LOS ANGELES, February 3, 2014 — While it seemed like the Seattle Seahawks’ defense had 48 takeaways in Super Bowl XLVIII, they actually had four. After crushing the Denver Broncos 43-8, the Seahawks have the potential to become a dynasty. Now that the game and the after parties are over, the analysis can begin.
Here are 25 takeaways from Super Bowl XLVIII.
1. People who care about the commercials and the halftime show are annoying. The Super Bowl is a football game, and anything not related to football deserves zero discussion.
2. Bill O’Reilly and President Obama, see point number one. Next time, wait until Monday to bore us with an interview where the interviewee wants to be interviewed for free publicity and then refuses to answer the questions.
3. The fear of snowstorms kept many Hollywood celebrities from attending the game. Good. Hold it in a cold weather city every year like Canada does with the Grey Cup. Fair-weather fans detract from the game.
Now on to what matters.
4. The Seahawks’ big win does bolster the cliché that defense wins championships, but the overall evidence is still inconclusive.
5. Peyton Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, but even if he had won he would still not be number one. Johnny Unitas and Joe Montana are higher, and imagine if Dan Fouts had a defense.
6. Percy Harvin is a game-breaker. If he could just stay healthy, he would be all-world. The Oakland Raiders have to think about this when deciding what to do with Darren McFadden.
7. Some teams are obvious one-and-dones like the 2012 Ravens. The Seahawks are built to become a dynasty, and should win at least one more in the coming years.
8. Russell Wilson is more than a mere game manager. He scrambled and converted some key third downs early in the game.
9. The mobile quarterback jinx has finally been broken. Scramblers make exciting plays, but pocket passers win championships. Wilson got it done as a scrambler. Steve Young could scramble, but was a prolific pocket passer.
10. Even after winning it all, Marshawn Lynch was nowhere to be found. Some people are just private people, and in a world where everybody makes their entire lives public, a little quietness is a good thing.
11. Pete Carroll and Dick Vermeil are proof that players’ coaches can win. They are not inferior to coaches like Vince Lombardi and Bill Parcells. The days of the autocrats are not over, but there is room for both styles.
12. Turnovers still matter. Denver had four and Seattle had none.
13. No player is above the league. The league survived Brett Favre retiring and will be just fine when Manning calls it quits. However, Favre remains hilarious. When asked what he killed the most while hunting, he replied, “time.” He said his wife Deanna told him they would starve if it was up to his hunting abilities.
14. Seattle supposedly had to run the ball to win, and the cold weather supposedly favored the running game. Lynch had only 39 yards rushing on 15 carries.
15. Games are still won and lost in the trenches. The Seattle pass rush overwhelmed Denver’s offensive line. One Manning interception came because he was hit as he threw the ball.
16. Malcolm Smith was the right choice for MVP. The voters often reflexively pick the quarterback, which would have been a big mistake in a game where the defense made the difference.
17. Young people today are so used to exciting Super Bowls that they may not know or remember that most Super Bowls for a long time were blowouts, including the first two that made Vince Lombardi a legend.
18. The elements did not slow down Peyton Manning. The Seattle defense did.
19. In a society that obsesses over youth, recent Super Bowl victories have shown that older coaches know what they are doing. Pete Carroll can party like a 20-year-old, but at 62, he is one of the oldest coaches in the league. So is Tom Coughlin of the Giants. Owners should remember this when looking for the next hot young coach.
20. On the field, experience does not always trump youth. Peyton Manning had all the experience in the world. The biggest stage was not too big for the very young Seahawks.
21. The NFL draft remains an art and not a science. Richard Sherman was not drafted until the fifth round. MVP Malcolm Smith was picked in the seventh and last round. Undrafted players can become heroes.
22. Coaches who go from college to the NFL have insight into players other coaches do not have. Pete Carroll said he knew Malcolm Smith since he was 11 years old.
23. Seahawks owner Paul Allen is more about microprocessors than micromanagement. While Al Davis and Jerry Jones did collect three Lombardi trophies each, they were criticized for meddling. For some, hands on ownership works. Paul Allen hired good people and let them do their jobs. He got to be hands on when it came time to hold the trophy.
24. Raider fans have had a miserable 11 years, but can take solace in knowing the Broncos are the team with the most losses in Super Bowl history with five defeats, all blowouts.
25. Love him or hate him, Richard Sherman really is that good. People get what they deserve. The Legion of Boom deserves their moniker, their championship, and the
parade that awaits them.
In politics, media and many other aspects of life, many things are subjective. On the football field, everything is based on merit. Bill Parcells once said that your record is what it says you are. The Broncos got what they deserved, but only because the Seahawks did as well. They earned this win through hard work, and Pete Carroll told everybody that the quest to repeat begins now.
Lombardi’s never-ending pursuit of excellence that Carroll is pursuing even after having won a championship is the biggest takeaway of all.