Possibly the closest Super Bowl matchup in history also poses the question: how much does it mean when certain aspects of an NFL team improve dramatically in the second half of the season?
10 Feb 2010
by Tom Gower and Mike Kurtz
Tom: Sadly, the book did not actually give results for all of the bets. We were able, however, to figure out all of them except for "CBS show with the most promos." Sadly, this means I have horrible news: I lost.
Mike: Making horrible bets like a fox!
Tom: Assuming I calculated the results right, I bet $9,575 and won $9,830. You bet $9,470 and won $10,915. The biggest bet that I hit was Drew Brees not thanking anybody. God may be great, but apparently he's not worthy of being thanked. Thanking Jim Nantz, for interviewing him, doesn't count.
Mike: Well, Tim Tebow was busy doing his own commercial.
Tom: Your best hit was Pierre Garcon scoring the game's first touchdown, which earned you $1,200. One of the keys to our success was that neither of us had any big losses. So you put down $400 on Dallas Clark going over his Super Bowl XLI receiving yards total, and I put $500 on Benson's celebration of Tampa Bay's missed field goal not being shown, but those both paid off. We did each lose $250 expecting a score in the first 7:30 of the game, a bet foiled by a slight margin.
Mike: That was pretty crushing, and made me wonder for the first time how the play by play is timed. At first I wondered if it would be one of those weird scorekeeper things that varies from scorekeeper to scorekeeper, but I suppose that that is some league rule that the scores be timed according to the clock at the end of the down.
Tom: I have never noticed that not to be the case.
Mike: Just seems odd that the play would start around 7:34, the ball would go through around 7:31, and the play would then be credited at 7:29. C'est la vie. Since I lost the fantasy league soundly, I will also be sure to take my win gracefully.
Tom: With me in the lead and eight players remaining, the only questions were how many points I'd score, and what my margin of victory would be. The answers: 263 points, which is more than anyone else in the history of FO Playoff Fantasy Football. Dave finished in second with 161 points. I also avoided the ignominy of being the first staff winner to finish below the top "Best of the Rest" score from the peanut gallery.
Mike: By a large margin, I'm guessing.
Tom: Actually, the winner, Chris UK, finished with 199, a great total. His team was mostly Jets: The Sanchize, Thomas Jones, Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, and Dustin Keller, plus Darren Sproles, Pierre Garcon, David Akers, and the Minnesota defense.
Ryan D finished second with 182, and podge ended up in third with 162 points. However, a "perfectly" picked Best of the Rest team would have beaten me, thanks to Cincinnati Defense's negative point total.
Mike: I see. Done gloating?
Tom: Unless you'd like me to keep going.
Mike: No, I'm fine, thanks.
|FO Playoff Final Results|
|Aaron||Peyton Manning||66||LaDainian Tomlinson||2||Marion Barber||1||Miles Austin||17||Julian Edelman||16||Percy Harvin||4||Antonio Gates||9||Nate Kaeding||2||IND||3||120|
|Dave||Brett Favre||44||Adrian Peterson||37||Reggie Bush||28||Randy Moss||4||Greg Jennings||19||Robert Meachem||1||Jason Witten||11||Jay Feely||17||NE||0||161|
|Vince||Aaron Rodgers||40||Ray Rice||37||Laurence Maroney||0||DeSean Jackson||7||Donald Driver||4||Chad Ochocinco||2||Jermichael Finley||15||Mason Crosby||8||GB||-5||108|
|Mike||Tom Brady||7||Ryan Grant||7||Cedric Benson||23||Sidney Rice||42||Jeremy Maclin||20||Derrick Mason||6||Brent Celek||5||Ryan Longwell||14||NO||15||139|
|Sean||Philip Rivers||22||Thomas Jones||19||Beanie Wells||15||Vincent Jackson||11||Larry Fitzgerald||27||Steve Breaston||25||Dallas Clark||22||Stephen Gostkowski||2||NYJ||9||152|
|Tom||Drew Brees||67||Joseph Addai||30||Pierre Thomas||41||Reggie Wayne||21||Marques Colson||24||Austin Collie||35||Jeremy Shockey||16||Garrett Hartley||32||CIN||-3||263|
Mike: Your Scramble writers have spent all year mocking and deriding the worst of the commercial world. In the aftermath of the Super Bowl, however, they feel that it is time to highlight some of the good ones we were treated to this past Sunday.
Boost Mobile Shuffle
Mike: That's fresh!
Tom: The reaction to this commercial seems to be very dependent upon whether you enjoyed the first Super Bowl Shuffle.
Mike: Perhaps. How could you not love the Shuffle, though? Plus, it's self-parody, which is always great.
Tom: I do feel like they missed something by wearing Samurai Mike's No. 50, since he couldn't make it, rather than No. 34. It's also weird seeing McMahon with the rest of the Bears, since he went and stood with the Packers on the sideline of a Bears-Packers game after he retired.
Mike: True, he should have cloned himself, stood on both sidelines. That is the only way to satisfy rabid football fans.
Tom: The Packer fans seemed like good, knowledgeable fans when I was there for a preseason game last year.
Mike: I have nothing against Packers fans, but knowledge can just make football fans more scary, as our commenters will show. It leads to rabid devotion and absolute confidence in your own opinions.
Tom: But the Packers fans were nice about it, not hostile.
Mike: First, it was a preseason game. Second, all football fans are the same, some just do a better job of hiding the crazy.
Tom: But only Packers fans will steal your foodstuffs.
Mike: This commercial is a beautiful affirmation of true friendship. Can any of us honestly say that we have a friend willing to stand up in front of your assembled friends and family and pretend that your funeral wasn't a giant Doritos-fueled hoax? I mean, he could have left the guy out to dry, but he went all-in with the miracle sell. That's friendship.
Tom: Like too many commercials, however, it falls apart if you think about it too much. The casket is going to end up six feet in the ground. How is he going to breathe? Where did they find a medical examiner to sign off on a death certificate? How is he watching or listening to the game? Did they not have a viewing, where people didn't notice that he was still breathing?
Mike: You're really overthinking it. It's not like the church is going to demand a death certificate. "Hey, here's a dead guy." "Okay, then!"
Tom: No, but a funeral home might. Also, what if they had tried to cremate him? Did the friends plan that, only to find an exclusion in the life insurance policy and stick with Not Dead Guy’s plan?
Mike: I'm sure that would be part of the plan, that he had set it up to be moved later. In fact, the funeral home/church may even be in on the scheme.
Tom: It seems like an awful lot to get out of a week of work and eat Doritos. The woman in this commercial seems to be the wife of his friend. If the guy's not married, he could just stay home and eat Doritos all week.
Mike: He wouldn't get the benefit of spending a year dead for tax purposes.
Tom: He wasn't planning on being dead for a year, just a week.
Mike: It's a joke, Tom. A joke.
Tom: I didn't even notice that when it first aired, just that it was holographic. We make fun of Favre a lot, but I really enjoy that he's at least willing to make fun of his retirement saga like this and the Sears commercial.
Mike: It's an important part of the commercial, as it is impossible to believe non-holographic things are from the future. The future = holography.
Tom: Huh. I always thought it was nanotechnology, genetic manipulation, and pizza delivery being taken over by the mafia.
Mike: Sadly, no. Holography and giant mutant space hamsters.
Tom: Well, since we sacrificed the pony last week, it makes sense that we'd have space hamsters to replace them. Although I like the Proust-quoting rockvecs more.
Mike: Fortunately, I have a miniature -- what's that, Boo? Oh, she doesn't want to be mentioned in the column.
Tom: My Vikings-fan coworker interpreted this ad as partially a shot at Chilly for hamstringing Favre. Specifically, his well-known hatred of letting players -- even old quarterbacks whose only remaining skill is reading defenses -- audible.
Mike: It's true, when Childress chauffeured Favre to the Vikings' offices, he also refused to provide complimentary fruit and champagne.
Tom: It's important to note that the "Princess" moniker isn't homophobic, but instead is a description of an apparently massive sense of entitlement. Chilly picking him up at the airport was merely due and proper, not a coach unreasonably bending over backward to accommodate a star player. It does make you wonder, however, how many players are really grounded and realistic.
Mike: "Princess" is also not emasculating. It shows only entitlement, or a name that unfortunately engenders Super Mario Bros. jokes.
Tom: Princess Toadstool was always my favorite in SMB 2.
Mike: Princess floats. Q.E.D.
Tom: So, three years ago, the best commercial shown on Super Bowl Sunday aired right before the Super Bowl. This year, the similar honor, for best commercial of Super Bowl Sunday despite not being shown during the Super Bowl, to Old Spice.
Mike: I'm on a boat. Old Spice needs to be commended in general, not only for this ad, but for its other ads. You see all sorts of commercials designed to be manly, show us what men are, affirm our manliness. They almost always end up being marginally offensive, since advertisers have decided that "man" is shorthand for "insensitive, inattentive asshat." Old Spice has the same aim, but succeeds fantastically because it's not condescending, it's not ridiculous, and use a positive image of masculinity: The men sound smart, they dress well, and they have masculine self-confidence that demands respect. Because this is set up so well, they can make the commercials sharp and use the guy as an effective straight man to involve us all in the joke.
Tom: The transitions here are great. Smooth, unexpected, and smart.
Mike: And they're not even non sequiturs. This dude has decided that something is happening, and that's all there is to it.
Tom: Yes, and they get all the details right. You can see the boat railing at first, and then it gradually disappears. And he's on the beach, with no transition. And on a horse. I also appreciate the break from general themes. For example, did you notice that this guy is wearing pants? Far, far too many Super Bowl commercials featured men without pants.
Mike: You should not get credit for that.
Tom: Well, sure, it's like putting "never arrested for a felony" on your resume, but if you're going up against a bunch of ex-cons, that's worth mentioning.
Mike: Just all-around well done, especially in light of its audience. The YouTube write-up provided by Old Spice is "we're not saying this body wash will make your man smell like a romantic millionaire jet fighter pilot, but we are insinuating it." That really sums it all up.
KEEP CHOPPING WOOD: Indianapolis Colts special teams. It's tough to pick one specific part of it. Matt Stover made the field goal he should have made, and missed a field goal longer than any he's made in the past three years, and shouldn't have even attempted. Chad Simpson had a couple decent kickoff returns, and one horrible decision to return a deep kick not very far. The Colts didn't allow Courtney Roby any particularly long returns, but he generally gave the Saints decent field position. According to our stats, however, the key to this game was an extra 16 yards(?) of average field position in New Orleans' advantage. That's a lot of yardage on each drive.
MIKE MARTZ AWARD: So, Matt Stover's longest made field goal this year was 43 yards. Matt Stover's longest made field goal in 2008 was 47 yards. Matt Stover's longest made field goal in 2007 was 49 yards. Matt Stover is now 42 years old, so there's reason to suspect he wouldn't be able to make a 55-yard field goal as he did as a rookie in 1991. So, Jim Caldwell, why'd you send him out to try a 51-yard field goal?
COLBERT AWARD: Sean Payton, onside kick to start second half. [Herm]You play to win the game[/Herm].
45 comments, Last at 16 Feb 2010, 12:56am by Raiderjoe