For those of you who watched the 42nd Superbowl yesterday, you may have spent the first 3 ½ quarters as I did, more interested in the assortment of snacks available than in the game. However, the last 10 minutes of the New York Giants and New England Patriots game was nail- biting excitement.
This was one of those Super Bowls that didn't require my attendance to interpret. The Eli Manning story is marvelous, and a great example of why you never give up on a top quarterback prospect too soon. He led one of the great drives a quarterback can lead to put the winning touchdown on the board. The game, though, was won by the Giants' defensive front seven. In holding the Patriots to a season-low 14 points -- their lowest offensive output in 24 games -- New York did exactly what teams have been trying to do to Tom Brady for years. They pestered him. They knocked him to the ground 23 times. They made him rush. That was the recipe to beating New England, but we doubted the Giants could pull it off.In a final score of 17-14, the Giants denied the Patriots an undefeated season. The Giants' quarterback Eli Manning was named MVP.
In a somewhat related story, citing NFL copyright infringement, the National Football League has put a stop to the tradition of Church gatherings for the purpose of watching the Superbowl on big screens.
The Washington Post reports:
The Super Bowl, the most secular of American holidays, has long been popular among churches. With parties, prayer and Christian DVDs replacing the occasionally racy halftime shows, churches use the event as a way to reach members, and potential new members, in a non-churchlike atmosphere.
"It takes people who are not coming frequently, or who have fallen away, and shows them that the church can still have some fun," said the Rev. Thomas Omholt, senior pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in the District. Omholt has hosted a Super Bowl party for young adults in his home for 20 years. "We can be a little less formal."
The NFL said, however, that the copyright law on its games is long-standing and the language read at the end of each game is well known: "This telecast is copyrighted by the NFL for the private use of our audience. Any other use of this telecast or any pictures, descriptions, or accounts of the game without the NFL's consent is prohibited."
The league bans public exhibitions of its games on TV sets or screens larger than 55 inches because smaller sets limit the audience size. The section of federal copyright law giving the NFL protection over the content of its programming exempts sports bars, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.
- Annie Noa Kenet, Toronto