There's a relatively new term in the world of sports that I'm already sick of. It may have started in the NBA with LeBron James. It's now spreading to football with Tom Brady. Yeah, he's now been to nine Super Bowls and won six of them. He didn't really play like it this year, but then again, the Rams didn't do much either. The word is GOAT—an acronym really. James likely bestowed it upon himself, but now they're saying it about Brady. GOAT equals the Greatest Of All Time.
It was the lowest scoring game in Super Bowl history, which in and of itself isn't necessarily such a bad thing. The New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. The game was scoreless after the first quarter, 3-0 Patriots at halftime, and 3-3 at the end of three quarters. New England got a touchdown in the fourth quarter and pulled away to win it.
The Great One... wait, that's Wayne Gretzky. The Golden Boy (as Brady has been called over the years) passed for only 262 yards, didn't have a touchdown, and threw an interception. Sony Michel ran for the only TD late in the fourth quarter, and a drug cheat named Julian Edelman (suspended the first four games this season) was named the Most Valuable Player by catching ten passes for 141 yards. It was the greatest defensive game in Super Bowl history, and they gave the MVP award to an offensive player.
If you want an MVP that didn't play defense, how about Johnny Hekker. He punted nine times for the Rams, who could only muster 62 yards on the ground against the Patriots, and 260 total. Yes, the Rams had fewer total yards than Brady had passing yards—one more point for the GOAT argument.
Yes. The game was a snoozer. You hoped teams would make adjustments at halftime, and put some points on the board, but it never happened. This game should have been played last week in Chicago. Play a game in 40-below temperatures. Watch Bill Belichick's head literally break off from under that hoodie due to the cold. Instead, the game was in climate controlled Mercedes-Benz stadium, and Belichick even got to leave the hooded sweatshirt at home.
If you want to talk about GOATs, Belichick has to be in that conversation for sure. It's the Vince Lombardi Trophy that teams play for, but it won't be long before the guy who inspires the playing of the Darth Vader theme when he's shown on TV has an award named after him. Like Brady, nine Super Bowl appearances and six wins. Lord Vader is third all time in coaching wins behind Don Shula and George Halas.
As for Brady (if you are as sick of hearing about him as most fans outside of Boston, you don't want to hear this), he has not only won the most Super Bowls of any player in league history (6), he's also tops all time in career wins, passing Brett Favre and Peyton Manning in 2017, but there's even a mathematical formula that also puts him at the top. The formula, while not completely published, factored in passer rating, yards, touchdowns, etc,, and decided Brady was number one ahead of Manning, Joe Montana, Favre, and Otto Graham in that order. Johnny Unitas, John Elway, Terry Bradshaw, Steve Young, and Dan Marino rounded out the top ten.
It may be difficult to accept outside of Beantown, but perhaps the GOAT label actually fits. In September, he'll be getting a ring to start filling up his second hand. He's 41 and shows no sign of slowing down, despite not having a great game against the Rams. Greatest Of All Time? Maybe. The argument for Brady is certainly easier to make than for LeBron.
Ratings: Just over 100-million people saw yesterday's yawner, er, defensive battle. While that sounds like a lot, it was the lowest total audience in more than 10 years. Maybe it was the boycott by New Orleans fans after that no-call in the NFC Championship game.
Halftime: Apparently this representative of the Over 50 crowd wasn't alone. Words like “sleepy, “underwhelms”, and “basic” were used in reviews to describe the halftime show featuring Maroon 5, with rappers Big Boi and Travis Scott. You did get to see all of Adam Levine's tattoos, though, at least from the waist up.
Blatant commercialism: This year's Super Bowl commercials didn't really blow anyone out of the water, either. A few years ago you had the Snickers commercial with Betty White. A couple of years ago, the Doritos ad with the kid that had a 'time machine' was pretty good. The Budweiser Clydesdales always come through for a touching moment, and did again this year. The ad that seems to have made an immediate impression was the Alexa ad where Harrison Ford's dog orders a shipment of dog food. One of my favorites was an Alexa-like device sad that it couldn't stack Pringle's. After going on and on about it, its owner told it to 'play Funkytown'. Others not getting a lot of buzz that I enjoyed were the Hyundai commercial for car shopping, where the elevator keeps going lower as if car shopping is the worst. It goes back up when the operator realizes what kind of car the couple wants. The very first commercial break featured a woman driver screaming to those in the back seat to “stop it or I'll eat you all alive”. Cut to the M-and-Ms guys in the back. Other good ones were the Stella Artois ad with Sarah Jessica Parker and Jeff Bridges, the gross but funny Mint Mobile spot with the chunky milk, and my favorite—the Bud Light turned Game of Thrones promo, complete with 'dilly dilly' and scary looking creatures.