Happy post-Super Bowl Hangover Monday Cougs. Here's hoping, as always, that all is well with you and yours. And the biggest question I have for you today, is, uh, WHY isn't the Monday after the Super Bowl not a national holiday!?!? Couldn't they roll back MLK day a few weeks and align it with the day after the big game?? (Note – there is some sarcasm in that question, so, please don't feel the need to educate the masses in comments about the details of the MLK holiday.)
So quite a game yesterday, hmmm? Like many of you, we celebrated SB Sunday by having a little get-together with some friends. The overriding theme yesterday was 1) how tough both teams were hitting the crap out of each other, as well as how damn chippy the whole thing was, and 2) how it totally felt like two completely different football games, before and after the power outage/surge/whatever! It was really remarkable to see how different things were before and after that strange moment, when we were treated to Steve Tasker and Solomon Wilcots attempting to keep the broadcast upright and moving along with limited information. It was really, uh, strange, I guess (and maybe some Sean Payton revenge on the NFL??)
During the outage, a friend of mine and I were debating on who this helps most. Obviously looking back at it you can see that it got the 49ers back on track, I mean it was 28-6 and Kaepernick was looking pretty "wobbly", ala the 42-13 beatdown suffered at the hands of the mighty Seahawks back in December! I even heard either Shannon Sharpe or Bill Cowher mention it during the downtime, that this was basically the worst Kaepernick had looked since that blowout loss in Seattle. Anyway, we both felt like this was nothing but a good thing for the 49ers, and a way to give them a chance to feel like they could mentally "reboot" and approach the rest of the game as a new opportunity. That downtime just seemed to reel it all in for San Fran, and somehow they scraped themselves off the mat and put on a hell of a show for the rest of the way.
Anyway, quite a show when it was all said and done. So what will YOU take away from this year's game? The arrival of Joe Flacco as a true elite NFL QB, now 9-4 in the playoffs in his career and a SB ring, and 11 TD's to 0 INT's in the postseason, best since Joe Montana? Kaepernick leading the team back to what looked like could have been the biggest comeback in SB history? The intense physical hitting, some of the most physical hitting I can remember in a SB? The end (thank GOD) of Ray Lewis and his playing career in the NFL? The holding/non-holding call that wasn't on the 4th down fade to Michael Crabtree? The Harbaugh bowl and the postgame handshake? Beyonce and the Destiny's Child reunion? Alicia Keys on the piano with the anthem, with NO lip-synch? Bar Refaeli and the nerd kissing commercial? The power outage??
One thing I think we all can safely say in looking back at the NFL Saturday night award show and then the game yesterday – there are some damn good young QB's in the league right now, and as RGIII said in his acceptance speech of the NFL ROY, the NFL is in good hands at QB going forward. RGIII (with a healthy knee), Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, Kaepernick, I mean the list just grows with a new era of players and leaders at the most important position in the NFL. I don't know about you, but I can't WAIT for the NFL to get it fired up again next season and watch these guys continue to grow!
Moving on, there are some Coug-related items out there to check out, so let's get going…..
So signing day is coming, have you heard? Yep, Wednesday the 6th is the day the recruiting "guru's" all wait for, as it's their own Super Bowl. Note that I am not a big recruiting guy, I mean I know how important it is in the grand scheme of things but the rush to rate classes on signing day is just way out of whack. I think outside of the top 10 classes in the country which are filled with 4-and-5 star guys, it's impossible to really tell what's going to happen and how fast some of these youngsters are going to get meaningful playing time at the next level. It's exciting to see kids fax in those letters and you see the reports and photos and announcements of their letters-of-intent, and every coach in the country takes to the podium to talk up the kids they just signed and how they pretty much got the guys they were after. I don't mean to sound totally cynical here, but we've been through this so many times, we know the drill, am I right?
The Cougs class for this year meanwhile looks "OK", I guess. That is if you are going by what players are rated on paper based on their high school achievements, and/or rushing to judge a signing class before they set foot on campus. Right now, Scout.com has WSU with the #41 rated recruiting class in the country, good for 10th in the Pac-12. It looks like a good year for the top of the Pac-12, as UCLA, USC, UW and Oregon are all looking to be in the top-15 when it's all said and done. But of course, we have to wait and see how things take shape before we can really judge anything at this point.
The Cougs did just get a commitment from a long-snapper out of Spokane, so there's that. In the drama department that usually pops up this time of year, it looks like a Texas safety commit to WSU might be wavering a bit, as Montrel Meander just took a trip to the Texas Longhorns, where he appears to be a target at wide receiver instead of safety for WSU. Meander was quoted in the story as saying the visit to Austin went very well, but according to him, he is still committed to WSU. I guess we'll find out on Wednesday!
Maybe one guy we can all be excited about in Cougville as we head towards signing day? WR Vince Mayle. Christian Caple had a good write-up of the 6-3 wide receiver who, according to some analysts, will be one of these JC guys who comes in and can make an instant impact for 2013. And some have even compared Mayle to Michael Crabtree, in that big, physical type who can do so many things with the football? So of all the names you see announced on Wednesday, maybe Mayle is the one to truly get excited about for immediate help that appears to be on the way.
That's it for now. Longball should be in the big chair on Wednesday for your signing day stuff, so check back then. Take care, and of course, GO COUGS!