- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner41 mins ago
GLENDALE, Ariz. – The last time Rob Gronkowski played in a Super Bowl, he was a shell of himself.
Gronkowski was bothered by a bad ankle sprain in Super Bowl XLVI against the New York Giants, and the Patriots will always wonder if a healthy Gronkowski would have made a difference. They won’t have the same questions about Super Bowl XLIX.
Gronkowski made one of the biggest plays of the first half of the Super Bowl against the Seahawks, going up for a 22-yard touchdown catch with 31 seconds left in the first half to give New England a 14-7 lead.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner50 mins ago
In a Super Bowl already laden with heart-tugging ads designed to remind you that you could be a much better friend, parent, lover, or airplane seatmate, it takes something especially egregious to stand out. Midway through the second quarter, Nationwide unveiled an ad of a mopheaded little kid talking of all the wondrous things he'd never do ... BECAUSE HE IS DEAD.
Really. Nationwide thought it was a great idea to show a dead-kid ad in the middle of the Super Bowl. Yes, yes, we know, this is a Serious Issue, but come on. I'm generally a live-and-let live type, but if we can't agree that dead kids aren't fodder for commercial exploitation, then we're all in trouble.
Twitter did not take kindly to the ad:
The second I see a kid in one of these commercials I immediately assume they're going to die. Thanks, Nationwide! #SuperBowl
Nationwide just lost SO much business.
Nationwide just ruined the Super Bowl.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
It's Super Bowl time again, and that means it's time for Super Bowl ads again. Here, your comprehensive breakdown of all the beer, cars, wacky animals and attractive young people parading across your TV screen during breaks in the Seahawks-Patriots matchup, live and as they air. Pencils ready? Go!
You absolutely cannot beat Danny Trejo threatening vengeance of an eye for an eye in the Brady Bunch universe. (We all wanted that, especially for Cousin Oliver.) Combine the stinger of Steve Buscemi at the end, and you’ve got yourself a perfect Super Bowl ad.
Oh, Walter White, star of "Breaking Bad," a chemist once again. We miss you so very, very much. This was outstanding.
Nice touch here, using old footage from Bryant Gumbel and my co-worker Katie Couric trying to figure out “What is Internet?” (Don’t laugh, you didn’t know what “Internet” was in 1994, either.) No idea what kind of ride BMW is really pushing here, but after that ad, I’m not going to look stupid by admitting that.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Chris Matthews’ first time touching the football in the NFL was a pretty big deal. So was his second. And his third.
Matthews, who recovered an onside kick for the Seattle Seahawks that helped send them to the Super Bowl, had never caught a pass in the NFL before Sunday. The onside kick recovery late in the NFC championship game against the Packers was the first time he had touched the ball in the NFL. But when the Seahawks desperately needed someone to get open in the first half, they called his number and the 6-foot-5 rookie delivered. Twice.
Matthews made a beautiful 44-yard catch late in the second quarter, despite great coverage by Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington, setting up a 3-yard touchdown run by Marshawn Lynch to tie Super Bowl XLIX 7-7. Then when the Seahawks put together a long drive in the final half-minute of the first half, Matthews finished it with an 11-yard touchdown catch with two seconds left to send the Super Bowl into halftime with a 14-14 score.LiveNew England14 - 24SeattleFollow Game
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
Jeremy Lane backed up his trash talk with a huge play early in Super Bowl XLIX.
The New England Patriots were poised to score and take the lead on the Seattle Seahawks, with a long drive that was approaching eight minutes on their second possession by dinking and dunking their way down the field.
But Tom Brady threw a horrible pass in the end zone that Lane intercepted at the goal line. He returned the ball to the Seattle 14-yard line, injuring his left wrist on the play. It appeared Brady was targeting Julian Edelman, but he was heavily covered.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
Prop bets are a Super Bowl staple, and yet one interesting one was being taken off the board in some Las Vegas sportsbooks.
According to Vegas insider R.J. Bell, the length of the national anthem — yes, you can bet on that! You can bet on almost anything! — is suspected of some chicanery.
Yes, that's right — someone might have gotten to Idina Menzel, stage star of "Frozen" fame, on the length of her rendition. Or perhaps someone in her camp heard her rehearsing the version, timed it and sent word to bettors on their findings. Who knows?
Menzel, in her pre-Super Bowl press conference was asked about the timing of her version of the national anthem. Here was her answer: "I haven't recorded it or anything. But you let me know what you want, and I'll let it go on a little longer. I'll watch the stopclock or something."
She was kidding. WE THINK.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
One former New England Patriots standout will not be watching Sunday's Super Bowl. But there's a worthy reason for that.
Aaron Hernandez, currently incarcerated and in the middle of a murder trial in the death of Odin Lloyd, will not be permitted to watch Super Bowl XLIX, featuring his former Patriots team against the Seattle Seahawks.
Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson told ABC News that Hernandez, who remains in the same solitary confinement cell in the Special Management Unit in the jail at North Dartmouth, Mass., that he was brought to after his arrest in June 2013, will not be able to watch television — and that includes Sunday's game.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
During the marathon Super Bowl pregame show, Tom Brady spoke to NBC's Bob Costas for a direct interview about one of the more humiliating moments of his career. The President of the United States held a sit-down (well, stand-up in the White House kitchen) interview. But NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, the man in charge of this entire enterprise, the face of an organization that's taken more hits this past season than a Jacksonville quarterback, declined the opportunity to speak.
You don't need a road map to see the hypocrisy at work here. Goodell and the NFL expect Marshawn Lynch to sit for three different interviews during Super Bowl week alone, yet Goodell makes himself available for only one lone news conference on Friday afternoon, the point at which Super Bowl Week fatigue has set in.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Jonas Gray might regret being late for a Friday meeting for the rest of his life.
Gray was listed as one of the New England Patriots' inactive players for Super Bowl XLIX, the final blow in Gray's long fall from fleeting stardom.
Gray was the hero of the Patriots' Nov. 16 win over the Indianapolis Colts with 201 yards. He seemed like the latest out-of-nowhere Patriots star. He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Then he was late for the first meeting of the Patriots' Friday preparation the week after the Colts game. That's a no-no with Bill Belichick. Gray was sent home, and never really reemerged the rest of the season.
Gray now suffers one of the ultimate teases, being on a team that made the Super Bowl but not being able to play in the game.
- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner5 hrs ago
In a controversial statement during NBC's pregame coverage in Sunday, Rodney Harrison seemingly blamed since-deceased teammate Junior Seau for the Super Bowl XLII loss that cost their team the first 19-0 season in NFL history.
The former New Engand Patriots defensive back and current NBC analyst suggested he pleaded with Seau to change pass coverage on the Plaxico Burress touchdown that gave the New York Giants the lead for good at 17-14 with 35 seconds remaining, but Seau refused.
Seau, a 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker, posthumously headlines the most recent Pro Football Hall of Fame class.