T*steful Roundup: Super Bowl LIII Edition

The Seahawks’ playoff loss to the Cowboys was going to be the last round*p of the season. Then the Rams, fuck them, had to win the entire NFC, hollowly, setting up one more chance for them to accumulate embarrassment.

Things have a way of working out sometimes. No team ever, in 52 previous Supes, has ever scored less than the 2018 Los Angeles Rams, ever. Until a team gets shut out completely — which they were still in the running for midway through the third — they will own the record for offensive futility in a Super Bowl.

Enjoy, for the last time like until the NFL Draft, all these words from all these nerds.

Jesse:

It has occurred twice in my life as a non-child that I watched the Super Bowl with a vested interest in the outcome. That I was not a child seems significant: it endowed me with the capacity to understand that the feelings were absurd.

This most recent one was, uh, not one of those, and throws the sharpest of clarity on a lesson learned long ago: that, when the option is presented to you, it is better to laugh than to scream. In some ways, it was unique among recent SBs: not like LII, where I didn’t really care who won; or L, where I just really didn’t want the Panthers to win; or even like LI, where I couldn’t help but pity the poor Falcons, and even more so their fans. No, this was different: I was actively rooting against both teams. I actively wanted both teams to fail.

To begin with, ever and as always, fuck the Rams. I wasn’t rooting against them so much as I was rooting for all of my priors: that Jared Goff is simply not a good QB (he ranked just below Trubisky and just above Carr [tied with Mariota] in Completion Percentage above Expectation, and clearly isn’t good at completing passes when his WRs aren’t schemed open and when he’s not facing pressure), that Gurley’s talent is diminishable, and that building an all-star team through FA is cheating. Just about every drive was a vindication.

On the other hand, the only asset the Patriots have is Belichick. The value in Belichick is that he’s dialectically the opposite of what I like about Pete Carroll (or liked, before he cut a bunch of his good players and palled around with Jordan Peterson). Belichick treats his team like a factory, and rooting for the Patriots is like rooting for a widget fresh off the assembly line. All of this would have been sufficient for me to be happy with a Patriots loss without the lunacy that they were somehow underdogs.

The narrative that I will take from that game is that neither team won. Goff was sacked, and it was hilarious. Brady couldn’t even complete a screen pass. Belichick screamed a bunch, and McVay probably wishes his memory were of lesser quality than it is right about now. Michael Dickson would’ve been an MVP in that game. Fans of both teams will insist on any number of things, but they’ll increasingly look and sound foolish if pressed to defend those views. Me, I’m still laughing.

Mike C:

I’m so glad the Patriots won. After all the crap they dealt with in the 80’s, and the unthinkable tragedy of having their perfect season ruined, all is right again as the long-suffering fandom of Boston finally earns a championship after all those hard-fought years. This Super Bowl isn’t just a win for the greater New England area; it’s a win for the NFL in general.

Bill Belichick, being the defensive savant that he is, reminded us of his greatness by making Jared Goff look like Russell Wilson. Scrambling under pressure and frequently rushing to make throws, Goff threw a costly pick near the endzone that ruined what was left of the Rams’ chances. Tom Brady, being the GREATEST QUARTERBACK OF ALL TIME, continues to convert third downs, masterfully handing off the ball to Sony Michel or James White whenever appropriate. Julian Edelman is what Doug Baldwin should’ve been, PED’s notwithstanding, and his MVP award was well-deserved. With such a case of accolades and being in the #clutch, I’ve got a good feeling we will be seeing him in Canton one day, alongside Malcom Butler.

With the inept showing of the Rams, I almost pity them for coming to the Super Bowl. Even at the end of the game, these guys looked shellshocked and had no passion, no tantrums like the Legion of Boom did, no anger like Bruce Irvin at the end of XLIX. I guess, when from LA, one can blend in quite easily being shellshocked, stoic, and passively conservative. But you gotta wonder what’s happening in these guys’ heads as they continue to drop easy passes, miss easy throws, commit several drive-killing penalties, and ultimately shoot themselves in the foot. Fellas, if you want more of that, you can always sign with the Seahawks.

Anyways, I’m glad the Super Bowl and by extension, the NFL season is over. And with the Rams losing big, the Seahawks will mostly remain the only NFC West team to win a Super Bowl since the realignment — another little factoid that Twitter can use to boost their ego that the Seahawks are totally not the Patriots and did not benefit from a weak division from 2003 onwards.

Now it’s onwards to draft Twitter and pretending to watch the tape so I can scout some QBs who will finally accomplish Pete Carroll’s vision.

Peter:

LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Coleman:

Superbowl 53: The LA McVays versus the NE Belibradys.

What a tournament; thank god I was busy that day. I caught a couple minutes of the second quarter as well as the last drives of the game. Just let me say on behalf of the world: I’m so sorry if you spent five hours watching that. Not only was it two teams that are hard to root for; they made it a game to forget. Was it good defense or bad offense? I dont know, but what I do know is it got terrible ratings and the evil empire prevailed once again.

So you might say “maybe Tom will retire now, what else is left?” Except we all know that Tom Brady absorbs the souls of innocent so he can continue to dominate the football world.

Maybe you say “well at least the Rams will be bad now because they cant afford to pay everyone.” Except that Seahawks fans are planning on paying everyone as well because the cap is going up to $200M.

Nobody won on Sunday; the Rams just looked like a Jeff Fisher product as opposed to a wunderkind McVay masterpiece.

Good night and godspeed.

Patton:

Fuck the Patriots. Retire Tom Brady, and Rob Gronkowski. Fuck Sean McVay for shitting the bed, and every single Rams player. Also please pay Jared Goff 30+ million, and all the other free agents GO GET PAID.

Mike B:

Let me preface this by saying that I have not stopped laughing for nearly two days.

The Los Angeles Rams: NFC Champions and most talented team in the league.

Sean McVay: Offensive Mastermind and unsolvable puzzle.

Jared Goff: Pro Bowler with the mental fortitude of an ox.

Todd Gurley: MVP Candidate and engine that drives the machine.

An array of talent so vast and widespread coupled with such brilliant coaching surely was bound to put up at minimum 30+ points, right?

THE RAMS SCORED THREE FUCKING POINTS AND I CANNOT HANDLE HOW HILARIOUS IT IS.

Bill Belichick is clearly the best coach of all time and it’s not close. Brian Flores put together a masterful gameplan and the trio of Stephon Gilmore, Donta Hightower, and future Seahawk Trey Flowers were dominant.

But three points? The Rams should be fucking ashamed with themselves. I’m sure they are. And I’m loving every bit of it.

This loss won’t destroy Los Angeles as a franchise, but their mortality has been exposed again; this time permanently. I can’t wait for Seattle to play these guys in 2019.

#FTR

John:

In the end, there was no need to fuck the Rams after all. They did it to themselves just fine, thank you very much. Sean McVay’s Fightin’ Hekkers self-destructed on a stage they were never meant to occupy. They scored three points, the least of any Super Bowl team, ever. It was very bad.

The Rams that played most of 2018 were good enough, a solid 10-12 win team with a few nice weapons, a smart coach, DPOY Aaron Donald, plus half a DB some days in the secondary, roaming around for someone to cover or interfere with. The Rams were good enough, while the rest of the division stumbled or aced their rebuilding process, to win the NFC West and scrape out a couple uninspiring playoff wins before turning back into the pumpkins they always were.

The Rams that “represented” the NFC in SB53 were the same team that gave the Seahawks fits from 2012-2016. No quarterback, something of a decent ground game, a fearsome defensive line, led by a coach with tricks that can work when enough other things go right.

The Patriots, world champs again, whatever, won by showing up, on the strength of a single nondescript touchdown drive and the insufferable facial hair of Julian Edelman.

Dammit. Chiefs-Saints would’ve been a hell of a Super Bowl. Pretty sad we didn’t get the pretty great game we were owed by a pretty great 2018 season. Oh well. Like Andrew Whitworth said after the game, and he would know because he’s an old: “At the end of the day we’re all gonna die.”