It was an interesting but fairly ordinary game until the last few minutes, when it became one for the ages. And a reminder to anyone who thinks strategically, no matter what business they're in, that the linear route isn't always the right way to go. Especially when the stakes are very high.
Slate has a great piece that summarizes the oddness of the last few minutes. I'll provide my own summary
The Giants had the ball, down by two points, and were in field goal range at the two-minute warning. The Giants had one timeout remaining, the Patriots had two. Those are the variables. At some point in the campaign, one of the announcers said it might be better for the Giants to run out the clock, force the Patriots to use their timeouts, and go for the field goal. My mind rebelled at the thought that, given the chance to score a touchdown, the Giants would opt for a field goal. But it quickly became obvious that this, paradoxically, was the best approach. Because there were other variables that mattered more than the absolute number of points on the scoreboard. That's the part that makes a strategist stop and think. In business is it only the number of dollars in your bank account that matters? Of course not. It matters what country the dollars are in, what currency, what taxes are owed on it, and what the rate of flow of money is, and which way it's going. In health, is it only how long you live? Of course not -- quality of life matters more. Everything is like that. The outcome isn't as simple as they would have you believe.
On Saturday I wrote yet another in a series of pieces going back to the 90s that explained why the NYT should pick up the ball and run with it, instead of kibitzing on the sidelines about the fortunes people are making all around them, while their staff continues to shrink and their future grows more doubtful all the time. As with the Giants there are a lot of variables, not just the paper they have to put out every day (an idea which has become an anachronism). What little response I got from the Times came from staffers who dismissed it without considering (I assume) any of the subtleties.
As with the end of many SuperBowls, there is no linear answer. I said the Times could have been Facebook, this is what the Times people took issue with even though it was just one short sentence. By that I meant, they could have been the champions. The Times never would have been exactly Facebook, just as the Giants and the Patriots are different teams, led by quarterbacks and coaches with different histories and temperment. They come in all sizes and shapes. But the Times could have been and imho should have been the place where newsmakers go to make news. We're all losing a lot, not just the owners of the Times, because that place is being run by the Silicon Valley tech industry and not the tradition of, for example, the Pentagon Papers. Twitter says they'll cave to government censorship, of course -- but it seems to me the Times would have been better prepared for this obvious eventuality. Do you see how we all have a stake in this outcome, not just the owners of the various companies?
BTW, I read on Rex's blog that the reason Scott Adams blogs is that it gets him going for four hours of creativity in what he does professionally, writing and drawing cartoons. I realized that's what I do too! I think it works like this. I have a load of creativity that's not exactly on-topic for my work that's accumulated over the last 24 or 48 hours. Ideas that came to the surface, intrigued me, were pondered and conclusions were reached. My internal driver, the one that lets new ideas come to the surface needs to feel that the previous ideas had been properly loved. Hence the blog post.
One more thing. The best commercial in the SuperBowl, for me -- was the lovely Fiat commercial, which begins with a somewhat nerdy youngish guy stopped on the street in awe of an Italian beauty. She sees him, yells at him, slaps him, and seduces him. All of which is a huge schwinnnnng for guys like me. I'm not going to spoil the ending, but it's realllly cool, esp if you like beautiful feisty Italian women and cars (which I do, both).