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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

A Grip on Sports: This Super Bowl didn’t wow us much, even with the overtime finish and Kansas City’s second-consecutive triumph

A GRIP ON SPORTS • Shush. Say it quietly. We don’t want you to lose your official NFL fan card. But it is OK to admit you thought Kansas City’s second consecutive Super Bowl win, overtime and all, was kind of boring. Because it was.


• Quick, rattle off the plays that brought you out of your seat. No, not to head into the kitchen to grab another snack and adult beverage. The ones that made you go “wow.”

The last one, of course. The sideline “bump” between Travis Kelce and Andy Reid, sure. The long pass early, but that one has an asterisk because the “wow” was for the weird lost-the-ball-in-the-scoreboard (we think) aspect of it. The touchdown to Christian McCaffrey, sure. That trick play had a “wow” factor – and possibly a lineman downfield.

There are others, but only if you had a dog in the hunt.

Like WSU fans, who collectively said “wow” when their former defensive star, Jaylen Watson, pounced on a muffed punt. Or Chiefs and 49er fans whenever Patrick Mahomes kept the ball and ran, though those “wows” were for diametrically opposed reasons.

You know, the most “wow” moment of Super Bowl LVIII might just have come midway through, when 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw tore his Achilles running back on the field in a time out. You want omens? That was an omen.

But, admit it, in a game that included 15 extra minutes of play, those moments were few and far between, sandwiched between punts and field goals and just average stuff you see each week.

There wasn’t much Super about this 26-23 Kansas City victory, other than the halftime show. We are completely unfamiliar with Usher and his friends’ oeuvre, so the production wasn’t aimed at us. Fine. Still, we appreciated it. Appreciated the effort. The daring – c’mon, we learned long before we turned 45 years old rollerblading was off the table. The sheer enjoyment it brought to a couple generations.

Good for Usher. Good for the NFL. Good for Las Vegas.

Once more a game lacking in entertainment was overshadowed by the halftime extravaganza. That’s nothing new, of course. We did a quick count and came up with a dozen or so games that lived up to the super moniker – and almost four dozen that didn’t. Is that enough to really put the super in Super Bowl?

Why do you think the commercials have become such a talked-about aspect of each year’s broadcast? Or why CBS was so happy to have Taylor Swift and her entourage – Query: Did Blake Lively ever make an appearance on Entourage? – to focus on when the play lagged? Or why Tony Romo gets barbecued more often than the ribs at Tony Roma’s?

OK, that last one is on him, as his propensity to ramble has finally become apparent to even those who were mesmerized by his play-predicting ability when he broke into the booth. He’s fine. But, then again, that’s all that can best be said of his partner Jim Nantz as well, outside of his Augusta National work.

Fine is the operative word here.

Super Sunday is a fine day to sit with family, eat good food, share a Diet Pepsi or a Poppi or Ice Spice’s favorite, a Starry. It’s sort of like Thanksgiving, with the arguments pointed toward Joe Montana’s legacy vis-à-vis Mahomes’ instead of politics.

But as a football game? Give us the Rose Bowl, no matter what it means or who is playing. Or the NFC and AFC title games, with a Super Bowl berth on the line. Heck, even college football’s title game is a more riveting football product.

Here’s some advice for Mad Men everywhere. Start prepping your big commercials now for next season’s CFP title game. The bang-for-buck ration as the new 12-team tournament reaches its climax will be much higher than next year’s boring Super Bowl.

Unless, of course, Mike Macdonald’s Seahawks ride new quarterback Michael Penix Jr.’s arm all the way to a 37-35 win over Mahomes, Kelce and the Swifties. Now that would get our attention.


WSU: Beating Stanford has never happened for the Washington State women. No, really. Never. And it wasn’t about to happen Sunday in Pullman. Not now. Not since star Charlisse Leger-Walker went down. The Cardinal won 73-58. Last year it was the women who went to the NCAA Tournament. This year it will be the men. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12 and the nation, Jon Wilner looks back in the Mercury News at the weekend that was for the men. … Arizona is in the driver’s seat for the regular season title. … Colorado is having trouble guarding. … The Washington women lost for the fourth consecutive time, this one to visiting California. … Oregon’s losing streak is seven after the Ducks fell 70-48 at No. 20 Utah. … No. 17 Oregon State completed a season sweep of No. 4 Colorado in Boulder, winning 65-59. It was the Beavers first road win over a top-five team since, well, forever. … Ninth-ranked UCLA got back on track with a 78-45 rout of Arizona State. … Arizona hosts No. 10 USC tonight. … UCLA’s self-imposed deadline for hiring a new football coach is drawing near. It won’t be easy to sell whomever it is to the L.A. fanbase. And, more importantly, the players.

Gonzaga: The NCAA-clinching win at Kentucky on Saturday – hey, we made a prediction and we’re going to stay all-in on it, until Selection Sunday – deserves another look, don’t you think? Theo Lawson thought so. He has this one.

EWU and Idaho: Around the Big Sky, the second half of basketball’s Brawl in the Wild games are on tap this weekend. … The hottest team in the conference? That would be Northern Arizona’s women, who have won nine consecutive games.

Seahawks: Of course, we put all the Super Bowl stories we decided to link in this spot. After all, the NFC West churns out the conference’s Super Bowl rep just about every year, so we figure it’s the Hawks turn in 2025. Who cares if it is New Orleans and not Vegas? Bourbon Street will have to do. … No shade here, but does the 49ers losing in such a heartbreaking manner thaw your disdain for the franchise at all? Or its fans? Asking the 12s this question, sure, but Rams and Cardinals fans can chime in too. … Good for Kansas City. A title or two is some sort of reward for having to live in a place that not gets snow and ice storms but has to deal with tornadoes, unbearably high humidity and locust plagues as well. … Ya, we admit it. Working during the Super Bowl kind of sucks wet dog fur. But at least we saw a bunch of great plays and all. Between the commercials we focused upon in this TV Take. … OK, Seahawks stuff. We mentioned Matt Calkins’ column recently on Ryan Grubb’s new gig. It ran in the S-R today. … Do you like mock drafts? Here’s a post-Super Bowl one from The Athletic.

Mariners: Can we start focusing on baseball now? Just a few days until we’ll see guys in M’s uniforms stretching and throwing in Arizona. We have some questions (though none about the starting shortstop). Today, we look at the platoon coming for third base. … Bryce Miller seems poised to have a breakout season.

Kraken: Are the playoffs in danger of slipping away?


• The saddest story from yesterday? No contest. The world’s best marathon runner, 24-year-old Kelvin Kiptum, died in an auto crash in his native Kenya, along with his coach. We know it sounds trite, but cherish your loved ones. Life is precious. Until later …