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MOUNT ROYAL – The Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl LVII in a 38-35 tilt that was played on a second-half tightrope.
In the first half it appeared early on that the Philadelphia Eagles were going to have a bit too much for the KC team, however KC went toe to toe with them in a game that featured five lead changes. KC got the winning points on a successful field goal with 11 seconds left in the game.
This game left the feeling that it was better officiated than the Conference Championship games were. Or so I thought.
This is just a personal feeling of mine but I can imagine there are many fans out there who feel the same way I do on this topic, and that is I wish the officials would simply allow the players to settle games like this one by the merits of their play, not because a human judgment quite possibly changed the outcome of a game. Not just any game, but this league’s Championship game. The one and only Super Bowl.
Perhaps I’m splitting hairs here but maybe not.
Late in the 4th quarter with the score tied at 35 each, KC was driving on offense and was barely into the Red Zone when they had a 3rd and 8 situation facing them. QB Pat Mahomes threw an incomplete pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster.
OK, it’s 4th down. If you were a coach playing the percentages you would set up to go for the points and attempt the field goal. But there is 1:54 on the clock. That is a lot of time to leave a potent offense like the Eagles. But wait! There’s a flag!
A ref on the field called the Eagle’s defensive back James Bradberry for holding.
I quickly had a flashback to the AFC Championship game two weeks back, where KC was stopped on another critical 3rd down by the Cincinnati Bengals only to get a “do-over” chance from the officials. KC was stuffed by the Bengal defense in a like situation but the officials called for a replay, stating that they had blown the call dead even though no one heard the whistles.
The response then was that the crowd noise was overwhelming. Of course KC was successful on the subsequent attempt and the rest is football history now.
If you were to break down this eve’s play from a technical standpoint you could make the case that he was holding as flimsy as it appeared relative to many other plays that happen game in and game out. The challenge here is that Bradberry was just playing his style, and does some hand-checking. The referees had let that pass on a few plays earlier in this contest indicating that no precedent had been set for him on similar plays.
So now at the most critical point of the biggest game of the year you are going to make this call?
Even though there were about three fewer official events (a called penalty or review) in this game, the officials possibly had a hand in the outcome of it once again!
How can this be in your league’s most important games? This is why some fans are so adamant that your games are “fixed” or “rigged”!
It is becoming clear that the appearance of such is no longer far-fetched.
Oh, well. After sitting through the last 25 minutes or so of the pre-game show right up until the coin flip I was kind of smoldering a bit under the surface and nauseated anyway.
Yes, the NFL’s annual commercialized and corporatized orgy of patting itself on the back all the while behaving badly as real citizens of the human race continues forth and apparently after so many years of their baloney it is obviously getting to me.
The Arizona Cardinals State Farm Stadium had about two-thirds of its capacity filled with KC fans. Shortly after settling in to watch the proceedings I heard the first Native American chanting by the misguided KC fans. It’s like their love song to the team or something.
It matters not to the majority of their fans that most of the chanting and singing done by the Indigenous peoples is for spiritual reasons and acknowledgment. And it’s not done at highly commercialized nationwide and global sports events.
Then there is the matter of how long Native Americans have lobbied the league to get the franchise to drop the team name and any inference to them in the team’s marketing of its images and so on.
From the league standpoint, it’s an issue they have drug their feet on for decades. It has just been in the recent past that Native Americans finally achieved a victory against a franchise and its parent, the NFL. That’s when the Washington Redskins agreed to change their name to the Commanders.
At that point it hit me that roughly about 350 miles from this stadium and the opulent event going on inside sits the area known as “Four Corners.” That’s where AZ, NM, CO and UT meet. Most of the area is Native American reservation land. I have been on several reservations in my lifetime. Some of the most destitute poverty I have seen in this country has been on reservations. It is as bad or worse than what I have observed in some urban areas in the U.S.
So we have this event going on in Phoenix and not too far from it we have some of the most neglected citizens of this country living in literal shacks.
Is this all the fault of the NFL? No, and I know that. But if you think they are a caring member of the human race based upon some sort of moral foundation, I have some bad news for you.
Then I sat through a drawn-out homage to our country that included two songs and the inevitable military flyover. No matter that the way the roof sits on this stadium makes me find it hard to believe a flyover could be seen by very many of the fans in attendance. But the American TV audience eats it up. Just the way it has been trained to.
This year’s flyover featured 4 aircraft piloted by 7 females. It was a Super Bowl first. I’m having a rough time processing this. We should be honoring women in military service at every chance. Is doing so in one of these grotesque displays of American militarism the best way to do that?
In the same country that can’t even pass the full ERA and has women’s reproductive rights under constant attack? Yikes.
By now the game can’t begin soon enough. If I was in a great mood before I sat down to watch it, that seems to have gone away for the time being.
The game finally kicked off. It was exciting and then it wasn’t. Viewing $7mil 30-second TV commercials during a game in a country that can’t take care of its own was kind of gnawing on me today for some reason.
Maybe that’s because this game and the league it resides in symbolizes that and us more than we might think or believe it does.
That’s an unsettling thought. PEACE