Super Bowl XLVII gave me one of the most conflicted feelings, as a fan, that I can remember. There has never been a time when there was a game being played where there were so many players on both sides that I had no such admiration for. Whether it was Randy Moss and Frank Gore on one side or Ray-Ray, Anquan Boldin and Tyrod Taylor on the other, it was apparent that this was a fan's dream. Sure, I would have loved for my team to be in there, but since it didn't happen, the Ravens and the Niners, all things considered, was still something very much looking forward to.
Of course, there's one player who played in the game who I have the utmost respect for. He, along with Ray-Ray, are responsible for my trip to Baltimore in October to shock the world at M&T Bank Stadium, because I felt like I had to see these guys play before they retired. The man is someone I stan at unreasonable levels for, someone I have been a fan of since his days at The U and someone I declared the best defensive player in football on a panel conducted on the ETSF website. That man is none other than Eddie Earl Reed, Jr., otherwise known as REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED.
Part of the reason why I didn't write anything about Reed during Super Bowl Week is because I didn't really know what to say. Granted, there's widespread admiration for Ed Reed on this site and even though it only felt right to say something, I figured saying nothing was better than forcing the issue. Besides, ESPN did Reed justice by writing a tremendous article about him last week.
Then, it hit me. Once Reed was shown during pre-game warm-ups, my mind was made up. I wanted to see Reed play well and get his ring. Well, once Colin Kaepernick loaded up early in the first half to hit Randy Moss, who was in the secondary, lurking, just waiting to pounce? None other than The Peerless Ed Reed, and once he got ahold of the ball, I lost my damn mind. I was so crunk that I didn't even watch the rest of the play. I screamed "REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!!!" at the top of my lungs, ran around my damn apartment and by the time I finally calmed down, the play was over for about five minutes. After a cold-ass Beyonce halftime performance, the Superdome messing up the church's money by not paying the light bill, a near-Niners comeback and a whole bunch of other stuff people will write and speak about, the Baltimore Ravens are the champs.
I wrapped up the night watching a post-game interview on The NFL Network with Marshall Faulk, Rich Eisen, Reed, Prime Time and Michael Irvin, and the man, a grown-ass man and someone who I consider the greatest safety who ever lived, deflected all the attention away from himself and gave it all to his teammates, Baltimore and his home state of Louisiana. Watching Reed during that interview was absolutely priceless.
Two years ago, Charles Woodson was on the winning end of the Super Bowl and I didn't know if I could be any happier for someone I grew up on watching. Well, it has happened. Tonight, the Baltimore Ravens are champions of the football world, and one of the leaders of the charge is someone I couldn't be happier for. For some, it takes winning a Super Bowl to be considered a champion, but Ed Reed was one well before the end of the Super Bowl. Now, he has a Super Bowl ring on the way to go along with the widespread admiration and respect of football fans everywhere.
Kenny Masenda is a fan of the game, and an admirer of the culture. You can find more of what makes him tick at his Facebook profile located here.