A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Monday, February 06, 2012

Superbowl Justice

Timothy Birdnow

The universe is unfair. That is an axiom that is easily proven; just look at the success of, say, George Soros, who is one regal S.O.B. and yet is rich, rich, rich. Look at Barack Obama; a guy who had accomplished nothing yet is now President of the United States, largely because he reads well and, in the words of his veep, is clean. Consider the success of people like Kim Kardassian. It's a spiteful, rotten, unfair universe! (By the by, our sense of justice is reason number 943 to believe there is a God; why would we expect there to be a just world if we were shaped by natural selection and random forces?)

But not always.

Last night some justice leaked into this weary old world; the New England Patriots lost the Superbowl. And they lost it in a heartbreaker.

schadenfreude \SHOD-n-froy-duh\ , noun:
A malicious satisfaction obtained from the misfortunes of others

Yes, perhaps there is some of that (well, maybe a lot) but I also rejoice at the victory of New York, which, given that the poor city has suffered under Michael Bloomberg for years now, deserves some ray of hope. Also, our East Coast Editor - Jack Kemp - is from Gotham (the old nickname for New York coined by Washington Irving, not the home of Batman) and doubtless Jack was rooting heavily for the Giants. Granted, I have a sister-in-law in Boston, but her turning to the Darkside does not compel me or anyone else to join her. And Boston doesn't even have it's own beer; the Boston Brewing Company got the recipe for Samuel Adams from the Koch Brewing Company of St. Louis, Mo. (the owner of Boston Brewing is from the Koch family). Outside of fermenting the Revolution, Boston has given us such wondrous things as Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and cheating football dynasties.

Cheating; that is the operative word when it comes to the New England Patriots.

They clutch and grab, hold, pull every dirty trick to gain an advantage. Rarely do they get called, because they got away with it early in the last decade (the year they defeated the St. Louis Rams in the Superbowl was a model of how to steal a football game) and now it's excused as their style of play.

But they were put on notice early in the game last night, with a safety being called against QB Tom Brady, who purposely grounded the ball while in the end zone to avoid, well, a safety. Right after that the Pats were called for having too many men on the field; that is vintage Belichick. He thought he could get away with that because he just got nailed by the officials, who would be loath to call him out immediately.

But non-calls were critical throughout the game. I saw at least three very important cases of pass interference that were not called, one where even the announcers had to admit that the Pats stole a crucial first down. And that immediately after a chippy holding penalty against the Giants line, one that was a. immaterial to the play and normally ignored and b. not holding to begin with. These two officiating blunders (strange how often New England benefits from "blunders") stopped the Giants cold, and kept them from turning the game into a route.

Now, I realize that the officials are down on the field and do not benefit from the extra angles that the viewing audience has, but I smell a rat in this; if nothing else, I think the idea is to keep the game close. Too many Superbowls have ended in routes, and I suspect the officials are told to try to keep it close, to make it worth the gargantuan sums of money the fans are paying.

But I also think the League just plain has the fix in for the Pats. I remember the year they beat the Rams (2002); Paul McCartney was interviewed before the game, and he tipped off how it was going to go. The U.S. had just been attacked, and McCartney, in his Liverpoolian accent, said "wouldn't it be wonderful if a team called the Patriots won the Superbowl". I still have a dent in my forhead where I smacked it! I knew there would be no joy in Big Mudville, because the Rams wouldn't catch a break. Now, the Rams were a precision offense style team; clutching and grabbing disrupts the timing of their plays. The Patriots held, grabbed, gouged, for all I know they may have bitten. And they were never called. And they won - barely.

So their second defeat in a row to New York was satisfying; the Pats haven't changed a bit. That there is some justice in this world is restorative to one's faith.

In a world where cheaters DO prosper, it was good to see them try so hard and fail.

In closing, I think a quote from the movie "What's UP Doc" is in order:

"Let's not say goodbye, let's say Au Revoir!"

"No, let's just say goodbye."

Or, as the rock band Steam so eloquently put it;

"na na na na, na na na na, hey, hey, hey, goooodbyeeeee!"

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