The Oberlin Review
<< Front page Sports February 10, 2006

Super Bowl Fails to Catch Oberlin Interest
Strong men also hug: (from left) Ben Roethlisberger and Jerome Bettis engage in a post-game embrace after leading the Steelers to a Super Bowl XL victory.

After my Super Bowl party on Sunday night, in which countless chicken wings, nachos and peanuts were devoured, I was still left feeling empty, not because of the lack of food but because of my overall dissatisfaction with what had taken place. To put things lightly, the Super Bowl was a complete trial of errors on behalf of the winning team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the losing team, the Seattle Seahawks and the referees.

The game had so much potential. It seems that every year Pittsburgh has been in the running for the Lombardi trophy but has always fallen short due to some team (lately the New England Patriots) beating them in the playoffs. Similarly, the Seahawks are a team that has been on the brink of Super Bowl glory for the last few years but has always fallen short. This year, both teams were on the biggest stage in sports, and both had played extremely well in the playoffs.

All the “experts” were predicting a battle in the biggest game of the season, a trench fight in which one of, if not the best young quarterback in the game, Ben Roethlisberger, would strut his stuff for the Steelers’ passing game. On the other side of the ball, Shaun Alexander, the league MVP and touchdown record-setter would be running like he had never run before. Both players underperformed to an extent nobody had predicted.

Alexander got only 20 carries in the game — a small number for such a durable and explosive back — netting only 95 total yards. Meanwhile, Roethlisberger went nine for 21 passing, with 123 yards and no touchdowns. Both players certainly did not live up to the Super Bowl hype.

The biggest game of the season and of the year ended up being decided on a third-and-28 heave by Roethlisberger, a third-and-goal run that was ruled a touchdown even though Roethlisberger later admitted it was not, a 75-yard run by back Willie Parker, who had only 10 carries in the game, a botched offensive pass interference call that cost Seattle a touchdown, two missed field goals by Seattle Kicker Josh Brown and a trick play in which Antwaan Randle El threw a touchdown pass to the game’s MVP Hines Ward.

Ward’s numbers were among the least impressive of any Super Bowl MVP, netting only five catches, less than half of what last year’s MVP Deion Branch had.

I am not saying that the Steelers did not deserve to win the Super Bowl, as their performance early in the playoffs was astounding. The Black and Gold beat the top three teams in the AFC, but their Super Bowl performance left something to be desired.

When you think back on this Super Bowl, little stands out. There was no Terrel Owens playing on a broken leg, no Tom Brady leading a late fourth-quarter drive to set up a game-winning field goal, no Peyton Manning throwing for a million yards, no outstanding performance by either team’s offense or defense or, for that matter, by any individual players.

The last few years we have been spoiled by close Super Bowls (with the exception of the Rich Gannon disaster), games that kept us on the edges of our seats, and this one reminded us of just how lucky we have been. For the first time in five or six years, the Super Bowl was more exciting because of its commercials than because of the game itself, and that is not how it should be.

Congratulations to the Steelers on their Super Bowl victory and a great run, but please, can we hope for something better in next year’s Super Bowl?


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