1. I think this is what I liked about the Super Bowl:
a. Line of the night: "First fumble of the day,'' wrote our Phil Taylor, "belongs to Christina Aguilera.'' Messed up the National Anthem. That's gotta hurt.
b. Jordy Nelson. One of the most valuable Packers on a night full of them. (Though he did have three drops.)
c. Liked that Bridgestone beaver commercial. It's the only ad spot I saw, so don't expect much of a review from me.
d. Charlie Peprah, with a game-high 10 tackles. Amazing kid who grew up needy in the Dallas area and came home to win an NFL title.
e. Ted Thompson, Reggie McKenzie and the Green Bay personnel staff, for looking under the right rocks to find the top four tacklers of the night in a Super Bowl victory -- Peprah, Desmond Bishop, Tramon Williams, Frank Zombo. They combined for 29 tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery.
f. Aaron Rodgers' poise. It'll serve him very well.
g. Doug Legursky, the Pittsburgh center. The loss of Maurkice Pouncey was supposed to be devastating. Legursky played so well it was a speed bump.
h. The big screen. This was my first game in the new stadium, and the 180-foot-wide, high-def TV was riveting.
i. The Green Bay offensive game plan, which was so smart in attacking the Pittsburgh edges all game long.
2. I think this is what I didn't like about the Super Bowl:
a. Dallas bad-weather preparedness. In a nutshell.
b. The NFL censoring James Harrison's sarcastic remarks about laying down a pillow and gently placing opponents down instead of tackling them, and making sure "Mr. Goodell'' paid attention.
c. I mean, 947 quotes about Brett Keisel's beard (many of which I thought were funny), and we can't read one of the most interesting four or five quotes of Media Day from one of the biggest stars in the game?
d. Green Bay's run defense. It was ridiculous to see Pittsburgh have four runs of longer than 15 yards when the Steeler offensive line was riddled with injuries and the Pack had been playing so well against the run.
e. Heath Miller. Where was he?
f. I mean, two catches, 12 yards? Miller absolutely should have been more of a factor.
g. The stadium turf. Slippery, hard, harsh.
h. The waiting and the waiting and the waiting to get into the stadium. Ask any fan who who went to the game. Chances are he/she wasn't pleased.
i. Alex Rodriguez being fed by Cameron Diaz, caught by the FOX cameras. How embarrassing.
3. I think James Starks has found a future in Green Bay. He's a hard-running back, tougher than his angular build would suggest. He averaged 4.7 yards per rush on the best run defense in the NFL in years.
4. I think I wouldn't be surprised if Donald Driver retires. Saw him in the locker room afterward, and he seemed entirely happy with winning a title, even if he only made it through 25 minutes and left the stadium in a walking boot due to his high ankle sprain. He's been a class player, standup guy and durable as they come for his size.
5. I think I would be very surprised if the Arizona Cardinals didn't take a quarterback with the fifth pick in the April draft. Ken Whisenhunt hasn't given up on Max Hall, but he also knows he's got to give Larry Fitzgerald a chance to be great again, and the only way to do that is to up the competition ante at quarterback and get a guy with a better chance to be the long-term answer at the position.
6. I think the best candidates to open the season on Sept. 8 (and I use that phrase advisedly, because I, like you, fear the season won't start on time because of the labor saber-rattling) would be these: 1. New Orleans at Green Bay; 2. Tampa Bay at Green Bay; 3. Chicago at Green Bay. Just a hunch.
7. I think I had an interesting postgame chat with Clay Matthews. It started with him saying, "Hey, I heard you voted Julius Peppers defensive player of the year. What's up with that?'' Big smile. Nudge-nudge, wink-wink. Good man.
8. I think, from the sound of it, Green Bay may lose receiver James Jones, who is a free agent, if there's free agency this year. (Which is definitely not a done deal.) If the Packers do lose him, they'll likely invest in Jordy Nelson long-term. Wise move, if they put some stickum in his locker before every game.
9. I think regardless of what every player says now about how solid they are with their union, and I do believe most players are, the real test would come in middle- and late-September, when players are losing big dough. How's Peppers going to feel, for instance, when those weekly $676,490 paychecks don't show up, especially knowing he could be on the last contract of his career?
10. I think these are my non-Super Bowl thoughts of the week:
a. Five for Fighting Update: Thanks to my good friend Phil Parisi at the USO for reaching out to Army First Sgt. Mike McGuire and preparing to send him all of the recreation and downtime equipment that all of you so generously raised money to donate last year. McGuire has recently been assigned another dangerous tour of duty with his platoon, which works to scout out and eliminate improvised-explosive devices (IEDs) from the roads of Afghanistan. I'll let you all know when the equipment is in place, giving the troops a little bit of relief after their 12-hour daily shifts doing one of the most dangerous jobs on earth.
b. And thanks to The Common Ground, the Dallas restaurant that hosted my Tweetup Thursday night at the Super Bowl. Owner Corey Pond and his staff were terrific hosts, and my readers and I had too much fun. To all of you who both like and bash what I write, it was good to see so many of you.
c. Congrats on winning the NFL Man of the Year, Madieu Williams. Totally deserving. The man knows how to give back.
d. Would the Rangers really trade Michael Young? Love the way he plays. All he does is get 200 hits, like Ichiro.
e. Next two books on my list: Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand; The Last Boy, by Jane Leavy. Can't wait to read both.
f. Coffeenerdness: The one saving grace to the frigid week in Dallas was having a Peet's Coffee in the lobby of the Sheraton Dallas. Thank you, coffee gods.
g. Beernerdness: Very nice beer selection at The Common Table. I wanted to try a Texas beer, so I got handed the Hefeweizen, from Austin's Live Oak Brewery. I'm not a Hefeweizen aficionado in the least, but this was one of the most interesting beers I've had in a while. A cloudy yellow, with kind of a citrusy taste, fruity without being obnoxious. Liked it a lot. Must be tremendous in the summer.
h. If you want to know how to NOT make the Hall of Fame with class, study Jerome Bettis and Curtis Martin. Neither man got in this year and they handled it well.
i. Sorry for all you 'Burghers this morning. It would have been a terrible day in either place, Green Bay or Pittsburgh, that lost ... but I know Pittsburgh, and I know there is mental black crepe paper all over town.
j. Finally: This is the end of the 14th season of Monday Morning Quarterback, but do not fret. I'll be back every week this offseason except four. Just don't expect them to be 7,500 to 9,000 words. They'll be saner, more compact, and allow me the chance to get a little bit of sleep on Sunday night. I love writing the column, and I love your tremendous encouragement (and rip jobs too). You're the best audience on the internet, and I'm grateful to have this space to empty my football brain every Monday. See you next Monday. Oh, and about the labor situation? I'll be covering it, but I'll be sure to not hit you over the head with it for all of every column.
GALLERY: Defining moments of the 2010 playoffs.