Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Super Bowl: "The Worst Play Call" in the Biggest Game
By Samantha Burden
This year’s Super Bowl featured the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks in what was an exciting and thrilling football game. In fact, Super Bowl XLIX was reported to have a viewership of 114.4 million viewers, the most in television history.
Both teams had two of the best quarterbacks in the league: Tom Brady for the Patriots and Russell Wilson for the Seahawks and thus, neither team had an edge in this respect. Additionally, both teams had two of the best offensive players in the league as well as defensive players. Both the Patriots and the Seahawks had been number one in their divisions; both teams had respected and experienced head coaches, talented special teams, and previous Super Bowl appearances. Due to these numerous parallels, fans, analysts and, specifically, the media, were unable to label one team as an underdog.
The media such as newspapers, magazines and television featured the game as one that would be close. They highlighted the talents of super star quarterback Tom Brady while at the same time praising the Seahawks for their efficient defensive tactics. Besides reporting the positives, the media also focused on negative aspects of both teams. Many reports covered the Patriot’s “deflategate” scandal and discussed how it could be a huge distraction for the organization.
At the same time, the media also brought to our attention that the star cornerback for the Seahawks, Richard Sherman, and his girlfriend were expecting a baby that was to be born on the same day as the Super Bowl, creating a dilemma for him.
In covering both positives and negatives about both teams entering the Super Bowl, the media did a great job in maintaining that balance during the game. Commentators focused on both of the teams’ highlights and mistakes. However, it was at the end of the game when the media focused on one particular story.
The end of the game was one of the most exciting finishes in Super Bowl history. Down by only four points in the final minute of play, the Seattle Seahawks needed a touch down to clinch their second consecutive Super Bowl title. Instead of handing it off to their star player, Marshawn Lynch, the offensive coaching staff decided to run a passing play that was, to say the least, not executed the way they had hoped. In the ensuing play, quarterback Russell Wilson threw an interception received by Patriots defender, Malcom Butler, that led the Patriots to win the game.
Despite the exciting finish by the New England Patriots, this controversial play call was the focus of many media reports. On many websites, broadcasts, and in newspapers, reporters mainly discussed the thought process of the Seattle coaching staff. They called it “the worst play call in football history.”
The media also reported on the legacy of Tom Brady, who has now won 3 Super Bowl MVPs and 6 championships. Overall, the media covered the Super Bowl in an exciting and informative way.