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79-77 is your final from Provo after a furious comeback falls barely short at the end. Card get No. 9 Texas in Austin next. Tough draw.: 21 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Card looked sloppy and lost at times, but this team's resiliency is really something else. Just won't go away easily.: 21 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Stanford and Randle got the looks that they wanted at the end, and the shots just didn't fall. That happens, not much you can do about that.: 21 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Card get the ball back down 79-77 with 4.8 to go, and Randle misses the buzzer-beater. BYU wins by that final score.: 21 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Randle misses the long 3 on a clean look. Stanford will get the ball back with a chance.: 21 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Travel. Stanford down 2, gets the ball back and can kill the clock.: 21 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Randle with the clutch 3! We have a two-point game, 79-77 with just under a minute to go. ESPNU. Don't miss this ending.: 21 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Two forced turnovers later, it's back to a 77-72 game. Stanford doing whatever it can to stick around.: 21 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Stanford playing sloppy ball, BYU playing clean, foul-free ball on the other end. It's 72-59 Cougars, who have opened it up with 5 to play.: 21 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport

Peterson: Broncos-Seahawks not a Super Bowl to remember

Nothing beats a close, down-to-the-wire Super Bowl.

Not the NBA Finals, not the World Series and not the BCS National Championship Game (or now, the College Football Playoff) — at least, when your favorite team is not involved. The World Cup is much more popular worldwide, but at least in the United States, the Super Bowl currently reigns.

With the nonstop hype that builds up the Super Bowl for two long weeks beforehand, the game could easily let us down. Before 2005, there had never been back-to-back Super Bowls decided by nine or fewer points. The first 37 Super Bowls had an average margin of victory of 16.3 points. The Super Bowl tended to be a one-sided affair more often than not.

However, before the Seahawks and the Broncos squared off on Sunday, five of the previous six Super Bowls, and seven of the last 10, had been decided by six or fewer points. You might expect this, given that the Super Bowl is supposed to be played between the two best teams in the National Football League.

In 2004, an estimated 89 million viewers watched the Panthers and Patriots combine for 37 points in the fourth quarter alone and saw Tom Brady lead a game-winning fourth-quarter drive, capped off by Adam Vinatieri’s deciding field goal with four seconds left.

In 2008, the undefeated Patriots marched into the Super Bowl as 12-point favorites over Eli Manning and the Giants. With 1:15 remaining, trailing by four and facing a third-and-5 from the New York 44-yard line, Eli Manning escaped a sure sack and fired up a prayer that was answered by David Tyree — a 32-yard catch made with one hand and a helmet. The Giants finished the drive and upset the Patriots 17-14 in arguably the greatest Super Bowl of all-time.

How could that Super Bowl possibly be followed up? After falling behind 20-7 in Super Bowl XLIII, the Cardinals responded with 16 straight points, including a 64-yard touchdown pass with 2:37 remaining to take a 23-20 lead. However, the Steelers were up to the task, marching 78 yards down the field and scoring on one of the greatest catches of all time, with Santonio Holmes reaching way over his head and snaring Ben Roethlisberger’s pass in the corner of the end zone between three defenders with just 35 seconds left on the clock.

In that span of 10 Super Bowls, there had also been a pick-six to seal a Super Bowl for New Orleans just a few years after Hurricane Katrina, a six-point victory for the Packers three years removed from Brett Favre, yet another Eli Manning game-winning drive against the Patriots and a goal-line stand by one of the greatest linebackers of all time, Ray Lewis, to win the Super Bowl in his final game, to mention a few of the best.

And that is why this Super Bowl was so unexpected.

The Broncos ruined not only this streak of stellar games but also this Super Bowl. Over 100 million people watched as Peyton Manning and the Broncos made mistake after mistake for four quarters. Despite the potential for one of the greatest games ever, with the most prolific offense in history taking on the league’s best defense, the game instead made a mockery of the Broncos.

What happened? The first play of the game really told the whole story — everything that could go wrong for the Broncos went wrong. Manning’s throws were off, the Broncos’ defense couldn’t get off the field on third downs and the Broncos’ special teams left a lane so wide for Percy Harvin you could drive a semi-truck through it. Maybe the pressure got to the Broncos, but there is no doubt that the Seahawks were by far the best team on the field and in the NFL on Sunday.

Unfortunately for fans of the 31 teams other than the Seahawks, the Super Bowl was over just 15 seconds after halftime when Percy Harvin returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown.

After so many amazing Super Bowls, it’s safe to say that the Broncos let us down Sunday. We became spoiled watching game-winning drives and historic plays year after year for the last 10 years to the point where I kept expecting Peyton Manning to pull off the spectacular comeback. But on this occasion, the Super Bowl reverted to blowout form, and it really wasn’t all that exciting to watch beyond the first half.

Hopefully, future Super Bowls can again be the spectacular showings we have come to assume they would be — all-out battles between the two best teams for football’s ultimate prize that have our gazes fixed and hearts racing for a full 60 minutes. Football is at its finest when the best and most exciting moments of the season are saved for last.

Michael Peterson, along with other Stanford students who chose to watch the Super Bowl instead of studying, is bitter that he wasted three hours of his weekend. Tell him how to make up for lost time at mrpeters ‘at’ and follow him on Twitter @mpetes93.

About Michael Peterson

Michael Peterson is the football editor at The Stanford Daily. He has served as a beat reporter for football, baseball and men’s soccer and also does play-by-play broadcasting of baseball and men’s soccer for KZSU. Michael is a sophomore from Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. majoring in computer science. To contact him, please email him at mrpeters ‘at’