Bacon: In crucial moment of Super Bowl LII, two former Wolverines mattered most

Feb 6, 2018
Originally published on February 5, 2018 4:27 pm

With Super Bowl LII officially in the books, former Michigan quarterback Tom Brady is still at just five Super Bowl wins. 

John U. Bacon, Michigan Radio’s sports commentator, joined Stateside today to discuss the big game and the week’s other news.

Listen above for the full conversation, or read highlights below.

On the Super Bowl

Though exciting, Bacon didn’t think Super Bowl 52 was a model for good football skills. “The defenses on both sides were pretty weak, a lot of bad tackling,” he said. Despite his loss, quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots now boasts a 5-3 record in Super Bowl games.

The nail in the coffin, said Bacon, was when Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham sacked Brady in the fourth quarter and stripped the ball from his hands, setting up an Eagles field goal. They expanded their lead by eight points, and held the Patriots off for the remaining minute and change. Graham and Brady both played for the University of Michigan, so Wolverine fans got their taste of school spirit no matter which side they were rooting for. “Brady’s going to be OK, and now Brandon Graham is a national star,” Bacon said.

Matt Patricia, who was the defensive coordinator for the Patriots, will now take up the mantle of Detroit Lions coach. While the Patriots’ defensive game struggled in the Super Bowl, Lions fans have a lot to look forward to in the coming seasons. Between Patricia and Bob Quinn, the Lions’ general manager who previously held an executive position at the Patriots, Bacon is confident about the Lions’ future. “For the first time in my lifetime, you have a serious general manager running the Lions, and you’ve got a serious coach running the team,” he said. “And I’ve never seen that in my 53 years.”

On Blake Griffin joining the Pistons

The other big Michigan sports news this week was Blake Griffin’s move from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Detroit Pistons. The power forward scored 24 points in his Detroit debut. Bacon urged cautious optimism among Pistons fans: “The good news is the guy plays at full energy,” he said. “The bad news is because of it, he gets injured, but I’ll take it.”

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