Super Bowl, Winter Olympics, boxing keep things interesting

“I give up,” said analyst and former pro football wide receiver Cris Collinsworth, after a ruling on the field upheld a critical catch by the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl game against the New England Patriots.

Collinsworth and broadcaster Al Michaels, along with millions of fans, watched a replay of a touchdown catch that they expected to be overturned.

If you don’t know what a catch is anymore, join the crowd. Every time a catch or possible catch was reviewed, it was must-see TV waiting for the final call. And when the experts seemingly don’t have a clue as to what constitutes a catch, what chances do the rest of us have?

That’s why determining whether the ball was caught or not dominated the sport this year.

After watching replay after replay and seeing some calls upheld and others overturned during the season, Michaels and Collinsworth figured the play on the field would be overturned. When it wasn’t, they were nearly speechless, which rarely happens for two talkative broadcasters.

Thank replay for creating the conundrum. While replay is very helpful in some situations, it has raised more questions than provided answers when it comes to determining whether a ball was legally caught.

A start, (with tongue only partially in cheek) would be to have a 5-year-old in the replay center. In case of a questionable catch, just ask the kid if the ball was caught or not. My guess is the results would be better and more consistent than the current method of over-analyzing everything.

The Super Bowl was an amazingly entertaining game, although it probably gave heartburn to fans and coaches who like a little defense. For two Super Bowl teams, the defense was offensive. Only a handful of plays were made by either defense that were noteworthy in a game in which both offenses marched up and down the field like a knife cutting through butter.

Maybe that’s why those few good defensive plays stood out, like the strip sack of Brady late in the fourth quarter that was recovered by the Eagles.

We learned that Eagles coach Doug Pederson would have made a good riverboat gambler. His team scored a touchdown by gambling on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. The play that scored a touchdown reminded me of some plays we used to draw up as kids playing backyard football.

Pederson gambled again with less than six minutes in the game with another fourth-down call on his side of the field. But considering how ineffective his defense had been, if he had punted the ball, he may never have gotten it back with time to score again.

It was easy money for the two punters. They were pretty much given the day off, with only one punt the whole night.

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When the Olympics roll around, it’s fun to see the best athletes from around the world perform in sports we seldom see or even pretend to understand.

Some of the more familiar Winter Olympics sports are hockey, ski jumping, figure skating and speed skating.

I wonder how many countries, though, have places to practice luge or curling? That doesn’t diminish the importance of those sports, of course. Some sports are more curious than others.

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Not that I’ve ever been a huge boxing fan, but my interest in the sport has waned over time. It has been interesting to see Wichita’s fascination with the success of local boxer and Olympic medal winner Nico Hernan­dez.

Recently he won the IBA Americas flyweight title at Hartman Arena with a fifth-round knockout of Victor Torres.

Torres (2-8) replaced the scheduled opponent, Hun­garian fighter Jozsef Ajtai because promoters said visa problems and weather conditions kept Ajtai in Chicago.

Torres received a call from his coach at 6:30 a.m. Friday in California after he finished his night shift at a demolition company. He didn’t know he would be fighting the former Olympian the next day.

It’s almost like saying that if Texas Tech can’t play KU in Lawrence because of the weather, we’ll ask Ottawa University’s team to drive up and fill in and play for the Big 12 championship.

Hillsboro resident Joe Klein­sasser is director of news and media relations at Wichita State University. You can reached him at Joe.Klein­sasser@wichita.edu.