I attended all four of the Buffalo Bills’ Super Bowl games, and regardless of the eventual gut-wrench, the buildup – the host city’s preparation, layout and staging, and its bars and locals partaking — was always far more attention-grabbing and better than the product on the field, especially the excruciating halftime shows. Minneapolis killed it, in the good way. Atlanta was damn decent.
In the decades since, the hype, spectacle and actual game have progressively worsened, particularly the commercials if you watch on TV.
Sunday in Atlanta, touchdowns were replaced with bog-downs. Neither team threatened to score until many fans jumped off the train. There was as much action between plays as during them.
I thoroughly appreciate a colossal defensive battle for the ages. This was not one; this was crappy, boring offense. There were no spectacular defensive stops, slobber-knocking hits or near decapitations. There was about an inch worth of genuine “game of inches” plays. Like smells, there were many more hideous or bad ones than good or great ones.
The game-planning genius of Bill Bellygoat and how his 6-1 defense took away Yawn McVay’s offensive genius was better in midweek postgame All-22 game breakdowns by analysts than during the actual Super Bowl for fans.
The Rams’ defensive god and sonofabum, Wade Phillips, was equally brainy, mostly shutting down Tom Bradygoat and the Pats with cloaked coverages; but it was like a millennial watching a movie in black and white; it wasn’t much to see and enjoy unless you are some kind of twisted, snobbish purist that no one wants to watch the games with.
Tony Romocop and his record breaking 68 PPP (Predict Play Percentage) could not save this wallapasnoozer. He should have just said, right before every play — “Look for the Rams to be predictable and get nothing from their coaches, QB, blockers or receivers while Bill Bellygoat and something named Brian Flores get all the credit on this one.”
Brian Flores was just named head coach of the Miami Dolphins because of Daddy Bellygoat’s nepotism, and will surely follow legendary ex-Pats, Charlie Weis, Josh McDaniels, Eric Mangini, Bill O’Brien, Romeo Crennel, Mike Vrabel, Matt Patricia, etc., right into Canton, I mean, oblivion.
Alas, the Pats win again. Sure I wanted them to lose bigly, and be humiliated in front of six gazillion fans around the world and Milky Way Galaxy (you just know they’re watching if they want to find out about us), but six trophy wives is the same as five when you’re rooting against them.
Bradygoat is Bradygoat, I’m over it. I don’t even hate Stephon Gilmore or Gronko Robkowski, although don’t get me started on Edelman, the game MVP, which should have stood for Mostly Victimized Peters, often beating vastly overrated, overpaid Rams’ DB Marcus Peters, although Juls did beat Aqib Talib, plus ex-Bill and current toast of New Orleans, Nickell Robey-Coleman.
Edelman is extremely good, tough, reliable, butt-busting, and clutch — all the things you could ever want in a player — and yet still 100 percent hate-able — which is a somewhat unique but essential and beautiful element of fandom.
So Sean McVay, the boy genius God, lost to Bill Bellygoat, the man genius Devil. Contrary to popular belief, especially in sports, Evil prevails over Good all the time.
Jared Gaffe just couldn’t make a play when they needed him to. All-World DT Aaron Donald wasn’t even All-Vine City and disappeared underneath the Patriots’ OC and OGs. Robert Woods looked lost in them. Brandin Cooks couldn’t stand the heat and should have got out of the kitchen. Ndamukong Suh should have been suhed for impersonating a former All-Pro.
The fact that the snoozefest had to end with the Patriots finally hitting paydirt, combined with the Rams’ late softness making Ford reconsider their entire truck naming and slogan strategy, made it even worse, and one of the worst Super Bowls in memory.
The Bills, of course, sat this one out, like they have the last score. But they made some news and improved their chances by tuning the coaching staff. The former QB coach who was really a WR coach, David Culley, left for less bluer pastures in Baltimore. He is replaced by … wait for it … ex-Panther QB coach Ken Dorsey.
The difference between going into OTAs and the season with Dorsey, plus Derek Anderson and Matt Barkley, helping Josh Allen, versus Culley, plus AJ McCarron, and Nathan Peterman competing against him, and not helping whatsoever, is beyond belief.
Kudos also to Sean McDermott for first hiring veteran guys to help him assimilate into his first head coaching assignment, and now, two years later, assembling a younger, more creative and aggressive staff. I would rather have Hall and Dorsey, plus new OL coach Bobby Johnson and ST coach Heath Farwell, get the gigs over a retread any day of the week and twice on Sundays.
Let’s hope that these and other changes coming in 2019 jettison the Bills out of their Stupor Ball the last couple decades, and back into the Super Bowl, where they belong.
Pete Rosen is a screenwriter in Los Angeles, lifetime Buffalo fan, and may be found blathering daily at twobillsdrive.com.