Monday, February 06, 2006

The Super Bowl and the UK Wildcats, two Xtra Large letdowns.

Kind of a big weekend this weekend. Too big for a column on only one subject, so I broke it into. Get ready for your favorite and mine, hodge podge. Let's hunt.

Super Sunday, I think not. The Roman numerals XL were very appropriate because the game was an Xtra Large let down. That was not what the NFL and the advertisers were hoping for. That was one of the least memorable games in Super Bowl history. The only thing that will be remembered about this game was that the officiating stunk and I predicted that the Steelers would win by more than 4 and I predicted the Super Bowl MVP correctly. And maybe Jerome Bettis going out on top will be remembered.

The NFL really has to be embarrassed because two of their biggest games this year will be overshadowed by suspect officiating. I heard more than once at the Super Bowl party I attended, that the officials and the NFL were making sure that Pittsburgh was going to win. I am one to generally believe in conspiracy theories, but I have a hard time buying this. Perhaps the NFL needs to find veteran officials to work Super Bowls. Maybe only those officials with 10 or 15 years of experience. Why there seemed to be so many bad calls in this game, I do not know. I do know that it didn't help a lackluster game.

I did think that Jerome Bettis winning and then pretty much announcing his retirement will be the thing most remembered in the long run. While I do not think Bettis is an all time great, he is a Hall of Famer and a seemingly nice guy. It was a moment that rarely happens in sports, an athlete quitting at the perfect time. Not like Michael Jordan who kept coming back or Sugar Ray Leonard who kept coming back. I hope that Bettis means what he says because it will only add to his Hall of Fame credentials in my book.

For the NFL there is always next year. Maybe next year the New England Patriots will be back. Maybe next year Peyton Manning can finally break through and win the "big one." Maybe next year Seattle can build on this trip to the Super Bowl and make a better showing next year. Maybe as a whole the NFL will be a memorable season because just like the Super Bowl, it will be soon forgotten.

Will the real UK Wildcats team please stand up? I watched Saturday's game against the Florida Gators and after the first half I was pleasantly surprised. I was in fact as giddy as a school girl. I had been saying for weeks (not in print, of course) that UK would handle Florida and in fact beat them in Gainesville. I had thought UK had turned the corner and would perform very well the rest of the season.

Well the second half starts and I am convinced that UK will win or at least put up a good fight and lose by a couple of points. I found out pretty quickly that would not be the case. The Cats decided to not play any kind of defense letting Florida's players drive and score with dunks and lay-ups about 95% of the time. As proud as I was for their showing in thee first half, I could not have been more disgusted with the second half.

The lack of athleticism and talent was very apparent. UK does not have a very good team this year. Sure they will win enough games to make the tournament, but they have not got the talent to make even a Cinderella run for any championships. Tubby has got himself into a bind and I am not sure this thing will be fixable in the next year or two.

I do not see a class of All-Americans coming in next year and without a shot of talent, UK maybe not be as good next year as they are this year. That sound you just heard was the combination of screams of horror from UK fans and shouts of joy from U of L and WKU fans. As forgettable as the Super Bowl was this year, I am afraid the UK WIldcats next couple of seasons will be memorable, for the wrong reasons.

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