Why Super Bowl XLVIII Was the Most Disappointing in NFL History

Joe Rapolla Jr.Featured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2014

Seattle Seahawks' quarterback Russell Wilson, left, laughs with Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll during a television interview after the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Seahawks won 43-8. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

With the exception of people who are reading from the northwestern corner of the United States or who root for the Seattle Seahawks, last night's Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ was an epic disappointment. 

The showdown featuring the AFC's No. 1 team, the Denver Broncos, and Seahawks, the NFC's top squad, was supposed to be historic, exciting and a battle until the final second. The Broncos' No. 1 offense versus the Seahawks' No. 1 defense. Veteran Denver quarterback Peyton Manning versus Seahawks' cornerback and league-loudmouth Richard Sherman. Denver head coach John Fox versus Seattle head coach Pete Carroll, who both worked with the Iowa State Cyclones' football team early in their careers. 

Instead, Super Bowl XLVIII ended with a final score of 43-8, in favor of Seattle. The only thing about the game that lived up to expectations was Bruno Mars, whose halftime performance featuring the Red Hot Chili Peppers was nothing short of brilliant. 

I don't mean to discredit the Seahawks. They are a young squad who will surely be a force to be reckoned with for years to come. As Bleacher Report's R. Cory Smith notes in his article, many of the Seahawks stars, including Sherman, quarterback Russell Wilson and wide receiver Percy Harvin, are only 25 years old. 

So yes, the Seahawks played incredibly in all aspects of the game last night, while the Broncos looked like they were sleeping from their first snap, which flew over a distracted Manning's shoulder and into the Broncos' own end zone, resulting in a safety for Seattle. 

The outcome is correct, and in my opinion the better team won, yet the Seahawks are not 35 points better than the Broncos, and the reality is this game should have been much closer. This is what makes this game so disappointing—we all expected so much.

For the first time in recent history, the Super Bowl was set to feature the league's top two squads. (The last time this happened was 1993, when the Dallas Cowboys beat the Buffalo Bills.)

The sharks in Vegas, who are rarely off by too much, were also predicting an exciting game. The Broncos began as slight underdogs but eventually improved to two-point favorites, as reported by SI.com's Chris Burke. In Super Bowl XXIX, when the San Francisco 49ers crushed the San Diego Chargers 49-26, they were 18.5 point favorites. This game wasn't any better to watch, but at least we all knew that going in. 

Paul Sancya/Associated Press

In addition to what was supposed to be a close game, Super Bowl XLVIII was historic in that it was being played at MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and Jets, making it a cold weather Super Bowl.

Leading up to the game, media reports concentrated considerably on what mother nature would bring, with Vegas even offering a prop bet on whether or not it would snow. At kickoff, the players and fans were treated to dry and calm 49 degree conditions, warmer than it was in both Denver and Seattle at game time. To add to the irony and disappointment, Monday brought heavy snow and cold air to the New York Metropolitan Area.

Lastly, Super Bowl XLVIII featured Peyton Manning, who has unquestionably had a Hall of Fame-caliber career, yet has had only mild postseason success.

Playing in his third Super Bowl, many analysts agreed that a win over the Seattle Seahawks would cement Manning's legacy as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.

Judging by a swing of the line, it's fair to say that the public was pulling for a Denver triumph and a Manning victory. Instead, America was treated to the high-octane Denver offense putting up eight measly points, by far their lowest total of the season. 

Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

So while many people deserve a pat on the back after Sunday night—the Seattle Seahawks, Bruno Mars and most importantly, MetLife Stadium security, who assured the event went off without a hitch, blunder or disturbance—the game as a whole will be remembered as a disappointment.

Once Harvin returned the opening second-half kickoff for a touchdown, NFL fans everywhere realized that the game would be, without question, a blowout, affirming that despite flawless execution, hilarious commercials or brilliant entertainment, the only thing that makes Super Bowls exciting and memorable is the battle that takes place on the field. 

(Or halftime show wardrobe malfunctions. Thanks for nothing, Bruno Mars.)

Joe Rapolla Jr. is a Denver Broncos featured columnist and a community moderator with Bleacher Report. He likes to play golf, and judging from the fact that he always scores over 100, he knows he's very good.