A Game That Lived Up to the Hype; Stanford Stunner
Yesterday's Super Bowl was one of those rare occasions where a big game actually lives up to the hype.
Kansas City's thrilling 38-35 win was particularly welcome after the disappointment of the 49ers-Eagles NFC Championship game two weeks ago.
No need to rehash the game or its highlights here--there are millions of articles to choose from--but permit me a few observations:
* The controversial pass interference call against Philly didn't determine the outcome of the game, as some columnists have suggested. The call allowed Kansas City to kick an easier field goal and run down the clock, but the Chiefs won because they scored on every possession in the second half and because Patrick Mahomes ran 26 yards on a gimpy ankle to set up the game-winning kick.
* Classy move by Eagles' cornerback James Bradberry to admit he was guilty of holding on the call.
* Philly led the league in sacks (70 during the regular season) but was unable to sack Mahomes--bad ankle and all--even once.
* I have to believe the 49ers' Nick Bosa would've gotten to him a few times.
* The quarterbacks played brilliantly. Hopefully, we'll soon get to the day where we won't even have to mention that they're both black.
* Tom Brady has a 7-2 lead in Super Bowl rings, but he has to be worried that Mahomes is coming for him.
* How did the Chiefs' receivers get so open on their last two touchdowns?
* Players were slipping on the turf throughout the game. How could the NFL allow that to happen in a Super Bowl?
* Loved the shot of Eagles' coach Nick Sirianni with tears running down his cheeks during the National Anthem. My dad used to cry during the anthem, too.
* Loved the T-mobile commercials with John Travolta and with Bradley Cooper and his mom.
* Hate the prospect of six months without football, but we're not quite ready to embrace the spring leagues.
Stanford Stuns Arizona: The Inside Track has been critical--justifiably--of Stanford men's basketball coach Jerod Haase for the past few years. The Cardinal has failed to reach the NCAA tournament in all six of Haase's seasons on the Farm and--barring a Pac-12 championship-- won't make it this year.
But we have to give credit where credit is due. Stanford played a magnificent game Saturday to upset No. 4 Arizona, 88-79. We were among the near sellout crowd in Maples Pavilion, and while it wasn't as full or as rowdy as it was during the Mike Montgomery years, the place was rockin'.
Haase has finally settled on his rotation, ironically aided by an injury to center James Keefe which has allowed him to give promising sophomore Maxime Renaud more playing time.
All seven of Haase's top players had excellent games vs. Arizona. Forward Harrison Ingram finally showed why some people think he's an NBA draft pick. Spencer Jones lit it up in the second half, scoring 18 points after going scoreless in the first half. Point guard Michael O'Connell had the best game of his career. Brandon Angel, Michael Jones, Max Murrell and Reynaud all contributed.
Of course, the question after a game like that is, why can't they play that way all the time?
We'll see if they can keep it up this Thursday against another top 10 team, UCLA.