The Justice Files

Well, the Super Bowl has come and gone. You know what that means? The offseason has officially begun. As my wife, Sammy, put it, everybody is now 0-0.

As I wrote last week, I really thought Seattle would pull it out. They came out strong, but didn't put up enough points. Sound familiar? The calls were sketchy, no question. I'm sure the players got sick of hearing the Jerome Bettis Love Fest in the stands. But Seattle can also blame itself for some mistakes. Jerramy (is that really how you spell it?) Stevens had hands of stone. He made Quentin Jammer look like Lynn Swann. Even the touchdown he held on to looked like a struggle.

Seattle mistakes forced them to try 2 long field goals that were missed. Much was made by Al "I'll Never Leave ABC" Michaels about the clock mismanagement at the end of the first half. There certainly didn't seem to be too much urgency out there. Holmgren, who always seems to be grumpy, started getting on the refs as the teams went to the locker room. The problem was that he was already giving his team excuses. They got screwed on the calls, no doubt. But you need to make them believe they can win. You certainly don't want them to have anything to fall back on.

I wouldn't normally comment on the halftime entertainment, but I must defend the NFL's selection of the Rolling Stones. The acoustics were poor and they bleeped them on a 5-second delay. They don't look young and played a standard set. But I guarantee you that if you had seen them playing "Midnight Rambler," "Gimme Shelter" or anything off of Exile On Main Street, you would not have been disappointed.

In the second half, Seattle capitalized on the Steelers' second interception and seemed poised to take the lead. But after another penalty, they looked deflated. The Steelers broke out their option pass with the former Indiana quarterback throwing a perfect strike. Madden made a big stink at the end of the game about the fact that Seattle should have kicked (the easier of the 2 scores they needed) and then tried to get the ball back for a touchdown. At that point, I think they just wanted to know that they could get a touchdown and utilize the little momentum that would come with it. But let's be honest, the game was out of reach at that point. Holmgren is now being vilified for letting Denver score at the end of his last Super Bowl in order to get the ball back for Brett Farvre. Wait, I thought history told us that John Elway magically redeemed himself on that day after 3 Super Bowl losses?

Nick Canepa wrote his first column in the Union-Tribune in a while and intimated that the Bolts are not far off if the Steelers are the best team in the NFL. I disagree completely. Pittsburgh won when it counted. They got hot at the right time created momentum on the road. Sure, they benefited from Carson Palmer's injury, Nick Harper's stitches and the brain freezes of Super Bowl referees. But they came together when things got tough. The Chargers simply fell apart. As for Canepa's argument that Cowher's perseverance is evidence that The Organization should stick with Marty, I think you know where I stand. But, as Theodore Roosevelt once said: Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. Until next time,

-RLW


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