Super Bowl XXXIX

I'm delighted to say that I had vested interest here – both sides. A cousin in Lawrence, and a great-grandmother from Lowell, Mass, and my grandfather's family all being from Philly: I've visited both areas in the last few years.

I must admit to being very impressed with the bluegrass fiddler playing before the game – can anyone tell me more about this guy? A comment about the pre-game: were I either coach, I would be pretty unhappy about having my team out on the pitch for that long before the game – it could distract and destroy careful mental preparation… I guess these guys are pros and this is the Super Bowl, but it's a long time to stand around. The price the NFL pays for millions of TV dollars?

The game itself was an interesting parallel of the Italy-Ireland game of earlier – the favourites on the back foot throughout the first half, with the pretenders crucially failing to score. Superb defense on both sides. Then in the second half we saw the sheer class of the favourites.

I was disappointed in McNabb and the Eagles' Offense on their final drive – I believe they threw away a great chance through particularly bad time management that (I'm guessing) would scarcely be seen at high school level. Maybe the stress of the occasion (you should have listened to TO and relaxed, Donavan!).

Congratulations to the New England Patriots, commiserations to the Eagles – I hope to see them competiting at the end of the next regular season.

Miscellaneous thoughts: I must admit to a wry smile when I hear the phrase “World Champions” in relation to the Super Bowl and other American sports – well, at least the NHL involves a second country! Are 2unlimited making an absolute fortune from the NFL? I hear them in the background at every game – cringeworthy. Are there no limits?

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