Zack Newkirk, staff
The Super Bowl happened recently. It was a game between the Evil Empire of the NFL, the New England Patriots, and the Not That Great But In The Playoffs Anyway Because That’s How Far The Quality Of The League Has Fallen of the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles.
It’s hard to get upset when the rich kids of the league, the white, upper class snobs who cheated to get everything they have, lose the game, but I’m going to try: The refs blew the game.
It could be said that the refs blow every game, and that wouldn’t be far from the truth, since on every play of every game there are several fouls happening at once, only a fraction of which ever get called by a referee. But in this case, the refs were a bit more egregious than they usually are about screwing up a call.
Midway through the third quarter Eagles running back Corey Clement caught a pass in the back of the end zone to put Philadelphia up 29-12 — only it wasn’t a catch. He clearly bobbled the ball, and by the time he ever had control he only had time to drag one foot in bounds. Announcers Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth rightly called it an incomplete pass. The refs, however, disagreed. They called the non-catch a catch, and therefore a touchdown. A correctly confused Collinsworth was shocked at the initial call, but, he reasoned, at least the refs could get it right in the replay booth, where they could see — again, clearly — that Clement never had possession of the ball. Easy overturn.
Stunningly, the wrong call of completion/touchdown was upheld. The Patriots, as is their wont, stormed back and were in position to win anyway with a minute and change to go until Tom Brady was sacked and fumbled to put the game out of reach, but without the phantom touchdown that had been tacked on earlier, New England would have been driving to put the game away, not trying to come back. Who knows how the butterfly effect of that blown call affected the outcome? No one does, and Philadelphia could have very well won the game anyway without the gifted points. But we’ll never know, because an injustice was done.
I feel really weird complaining about this, because I, like all moral, good people, HATE the Patriots. If the NFL is World War II and every team is a nation of the world, the Patriots are Nazi Germany, making coach Bill Belichik Hitler. Tom Brady, also, is Hitler in this analogy. So is owner Robert Kraft, wide receiver Danny Amendola, tight end Rob Gronkowski — a Nazi Germany absolutely packed to the gills with Hitlers, if you will.
So part of me is thrilled that Hitler lost. An excellent outcome of any Super Bowl involves Hitler losing, I say. But in this case, Hitler got jobbed by the refs, so I kinda feel bad for Hitler. Hitler deserved better. At the very least, Hitler deserved the chance to lose a fair fight.
So now, instead of having another Hitler championship hanging from the rafters, we have a team that probably shouldn’t have been there. The sport has been watered down now to the point that a middling team of decidedly non-Super-Bowl-caliber talent not only played in the game anyway — they WON it. I guess that’s good. I suppose that’s better than the alternative.
But I dunno… I just can’t help feeling sorry for Hitler.