Now that I’ve had a week to reflect on the Super Bowl and the euphoric aftermath, I’ve been able to gain legitimately relevant perspective on it’s place in history. The greatest Super Bowl? That is a tough sell, mon frere. It is still too early to say that. But…what I can say…is that it was one of the Top 3 Super Bowls I’ve seen in my 26 years of old man existence. Was it better than the St. Louis – Tennessee Super Bowl that ended with a game-saving tackle at the 1-yard line? I don’t know…but that 4th Quarter last week was downright scintillating. Hope of a competitive Super Bowl seemed lost heading into the 4th quarter, but somehow, Larry Fitzgerald didn’t receive that text message, fax, voicemail, email, or memo. He went Bathing Apeshit in the 4th quarter. So…it came down to Big Ben having to make spectacular play after breathtaking scramble after improvisational escape to lead his team to its 6th Super Bowl Championship – and he did just that. Fist tap to Santonio Holmes for making arguably the greatest TD catch in Super Bowl history. How did Big Ben squeeze that in over 3 defenders? How did Holmes catch that AND tap his feet in the end zone? And…how the hell this was all accomplished in the last 2 minutes of the most important game in these players’ lives is beyond me. Once again though, my fanatical jinx sunk the battleship of another fan base. I, unfortunately for Arizona Cardinals fans, was rooting heavily for the Cardinals to pull off the upset. So…when they scored with a little over 2 minutes left to supposedly complete their monumental 4th quarter comeback, why did I have a suspicious feeling that I had wet my pants a tad early? Maybe…because…I knew deep down that the curse of my fanaticism was going to bear its ugly fruit once again – and boy did it. At least it’s good to know that some things will NEVER change. Send a memo out to your favorite teams to be as unappealing to me as possible, so I can root against them. Laugh if you want…but you will be crying if you choose to ignore my advice. Ridicule me at your own peril.
On that note, I will transition to the Australian Open final between Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal. Take a wild, conspicuous guess as to who I was rooting for? I was pulling for the Big Swiss Cheese Federer. But..I knew deep down that he didn’t really stand a chance. I’m sad to say that it’s over. I don’t see how Roger Federer will ever be No. 1 in the world again. Is he finished as a competitive player? No. Will he still be able to break Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slam titles? Probably. Maybe. But, his reign as the world’s most dominant tennis player and possibly overall athlete is over. In tennis, there is Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer – and that is it. The rest of the competition isn’t even close. It’s like comparing Big K to Coke and Pepsi. To see Roger Federer break down at the podium was a conclusive sign that Nadal has broken Federer’s psyche – and that Federer knows that his best days are behind him. After having watched Nadal – Federer twice in the past year (the Wimbledon Final and the Australian Open Final), I’ve come to fully appreciate how great of a player Rafa is. He just doesn’t make many mistakes. Normally, Federer will outplay opponents by winning long rallies and relying on the opponent to make a mistake. That does not work with Nadal. He can hit baseline-to-baseline with Federer the entire match if needed. It’s not exactly a fair comparison, but…the Nadal vs. Federer debate slightly resembles the Lebron vs. Kobe debate. To me, Nadal is the more physically talented and stronger player, whereas Federer is the grizzled veteran who mixes intelligent shot-making with finesse. A similar argument can be made about Kobe and Lebron. Lebron is the brute force who can out-muscle opponents while Kobe is the skilled shot-maker who weave his way into the lane and finish. Lebron forces his way into the lane and dunks on folks while Kobe shakes defenders and drains fade away jumpers on them.
Which…appropriately enough, brings me to Kobe “Bean” Bryant and Lebron “King” James. “Super Bowl Who?” is what comes to mind after watching them annihilate the New York Knickerbockers this past week. Kobe went…well…Kobe on the Knicks on the Monday immediately following the Super Bowl. This cat dropped a MSG record 61 points on the Knicks…in New York…and went 20 for 20 from the free throw line! Am I surprised? To be honest…not so much. He is after all, the unquestioned scoring connoisseur in the NBA – and this is inarguable. Nobody puts that sphere through that cylinder as frequently as KB24. Don’t for once think that Lebron didn’t pay any mind to Kobe’s historic feat. Lebron downplayed the performance, saying that he wouldn’t attempt to match it. This man is made for NYC in 2010 – he lies so damn well! A low blow…I know…but I had to take it. Anyways, Lebron nearly put up a triple double (52 pts, 11dimes, 9 boards). His alleged triple double was nullified this past Friday when the league ruled that one of his rebounds should’ve been ruled to Ben Wallace. First off, it was questionable whether that rebound should’ve been counted towards Ben Wallace, and second of all, really? You’re going to pilfer a historic triple double away from one of the Top 2 players in the league because of a questionable statistical correction? Not well played David Stern…not well played at all.
So…who had the better performance? I don’t know, to be honest. I saw both live on the telly and can’t say that I can make that call one way or another. What I will say though is that Kobe’s performances are always more aesthetically appealing, because of his style of play. Lebron’s performances are more Michael Turner as compared to Kobe’s Adrian Peterson. But, both are exceptionally efficient. Can I settle this argument? I don’t think so…but maybe they can. They play against one another tomorrow afternoon. The Lakers are looking to end the Cavaliers’ unbeaten home winning record. I can only pray that Kobe and Lebron match up against each other for at least half of their touches. A hoops fan can only salivate, huh?