Reflecting on Super Bowl XL

Random thoughts and observations while ruminating on the, ahem, wisdom of my Super Bowl XL prediction and wondering who was the wise guy who decided to have George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, Aristotle and Socrates rock out the halftime show:

For the record, I picked the Seattle Seahawks by a count of 20-17 based on my incorrect assumption that Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck would continue to play mistake-free football and that Jerramy Stevens wasn't as soft as Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Joey Porter labeled him days before kickoff. Who would have thought that Hasselbeck would revert into an all-thumbs spastic instead of a polished quarterback'

One for the Pittsburgh Steelers' thumb is indeed appropriate. Five Vince Lombardi trophies is big-time.

Somewhere, the late, great Art Rooney is smiling and smoking a stogie. All over Western Pennsylvania in the heart of Steelers Nation, the Iron City beer is a little bit colder today and the kielbasa and hoagies taste just a little bit better. The wine-and-cheese Seahawks from Microsoft Land can nurse their wounds over a venti-caramel-double espresso-machiatto with extra whipped cream.

First of all, Bill Cowher, Jerome Bettis and especially owner Dan Rooney are class acts who deserve this Super Bowl ring. Cowher is a standup guy who connects with his players on a personal level and has earned their complete respect. He still looks like he could operate adeptly as a special-teams psycho and backup linebacker.

What a fitting ending for Bettis' hard-nosed career built on will, determination and sheer girth. This ring almost evaded him if not for Ben Roethlisberger's athletic tackle of Colts defensive back Nick Harper following Bettis' rare fumble in the divisional playoffs. It gets no better than winning the Super Bowl in your hometown in front of your entire extended family. The Bus' last stop was great and he should relish his retirement.

As for the Rooney family, this win represents a testament to their loyalty and low-key ownership style. There's something to be said about a family that runs a multi-million dollar industry as a public trust, as a family business to be protected, preserved and cherished. They are old-school in the best possible sense of the phrase.

In terms of game action, it was fun to watch Willie Parker's epic sprint to the end zone, a 75-yard touchdown jaunt that represents the longest run in Super Bowl history. I remember watching Marcus Allen's change-of-direction, 74-yard run against the Washington Redskins. Now, Parker, an undrafted free agent whom University of North Carolina coach John Bunting wasn't intelligent enough to make a regular starter, has broken Allen's record in dramatic fashion.

Bottom line: The Seahawks choked, especially Hasselbeck. He was just a tad off all night, hurting the top seed's prospects for an upset. Darrell Jackson beat the Steelers' cornerbacks down the field all night, but Hasselbeck was too inaccurate.

Stevens dropped way too many passes, and he wasn't much of a force as a blocker either despite his ideal size for a tight end. Porter, the Mouth of the Three Rivers, can say anything he wants about Stevens. To the victors go the spoils.

The NFL screwed up by not featuring Motown acts more extensively. The Rolling Stones were great, albeit more than a tad geriatric.

I know the Prehistoric Rocks are a huge draw, but I still think it was disrespectful to relegate Aretha Franklin to singing the national anthem and Stevie Wonder to the seldom-watched pregame show. Why not give Kid Rock and Eminem a chance' The NFL is so scared of anything off-color like the Janet Jackson-Justin Timberlake wardrobe malfunction that it's far from current with the times. They are the opposite of hip. So much for courting the important 18 to 45 bracket.

I'm voting for U2 and Cold Play to play in Miami next winter at Super Bowl XLI. Please spare us from the Miami Sound Machine and Jennifer Lopez.

I was mildly amused by the monkeys commercial for, still puzzled at what exactly is and afraid to google that on an office computer based on its risque advertisement. The Cadillac Escalade runway ad was pretty slick, but didn't it strike you as a tad arrogant' Maybe if I could afford that SUV I wouldn't feel that way. I did like the Hummer commercial with the pregnant Godzilla and the robot as proud parents. Pretty cool.

In a losing cause, that was a heckuva shot that Seahawks gritty defensive end Grant Wistrom unloaded on Ben Roethlisberger's back.

It was impressive to see Roethlisberger settle down after a few rocky moments. The kid has guts, poise and skills. He's only going to get better and better. As the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl, you've got to like his chances to get back to this stage a few more times.

It underscores just how critical it is that the Ravens catch up in the AFC North arms race.

With Roethlisberger wearing the black-and-gold and Carson Palmer headlining the Cincinnati Bengals, it's going to be tough for the Ravens to contend until they finally resolve this pressing issue. As a rule, it takes a top-notch quarterback to win the big game and Kyle Boller has yet to demonstrate that he's capable of that sort of achievement.

In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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