Back to the bad old days, or, so it would seem. For years the Superbowl was a massive anti-climax as the games often finished in serious blow-outs with the outcome generally decided by half-time. For a brief period we had a couple of exciting games where the Superbowl became competitive and relevant again, but Sunday night in New York we were ‘treated’ to an old school beat-down that left barely anyone satisfied.
The quality of the entertainment on display was abysmal. You could argue that the game was over after 14 seconds, as Seattle piled on the pressure and forced Denver into a clumsy opening play safety. It was all downhill from there.
Make no mistake, Seattle was the deserved winners on the night. Nobody can take that away from them. The problem is, it was just a terrible, awful game to watch.
Seattle didn’t really have to ‘do’ much, although Percy Harvin’s kickoff return was absolutely electric. Instead they sat back (believe it or not Seattle only blitzed 6 times all night) and let Peyton Manning and a terribly conservative Denver game plan blow up in their own faces. The Broncos made mistake after mistake and Seattle simply took advantage of what was handed to them.
It was an absolutely brutal game for the neutral to watch.
There are a number of factors that will have the NFL front office shaking their collective heads glumly today. One of the main ones will be that viewer numbers plummeted after the half time show, and then fell off the cliff once Percy Harvin rode that opening second half kick-off all the way to the bank.
That and the financial details.
Some ticket operators were reporting tickets selling at the last second for as little as $300, sometimes less than face-value, a dramatic and, as far as the NFL is concerned, very unwelcome development.
Although it seems to the general public that the big event itself, whatever about the lame duck of a game, was a success, mark it down, this is the last time Roger Goodell and his crew ever gamble on a cold weather Superbowl.
Money talks, and the figures just aren’t there. Next season will see the Superbowl return to the massively over-priced tickets of around the $2,000 region, and that’s exactly the way the NFL wants it. They won’t dare dabble in cold weather again.
We aren’t even going to touch the most maligned, and no doubt angriest, group of all. No, not the Manning family. Instead the angriest of all are those tens of thousands of fans who were stuck for hours in a hot, crowded train station pre-game as the transit system failed them miserably.
Ask them what they thought of Superbowl XLVIII.
Sadly the big event was a big flop.
Only two groups of people were happy. Seattle fans, naturally (and, good for them), and then bookmakers. Reports are in that 65% of the money placed on the game with Las Vegas bookmakers went on Denver. Worse yet, 80% of the ‘big’ bets (anything over $1,000) went on the Broncos. This all translates to a terrific night for one of the least easy-to-root-for groups in the entire world, bookmakers.
Once they had a good night, you just know everyone else had a bad time.