Bob Smizik: Seattle stuns Denver and the world

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The big losers in Super Bowl XLVIII in no particular order: The Denver Broncos, Peyton Manning, the National Football League, the companies that invested millions in second-half commercials.

The big winners: The Seattle Seahawks, Russell Wilson, the Seahawks fan base, New York City-New Jersey region.

The Seahawks stunned the world and crushed the Broncos, as well as delivering a devastating mental blow to the city of Denver and the state of Colorado, with a 43-8 butt-kicking tonight at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey.

Imagine how this region would feel if the Steelers went to a Super Bowl and did that.

It wasn’t the Broncos' night from the first snap from center, which sailed over Manning’s head and into the end zone, which resulted in a safety. It wasn’t just all downhill after that; it was a careening out-of-control spiral that produced one of the worst Super Bowls on record.

It has been written many times that Manning wasn’t playing for his legacy. He wasn’t. His legacy is secure as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. Five MVP awards and one Super Bowl win assure that. But he surely did not help himself with this performance, which included two first-half interceptions, both of which resulted in Seattle touchdowns.

The NFL can afford a stinkeroo even more than Manning. But it, too, will have a hard time living this one down, although the hype will be every bit as large by the time the next Super Bowl rolls around.

The Nielsen people will tell us how many people turned off their TVs at halftime and how many more turned them off when Seattle returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown. But the lopsided nature of the game probably had a crushing effect on the ratings.

The Seahawks made a mockery of all the rules the NFL has supposedly created to enhance the offense. This was a great triumph for the power of defense. That Seattle was able to do this against a quarterback of Manning’s elite level and against a team that scored 606 points during the regular season is all the more remarkable. When that great Chicago Bears defense of 1985 crushed New England in the Super Bowl, the opposing quarterback was Tony Eason.

Wilson proved that a comparatively diminutive quarterback can still win in the NFL. This was a victory for the little guy and should revamp some of the thinking of NFL personnel experts who favor quarterbacks who are 6-foot-4 four or taller. No question, Seattle’s calling card is its defense. But all Russell Wilson did was outplay Peyton Manning.

Maybe now the Seattle fans will forget about the Seahawks loss the Steelers in the Super Bowl after the 2005 season. Probably not, though.

There were predictions of weather doom since the outdoor New York-New Jersey site was announced. Mother Nature came up as big as the Seahawks with near-perfect football weather. By all accounts, the Big Apple was on its best behavior and a great time was had by all.

Until they started the game.


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