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For over 25 years, Bob Matthews has held the title of Rochester's most popular sports writer/commentator. For over 20 years, Bob has hosted WHAM's nightly sports talk program...consistently ranked at the top of his time slot!
From 1978 to 2012, Bob Matthews was a sports columnist for the Times-Union and Democrat and Chronicle and a regular "As the Sports World Turns" contributor to the Gannett News Service. He is the only person to be selected Press-Radio Club Sportswriter of the Year (five times) and Sportscaster of the Year, and was a pioneer inductee into the Frontier Field Walk of Fame.
A Rochester native, Bob graduated from Brighton High School where he played varsity baseball, basketball and served as student council V-P. Bob is also a veteran, serving his country in Vietnam.
Always opinionated and outspoken, Bob's proudest accomplishment is advocating for Frontier Field. His all-time favorite athlete...former Red Wing Luke Easter. One of his sports regrets……not being around for the glory year of the Rochester Royals.
BOB GIVES SUPER BOWL 47 A 9.5 RATING
SURE, IT WAS A HOLD…BUT NO TEARS FOR 49ERS
FINAL DRIVE COST KAEPERNICK GAME MVP
BILLS HOST CHAMPION RAVENS NEXT SEASON
ANDRE REED LIKELY 2014 PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAMER
Few Super Bowls live up to the hype.
This one did.
Baltimore Ravens 34, San Francisco 49ers 31.
On a scale of 1-to-10 (worst to best), I give Super Bowl 47 a 9.5.
If the 49ers had pulled out a victory after trailing 28-6 early in the third quarter to cap by far the biggest winning rally in Super Bowl history, I’d have rated Sunday evening’s game a perfect 10 and equal to any previous NFL championship game.
Thoughts on this classic championship game:
--I believe San Francisco was the better team entering Super Bowl 47, but Baltimore was slightly the better team in Super Bowl 47. The 49ers likely will be the 2013 preseason favorite to win Super Bowl 48.
--Sure, Baltimore got a game-winning zebra no-call break on Baltimore cornerback Jimmy Smith’s fourth-down hold in the end zone on San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree. That crucial play preserved the victory. But the zebras were letting things go (only seven flags all game) and I’d have more sympathy with the 49ers if the play-calling on their final series wasn’t so lame.
--When San Francisco, down 34-29 with the ball on Baltimore’s 7- yard line, goal-to-goal, didn’t you think the 49ers were a cinch to score a TD and take a 36-32 lead with less than two minutes to play?
LaMichael James ran for two yards to the 5-yard line. Then 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick attempted three straight passes to Michael Crabtree on the right side. I’d have preferred three running plays by Kaepernick and/or Frank Gore. San Francisco averaged 6.3 yards and 28 rushes before the three feeble pass attempts to Crabtree.
--I’m not going to complain about Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco winning the Super Bowl MVP award. It usually goes to the game-winning QB (this was the 26th time in the 47 Super Bowls). Flacco had a strong game (22x33 for 287 yards, 3 TD passes, 124.2 passer rating) and a spectacular stretch of four postseason games(4-0 record; 73x126 (.579), 11 TD passes, 0 INTs)…But I wouldn’t have objected if Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones had been chosen MVP. He had a 63-yard TD catch to give the Ravens a 21-3 lead and a Super Bowl-record 108-yard kickoff TD return to start the second half to pad the lead to 28-6.
--Kaepernick probably would’ve been chosen Super Bowl MVP if the 49ers had scored on that final drive and hung on to win the game. After a slow start Sunday, he was terrific. The main reason 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh gave Kaepernick the starting job over Alex Smith was Kaepernick’s ability to overcome deficits with his arm and legs. He nearly pulled it off in only his 10th career NFL start. It must make Buffalo fans sick that the Bills passed on Kaepernick in favor of cornerback Aaron Williams in the 2011 NFL college draft. The Bills weren’t the only team that sold Kaepernick short, but few teams needed him more. Compare Kaepernicks’s arm strength and foot speed to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Aw, never mind. It’s too depressing to contemplate.
--One thing I use when I rank Super Bowls is the number of memorable plays or happenings. Many Super Bowls had none. Super Bowl 47 had at least three: the rendition of America the Beautiful, including 26 young singers from Newtown, Conn.; Jacoby Jones’ Super Bowl-record 108-yard kickoff TD return; Ray Lewis’ swan song; the 34-minute blackout delay early in the second half; and the controversial no-call hold to kill San Francisco’s last shot.
--The Ravens fully capitalized on winning the coin flip to start the game. They opted to kickoff. That was a risk against San Francisco’s high-powered offense. But the 49ers went three-and-out (after a ridiculous procedure penalty on tight end Vernon Davis to negate his game-opening 20-yard catch) and Baltimore promptly responded with a 6-play, 51-yard TD drive for a 7-0 lead…San Francisco had to kick off to start the second half and Jones burned him with his 108-yard TD return for a 28-6 lead.
--The 34-minute power blackout early in the third quarter obviously was a plus for San Francisco. Baltimore’s momentum was killed and the 49ers got a fresh start. I don’t know how any San Francisco fan could deny that.
--If you like Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis, you had to love the way his career ended. If you don’t appreciate Lewis, you’re probably disappointed that he’s going out a champion. I know the Ravens will miss him. I don’t think the rest of the NFL and a majority of the league’s fans will.
--My unsung heroes were retread Baltimore offensive left tackle Bryant McKinnie and left guard Kelechi Osemele. They outplayed San Francisco’s DE Justin Smith and pass-rushing linebacker Aldon Smith.
--My goat of the game was San Francisco running back LaMichael James. The 49ers were down 7-3 but on the march when James lost a fumble on Baltimore’s 25-yard line. The Ravens responded with a 75-yard TD drive for a 14-3 lead. James’ giveaway was a potential 14-point swing. I thought James would be a surprise impact player in this game. He was – the wrong way.
--The worst thing about Super Bowl 47 is that we’ll have to wait seven months until the next NFL games that count. For some of us – not nearly as many as years ago – the Major League Baseball season will help fill the void.
--Reminder: The Bills will play the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens at Ralph Wilson Stadium (we hope not Toronto) next season.
--Art Modell didn’t make the Pro Football Hall of Fame—bitter feelings remain from his Cleveland-to-Baltimore move – but his Ravens won their second Super Bowl.
--Andre Reed also didn’t make the Hall of Fame, but his future hopes probably are greater than Modell’s. Cris Carter was elected to break the three-wide receiver logjam with Reed and Tim Brown. Reed made the 10-player final cut in last Saturday’s election. Brown did not. This should set up Anfre for election next year.