WALLY HALL: Super Bowl had its entertaining moments

Posted: February 6, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.

It was an entertaining and competitive game and one that wasn't over until Tom Brady, master of the comeback wins, had his Hail Mary pass hit the turf and left Philadelphia the winner of Super Bowl LII.

With 1,151 yards of combined offense and a 41-33 score -- the New England Patriots had the most yards with 613 but the fewest points -- it was a game that would make a Big 12 coach laugh and a SEC coach cry.

If you were just a fan of the game of football, you were pretty much riveted to your seat. Although the commercials were not as entertaining as some years, and it seemed that the NFL (which got the spot for free while advertisers paid $5 million for a 30-second spot) might have won that, too.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and his receiver Odell Beckham -- two veterans from the Southeastern Conference -- dancing to Dirty Dancing, was a winner.

Though the ads were overpriced and not very entertaining, they mostly stayed away from politics and tried to be humorous.

The halftime show wasn't much, at least not for folks in my demographic. It looked like a lot of lip-syncing and well-rehearsed dance steps.

All-in-all, it was probably a good show start to finish, and speaking of start to finish, for Super Bowl I 338 media were credentialed for the game in Los Angeles.

Sunday night there were 5,800 credentialed, many of them working for NBC, but from that original 338, only three journalists have been to every Super Bowl.

Jerry Izenberg, long-time columnist for the Star-Ledger (Newark, N..J.), Jerry Green, long-time reporter for the Detroit News, and Dave Klein, who worked alongside Izenberg before starting his own website, have endured the Super Bores and enjoyed the Super Bowls.

Izenberg is 87, and still writes for the Star-Ledger on a semi-regular basis, Green is 89 and Klein is 77.

Klein said after Izenberg and Green retire he'll do one more year and hang it up. Izenberg almost missed this year because of an inner-ear disorder but bounced back and made the trip from his home in Las Vegas.

Saying they have seen a lot would be a gross understatement, and there was more to add to the memory book Sunday night.

The night started when Patriots defensive back Malcolm Butler was seen sobbing during "America the Beautiful," though no one took a knee during the national anthem.

Apparently, Butler had already received the news that despite starting every game but one this season, he would not be starting in the Super Bowl.

Butler was the hero of Super Bowl XLIX when the rookie intercepted Seattle's Russell Wilson to allow the Patriots to escape with a 28-24 victory.

Tom Brady was named the MVP but asked Chevrolet to award the truck he won to Butler, who was a nominee for the first Cliff Harris Award presented by the Little Rock Touchdown Club and Wright, Lindsey and Jennings law firm.

Bill Belichick opted to start Eric Rowe, a former Eagle who had one start this season. He struggled much of the night, but Butler was limited to one punt return play and probably won't for the Patriots again as he becomes a free agent in March.

That's just part of all the turmoil surrounding the Patriots for the first time in a long time, but it is serious enough that owner Robert Kraft has admitted there is tension on the team.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia returns 21 of 22 starters, but that's no guarantee anymore than 500 yards passing by Brady will result in a win, which obviously it didn't.

Still, it was a very good game with overpriced ads and an over-hyped halftime show.

Sports on 02/06/2018