Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Super weird way to end a spiffing Super Bowl

It was possibly the weirdest way to score the winning touchdown in the history of the Super Bowl, but when New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw crouched down at the one yard line and his momentum sent him begrudgingly into the endzone little did he know he had made the play that won the game.

With the New England Patriots holding a 17-15 lead in the final minute, Bradshaw ran at full speed from six yards out, and with no resistance he was heading into the endzone before he had a split-second thought to try and stop at the 1 so the Giants could take more time off the clock and kick the winning field goal.

It was too late though as his body and mind got into a twist and he backed reluctantly into the endzone completely untouched.

I felt for Bradshaw who looked like he was on Death Row when he came to the sideline, not sure whether to laugh or cry.

Knowing Tom Brady had just under a minute left and a few time-outs everyone on the Giants and Patriots sideline just held their breath, as did the over 110 million fans around the world.

Alas it was not to be for Brady who simply could not not muster a score, his hail-mary pass falling in the end-zone about an arms length away from Patriots tight-end Rob Gronkowski.

This was a game the Patriots could have won, with a bit of lady luck on their side, but they made some big mistakes that combined meant they would not add to their three Vince Lombardi trophies.

Conceding a safety on their first drive because Brady threw to an empty part of the field was bad enough, but having 12 men on the field after Giants wideout Victor Cruz fumbled in the first quarter was unforgivable.

As has been the theme in recent Super Bowls the running game has been pretty average from both teams, as its all about the pass.

This leads me on to my favourite play of the game. Anyone who watched the game could clearly see that Pats tight-end Rob Gronkowski was not fully fit, his ankle strapped. he must have been one injection from having hallucinations.

Brady didn't target him that much but he did try a huge pass on the second play of the final period, and about 40 yards down the field man-marking Gronk was Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn.

Blackburn, who was substitute teaching at the start of the season, and brought back to shore up a Giants team on the verge of playoff elimination, managed to not only stay with Gronk as he rumbled downfield, he managed to leap up over Gronk and made an interception that he, his family and all Giants fans will remember forever.

The Giants didn't manage any points from the turnover, but they did keep the ball for almost five minutes after the pick, and when they had to punt the ball was downed at the Patriots eight-yard-line.

Blackburn is in his seventh season with the Giants and whilst he has never had a starring role, his interception must be recognised as a huge huge play, even though he was covering a guy who was clearly not fully fit or running at full speed.

The Super Bowl is all about the winning team, which this year included its typical fair share of superstars, namely Most Valuable Player Eli Manning, highly talented defensive studs like Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyoira, but some of the people who made the game special were not household names.

Blacburn was one, and the another was Giants punter Steve Weatherford who placed some magnificent punts throughout the game.

Congratulations to the Giants, you deserved the win.....just.

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