Well, it has only been a week. It seems longer. Super Bowl!!! The New England Patriots versus the Seattle Seahawks. Russell Wilson versus Tom Brady. Legion of Boom. Revis. Edelman. Matthews!! In the end, it was a perfect game to end a perfectly wacky play-off season.
As a whole, I think most people would say the game unfolded kind of like we thought it would. Most people thought it was going to be a close game. Most people thought that the New England Patriots offense would find a way to move the ball through short passing and by using their nearly uncoverable tight end Gronkowski. On one side of the ball, most experts thought that the Seattle Seahawks would have a hard time running the ball but should have been able to make some plays down the field.
For the most part, this game was a chess match between two master coaches. The Seattle Seahawks were able to stop the run without difficulty. Unfortunately, they were extremely vulnerable to short passes. At key points of the game, Ron Gronkowski and Edelman were able to get open and really burn the Legion of Boom (over 320 yrds on the ground). At the same time, Tom Brady made two critical mistakes which killed drives. Interceptions. Tom Brady never throws critical intercerptions; well, almost never. It was surprising. On the other side of the ball, for nearly the first 25 minutes of the game, the Seattle Seahawks continued to try to ram the ball through the Patriots without success. Their third-down efficiency was abysmal.
Before I spend a lot of time talking about “the play” it should be mentioned that Pete Carroll did decide not to kick a field goal with six seconds on the clock and the ball at the New England 11-yard line at the end of the 1st half. Instead, he instructed Russell Wilson to throw a high back shoulder bullet to Chris Matthews, a previously unheard of wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks. It was a brilliant play. Touchdown. The game was tied at half-time.
Now, the play. The Seattle Seahawks have miraculously moved the ball from their own 35-yard line down inside the New England one-yard line. With 26 seconds on the clock, the Seattle Seahawks have one timeout.
If you’re sitting around wondering what really makes NFL football great, it is plays like this. The complexity of football is sometimes mind-boggling. On the other hand, it is really a simple game. It is about putting that stupid football into the end zone.
Continue reading Super Bowl XLIX: Revisited (Update)
The Nation’s Greg Mitchell reminds us that May first is the anniversary of George Bush landing on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. Remember how the media and the GOP swooned over the swaggering George W. Bush? Now, in retrospect, what exactly did president George W. Bush accomplish? More from Greg Mitchell:
May 1 marks the eighth anniversary of Mission Accomplished Day, or as it might better be known, Mission Accomplished (Not) Day. Coming on a weekend, there werre even fewer mentions of this in the national media than last year, and Keith Olbermann is not on the air to update the once-normal close to his telecast when he marked exactly how many days since Bush declared victory (you do the math).
In my favorite antiwar song of this war, “Shock and Awe,” Neil Young moaned: “Back in the days of Mission Accomplished/ our chief was landing on the deck/ The sun was setting/ behind a golden photo op.” But as Neil added elsewhere: “History is a cruel judge of overconfidence.”
Nowhere can we see this more clearly than in the media coverage of the event. Even today, eight years later, the often “overconfident” reporting from Baghdad and Kabul sometimes takes your breath away. At least two US soldiers have been killed in Iraq this week so far, and over 45,000 or our troops remain there today. (For a full accounting of costs of all sorts, go here.) So let’s return to the days of Mission Accomplished…
On May 1, 2003, Richard Perle advised, in a USA Today Op-Ed, “Relax, Celebrate Victory.” The same day, President Bush, dressed in a flight suit, landed on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and declared an end to major military operations in Iraq—with the now-infamous “Mission Accomplished” banner arrayed behind him.
Chris Matthews on MSNBC called Bush a “hero” and boomed, “He won the war. He was an effective commander. Everybody recognizes that, I believe, except a few critics.” He added: “Women like a guy who’s president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It’s simple.”
PBS’ Gwen Ifill said Bush was “part Tom Cruise, part Ronald Reagan.” On NBC, Brian Williams gushed, “The pictures were beautiful. It was quite something to see the first-ever American president on a—on a carrier landing.” (more…)
Now, this is very interesting. Katy Abram has become the face of anger and outrage. She was the one at the town hall meeting who basically yelled at Arlen Specter. Now, I’m not saying that Senator Arlen Specter does not deserve to be yelled at. He has changed parties. He’s had as much backbone and spine as a jellyfish. But that’s another topic.
Lawrence O’Donnell, sitting in for Chris Matthews on Hardball, begins to engage Ms. Abram. This is interesting. Because she was such a rabid obstructionists, I would have thought that it would be very difficult to engage her in an actual conversation. She has a health savings account, which brings up is one of the huge problems, in my opinion. We have so many different varieties of permutations of health insurance it is frankly dizzying. Insurance must be simpler. She states that for some reason she wants to hold on to a health savings account. Why? Why don’t you pay a premium and have no co-pays and no deductibles? Put your money in a real savings account instead of this quasi-savings account. She has several misperceptions which Lawrence O’Donnell tries to correct. He does a remarkable job of not embarrassing this woman who does not have her facts correct.
Where did these death panels come from? From NYT:
Rather, it has a far more mainstream provenance, openly emanating months ago from many of the same pundits and conservative media outlets that were central in defeating President Bill Clinton’s health care proposals 16 years ago, including the editorial board of The Washington Times, the American Spectator magazine and Betsy McCaughey, whose 1994 health care critique made her a star of the conservative movement (and ultimately, New York’s lieutenant governor).
There is nothing in any of the legislative proposals that would call for the creation of death panels or any other governmental body that would cut off care for the critically ill as a cost-cutting measure. But over the course of the past few months, early, stated fears from anti-abortion conservatives that Mr. Obama would pursue a pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia agenda, combined with twisted accounts of actual legislative proposals that would provide financing for optional consultations with doctors about hospice care and other “end of life” services, fed the rumor to the point where it overcame the debate. (more…)
It looks like this simple clause that would help fund the conversation between you and your doc about end of life issues is going to be cut from the bill. Why? Who is making policy – the center or the far right fringe? From DK:
The Senate Finance Committee will drop a controversial provision on consultations for end-of-life care from its proposed healthcare bill, its top Republican member said Thursday.
The committee, which has worked on putting together a bipartisan healthcare reform bill, will drop the controversial provision after it was derided by conservatives as “death panels” to encourage euthanasia.
“On the Finance Committee, we are working very hard to avoid unintended consequences by methodically working through the complexities of all of these issues and policy options,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement. “We dropped end-of-life provisions from consideration entirely because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly.”