Tag Archives: Super Bowl

Get real, theorists

Conspiracy theorists, seemingly to a person, seemingly have too much time on their hands.

Thus, they need to find something to occupy their usually vacuous skulls. Absent anything constructive, they are left to concoct idiotic theories that simply defy any sense of what’s real.

Example? The conspiracy theory du jour involves the Kansas City Chiefs, their tight end Travis Kelce and his girlfriend Taylor Swift. The Chiefs and Kelcie are playing in the Super Bowl a week from Sunday. The conspiracists have come up with a beaut, I’m going to tell ya.

Republicans across the land have glommed onto a notion that the National Football League has rigged the Super Bowl to ensure that the Chiefs defeat the San Francisco 49ers, that Kelce will bring his squeeze onto the field to celebrate and that Swift will endorse President Biden’s bid for re-election on the spot.

Supposedly well-informed conservative talking heads are actually breathing life into this nonsense by endorsing the notion they said could possibly be true.

Oh, my ever-lovin’ goodness. The insanity of it makes me want to hurl.

This kind of baloney too often takes on a life of its own. I mean, we do live in an era of social media where such nonsense spreads so damn quickly that the truth never seems to catch up.

I should point out, too, that Kelce happens to be a pro-vaxxer, displaying proudly in recent days a bandage on his arm that reveals his belief in the vaccines that protect him against contagions such as, oh … the COVID-19 virus. That’s anathema to the right-wing MAGA crowd that looks for reasons to despise public figures.

Social media is pervasive to be sure. It produces plenty of good in this world of ours. It also is largely to blame for the nonsense that permeates the atmosphere, which then gains even more traction when ostensibly bright people believe it.

It wasn’t the greatest show in history

Am I allowed to say that I do not care for rap music without being labeled all kinds of bad things?

I said so last night as an assortment of rap and R&B artists performed at halftime of the Super Bowl in Los Angeles. I posted the comment on Facebook and, sure enough, I got plenty of push back on my comment.

My comment simply was that the show was “seriously overhyped.” I stand by that comment. A couple of responses, though, seemed to suggest that my old-man status had blinded me to the need for greater cultural diversity. Well … I beg to differ.

I told one of the respondents that I need no lecture on social justice of cultural diversity, that my comment only took aim at rap music. It ain’t my thing, man! A member of my family told me this morning that “I didn’t expect you to like it.” He knows me well, pointing out that I grew up on rock ‘n roll music and, to be brutally honest, I remain devoted to what is now called “classic rock music.”

Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Lamar Kendrick and 50 Cent all have made a tremendous impact on modern music. I get it. I am all in on artists who have something to contribute. I also realize that this ol’ world is full of folks who prefer their music over the music I enjoy. More power to ’em.

It’s just that special event marketers have this annoying habit of going way over the top in promoting these events, seeking to attract as many viewers as they can. I believe they did so in hyping the halftime show at Super Bowl LVI.

Oh, and the game? It was quite good … even if the wrong team won.


AFC vs. NFC? No contest!

I have this need to disclose my professional football bias. I am a diehard fan of the American Football Conference, which once was known as the American Football League.

Of all the 55 Super Bowls that have been played, I have cheered precisely one time for the National Football Conference team to win the big game. In 2010, that honor fell to the New Orleans Saints, who gave their city the lift it needed after it had endured the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina five years earlier.

The Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in the game played in Miami.

I tend to favor the underdog. When the AFL came into being in the early 1960s, I gravitated to the young league. I enjoyed its razzle-dazzle, high-scoring brand of football. Then the leagues — the AFL and the NFL — announced plans to merge. The pro football championship would be decided in a title game between the leagues. I cheered mightily for the Kansas City Chiefs in that first game against the Green Bay Packers and for the Oakland Raiders in the second game against the Packers; both AFL teams got clobbered.

Then the New York Jets scored the big upset in Super Bowl III against the Baltimore Colts and the Chiefs came back in Super Bowl IV to manhandle the Minnesota Vikings.

My bias remains intact this year, with the Cincinnati Bengals waiting for the winner of the 49ers-Rams game this evening.

And so … may the better team win and I do hope it’s the representative of the AFC.


Hail the GOAT!

Most of us who follow football — even a little bit — understand that it is a game of numbers. You know, yards gained, yards lost, interceptions, tackles, penalty yards, sacks, punting yardage. Whatever …

Tom Brady reportedly is retiring after 22 seasons of professional football becoming arguably the greatest quarterback of all time.

I want to focus on a particular number as we ponder the effect this guy had on the game he played with excellence and precision.

The number is 198. What does that number signify?

It is the number players selected ahead of Brady in the NFL draft of 2000. Now think for a moment if you’re a general manager who had the chance to select this young man what you might have thought after he won all those Super Bowls and led the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to all that glory.

One hundred ninety-eight players got into the NFL ahead of the GOAT. Granted, not every team drafting in that sequence needed a quarterback. Still, Tom Brady quite unexpectedly became the gold standard for winning in the National Football League.

The Patriots drafted him out of the University of Michigan even though they had a decent QB calling signals for them. Drew Bledsoe then got hurt; Brady replaced him on the field. And the rest, as they, is history.

I know, we had that “Deflategate” matter involving the footballs that were allegedly tampered with by the Patriots, giving Brady some sort of advantage over his foes. Phooey.

Now, let’s look at some other numbers.

Seven Super Bowls; five Super Bowl MVP awards; more than 84,000 yards passing; 624 touchdown passes; three league MVP awards. I won’t go on. You get the picture.

The guy was a stellar athlete. He possesses an incomparable work and dietetic regimen that has allowed him to play the game at a high level until the very end of his playing days. He led the NFL in passing yards at the age of 44, for crying out loud.

Perhaps, in my mind, the greatest measure of this guy’s greatness can be found in this episode. He left the Patriots after the 2019 season and joined the Buccaneers. The Patriots, who had won six Super Bowls with Brady at QB, missed the playoffs that year; the Bucs went on to win the Big Game, beating the defending champs, the Kansas City Chiefs.

Oh, Brady did that at the age of 43.

Yep. This guy is the greatest of all time.


Will Super Bowl match these games?

Whichever teams emerge next weekend from the NFL’s conference championship games will have a mighty steep hill to climb to match the excitement the football-watching public enjoyed this past weekend in the divisional playoff games.

This is my way of saying the Super Bowl, to be played two weeks later in Los Angeles, will have to go some to give us the same level of thrill.

Think of this: The Cincinnati Bengals beat the top seed in the AFC, the Tennessee Titans with a game-winning field goal; the San Francisco 49ers went to Green Bay to defeat the favored Packers after trailing the entire game — until the end; the LA Rams went to Tampa Bay and knocked the defending Super Bowl champs, the Buccaneers, with a game-ending field goal; then came the capper, with the Kansas City Chiefs defeating the Buffalo Bills in overtime with a touchdown pass in what many call the “greatest game in NFL history.” 

The conference championships will have plenty of drama. My favorite story line belongs to the Bengals. They hadn’t won a road playoff game in the franchise’s history, yet they beat the Titans in Nashville. They haven’t played in a Super Bowl since 1989, when they lost a thriller to the 49ers.

Whether it’s the Rams vs. the Bengals, or the 49ers vs. the Bengals, or the Rams vs. the Chiefs or the 49ers vs. the Chiefs in the Big Game, know this: The players will take the field knowing they are capable of delivering a Super Bowl for the ages.

Here’s hoping they don’t disappoint.


NFLers come to play

My football-watching tastes have evolved over the years, in that I usually watch little pro football and concentrate my attention on college ball.

However, this weekend has been one for the ages for those who love to watch the National Football League.

Three visiting teams won the first three divisional playoff games. They all were underdogs. Oh, and all three games were decided by field goals.

Cincinnati beat the AFC’s No. 1 seed, Tennessee, in Nashville; the San Francisco 49ers ventured to frigid Green Bay to beat the Packers after trailing them the entire game; Los Angeles traveled to Tampa to take on the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers and won that game as time ran out.

What’s more, Cincy won its first road playoff game in the history of the franchise.

As I type this brief post, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills are playing for the final conference championship spot. It’s still early, but my hunch is that this one could down to the wire, too.

Yep, these high-priced millionaire athletes do have a way of stepping up to provide the kind of entertainment we all love to see.

Update: The Chiefs and the Bills put a wrap on the most exciting football playoff weekend I can remember. KC won with a touchdown in overtime; the game ended 42-36. So help me, that was among the best football games I ever have seen.


Tom Brady: GOAT!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Damn! I didn’t want it to turn out this way.

But … it did. Tom Brady has established himself as the greatest quarterback of all time. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the defending champ Kansas City Chiefs in a Super Bowl blowout.

I pulled hard for the Chiefs, given that I am a longtime AFC fan.

Back to Brady.

He led the New England Patriots to nine Super Bowls. He won six of them as QB for the Pats. Then he leaves New England for Tampa Bay. What happened then? The Patriots this year missed the playoffs altogether. The Bucs win it all!

The common denominator? Tom Brady!

Holy cow, man! I salute the GOAT!

R.I.P., the great Don Shula

Don Shula has died at the age of 90.

He was a great National Football League coach. He led the Miami Dolphins to the only undefeated season in NFL history, coaching them to a 14-7 victory in the 1973 Super Bowl over the Washington Redskins. He would coach the Dolphins to a second straight Super Bowl victory the following year.

Now, I want to offer this little tidbit that has been lost as the pro football world has long saluted the greatness of Don Shula. I do not mean to disparage him.

But …

Don Shula also coached the Baltimore Colts in the 1969 Super Bowl, the third such game pitting the NFL champs against the American Football League champs.

The Colts lost that game, 16-7, to the New York Jets, the team quarterbacked by that brash youngster Joe Namath who reportedly “guaranteed” that the Jets would beat the Colts and elevate the AFL to parity with the more established NFL.

I don’t recall whether the Colts were outcoached, or whether the Jets simply outplayed them.

Still, that one history-making loss did not do a single thing to diminish the great record — the winningest record in NFL history — that became the hallmark of Don Shula’s fabulous career.

R.I.P., Coach.

Oops, the Chiefs play in, um, Missouri

To borrow a word … oops!

Someone forgot to tell the current president of the United States that the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs play their football in Missouri, which is across the Missouri River from the city in Kansas that shares the same name.

I am not going to beat up in Donald John Trump too badly over this gaffe, although I likely should.

Hey, the president has told us more often than many of us can count how smart, erudite, worldly he is. He calls himself a “very stable genius.”

It’s just that someone as smart as the president claims to be should know where the professional football champions do their blocking and tackling.


Look for big Texas connection to Chiefs’ big win

I am going out just a bit on a limb here, but I am betting that the Texas media are going to find every possible connection between this state and the Kansas City Chiefs’ victory in Super Bowl LIV.

The Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers in a thriller. The score was 31-20, but the game was a barn burner.

The Texas connection? Well, let’s see.

  • Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was born in Tyler, Texas, in the eastern part of the state. He attended Texas Tech University in the western part of Texas. It’s been noted that football-mad Texas now can claim that a pure Texas product has won the biggest pro football game of the year.
  •  The Chiefs were born as the Dallas Texans. A Dallas businessman, Lamar Hunt, created the Texans and joined them with the American Football League. They moved to KC in 1963, changed their name to the Chiefs and won the 1970 Super Bowl against the Minnesota Vikings.
  •  Clark Hunt, son of the late Chiefs founder, is the current owner of the team. Clark Hunt was 4 years old when the Chiefs won their first Super Bowl. He still lives in Dallas.

Do you get where I’m going with this?

Sure, the team plays its home games in far-off Kansas City, Mo. A lot of football fans here in Texas, though, won’t let the Chiefs and their fans know about this team’s roots.