EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Bizarro Bowl began when Joe Namath, a living, regal Super Bowl legend, showed up in Zsa Zsa Gabor's fur coat and botched the coin toss.
From that point on, the first half of Sunday's Super Bowl was a zany, loony, preposterous showing by the Denver Broncos, who trail 22-0 — TWENTY-TWO TO NOTHING — at halftime here, against the Seattle Seahawks.
OK, let's give credit to Pete Carroll's vicious and malicious defense that picked off Peyton Manning twice, the second pick returned for a pick-six. But really, it's just been dumb Denver making dumb decisions. How bizarre.
A botched snap ensued after the botched coin toss, except this cost the Broncos two points on a safety. I thought maybe it was a good omen in this regard – it was the fastest score in Super Bowl history (12 seconds), and the previous fastest score, 14 seconds, was when Devin Hester ran back the opening kickoff against ... Peyton Manning's Colts, who of course went on to win.
At one point, Denver had eight yards and Seattle had eight points. Champ Bailey, for all of his reverence, looked silly on a deep pass play, like he was defending Torrey Smith or something a year ago in the playoffs.
Finally, Denver caught a break when hard-hitting Kam Chancellor went down, and Manning marched the team down the field like the good ol' days of 2013. But then, yep, he was hit while throwing a pass and the pass lofted in the air, right in the hands of Malcolm Smith, who ran it back for a Seattle defensive touchdown.
There's hope. Denver has proven many times this season it can put up big numbers in second halves. But – that was against lesser defenses and that was when the Broncos got the ball to start the third quarter.
Seattle gets the ball to start the third here in the Bizzaro Bowl.