Photo: Ed Sabol (left) and Steve Sabol would have loved Super Bowl LIII.
By Lee Roy Lucero
Last night’s Super Bowl LIII New England Patriots 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams was a thing of beauty to this old football fan. Yet, on Twitter, Facebook, today grabbing a cup of coffee everyone is saying it was boring…
What are you talking about? Do you even understand the game of football? Have you never heard names like Doomsday Defense, Fearsome Foursome, Purple People Eaters Steel Curtain, Bears 46 Defense?
Then I have to remember what the Super Bowl has become. It is a national holiday, complete with halftime show, it’s about commercials. Which is the funniest- or least funny. For the record, the NFL 100 commercial had to be one of the greatest commercials of all time.
Speaking of that commercial. How many NFL greats were in that commercial that brought this 50-year-old man back 35 years?
How much heartbreak was there in seeing guys like Franco Harris with the “Immaculate Reception,” or hearing Joe Montana tell Michael Irvin “No can-do Cowboy,” with that smug smirk on his face bringing back memories of “The Catch”? And the memories of how much I still despise Joe Montana and the 49ers!
Football was a thing of savage beauty in those days. Men that were vicious, men that played with reckless abandon. Dancing? No way! Always looking to the referee for a pass interference flag? Seriously?
There was no “tuck rule,” no personal foul for hitting
a defenseless receiver. Could you imagine a Roger “the Dodger” Staubach, “Sir” Francis Tarkenton, or “The Snake” Kenny Stabler jumping up and crying to a referee after taking a nasty hit from a defensive end?
Three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust has given way to high flying pepper the ball all around the field with the defense having to play two hand touch. Who recalls a slot receiver having justified fear in going over the middle because they knew if they caught the ball a safety would blow them up! An actual auto collision on the field with bodies strewn all over the place.
Oh, my goodness… Running backs! Watch Earl Campbell lower his head and then drag a team on his back as his jersey is being shredded, or the Washington Redskins’ battering ram John Riggins behind them disgusting “Hogs” lowering his head, pulverizing defenders into mush as he headed to the end zone and that horrific song “Hail to the Redskins” would start playing.
That was 1950’s-90’s football. The game of legends! The game that I fell in love with. The type of game we almost had on Sunday night!
The game that takes me back to John Facenda and NFL Films. You poor youngsters, you will never know what it is like waiting for September when the networks started airing NFL Films. Steve Sabol and the deep-voiced Facenda would start with “The Autumn Wind.” I don’t like the Raiders, but that poem read by Facenda on television would send chills…
But it’s the 2019 Super Bowl, and fans want scoring! Lots and lots of scoring! Those that don’t watch a game all season long are suddenly glued to the screen with their newest Patriots or Rams jersey or T-shirt, looking to be entertained with touchdowns and waiting to see if Maroon 5 would “kneel?”
What these fans weren’t looking for was a 3-3 game with both Patriots and Rams defenses delivering slobber knocker hits! They weren’t looking to seeing the X’s and O’s of Bill Belicheck taking Sean McVay to school. Most were wondering why the offensive players didn’t hit the right buttons on the X-box controller to waltz into the end zone. For the Super Bowl fan, a defensive game is boring.
I can understand these folks being bored, we live in an instant gratification society. We want all the glitz and glam, not the spit an slam!
But what about you fellow old-timers? Why you getting on your twitter and bemoaning this game? My goodness, have you forgotten that “Defense wins championships”?
Bill Belicheck and the New England Patriots for a few hours brought back old school football. The way the game was meant to be played!
For my fellow old football fans, I will play therapist and prescribe The Power and the Glory:
Super Bowl LIII wasn’t boring. It was a game of NFL beauty… For those that know or remember what football beauty is.
Long-time Dallas Cowboys fan Lee Roy Lucero is an Albuquerque native, former editor of The Red Menace website and a staff writer with Enchantment Sports. For tips or story ideas, particularly about high school sports, contact Lee Roy Lucero at enchantmentsportsNM@gmail.com.
Editor’s note: Enchantment Sports has started a category under Fan-demonium, requesting readers to send their opinions on just about anything and everything that is the NFL. Please email us your Great Take to mark.enchantmentsportsNM@gmail.com or enchantmentsportsNM@gmail.com.