by John Walters

Starting Five

The play of the game: Brandon Graham with the strip sack of Tom Brady. No Tuck Rule to save the Pats this time.

Philly, Philly*

*The judges will also accept “The Philadelphia Glory” and “Beak Condition”

Philadelphia, the city of Rocky Balboa, hoagies and Harold Carmichael (but not of Hoagy Carmichael), wins Super Bowl LII, 41-33. It is the Eagles’ first Super Bowl victory.

Harold Carmichael, who at 6’8″ was a freak in his day.

–The Eagles and Patriots combined for 1,151 yards, breaking the all-time record for ANY NFL game ever played. E-vah. The previous record of 1,133 yards was set in 1950 when the  Los Angeles Rams and the New York Yanks (yes, a real team) tangled. The Rams won 43-35 in a game that was played at…Yankee Stadium.

The Yanks, who lasted all of 2 seasons

Tom Brady, in a losing effort, broke his own Super Bowl passing yardage record (466 yards) with 505 yards. He also threw for three TDs and zero interceptions. No NFL QB has ever thrown for 500 yards and three TDs without a pick and lost. E-vah.

–The game MVP was Eagles QB Nick Foles, who was not the QB the Eagles selected No. 2 overall in the draft before the 2016 season. Foles became the first player in NFL history to both throw and catch a touchdown pass in a Super Bowl. We think the Eagles stole the play, on 4th-and-goal from the one, from Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl. Just a minor alteration.

—Both Brady and Foles completed 28 passes.


–The Eagles’ coach, Doug Pederson, is in his first second season.

—There were no touchdown receptions that were overruled on review, in fact there were no calls reversed, and everyone was pleased.


—Al Michaels referred to the Detroit Lions as the Pistons, Cris Collinsworth would have overturned both Eagles’ TD catches in the second half, and both of them really got off on saying “RPO,” even if a play was not a run-pass option.

2. No Ifs, Ands or Butler

Butler (21) dressed out and never played

Fact: No New England Patriot defender played more snaps this season than cornerback Malcolm Butler, who was on the field for 97.8% of them. The fourth-year pro also made the Pro Bowl in 2015, was a second-team All-Pro last season and, oh, made arguably the most pivotal play in Super Bowl history three years ago to secure Super Bowl XLIX for the Pats.

For some reason on Sunday night Butler did not play a single defensive snap. His replacement, Greg Eric Rowe, only found out he’d be starting shortly before kickoff. Coach Bill Belichick was his usual cryptic and evasive self when asked about Butler’s DNP, calling it a “coaching decision.” Butler simply said, “They gave up on me. F**k. It is what it is.”

No one in New England will ever forget this play

Makes little sense. Butler was likely informed very shortly before kickoff and you have to wonder why Belichick would have him dress out or not put him on the inactive list. You also have to wonder how the other Pats felt about this decision, considering a player such as Butler could have made the difference in a contest that saw a few second-half lead changes.

Fortunately, Boston is not the type of city that feasts on palace intrigue, so I’m sure this story will die very soon. 🙂

3. Jack, O Lantern*

*The judges will also accept “Blaze of Gory” or “You’re Fired!”

The fire itself did not kill Jack Pearson, the Peerless Patriarch of This Is Us(eless). It turns out John Elway did.

Maybe I wasn’t watching closely, but the family was asleep in their beds, then they were awakened by the fire, then Jack rescued everyone including the pooch and some family photo albums, then he went down to the hospital to be examined, and then he keeled over as he was watching the Super Bowl???? Whaaaaat?????? So they were asleep and then an hour or so later the Super Bowl was on? Huh?

Now, perhaps what Jack was watching at the hospital were post-game highlights (the doc said something about Elway finally winning one, but if that’s true who goes to sleep DURING the Super Bowl?). Also, in present-day, the mom is watching the game in New Jersey (?) but it’s light outside as she’s talking to one of her sons on the phone? What? Hunh?

Also, just a note, but why was the family using Super Bowl Sunday to mark the 20th anniversary of Jack’s death on a previous Super Bowl Sunday, when the one happened on a January 25th and this one is February 4th. The family wasn’t even watching the game. It may have had a little cross-promoting to do with the other show NBC had on last night?

4. And The Oscar For Eggs-cellence Goes To…*

*The judges will not accept “Yolk? Oh, oh no.”

Scrambled. Soft-boiled. Hard-boiled. Why have eggs come to play such a prominent role in this year’s Best Picture oeuf-re? SPOILER ALERTS APLENTY TO COME:

—In Phantom Thread, a mushroom omelette plays a pivotal role in the climactic scene.

—In Call Me By Your Name, one of the two main characters takes sensuous pleasure in ripping into soft-boiled eggs for breakfast before declaring, “Later.”

—And in The Shape Of Water, hard-boiled eggs are the bait that our mute heroine uses as bait to initiate a friendship with a river god.

Where were all the provocative pancake films in 2017? The blintz breakthroughs? The mueslix movies?

5. Sasquatch What Happens Next

In the state of Washington, senator Ann Rivers (R) has introduced a bill to create a special license plate honoring the Sasquatch, a.k.a. Bigfoot. In what may be a related story, recreational marijuana is legal in the Evergreen State.

Rivers is proposing a $40 price tag for the plates, $28 of which will go to public parks in the state. The funny thing about a Sasquatch license plate, of course, is that there are people who are claiming that they’ve already seen one.

Music 101

Philadelphia Freedom

I mean, why not? The fourth of Elton John‘s SIX No. 1 hits in the 1970s was actually written as an anthem for his friend, Billie Jean King, who played for a professional tennis team of the same name at the time in 1975.

Remote Patrol

The War


Football’s over and March Madness is MORE THAN FIVE LONG WEEKS away. If you were ever going to invest yourself in an outstanding and exhaustive documentary on World War 2 by Ken Burns, this is the time to do so. Also recommend Band of Brothers on HBO Now or HBO Go.

3 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Good column on The Athletic that the trick play 4th and 1 at end of 1st half is based on a number of other teams’ plays but specifically from the Bears\-Vikings last year. In fact it occurred in the same stadium and Alshon Jeffery was a Bear at the time.

  2. Westlake High, located in a tony section of Austin, TX, can now boast two Super Bowl MVPs among its alumni – Nick Foles and Drew Brees. Tom Brady’s high school in southern California also produced two SB MVPs – Brady and Lynn Swann. (And Barry Bonds).

  3. So, as bad as the overall market was today, “Buttercup” (NVDA) was worse…

    “Why did you build me up (build me up) Buttercup, baby
    Just to let me down (let me down) and mess me around…..
    I need you (I need you) more than anyone, darlin’
    You know that I have from the start
    So build me up (build me up) Buttercup, DON’T BREAK MY HEART”

    I saw your tweets arguing that the ~ 1100 pt drop was not, er, that bad percentage wise but I can tell you one thing – the “paper drop” of MY stock portfolio was TWICE as large as my previous one day drop. Ooof, we’re talking TOWER OF TERROR. On one hand, I’ve been waiting for a correction for almost 3 freakin years. On the other, owwwwwww.

    I was THRILLED the Patriots lost! Whoo-hoo! And I loved Eli & Odell’s “dance” (cracked me up) & the Olympic promos (“this girl is on firrrruuhhhhh” for Lindsey’s).

    Hey, did you see Lindsey win the 2 Downhills over the weekend? That’s 3 in a row for her & she was runner-up in the race before that. Unfortunately, 3 of the other American girls crashed hard & one is out for the season (ACL & broke leg). Lindsey has now won 81 World Cup races & is 5 from matching Stenmark’s record.

    BTW, the “other” Lindsay, our girl Czarniak, is back with WRC-TV in Washington. I’m so glad she’s back here now that she’s no longer with ESPN. The latter was STUPID to let her go.

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