Tag Archives: chris matthews

Super Bowl XLIX: Revisited (Update)

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.

New England versus Seattle

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.

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The Mission That Was Not Accomplished

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…)