Not only did the week end with a superb Super Bowl, a rare game that actually exceeded the type, it ended with enough drama to keep the second-guessers busy until next year’s game at Levi’s Stadium. Sunday’s game had everything – great playmaking, questionable coaching decisions and a crucial interception by rookie Malcolm Butler after a potential game-winning catch by Jermaine Kearse.
▪ Patriots quarterback Tom Brady completed 37 of 50 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns and, most important, rallied his team from a 10-point second-half deficit. He tied Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw with four Super Bowl victories, but most impressively he’s done so in an era of salary caps and frequent roster makeovers. It never seems to matter. Receivers and tight ends come and go, and Brady maximizes his surrounding talent and keeps winning. One other thought about the Patriots? Their ability to plunge ahead for extra yards after runs or receptions is impressive; it speaks to mental and physical toughness.
▪ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll lingered after the game and answered the tough questions during his post-game grilling. But even some of his players questioned his ill-fated decision to pass on second-and-one, with 26 seconds remaining and Marshawn Lynch healthy and available. Lynch didn’t have to say a word, but he should have been given the ball. He carried 24 times for 102 yards and went home without the trophy.
▪ DeMarcus Cousins was named to his first All-Star team, creating the only positive vibe around the Kings in several weeks. The fifth-year center still appears to be feeling the effects of the viral meningitis that sidelined him for 10 games – his weight is hovering around a career-low 260 pounds – but he earned his first appearance on the annual midseason stage. The Kings are losing with him, but have no chance without him. His next challenge will be leading the Kings to the playoffs, which begins with, among other things, passing more quickly out of double teams.
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▪ 49ers CEO Jed York joined Republic FC’s bid to acquire an MLS franchise for Sacramento. While the 49ers have had plenty of their own issues, small-to-midsize markets rely on deep-pocketed investors to finance franchises and build facilities. This will help the Kings and the Sacramento sports community.
▪ While it sounds almost painful to hear that 1,400 fans “squeezed” into tiny, outdated Hornets gym Saturday night, it is interesting to see the two local college teams – Sac State and UC Davis – becoming top teams in their conferences. Sac State’s Brian Katz and UC Davis’ Jim Les deserve tons of credit for transforming programs that have unique, difficult challenges. (Hornets gym, Aggies’ academic requirements).
Call The Bee’s Ailene Voisin, (916) 321-1208.