Monday, February 8, 2016

Peyton, Cam, Beyoncé and Rudy

Peyton Manning! You just won the Super Bowl in what was probably the last game of your career! Now, what are you going to do?

Essentially, the question that has traditionally been answered in commercials, "I'm goin' to Disney World!" was asked by Tracy Wolfson of CBS, after Manning's Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in Super Bowl 50 last night.

Manning did not say he was going to Disney World. Here's what he did say:

You know, I'll take some time to reflect. I got a couple of priorities first. I want to go kiss my wife and my kids. I want to go hug my family. I'm going to drink a lot of Budweiser tonight, Tracy. I promise you that.

He started off on the right foot. Then, he promoted binge drinking.

And people want to get on Panthers quarterback Cam Newton for how he reacted after the game? Idiots.

This was a few minutes after Dame Helen Mirren appeared in an ad for, yes, Budweiser -- I thought she had more taste than that -- and said:

If you drive drunk, you, simply put, are a shortsighted, utterly useless, oxygen-wasting human form of pollution, a Darwin Award-deserving selfish coward. If your brain was donated to science, science would return it. So, stop it... Don't be a pillock.

She could have used a stronger word, also common in British street speech or pub talk, but it would never have gotten onto American television.

Peyton Manning, for promoting heavy drinking and unfair labor practices (through shilling for Papa John's pizza) before a tremendous worldwide TV audience...

You, sir, are a pillock.

And, if the rumor is true, and you also used human-growth hormone or some other performance-enhancing drug throughout your career, joining with your nemesis Tom Brady -- who, along with his team, has been caught in multiple cheats -- to do what performance-enhancing drugs did to baseball, which is cast doubt on the legitimacy of an entire era...

You, sir, are a... word that Dame Helen probably wanted to use.

See You Next Tuesday.

*

I'm just glad the game's Most Valuable Player award was given to Bronco linebacker Von Miller. I've often criticized the expression "Defense wins games"/"Defense wins championships." Defense never won a damn thing without offense failing. You can't win unless you score. You can't score unless you have the ball. If you have the ball, even if you're a traditional defensive player who's intercepted a pass or picked up a fumble, by definition, you are now on offense.

The Broncos' defense was the 2nd-biggest factor in the game. The biggest factor was the Panthers' inability to adjust to it.

That said, Miller was the player on the winning side who had the biggest impact, and was thus deserving of the MVP.

I was sure they were going to give it to Manning, what with him being beloved by the media, and what with it (probably) being his last game.

Because when the media loves a quarterback, they... how can I put this politely... never shy away from showing you that love. We've seen it before. Johnny Unitas. Joe Namath. Roger Staubach. Joe Montana. John Elway. Brett Favre. Now, Brady and Manning. (Not so much Eli Manning, though -- because he beat Brady in 2 Super Bowls, thus ruining the media's narrative.)

Yes, Elway retired as a back-to-back Super Bowl winner, and as the reigning Super Bowl MVP. But he wouldn't have won a Super Bowl without Terrell Davis in the backfield -- Sammy Winder was good, but, back then, Elway didn't have someone who was TD good, and that's a big reason why he went 0-3 before going 2-0 in the biggest game -- and Peyton wouldn't have won this Super Bowl without Von Miller and his defensive compadres shutting down the Panther offense.

Just in case Peyton was thinking it was all about him. Maybe he wasn't. But, going in, the media sure was.

*

As for Cam Newton: I could criticize him for his postgame reaction. Instead, I'll say that Newton is lucky on 2 counts: He didn't screw up that big for a New York team (or Boston, or Chicago, or Los Angeles), or for his alma mater, Auburn University, against their arch-rivals, the University of Alabama.

However, I can and do criticize Newton for not picking up that fumble that turned a decent shot at a winning touchdown drive into a final score that did not, at all, indicate how close the game was until that point.

Some people are telling him, "Act like you've been there before." Well, he hadn't been there before.

And he may never get back. That's the hard part: In the biggest game of his career, he froze. I'm reminded of Chuck Knoblauch in the 1998 Playoffs, although Knobby is white, was playing a much less important position, and was not in a Game 7, as Newton's game amounted to. On the other hand, Knobby also isn't nearly as smart as Newton.

If this had happened to Newton in a regular-season game, we'd talk about it until the next game. Instead, we talk about it forever, because it was in the Super Bowl. Ask Jackie Smith. Ask Scott Norwood. Ask Kevin Dyson -- and he didn't even do anything wrong; quite the contrary, he did his damnedest, and came up a few inches short.

But look at this list: Daryle Lamonica, Joe Kapp, Vince Ferragamo, Ron Jaworski, Ken Anderson, David Woodley, Dan Marino, Tony Eason, Boomer Esiason, Stan Humphries, Neil O'Donnell, Drew Bledsoe, Chris Chandler, Steve McNair, Kerry Collins, Rich Gannon, Jake Delhomme, Donovan McNabb, Matt Hasselbeck. Most likely, Rex Grossman will end up being added to this list. Possibly, so will Colin Kaepernick.

Each of those quarterbacks went to one Super Bowl, lost it, and never got back in.

There's a lot of talent there. Marino is in the Hall of Fame. McNabb becomes eligible next year, and will probably get in, if not on the 1st try. Lamonica, Jaworski, Anderson, Esiason and Bledsoe are all worthy of Hall consideration. At the very least, Newton should end up with a career as good as those last 5.

But this could have been his only chance, and he blew it.

The truly sad part is, the game wasn't even interesting until that play. And then, it got interesting in a bad way.

*

About the halftime show: Thanks to Newton, no one is going to remember that Coldplay never should have been selected. Not that they were offensive. They were just... weak.

But Beyoncé Knowles upstaged the whole thing. As she usually does. She gave a Black Power salute, a la Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics. The dancers behind her wore black berets, like the Black Panthers, founded just up the road in Oakland 50 years ago.

And Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York, saw it as an attack on his favorite people (whom he refused to ever give a raise), the police. Here's what he told Fox News this morning:

This is football, not Hollywood, and I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers, who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive.

And what we should be doing in the African-American community, and all communities, is build up respect for police officers. And focus on the fact that, when something does go wrong, okay, we'll work on that. But the vast majority of police officers risk their lives to keep us safe.

Well, gee, Rudy, maybe African-Americans would have more respect for police officers if they didn't see some of them -- not 1 every 10 years, but several times in the last few, from Staten Island to Baltimore to Cleveland to Ferguson, Missouri and so on -- get away with murder. Who didn't "keep us alive." (I'm using "us" in this case even though I'm white.)

And that doesn't even include Trayvon Martin's murderer, a cop wannabe that the cops didn't think was mentally stable enough to join them.
You want black people to build up respect for police officers? Start by demanding that police officers respect them. The motto is, "To serve and protect." "Serve" comes before protect, Rudy, you fascist... pillock!

Rudy needs to shut the bloody hell up. His great achievement as Mayor, reducing crime, would never have happened without the crime bill pushed and signed by President Bill Clinton. (A liberal Democrat and Hillary's husband, in case you've forgotten.) And even at his moments of triumph, we all knew, even if we didn't want to say it out loud, that Rudy was a racist.
As the late Sidney Zion, a columnist for the New York Daily News and a strong supporter of Rudy's, put it, "The problem with Rudy Giuliani is that he's not a peacetime don." In other words, he can never accept victory, because he's always looking for a new war to fight.
And rather than accept the truth, which is that Beyoncé and the people who agree with her have a point, he attacks.

But you're not going to win a popularity contest with either of the 2 most popular women in the country. He's already lost one popularity contest to Hillary, when he refused to run against her for the U.S. Senate in 2006.

And now he's launching one against Beyoncé? Fool.

As the lady herself might have said, If you didn't like it, then you shoulda put a sock in it.

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