Sunday, February 05, 2012

Penny Thoughts ‘12—Road to the Super Bowl (2012) ***

NR, 43 min.
Narrator: Tom Selleck
Starring: Eli Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Alex Smith, Matt Stafford, Victor Cruz, Cam Newton, Tom Coughlin, Tony Romo, Tim Tebow, Bill Belichick, Jim Harbaugh, John Harbaugh, Rob Gronkowski, Calvin Johnson

NFL Films has long been the pinnacle of professional sports documentary filmmaking. Each year they produce numerous films highlighting that season’s teams, victories and losses. Their entire league season overview “Road to the Super Bowl” debuted early in the day on Super Bowl Sunday as part of NBC’s daylong build up to the Super Bowl XLVI rematch between the New York Football Giants and the New England Patriots.

Yes, I am quite biased about this year’s Super Bowl festivities, as I am an incurable New York Football Giants fan, as anyone can tell by my insistence on using their historically official title, which includes “football” incorporated into the team name. But, of any one particular sport, there is none more satisfying than NFL Films’ handling of their official documentaries. NFL Films does such a good job covering all the most important aspects of the NFL season.

This year’s “Road to the Super Bowl” covers one of the most fascinating seasons of any in my memory. It was a season dominated by quarterback play and passing yards. It was one dominated by broken records and nearly broken records. Thankfully, Michael Strahan still holds the sack record from his 2001 season. Jared Allen almost beat it this year.

Of course, this year’s opponents reflect the fascinating year. The Patriots quietly remained at the top of the pack all season long, not bringing nearly as much attention to themselves as in their nearly undefeated run from four year’s back. The Giants, in typical fashion, struggled between greatness and sad mediocrity until their final remarkable run to the Bowl. This all must seem too familiar to Pats fans. “Road to the Super Bowl” is about the remarkable season of the entire league, however, and doesn’t presume the victor of today’s game. For today, nothing that has come before matters.

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