A quick run through an entertaining Super Bowl XLV, won by Green Bay over Pittsburgh, 31-25:
1) I'm happiest for former Panther coach Dom Capers, who finally got a Super Bowl ring as Green Bay's defensive coordinator. Capers' defense wasn't perfect, but it intercepted Big Ben a couple of times and didn't allow him to get his final two-minute drive even to midfield before giving up the ball on downs.
2) Aaron Rodgers is something, isn't he? The Green Bay QB had 300 yards passing even though receiver Jordy Nelson dropped at least three passes Rodgers threw him (and, to be fair, caught a bunch of them, too). Rodgers had to carry the offense and he did.
3) Weird to see Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy basically abandon the run even though his team never trailed, calling close to four times as many pass plays as run plays. It's the sort of thing that Bill Belichick does occasionally with Tom Brady, and makes all the sense in the world when you have an elite QB and your running game is sporadic.
4) My favorite Super Bowl commercials? The one for Doritos when the slacker guy brings both a fish and a grandfather back to life with sprinklings of the chips, and the one for the VW Passat in which the kid with the Darth Vader costume tries to use his "powers" on the car.
5) Could Steelers safety Troy Polamalu have been worse? The only big hit I remember him making was after Green Bay scored a TD. And he got beat late by Greg Jennings for another TD. Too bad we can't have a re-vote on NFL Defensive Player of the Year, because after seeing that, Green Bay's Clay Matthews should have gotten that honor.
6) Did you see Roger Staubach (my childhood sports hero, incidentally) have to run that gantlet of Packers with the Vince Lombardi trophy in his hands postgame on the way to the presentation? Good thing his nickname was the "Dodger" -- some of those Packers were pretty aggressive.
7) All in all, that was a fun Super Bowl, although it won't be remembered as an incredible one since there wasn't a single lead change.
Still, it reminds us all how good the NFL is as a spectator sport -- and how much it will be missed if the stubborn players and stubborn owners can't divvy up the billions of dollars available here and get a season played in 2011. I don't want this Super Bowl to be the last NFL game you or I see for two years -- and there's no way it should be.
4 months ago