USA TODAY Sports
What Lewis said before the game, why the officials may have been unconsciously biased, and who had the best comercial
49ers 31, Ray Lewis and the Pips 34
The old purple tin
The old purple tin
Sweet testament Lord
To the state that I'm in
I've drunk it all day
I've drunk it all night
The old purple tin
O Lord lights up my life
Well I've recovered from my alcohol induced coma and finally feel ready to write about the not so Super Bowl. The officiating obviously stunk but the 49ers still could have won. What bothers me more than the officiating is the way the 49ers came out to start this game.
The 49ers got a long completion on their first play and it's brought back for an illegal formation penalty. The Ravens get the ball and their drive is kept alive after an offside penalty on third down. Two drives later the 49ers are moving down the field and fumble on the 25-yard line. Then Kapaernick throws the interception on their next drive and they start the 2nd half with poor special teams play. They could have overcome the bad officiating if they hadn't made those early mistakes.
Having said all that, those officials laid a giant steaming turd on the field. I always hate when fans blame the officials after a tough loss, but my god were they bad! They sucked more than a $20 lot lizard. Now I know how Seahawks fans feel. Oh well, at least we're not fans of the Bills.
The First Church of Ray Lewis the Devine
Before the game Ray Lewis gave an interview and said some pretty interesting things. I'm sure he said some more interesting things after the game but I couldn't stand to listen to him anymore. For all I know SNL was right and he really did stand at the middle of the field raising his arms to the sky waiting to be lifted up into heaven. But here are some of the things he said before the game about the double homicide he was connected with and what he would say to the family of the two dead boys:
"God has never made a mistake"
I think it's one thing to say God knows everything that will happen and something else entirely to say everything happens because God makes it happen. If that's true that means God made the World Trade Center crumble to the ground. The terrorists' free will played no role in that. It means every time a Chinese family murders their baby girl because they really wanted a baby boy it's not really the parents free will that's doing it but God. But worst of all, it means God wanted the 49ers to lose. That's blasphemy! God loves the 49ers! I'm not trying to start a religious debate, only suggesting Ray Lewis may want to rethink his religious philosophy.
"If our system took the time to really investigate what happened 13 years ago, maybe they would have got to the bottom line truth. But the saddest thing ever was that a man looked me in my face and told me, ‘We know you didn't do this but you're going down for it anyways.'"
Yes, Ray Lewis actually said that. He knows what happened, knows who killed the two boys, but doesn't feel like he needs to say anything because if the police had just done their job they wouldn't need his help. Well, can't argue with that one. Snitches get stitches after all.
But the saddest thing to Ray, since it's always been all about Ray, isn't that 2 people were killed it's that they tried to wrongly convict him. That's the real tragedy here. Not death, but a possible wrongful conviction. That's like killing a homeless man with my car and then being upset that he dented my bumper.
"If you knew, really knew, how God works, he don't use anybody who commits things like that for his glory."
Actually, I kind of thought that was the whole basis of Christianity, that people make mistakes, sometimes very serious ones, but can be forgiven and serve God. And who proclaimed Ray as God's prophet to the NFL? Or is the real truth, Ray Lewis feels so incredibly guilty about what happened he has to overcompensate by telling himself he's a servant of God just so he can sleep at night. Like religion that's just something everyone will have to decide for themselves.
Relooking at the officiating
I'm reading this book right now called, "The Hidden Brain" and it focuses on how our unconscious biases influence our decisions. For example there was a study that looked at every case where a black man was convicted of killing a white person. They took photos of those convicted and had people rate them on who looked more traditionally black. Someone with darker skin and curlier hair would get a higher rating then someone like Collin Kapearnick. Looking at nothing else but how they were rated they found those who looked more traditionally black were given the death sentence 57.5% of the time while those who looked less traditionally black were given the death sentence only 24.4 % of the time.
Were these jury members and judges just prejudiced and racist or where they just unconsciously biased. They've done the same with names. They give someone a checklist with positive and negative descriptions, then give them a name and time how long it takes them to check only the positive and only the negative descriptions. Certain names people are much faster at checking off the positive than the negative and vice versa. No matter how hard they try and no matter how many people try, the results turn out the same.
So what does this have to do with officiating? It's that they're people and no matter how hard they try to be unbiased, it doesn't matter. This was Ray Lewis's last game and I'm sure a number of those officials were secretly hoping he could go out a winner. On a close play with Culliver the flag goes out for pass interference keeping the Ravens drive alive, while on a similar play at the end with Crabtree the flag stays in the pocket. I'm not saying they were consciously trying to sabotage the game just that their feelings for Lewis may have unconsciously influenced their decisions. Tom Brady takes a borderline hit and the flag comes out. Brady Quinn takes the same hit and the flag stays in the pocket.
Oh those commercials
Companies spend millions of dollars pedaling their products in the Super Bowl, sometimes effectively and sometimes not so much. I know a lot of people probably liked the Clydesdale commercial where he's raised from infancy before becoming a Budweiser Clydesdale but it made me roll my eyes. Here's my own take:
Best overall: Ram Truck - Paul Harvey telling us why God made a farmer
Funniest: Tide - Joe Montana holy stain (The ending didn't bother me and I thought it was funny up until then)
Worst: Wonderful Pistachios - PSY Gangnam style dancing. Ugh.