting battles in recent years. Who knew this weekend would add another contender?

Reuben Foster, one of the top linebackers in the country, had been a longtime Auburn commit before decommiting after the coaching staff was dismissed. The new staff had reconnected with Foster and he was part of a star-studded cast at Auburn this weekend.

Something happened during the trip, however, and Foster and the massive AU tattoo on his right forearm spent Saturday night visiting Tuscaloosa and will pick later today between Auburn, Alabama and Georgia. Head-scratchingly crazy, huh?

When news of this broke, it was melting the interwebs across the South.

It wasn't all bad news for the Tigers, though, since five-star defensive end Carl Lawson re-affirmed his commitment to Auburn, as Paschall tells us here.

Tennessee had made late strides with Lawson, but the good work by Butch Jones and his staff was too late on Lawson, who had been committed to Auburn for almost a year.

Let the circus begin — and let it end quickly.

————

This and that

— Tip of the visor to Phil Mickelson for his dominant showing at the Phoenix Open. Dude opened with a 60 and finished at 28 under to win the $1.116 million that came with first. (Hey, two more checks like that and Mickelson would be really close to having the cabbage to buy a 30-second Super Bowl commercial.) He was so money that Brandt Snedeker shot 24 under for the tournament and he felt like he was a lap down. It's a good thing for golf fans that in the last two weeks, the game's two biggest American stars have shined brightly.

— Speaking of golf, the local ties were binding in Phoenix. Former Baylor school golfer Luke List missed the cut; Harris English stalled on the weekend, finishing in the back of pack at 7 under (he won $13,764) after a strong 67-67 start to the tournament; and the brothers Henley, our Chattanooga caddie duo, stole the NBC spotlight Saturday with their memorable race to the green at the crowd-pleaseing par-3 16th. Here's the video.

— Crazy weekend of college hoops. The Vols now will have to win the SEC tournament to get to the NCAA. Indiana and Michigan did work in a late Saturday night game that was fun and entertaining (remember when college hoops was consistently fun and entertaining... alas).

— The odds are out for the 2014 Super Bowl. The favorites are New England (7-to-1), San Fran (8-to-1), Denver (8-to-1) and Green Bay (10-to-1). The Falcons, Saints and Steelers are ranked as the eighth-most likely winners at (18-to-1). The Titans, well there are three teams listed at 100-to-1 — the Titans, Cardinals and Bills. The Raiders and Jacksonville are the longest shots at 150-to-1.

————

Today's question(s)

It's a free for all Monday as always, and feel free to dish on all-things Super Bowl. (Side note: Leon Sandcastle was a good commercial too.)

But if you need a talking point, the NFL announced its season awards Saturday and its new Hall of Fame class. Do you agree with the choices?

Here are the results:

Offensive rookie of the year: RGIII, Washington

Defensive rookie of the year: Luke Kuechly, Carolina

Comeback player of the year: Peyton Manning, Denver

Defensive player of the year: J.J. Watt, Houston

Offensive player and MVP: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota

Coach of the year: Bruce Arians, interim coach of Indy

The 2013 Hall of Fame class is Larry Allen, Jonathan Ogden, Warren Sapp, Bill Parcells and Chris Carter (along with old-timers Curly Culp and Dave Robinson). That left Jerome Bettis, Charles Haley and Michael Strahan on the outside looking in.

Discuss.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
ordinaryguy said...

First off the halftime show...Beyonce is nothing more than the modern day Lola Falana, Knowles is the lip sync queen...I do agree about the anthem however Beyonce and the so called talent of her generation think the song is about them and not what the song stands for, do the song straight and leave the yoddling to Slim Whitman...For all his talent and RGIII does have that, Russell Wilson should have received the Rookie of the Year...The NFL got it right with Peterson winning the MVP over the patron saint of the clorox orange...the HOF is becoming a joke, where are Tim Brown, Jerry Kramer, Bob Hayes, Ken Stabler, Derrick Thomas, Jim Marshall, and Mongo...I guess they will make a special rule to allow Ray Lewis in earlier...As expected the CBS coverage was horrible, Nantz belongs on the course at Augusta not the Super Bowl...At least Esaison had the grapefruits to question the slobbering love affair with Ray Lewis...Hats off to Mike Lupica for quetioning if Lewis has truly repented or just reinvented himself...

February 4, 2013 at 10:32 a.m.
chas9 said...

If Reuben doesn't go with Auburn, what is his best choice for adding to his tat to hide the AU? What's the best word with the consecutive letters AU somewhere in it?

Tim McCarver is right on. Good call.

Paul…….Harvey……… never sounded better. New electronics may've mellowed his sound. The video guys were genius who matched the visuals with the text.

But the visuals in the black beer ads flunked. I won't buy Beck's Sapphire or Bud Black.

Here's saying Cowboy Joe and I aren't the only viewers who laughed at the Neon Sandcastle bit. Best 'fro since Artis Gilmore and Pam Greer.

I missed the embrace. How long was it? I predicted 4.5 seconds.

John says Jim made the right call on four passes because of the way The Ravens were defending against the run. In other sports news, the SEC's two highest ranked women's teams had as bad a day as The Superdome's electricians.

Unranked Mizzou clobbered #9 Tennessee and #13 Gawga edged #8 Kentucky. The losses ended The Lady Vols' 12 game SEC win streak and The Lady Cats' 34 game home win streak.

New rankings should have UT, UK and UGA tied near #10. Unlike the men's side where it's The Gators and everybody else, this top trio is joined by The Aggiettes and The Gamecockettes clustered at the top of the SEC standings.

February 4, 2013 at 10:44 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Super Bowl:

The conspiracy nuts are going to have a field day. Especially with both the NFL's response AND the city of New Orleans report reading like the Warren Commission.

The NFL is too big to fail. And a runaway from Baltimore all but assures people to start changing the channel. I'm just saying.

"The amount of megabucks spent on Super Bowl commercials is mind-boggling. It's $3.8 million for 30 seconds, or more than the career total of the average working American's professional wages for half a minute. Read that again. No commercial is worth that."

I agree. However, this year's batch (especially the first half) really stunk. It was almost like no one was really trying and just thought. "Let's just spend this because we can".

I love the fact that adult websites such as Pornhub and Ashley Madison constently try to advertise on the Super Bowl when they know they're going to get rejected. Some of the banned ads do make me seriously question humanity but that's another discussion.

"and God Made a Farmer" Nothing will ever come close that I can think of. Simple, thought-provoking, thank you Mr. Harvey.

February 4, 2013 at 11:13 a.m.
mcpell3 said...

Chas9 - first word I thought of was "fraud".

5/10 - Rumor has it that Mr Foster and current player Dismukes had a disagreement on the plains, but the trip to T-town was scheduled already. Let the 6th come and go, so all the theatrical nonsense can go too.

February 4, 2013 at 11:32 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Did like the Oreo spot I have to admit.

::switching gears:: Apparently it seems we're gaining a lot of new commitments in Saben country for Mocland. Will be interesting to see how spring workouts look.

February 4, 2013 at 11:59 a.m.
jgreeson said...

OG —

Great call on Boomer putting his chips on the table about Ray Lewis. We didn't watch hardly any of the pregame stuff but watched that interview. Sharpe asked Lewis about that night... he just didn't ask any follow-ups.

9er —

We'd go with AUthentic first and AUdacity second.

Paul Harvey was the winner. And that's a good thing.

And 4.5 seconds would have been seriously close to being on the money.

JMC —

Dead on about the New Orleans response, which was a slew of blah, blah, blah fragmented sentences that translated "Please dear Lord Goodell don't take our future Super Bowls."

Concur on the overall sub-par quality of the commercials.

McPell —

About had our fill of recruiting madness.

And before any Auburn fan throws too many stones at Mr. Foster, know that we still think he signs with Auburn and when he does he becomes the most physically talented linebacker on the roster.

— 5-at-10

February 4, 2013 at 12:11 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

5, I agree that Jacoby Jones should have been MVP.

Not wild one way or the other about the Hall of Fame picks. Big ups to Curley Culp, one of the Spy's favorite players from the great Kansas City Chiefs teams. You know how sometimes you'll latch on to a team for no apparent reason and become a fan for a long time? That was the Spy with the early 70s Chiefs. And yes, I was 4 when I was a Chiefs fan.

Didn't see the halftime show. Had to do the crossword puzzle instead. Didn't see many of the commercials, either. The one I did watch from beginning to end, the "God made a farmer" spot, was awesome in its awesomeness.

Not the best clock management by the Niners at the end. Had to burn a timeout way too early in the half and then had to burn another when Humpty let the play clock roll down too far. Plus, that offsides call on the Ravens' first possession proved huge, though Simms and Nantz didn't mention it then and didn't mention it later either. Instead of being forced to kick a field goal, the Ravens got a third and 2 and got a TD. A four-point swing - and it would have meant all the Niners had to do was kick a field goal at the end to win it.

And then, for all that drama in the final quarter, the final play was rather anticlimactic.

February 4, 2013 at 12:15 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

5,

Two things quickly - where is Double D?

And while the cottage industry of recruiting sites and news does provide an outlet for fans in the offseason, isn't it also a matter of the beast feeding itself? I mean, all the calls and texts and tweets these kids about where they're going on a visit and who's their leader and when will they commit, when do they get time to figure stuff out for themselves with fans and recruiting "gurus" and "experts" constantly hounding them? When is it enough?

February 4, 2013 at 12:29 p.m.
mcpell3 said...

5/10- I agree that he ends up at Auburn, and has the potential to be the next Patrick Willis. Good news is that the recruiting madness ends in 60 hrs, and best news pitchers and catchers report soon.

February 4, 2013 at 12:32 p.m.
chas9 said...

Speaking of AU, they've decided to remove the trees and build something on the corners by Toomer's. Question for Friday: If you're the landscape architect who gets the job, what do you build on the corners? (BTW, AU has a great architecture program.)

Stokes had 18 points and 10 boards, but The Vols lost on the road. Noel had 19 and 14, but The Cats won on the road. UK will go dancing, but as Jay says, UT is out of it.

But UK has no cause to celebrate.They had to go to overtime because in the closing minutes of regulation they mistook the ball for a hot potato. They did hold A&M to 17% from beyond the arc, but they'll have to tighten up their fee throw defense. The Aggies shot a blistering 95% from the line.

Seriously, if you kept the TV on ESPN all Saturday afternoon, you saw the Tennessee scrap followed by the Kentucky melee and then you saw some basketball. Either of Indiana or Michigan coulees and would dribble circles around UT or UK, maybe both combined.

Seeing that great clash reminded you of the way basketball was played before the one-and-dones. Constant hustle, great spacing, court vision, and situation awareness, crisp passing, great decision making.

Whatever the eventual seeds for SEC teams, they have no chance in the dance at all against the best of the Big Number conference. Florida can stay on the court, but even The Gators will fall because they haven't been battle tested the way IU and Michigan have.

February 4, 2013 at 12:55 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

"Dead on about the New Orleans response, which was a slew of blah, blah, blah fragmented sentences that translated 'Please dear Lord Goodell don't take our future Super Bowls.'"

The response will be laughable but not nearly as laughable as when God himself decided to have fun at Jerry Jones expense.

It was beautiful Super Bowl week in Dallas, Montana.

February 4, 2013 at 1:25 p.m.
jgreeson said...

JMC —

We think the Mocs class is starting to really take shape.

And, if we bought into conspiracy theories, there are way worse in which to invest that the thought of the possibility that Jerry Jones pulled the plug so the next time the bidding goes to auction, he had a leg up.

Spy —

We can groove on the little-kid fandom of random teams. And who doesn't a big dude named Curley?

The farmer spot was the winner, no doubt. Last we heard DD was living in Huntsville and working normal-people hours. And we passed enough about 6 miles back in the recruiting realm.

McPell —

Yep, dude has the potential to be the best AU linebacker since Takeo Spikes. Or the biggest five-star disappointment since Raven Gray.

9er —

You're in the mailbag.

Agree that IU and Meeeechigan would beat the UK-UT all-stars. (That said, who on UT's roster starts for UK... other than Cuonzo 20 years ago.)

Great point about Florida getting soft and big-headed by running roughshod over a bad SEC.

— 5-at-10

February 4, 2013 at 1:36 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

I've never liked the "you don't make the call in that situation" way of doing things, if it's called in the first quarter of week 1 it certainly needs to be called in the final minutes of the Super Bowl. Putting the game in the hands of the players should be different than clear penalties. Worse than that was a 49er player being manhandled by two Raven players on the kickoff return TD with a referee looking right at it. There's no way it wasn't a hold. Again, make the call. Don't let players cheat when it's that flagrant. Worse than that, the constant jawing and taunting after nearly every play. That was embarrassing to watch. Throw a flag or eject someone especially when there's a player on top of another punching, and that garbage stops.

Clearly, I wasn't impressed.

February 4, 2013 at 4:13 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Laughter —

We agree on the chippiness that turned the game into a sideshow at times.

We also agree with you on not doing the "you don't make the call in that situation," but we thought they let them play enough throughout the game that there was an established level of expectation on passing plays. So it goes.

Like the referees, we must of missed the hold on the kick return.

— 5-at-10

February 4, 2013 at 5:09 p.m.
Stewwie said...

I'm with ya, LB. The rulebook doesn't note that certain rules are applicable to certain times of the game. A violation in the 4th quarter ought to be called just like it is in the 1st.

And the NFL needs to get rid of offsetting personal foul penalties. At least two prolonged scuffles took place after the play last night and nobody was effectively punished for it. Penalize somebody and/or eject them and they'll find a way to start keeping their emotions in check.

In case I ever forget why I quit watching the yahoos on the pregame studio shows...during the delay, Bill Cowher suggested that the 49ers should consider putting in Alex Smith. What??

The winners of the MVP and Comeback Player of the Year should have been swapped.

February 4, 2013 at 5:13 p.m.
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