The Commish Online                                                                                
All Hail the Patriots
February 3, 2004
by Ward Lowe

Way to go Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island! You can once again claim the Super Bowl champs as your own. Is there any other team that encompasses a six-state region? Maybe if New England’s opponent had been the Mid-Atlantic Panthers instead of a team that represents a measly two-state area, they would’ve triumphed.

But enough about the game for a moment—let’s talk about the ridiculous halftime show.

It started well, with a few Houston-area marching bands on the field. It’s too bad that part of the program didn’t last longer. Instead, MTV and the NFL took a nice idea—a tribute to the space program and the astronauts lost aboard space shuttle Columbia—and turned it into something from a B-movie set.

Nice moon landing. I’m convinced George W was in the space suit, protecting Reliant Stadium from terrorists and WMD.

Let’s not forget about the music. Remember that the NFL decided against going with U2 as the halftime act because the league didn’t want to bring politics into the game. Fair enough. Bono often uses U2 shows as a way to spread his message on various issues, and the NFL wanted to avoid that.

So they decided to go with a huge cheesy advertisement for the Bush administration’s new plan to send men to the Moon and Mars—oh, and show the world Janet Jackson’s right breast. Good call, Tags. You wouldn’t want any controversy surrounding the halftime show.

All right, back to actual football talk.

Not only did the Patriots run off 15 straight wins to finish the season, they didn’t allow quarterback Tom Brady to get sacked during the postseason. Imagine what Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb or Titans quarterback Steve McNair could have done in the pocket if they didn’t have to worry about getting pummeled each week.

Brady (32 of 48 passes for 354 yards, three touchdowns, one interception, 100.5 rating) took home the Super Bowl MVP Award, but Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme (16 of 33 passes for 323 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions, 113.6 rating) had a slightly better day statistically. Of course, Brady and the Pats won the game.

The big news, however, isn’t about the Super Bowl. Now that football is over, America can turn its attention to the national pastime: Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in about three weeks.

Go Red Sox.

Last week's From The Armchair

Ward Lowe is a writer and editor in Austin, Texas, who believes that 2004 will be The Year for his beloved Boston Red Sox. You can reach him at