The Washington Post

That was it?

Outside of being told how the ending play outs, there's nothing worse than when someone hypes up a movie before you've seen it. Because you know it doesn't stand a chance to live up to the hype.

This year's Super Bowl was easily the best matchup I've seen in recent history. As long as you weren't a fan of a rival team, it was hard not to get excited for Steelers-Packers. Both teams are rich in history, both could move the ball offensively and both were stout defensively. The game really had the makings of something great.

Then it played itself out and after two weeks of hype, I was left thinking to myself, "That was it?"

If this was the last game before a lockout wipes out all of next season, Super Bowl XLV should not be remembered for how it didn't live up to the hype. It should be remembered for the way the Packers did the impossible by overcoming injuries during the regular season only to barely make the playoffs, run over three very good teams in their home stadiums and then beat a Steelers squad that had won two of the last six Super Bowls.

XLV should be remembered for the way Aaron Rodgers outperformed Big Ben. It should be remembered for vindicating Ted Thompson, who absolutely made the right decision committing to Rodgers when Brett Favre was doing his annual retirement dance in 2008. It should be remembered for the way Dom Capers did some of the finest second-half coaching we'll ever see. (The guy lost two of his top three cornerbacks but didn't allow that to be his excuse as to why the Packers didn't win.) It should be remembered for the way the Packers battled adversity to the bitter end and yet still emerged victorious.

That's what Super Bowl XLV should be remembered for. But I still can't shake the fact that it was a lousy game.

Packer fans don't want to hear the game described that way because in their eyes, it tarnishes their victory. But using the term "lousy" doesn't mean that I think the Packers weren't deserving of victory or that the Steelers lost more than Green Bay won. On the contrary: I'm glad to see that the Steelers lost considering they didn't deserve to win based on how they played. I'm glad to see that Rodgers won the MVP because he was clearly the best player on the field. I'm glad to see that the coaching staff that made better decisions and adjustments won and the staff that didn't lost.

But in the end, no, it didn't live up to the hype. The drops and turnovers made the game extremely choppy and there was absolutely no flow throughout. Pittsburgh's two best players on both sides of the ball (Big Ben and Troy Polamalu) saved their worst performances for the biggest game of the season and it was crushing to see Rodgers' near-perfect outing go up in smoke because his receivers couldn't hold onto the ball. Some fans will say that because the game was close throughout and was high-scoring that it was exciting. But you're kidding yourself if you think that was a well-executed performance by either team.

Throw in Christina Aguilera's issues with the National Anthem, a set of weak commercials and Studio Magic's (sorry, the Black Eyed Peas') performance at halftime and you had the makings of a disappointing Super Bowl experience this year.

With a lockout looming, I know I was left unsatisfied.

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