What a fit ending to, in my unpopular opinion, the worst NFL season in gridiron history.
With 26 seconds left, 36 inches from the end zone, boasting the best power running back in the NFL, Marshawn Lynch, the Seattle Seahawks made what has been dubbed “the worst play call in Super Bowl history” Sunday night.
Everything fell into the Seahawks’ laps.
Jermaine Kearse nabbed an improbable catch for 33 yards with 1:06 remaining from a Russell Wilson pass with the Seahawks down 28-24.
A line-drive run behind the bowling ball that is “Beast Mode” would seal the deal.
Remember the sports-comedy “Happy Gilmore” with Adam Sandler from the 1990s?
There’s a part in the film where Happy struggles to make putts, and golfing professional Chubbs Peterson tells him to just “tap it in.”
Happy responds, “Just taaap it in … taaap it in … give it a little tappy … tap-tap-taperoo!”
That’s all the Seahawks had to do — tap it into the end zone.
It was that easy.
The fragile New England quarterback Tom Brady could have even nudged the ball in for a score on the 1-yard line.
With 26 seconds remaining, Russell Wilson took a shotgun snap and threw a quick slant that was intercepted by rookie — yes, rookie — safety Malcolm Butler.
OK, it was the worst play call in the history of football, but the Seahawks still had a marginal chance of pulling out back-to-back titles.
If they stuff the Patriots’ running back, or get a sack on Brady in the end zone, they earn a safety and are down just two points with possession of the ball.
Brady can’t kneel with the ball to let time run out.
Cue a Michael Bennett offsides for the Seahawks, and it’s all over.
Game, set, match. The aggressors in Deflategate have won.
One of the things that bothered me the most, however, was the brawl that erupted after Brady kneeled with the ball for the final time to end the game.
You’re being watched by millions of people across the world and you engage in fist fights? Classy.
What a horrendous skirmish.
What are you teaching kids and football players across the world? That it’s not OK to lose? That you should punch your opponent in the face and swear rather than shake his hand?
As ESPN’s Chris Berman says, “C’mon man.”
Sure, it’s frustrating. But you need to maintain your image as a role model.
In my last column, I talked about all the issues going on in the NFL with domestic and child abuse, concussions, cheating and substance abuse.
What a fit ending to the worst NFL season in gridiron history.
Jordan Morey is sports editor of The Tribune. Send comments to [email protected].