Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Monday, February 2, 2004 6:26 am

Well, fudge

Filed under: Panthers — Lex @ 6:26 am

It ended much the way I thought it might, except that the wrong team kicked the winning field goal.

And it was the most exciting Super Bowl since … well, since the Rams tackled Kevin Dyson at the 1-foot line to hang onto a win four years ago.

Props where they are due: to both of New England’s lines. Their O-line was able to push the Panthers around and, after a few early miscues, keep Brady pretty comfortable all night. It also kept the Panthers defense on the field way too long, a factor I think contributed to New England’s continuing ability to move the ball late in the game. Their D-line slowed one of the league’s best running games to a crawl and sacked Delhomme four times.

And the fact that it was STILL a heckuva game shows how far the Panthers have come. Jake Delhomme really is a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback, and his ability to move the team with time winding down is positively Elway-esque. Steve Smith is the real deal, and Muhsin Muhammad, whose role has been diminished this year, finally showed why he went to the Pro Bowl in ’99. Ricky Proehl did what he has done his entire career: make clutch catches, including one for the go-ahead touchdown.

Gumbel and Simms were making much of John Fox’s decision to go for 2-point conversions after the 2nd and 3rd TDs (both efforts failed). Fact is, if they’d kicked after both, they’d still have lost by 1, so I’m not sure what their point is.

Now the Panthers have some decisions to make. Smith and Muhammad’s contracts are up, for one thing. But before we get to that, let’s take one last moment to savor how improbable, and delightful, this season was. We weren’t just winners, we were exciting winners who played old-school and made it work. After all that Panther fans have suffered through since the even more improbable 1996 season, we deserved this.

But New England deserved the win.

UPDATE, from RedSugar: “No way was the bare-ish breast unplanned. Much as the males of the species hate to accept it, women don’t wear sparkly gold pasties unless we have plans to expose them.”

I didn’t see a thing. We were in the kitchen cleaning up during halftime. But I do remember thinking the “rivets” on her costume looked a lot like snaps.

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