NEW YORK — A lopsided game and complaints by some fans about transportation issues didn’t dampen NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s enthusiasm for Sunday’s Super Bowl. Goodell said Monday that he was extremely pleased with the results of the sport’s first Super Bowl held in the New York area.
Goodell called it a “terrific Super Bowl” and said: “It was an extraordinary week of events and we were thrilled to be here. Obviously our work continues today as we work to get our fans back out of town and back home. But everyone seemed to have a terrific time. We had a couple things that we obviously will review and try to improve on. But overall I think the event was tremendously successful.”
The Seattle Seahawks overwhelmed the Denver Broncos, 43-8, dominating what was supposed to be a compelling matchup between the league’s top-ranked offense and its leading defense during the regular season. That came after fans attending the game complained about overcrowding at a train station en route to the Meadowlands. NFL officials countered by calling it the earliest-arriving crowd in Super Bowl history, with more than 80,000 fans having passed through stadium security more than an hour before kickoff. But fans also were told via a stadium public-address announcement after the game to stay put for a while to avoid the crowd at the train station at MetLife Stadium.
That came after a mostly glitch-free week, however. Snow arrived in the New York area Monday, the day after the game, but Sunday was mild and free of weather-related issues. There was an announced game-time temperature of 49 degrees for the first Super Bowl played in an outdoor stadium in a cold-weather city. That was 10 degrees warmer than the chilliest game-time temperature for an outdoor Super Bowl.
“It was a great week,” Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll said Monday. “Everything went just exactly as we had hoped. Of course, the game did as well and we were thrilled about that. It was truly special, special to play the game here. I don’t know how the commissioner pulled this one off. But he pulled off the weather in perfect fashion. The NFL is powerful now. It made for just a fantastic event.”
Carroll said his team had an enthusiastic party after the game but soon would set its sights on extending its run of success beyond this season. The Seahawks have a youthful roster that includes quarterback Russell Wilson, who won the Super Bowl in his second pro season.
“The first meeting that we’ll have will be tomorrow,” Carroll said. “And so that starts tomorrow, really. Our guys would be surprised if we didn’t. We really have an eye on what’s coming. We don’t dwell on what just happened. So we take this in stride and we’ll have a big celebration on Wednesday in town and enjoy the heck out of it. Everybody will enjoy the heck out of it. We won’t miss the fun part of it. But that doesn’t mean we can’t also set our sights on how this is gonna go. . . . I think we are in a very fortunate situation.”
The Seahawks had the league’s top-ranked defense this season and they encountered few problems with Denver’s league-leading offense. The Broncos had four turnovers. Three of them were by Manning, who threw two interceptions and lost a fumble as he fell to 1-2 in his career Super Bowl appearances. The Broncos surrendered a safety on an errant snap on the game’s first play from scrimmage and things didn’t improve for them from there.
“As we’ve kind of seen in the past, sometimes games go and sometimes it can be kind of like an avalanche,” Carroll said. “The scores start happening. Field position just tilts. Everything goes your way. We were really ready. We were really ready for the opportunities. The first score, we had nothing to do with that one. It was just unfortunate for them, on the snap and all. But from that point on, we really seized the night. Whenever you play turnover football like that, it’s the formula that we try to live by. When you get four turnovers and they get none, the game’s gonna go that way.”
But Carroll, who joined Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer as the only coaches to win both a collegiate national championship and a Super Bowl title, said he wasn’t ready yet to declare his team’s defense historically great.
“I don’t know how to answer that question,” he said. “I think you look back years down the road and you assess what you accomplished with the group and you can take account. I think when you’re in the middle of it, it’s not time to talk that way. We don’t know. We’ve put together a couple of good seasons back to back, really big-time seasons in scoring and playing good, solid defense in a similar fashion. And that’s pretty cool. But when the names of the teams and the years of those guys come up and you bring up the big-time defenses that have played — we’ll see. We’ll see. You’ve got to look back, I think, and evaluate that. I wouldn’t try to call it right now. You won’t get me doing that.”