To characterize the New England Patriots’ 28-24 Super Bowl XLIX victory over the Seattle Seahawks as dramatic would be semi-accurate.
To summarize the last play call of the contest by Seattle Head Coach Pete Carroll as “stupid,”asinine and fully insane would be totally accurate.
Imagine this scenario.
You are the coach of a midget football league squad of 9-year-olds. Your team is trailing by 4 points late in a game that is less 30 seconds away from concluding. Your team is less than one yard away from taking the lead. You have one time out left and you have a 9-year-old who looks more like a 12-year-old, who is capable of even bulldozing over even some 15-year-olds, waiting in the wings, chomping at the bit to take you to victory. But, but, but, you decide to get crafty, cerebral and possibly even sneaky to make yourself look important.
This final play will cause your name to be spoken with reverence on the sandlots of football for years to come. You call a pass play that you know that the defense of the opposing team will never be ready to defend.
The ball is snapped and your young quarterback receives the ball and throws it in the vicinity of the other 9-year-old receiver, but one young defender calls not on brains or brawn but on instinct and goes for the ball and in the ensuing chaos, the ball is intercepted and the game is lost.
Carroll decided in his ultimate moment of power to allow an unlikely play call that he was reasonably certain would’ve rung the bells of victory for the Seahawks and certainly been one of the deciding factors that would figure in garnishing the votes that would have someday punched his ticket into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
But that hastily rendered decision has eternally earned him a bust cast from “pewter and lead,” to be displayed forever in the “Hall of Shame.”
Well because you know what, boys and girls? Football from the ground up on every level is more than Xs and Os, more than blackboards and playbooks. When all is said and done, football is a game of helmets meeting helmets, pads against pads, muscles against muscles and bones striking bones.
Oftentimes in the game of football, one slip and fall, one missed assignment will cause the theories and plans on blackboards to become plays drawn in the sand. One glance away or the roar of the fans can often turn playbooks of grandiosity and pomposity into comic books.
Pete Carroll yearned and pined for that one last gasp of glory.
To allow the Seahawks’ superman disguised as a running back, Monsieur Marshawn Lynch, to plow into the end zone from one yard away was too easy. See, see, see, after all of the bone to bone fireworks of the first 59 minutes and 30 seconds that the game’s warriors had to endure, Caesar would not relinquish control.
This final moment needed the stamp of the alpha male to validate the battle.
When a battle is won in the game of war, when many lives are lost, most of the time, history chronicles and credits the generals and high level officers that planned and configured the battle.
However in the case of failed strategies, such as Napoleon being defeated at Waterloo and Custer suffering the massacre at Little Big Horn, the masses were led into battle and defeat by ultra-egotists on unrecognized suicide missions.
The ego does not recognize or acknowledge the impending agony of defeat until it is defeated. The ego is a self-feeding cannibalistic carnivore that is only satisfied by the taste of its own flesh and its thirst is only quenched by the drinking of its own blood.
Joe Thomson, of theScore, quoted Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News, who in turn quoted Seahawks cornerback Tharold Simon as saying, “How do you throw the ball when you got Marshawn Lynch?”
Katzenstein also quoted that Linebacker Bruce Irvin couldn’t believe the decision. “I don’t understand how you don’t give the best running back in the league the ball at the one-yard line. Not even at the one,” he said.
As far as I am concerned, blaming Seahawks QB Russell Wilson for the game ending interception is like blaming a gunshot victim for not wearing a bullet proof vest when going to shop at Wal-Mart. How can you anticipate that you are going to be robbed in the checkout line?
This was an ego based loss but there can be no remedy for the egomaniac because until you can identify the source of the “overinflated ego” not football the fiery cancer of the ego rages on and on and on.
Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412.583.6741. He is also a contributing columnist for urbanmediatoday.com follow him on Twitter@ultrascribe