Monday, February 3, 2014
An oddly Minnesotan Super Bowl
By Ben Goessling
MINNEAPOLIS -- Percy Harvin ran the opening kickoff of the second half back for a touchdown. Darrell Bevell coordinated the Seahawks' offense. Former Vikings assistant Pete Carroll got doused with Gatorade. Sidney Rice and Heath Farwell got a championship. University of St. Thomas graduate John Schneider put the whole thing together. Even Tarvaris Jackson got on the field to take the final kneel-downs of Super Bowl XLVIII.
Even Bob Dylan showed up in a commercial, and Prince made a cameo on the post-game episode of "New Girl," putting a fitting coda on a night with an oddly Minnesotan feel.
We asked you Vikings fans just over a week ago how you felt about Harvin being in the Super Bowl, and most of you said you were happy enough with the trade that sent him to Seattle to wish him well. Getting the first-rounder to draft Xavier Rhodes, replacing Harvin with Cordarrelle Patterson and still having the Seahawks' third-rounder this year is a handsome return for Harvin, but when I asked for an instant reaction on Twitter after Harvin's 87-yard kickoff return on Sunday night, I got an interesting mix of gallows humor, shrug-it-off reaction and shoot-the-messenger rage. At this point, you'd have to say the Harvin trade has worked out swimmingly for both teams, but I can't imagine it felt great for Vikings fans to see Harvin showcase his talents in several ways in the Super Bowl.
If there's a silver lining in all this for Vikings fans, it's that they seem to have replaced all the pieces now in Seattle without too much trouble. They have Patterson and Greg Jennings instead of Harvin and Rice, and Norv Turner could jump-start their offense next year if they're able to fix their quarterback situation. The situation could look even better if Patterson is able to stay healthy where Harvin couldn't. But after playing just 1 1/2 games before Sunday night, Harvin looked like the most dynamic player on the field in the Super Bowl, and it's still incumbent upon Patterson to prove he can excel at that level. He could, in time, but in Super Bowl XLVIII, Harvin looked very much like a man who got everything he wanted.
He also has a 25-year-old quarterback who was drafted in the third round a year after the Vikings took Christian Ponder and nine picks after they selected Josh Robinson. That might be the component the Vikings most need to match if they want to get on a path to where so many of their former players and coaches arrived on Sunday night.