A few quick items today on a subpar Super Bowl weekend:
1) The Good – I won my office squares pool since I drew Steelers 1, Seahawks 0. The “code black” episode of “Gray’s Anatomy” was also excellent (although cliff-hangers drive me nuts).
2) The Bad – The Super Bowl itself. Neither Pittsburgh nor Seattle seemed to play anywhere near their peaks during the game (in contrast to the conference championship games). The game didn’t come down to the wire and, aside from a handful of gems like the FedEx caveman and the Budweiser streaking sheep, the commercials weren’t great overall. Not only that, my prediction of a Seahawks upset was completely off (although everything that I put on Seattle was at least balanced out by my squares victory).
3) The Ugly – The least of my worries going into the weekend was how Illinois would play against Penn State. Boy, that proved to be wrong. Blowing a 16-point lead at home to one of the Big Ten’s worst teams was one thing. Having what was thought to be a game-winning 3-pointer by Richard McBride at the buzzer be called off by the refs (no gripe here – the replay clearly showed that it was the correct call) was devastating. As Gregg Doyel noted today, this loss pretty much puts us out of the running for a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. We can still grab a share of the Big Ten title (and I think we will), but a third straight undisputed conference title is unlikely. Also, since we don’t play again until next Sunday, we have the whole week with this bad taste in our mouths. It was just a bad loss at a really bad time. I hope the Bruce Weber and the Illini respond to this in a positive way so that we can be prepared for March.