Mehno: Super Bowl provides lots of stories
PITTSBURGH — The football wasn’t always letter perfect, but the entertainment value of Super Bowl 52 was off the charts.
Some small observations from the big game:
n Who could have predicted a huge play would be a pass Tom Brady didn’t catch rather than one he threw?
n Option pass by the tight end to the quarterback on fourth-and-goal? Gutsy play calling, Eagles. If it hadn’t worked, the talk show lines in Philadelphia would have melted.
n Eagles fans waited a long time for football success. The Eagles had never won a Super Bowl, and their last NFL championship was in 1960. Bobby Layne played quarterback for the Steelers that season.
n The commercials haven’t kept pace with the quality of the games. People at the ad agencies are trying too hard. Keep it simple. That said, the “Dirty Dancing” tribute with Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. was inspired.
n Couldn’t get out of the biggest game of the year without a replay controversy or two. Best suggestion heard all weekend: Make all replay rulings based on real-time replays rather than slow motion.
n No, the Zach Ertz “was it a catch?” wasn’t the same as the Jesse James play in the regular season game against the Patriots. Get over it.
n Either Nick Foles has just had the greatest streak of his life or he’s been seriously underrated by NFL talent evaluators.
n Rob Gronkowski catches passes even when everyone knows he’s going to get the ball.
n You can see why the Patriots signed James Harrison so late in the season. Their defense needed help.
n The silliest questions are the ones asking players immediately after the game what their retirement plans are. The player is 15 minutes removed from the field. Heads are spinning. It’s not the best time to make life-altering decisions.
n There’s always talk about declining ratings for the NFL, but nine of the 10 most-watched programs in TV history are Super Bowls, including this one. The only non-football program is the final episode of MASH.
n After a year dominated by anthem protests, it was nice to see the captains of both teams respectfully applauding the veterans who participated in the coin toss.
n It became apparent by mid-October that the Eagles were the best team in the NFL. The upset was that they maintained the standard after quarterback Carson Wentz sustained a season-ending knee injury. Next man up indeed.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org