Kawakami: Super Bowl XLIII was no classic

Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News writes that while Super Bowl XLIII was exciting, it wasn’t a classic.

Larry FitzgeraldA classic? That was a fun Super Bowl, no question. A triple plot-twist, loop-de-loop carnival ride.

That was a raucous fourth quarter Sunday evening, full of Arizona Cardinals grit and, eventually, a great Pittsburgh Steelers drive to win 27-23 in Super Bowl XLIII.

Oh, and there was that stunning 100-yard interception return by Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison to close the first half.

But was that really a classic, Ali-Frazier Super Bowl? I doubt history will treat it that way.
The protagonists were slightly less than epic and the action was just a bit too herky-jerk for instant masterpiece status. No Brett Favres or Lawrence Taylors in this game.

All those penalties. The wide-open receivers when the last thing the defense could afford was to leave wide-open receivers. That third-quarter sag.

Much better description: This was a classic example of the NFL’s Parity Era, when no team is good enough to dominate the Super Stage.

After all those blowouts in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and all those Super Teams, we’ve now had two shriek-finish Super Bowls in a row and five straight that were close in the fourth quarter.
The last blowout? Yep, Tampa Bay 48, Raiders 21 in Super Bowl XXXVII.

So Larry Fitzgerald was outstanding Sunday. Kurt Warner, too. Santonio Holmes was a revelation. Harrison made the greatest single play in Super Bowl history, by my reckoning.

But… this felt more like a good first-round playoff game that happened to have Bruce Springsteen at halftime and a spaceship capsule as the postgame stage.

Agreed. It was a sloppy game for the most part and take away Harrison’s interception return and the first half was largely uneventful. That doesn’t mean the game wasn’t entertaining because it was. But a classic? That’s reach.

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