About the Steve O Zone

Monday, February 4, 2008

The "Day" After...

Not to be confused with The Morning After, my self-proclaimed brilliant, esoteric, insightful, witty slant on each & every Eagles game, I give you The Day After as in The Day After what many are calling the greatest upset in sports.

Before I get to my thoughts on what happened between the lines, allow me a few minutes to discuss what transpired on the airwaves, i.e. the TV commercials that cost the equivalent of the GNP of many small nations to run.

And before I get to the spots, did anyone else catch FOX host Curt Menefee's butchering of the word "Cadillac?"

It was after the game, during the aptly-named "Cadillac Post Game Show" or something like that. Coming back from a commercial Curt uttered: "Welcome bck to the Cadil-layke Post Game Show."

MQ & I looked at each other as if to say "What the hell did he just say?"

I know one thing. If I'm CEO, Grand Pooh Bah or whatever the head muckety-muck is called at Cadillac and I hear the name of my company distorted like that, I am on the phone ipso-fasto with one Rupert Murdoch looking for a rebate of some sort.

Now as for the spots...

Among those I liked (and there's not many):
  • Bud Light - Breathe Fire
  • Tide - Stain Fighter
  • Audi - Godfather
  • Vitamin Water - Horse Race (featuring Shaq)
  • Bridgestone (all)
  • T-Mobile - Barkley & Wade
  • Bud Light - Students (featuring Carlos Mencia)
  • Budweiser - Rocky
The rest of the spots I either was ambivalent toward or just thought they flat-out sucked and showed no originality or creativity.

Among the latter group would be:
  • Diet Pepsi - What Is Love
    • You can't come up with anything better than this? You have to go back X number of years to an old SNL skit? Pathetic.
  • Careerbuilder - Heart
    • Actually BOTH the Careerbuilder spots were incredibly lame. I have never been nor ever will be a fan of spots where the human body and its parts are used to come alive or be animated. Witness my bashing of the current ESPN College Basketball ads where the floating heads of Jay Bilas & Digger Phelps appear on a man & woman in a hot tub. The image of this woman's heart leaping out of her body in the Careerbuilder spot is just plain disturbing. I had visions of that movie ReAnimator dancing in my head all night. Wasn't Careerbuilder the ones that used to have the spots with the guy working in an office with a bunch of monkeys? NOW those were good.
  • Amp - Jumpstart
    • To those at the Ad Agency that created this spot: A decent, possibly very funny spot but the minute the Salt N Pepa Push It song came on, you lost me. Why? Because that song is indelibly etched in my psyche as the music from the Nextel spot featuring the men dancing around a conference room as another man controls a boombox. Next time guys, pay more attention to the music and don't use that the same music that was used in a spot that is now considered one of the funniest of all time.
Ok, enough of that, as for the game...

As is customary, I provide my public service by telling what you COULD have been watching instead of the Super Bowl.

On AMC, we had Death Wish 4 followed by, you guessed it, Death Wish 5. Hard to believe Charlie Bronson made 5 of these.

Over on the Hallmark Channel, you would have found a Murder, She Wrote marathon.

Was there a subliminal message here?

Death. Murder. Was something about to be killed, like say an 18-game winning streak? Hmmm....

And one last thing before I (finally) get to the game.

Why can't the Super Bowl be played on Saturday? No one wants to go to work next day, right? Don't give me tradition, either. If we can accept the two-point conversion and Instant Replay, we can certainly move the biggest game on the planet up one day without upsetting the football gods.

"But, something tells me Giants Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will have some tricks and not many treats for the Patriots. If he can disguise his coverages and schemes just enough, the Giants stand a very good chance of winning."

This is an excerpt of what I wrote in this space on Friday. Now truth be told, my pick was 27-21 in favor of the Patriots.

But I told all who asked, and even some who didn't, that I thought the game would be closer than people were thinking.

I also wrote on Friday, "...the Giants are playing better football right now and have been for the past month than the Patriots."

And "the Giants Defense will cause enough disruption and get enough pressure on Brady, to make the Patriots adjust to them, rather than the other way around."

And that is precisely what happened.

Make no mistake about it, the Giants Defense, particularly their front 4, were the MVPs of this game. Eli Manning had a nice game, played error-free (no, the Interception does not count in my book since Rookie WR Steve Smith dropped it) and did enough good things to win.

But remember, if Asante Samuel intercepts that pass in the last minute, which he should have, we're talking today about the Dynasty that is the Patriots rather the Road Warriors that are the Giants.

But I am not here to denigrate the game Eli and the rest of the Giants Offense had but rather sing the praises of the Giants Defense and their coordinator, Steve Spagnulo.

It's amazing what can be accomplished when you can get pressure on the opposing QB by rushing just four and not having to rely so heavily on the blitz.

There were some very un-Brady like throws for sure but for the most part, the GMen were in his face on nearly every play, disrupting his timing and getting him thinking as in thinking... "I don't wanna get hit again."

As for Bill Belichick, much is being made as to his haste retreat BEFORE the game was officially over and I for one was none too surprised. This is a man who displayed petulant, peevish behavior in the past, so why should this be any different?

What did surprise me and what I want to know is why he elected to NOT attempt a 48-yard field goal in the 3rd Quarter, deciding instead to go for it on 4th & 13 from the Giants 31. The 4th Down play failed and the Giants took over on downs and oh yeah, the Patriots lost by 3 points, the same amount awarded for a successful field goal. The roof of the stadium was closed so there was no weather-related issues to deal with.

So why pass on the FG chance?

The score at the time was Patriots 7, Giants 3, so do you think B Squared thought he would have plenty of other opportunities?

In closing, I would like to take my hat off the Giants who overcame a coach dealing with off the field adversities and a starting QB who was being openly questioned by his own players, media & fans as to whether he can ever win the big one.

Man, does that sound familiar?

Do you think, just maybe... just maybe baby that Andy Reid & Co. will learn anything from watching this Giants team?

Maybe playing a rookie or 4 or 5 is not such a band thing. Maybe rookies can not only dress, they can also be quite productive.

Of course, it helps to have the right people taking the right rookies in the draft, huh?

And speaking of that, has anyone seen Nate Ilaoa? You remember him. He was the RB the Eagles picked 14 spots AHEAD of the Giants selecting Ahmad Bradshaw in this year's draft. You remember Ahmad Bradshaw. He's the Giants RB who is now being fitted for a Super Bowl ring.

'Til next time.


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