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Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Super Bowl Awards: Bests, worsts of 48

By Jane McManus

Super Bowl XLVIII is in the books, and ESPN New York has a few awards to give out to the best and the worst performances of the week.

Least Appropriate Name: "Mass Transit Super Bowl." Considering that the most reliable modes of transportation were private cars and chartered buses, this didn't work out so well. A special razzberry goes to host committee CEO Al Kelly, who called the transit plan an “unprecedented success” six days before the game.

Warmest Welcome: The host committee planned for a cold winter's night, and provided a gift bag full of warm items for every fan, plus heating lamps scattered everywhere in MetLife Stadium. Even as the ice sculptures melted in the warmer temps, the effort was appreciated.

Biggest Security Fail: Remember 9/11 truthers? One of them got a ton of publicity by sneaking into Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith’s press conference. Bigger issue: How did a person with no ticket and no credential breach all that security?

Most Overblown Visual: Beneath the festive trappings, the toboggan run on "Super Bowl Boulevard" was just a big slide -- the kind you see at carnivals where you get the burlap sack to sit on -- plunked down in the middle of Times Square.

Best Musical Performance: Opera singer Renee Fleming took the National Anthem new heights. Her mastery over the difficult series of notes was impressive, and she didn’t overdo it like some less accomplished singers. Perfection.

Best Quote: Sometimes you just have to call it like you see it, and Peyton Manning didn’t like the wording of a question after his Broncos were thumped. "The word 'embarrassing' is an insulting word, to tell you the truth," Manning said.

Most Deserving MVP: Defensive players don’t usually get the credit, but linebacker Malcolm Smith, a former seventh-round pick, was the right call.

Pine Barrens Award: Chris Christie. The New Jersey governor was a big part of the planning, but mostly got lost during Super Week. When the scandal-mired Christie did hit Super Bowl Boulevard, he was booed. Later, when train issues overwhelmed Secaucus, there were a lot of jokes about political payback.

Wardrobe Malfunction Award: The Red Hot Chili Peppers, who forgot to wear shirts. It was a much more gratuitous display of bare nipples than the fraction of a second that got Janet Jackson (but oddly, not Justin Timberlake) in so much trouble. The scandal should break any minute now, right?

That's all, folks. See you next year in Phoenix, unless there's a drought.