Super Bowl will feature many players with state ties

Published 4:07 pm Thursday, January 29, 2009

It’s time for Super Bowl XLIII, and it seems like very few around here are excited about it. Right now, there’s more interest in college football recruiting, assistant football coaching changes and anything that can somewhat ease our burning passion for college football.

I’ll admit, the Super Bowl hasn’t ever meant as much as the Sugar Bowl or the BCS, but I always do find a fascination with the NFL Playoffs and the Super Bowl. Because I don’t keep up with it as much, I don’t know who is playing for what team. However, it’s always fun to see players that I’ve seen play in college now make it in the NFL.

This Super Bowl features several players that have played college football in this state. On the Cardinals team, you have Tim Castille (Alabama), Karlos Dansby (Auburn) and Roderick Hood (Auburn). The Steelers have Fernando Bryant (Alabama), Anthony Madison (a notorious player Alabama fans remember), DeShea Townsend (Alabama) and injury/reserve Kendall Simmons (Auburn).

It’s fun to see all of these guys on the field at the same time. Most of these players are on defense, and all were great players in college. There are numerous others playing in the NFL.

One other thing that makes watching the NFL interesting is examining the officiating. Normally, there are controversial replay reviews, penalties and just odd calls. One of the most controversial replays was the Tom Brady fumble in the New England Patriots’ championship in 2001. It was ruled a fumble, but after I saw the replay, I was convinced it was an incomplete pass. Sure enough, the play was reversed, and the Patriots had new life.

This year, there has been some crazy officiating. There were more defensive holding penalties on running plays than I have ever seen before. There was the crazy call in the Steelers-Ravens game in December when the referee on the field said the receiver was short of the goal line. The referee reversed it on replay saying his “feet” were in the end zone, thus, giving the Steelers the touchdown, but he ignored the rule that says the ball has to break the plane of the goal line.

These two things make the Super Bowl interesting for me, but I’ll bet most of you will be watching for the commercials if you watch it at all.

You might be too worried about how your school is going to do this week on National Signing Day. If so, the Super Bowl is just background noise.