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Some Random Observations
Super Bowl XXXIX Pre-Game Edition
Bob Cunningham
January 27, 2005

The buzz is that WR Terrell Owens will return to the Philadelphia lineup in the Super Bowl despite his doctor's refusal to approve it. I say "so what?" The Eagles haven't needed him in the postseason to this point, and he won't make a significant difference one way or another...

I confess, however, that I'd be interested to see what he comes up with for an end zone celebration in the event he scores...

I just hope he tries something weird in the presence of the Patriots' Rodney Harrison, who undoubtedly would re-break his leg at the first sign of TO showing up his club...

Wonder who hits harder, Harrison or the Eagles' Brian Dawkins? There's no one to ask because victims never remember anything afterward...

Most pundits and the majority of fans who have chimed in are looking for QB Tom Brady to get his third Super Bowl MVP. Brady is great - I'm a big fan of his poise and passing accuracy, among other things - but I believe that if New England wins, it will be primarily because of a big day from RB Corey Dillon...

Brady isn't the NFL's best quarterback - Indy's Peyton Manning gets that honor - but he's tops in the clutch, which is an honor I'd rather have anyway.

Other NFL musings...

In a certain national sports mag that will remain nameless in this space, former Dallas QB turned Fox-TV commentator Troy Aikman wrote that St. Louis coach Mike Martz is better than he's given credit for. My response? Obviously, Aikman hasn't done many Rams games. Let's set the record straight here. As an offensive coordinator, Martz is creative but short-sighted. His abandonment of the run directly cost his team Super Bowl XXXVI and numerous other contests since. His record of bad challenges on instant replay and his routine squandering of timeouts are a hindrance to winning, regardless of the team's overall philosophy. His team's record of poor special teams play year after year indicates that he fails to understand the importance of kick returns and coverage. His emotional, geeky persona on the sidelines isn't dignified. And my take on his confrontation with injured lineman Kyle Turley is that most coaches would have never let such a situation become public. Martz may be a smart guy, and a gifted guru of passing attacks, but he's not a quality NFL head coach. Period. I don't care how many Super Bowls Aikman won...

If I see one more NFL coach sit on a ball in overtime after barely entering into field goal range (are you reading this, Marty Schottenheimer? Herman Edwards? Martz?) and put the game on the shoulders of a kicker from 40-plus yards, I will officially blow a gasket. Martz lost the playoff game against Carolina last season a little differently, settling for a tying field goal in regulation when his team had the opportunity and momentum to win the game with a touchdown right then and there, but the misguided concept is the same. And both Scottenheimer and Edwards did likewise in this year's playoffs, potentially costing their teams a chance to advance...

The referees of the NFL need to be reminded that a pass hauled in by a receiver can, by rule, touch the ground as long as it is firmly possessed by the receiver and that, in the judgment of the official, the ground didn't contribute to maintaining possession...

Lastly... it should be pointed out that while Randy Moss' mooning demonstration of Packers fans after scoring in the wild-card round game was tasteless, it's nothing compared to the images of Moss on the sidelines earlier in the game when he could clearly be seen repeatedly screaming, "Look at the M***** F***ing scoreboard!" directly toward Green Bay's faithful. The guy is a loser, no matter how many TDs he catches.