This was a good football game. Usually the game piece of the Super Bowl experience is a snore-fest, but this was a good football game. If you don't care about the football piece, know that there was a 1-point difference at the end of the 3rd quarter, and the under-dog New Orleans Saints, who had never appeared in a Super Bowl before tonight, defeated Peyton Manning's Indianapolis Colts with surprising ease. (You can now skip down 5 paragraphs to the disquisition on the commercials -- the real reason most of us watched the game, anyway, as you'll see.)
I know it's a well-played game when I can see the plays unfold on the field, and this was a primer on football. At first, I didn't understand what TBG meant when he said that the Colts' defense had speed. But then Antoine Bethea was just there as the ball was caught and he was fast and the Colts had shown me in one play what TBG was saying.
There were very few penalties, and one false start was the result of a flexing glute. Reggie Wayne bobbled the ball (again!) and saw his life flash before his eyes. Though the announcers called it a nimble play by Reggie Bush as he danced through the crowd as he ran out of bounds, I was more impressed by the guy holding the sideline marker who was pretty quick on his feet, too.
I've tried to avoid talking about the voices on the broadcast. I'm in a good mood (though wearing my Colts' t-shirt, my heart was with the Saints) and I don't want animus to tarnish it. But I've got stars around this note in my journal so: I learn nothing from Phil Simms. I rarely understand what Phil Simms says. Where is Doris Burke when I need her. She has game as an announcer and she brings it.
TBG changed from CBS to ESPN and between Boomer and Steve Young and JB I was able to listen to televised commentary after the game without feeling like I wanted to peel my skin from my skeleton.
I can't comment on the half-time show; I was cooking at the time. Usually, I can do the laundry during the game and return happily to watch the commercials (my favorite part). But this was a good game, and there wasn't a lot of down-time. Just before half time, though, CBS began advertising its own programming and it was obvious that I wasn't the only one in the USofA who was taking the opportunity to feed the hungry hordes and make a run to the bathroom. We cooked, ate, cleaned up and came back once the 2nd half began.
I did catch a glimpse of The Who.... and I wondered if they understood all the commercials that were shown, or if they felt as old as I did? Once again, I knew that there were jokes there, I could sense them lurking, but I didn't know what they were. I thought that the 2-in-a-row-men-with-no-pants commercials (yes, twice, for two separate products, ugly white men in tightie-whities danced across my screen) were designed to appeal to a younger, male audience's sense of the gross (cf American Pie). But then the Big Cuter called to complain about seeing way more ugly people in underwear than he needed to see .... so, who knows??
And then there were the two-in-a-row-little-people commericals. The Dr. Pepper people should find themselves a quick trip to Punksatawny Polomalu's burrow and join him there. Ugh.
There were other duds: the bizarre Dorito dealer of death by chip, the odd robotic arms and Charles Barkley rapping or was that Dr. Seuss and why is he eating that crap anyway?? If someone can explain Danica Patrick's soft-core lesbian porn for Go Daddy I'd love to listen.
But for the most part I just smiled and grinned and laughed and oohed and aahed and was glad to be watching. There were the Emerald Nuts and Budweiser clydesdales as old favorites back to warm the cockles of my heart. I'd never seen the full version of the stuffed animals' trip around America in their Kia and they sure looked like they were having fun. Brett Favre making fun of himself was mildly entertaining, as were The Green Police and Denny's exhausted chickens. E*trade has baby girls now, and Google managed to tell a whole story by searching. The Census made fun of bureaucrats and itself and Jeffrey, Intel's depressed robot, was the only re-run I saw.
I would like to inform Volkswagen that the rules for playing PunchBuggie cannot be changed by advertising fiat. I would like to commend Mr. and Mrs. Drew Brees for putting headphones on their infant son so that he could enjoy the celebration in Dad's arms without damaging his hearing. The Chicago Bears deserve kudos for their Boost Mobil commercial, though I still have no idea what the product is.... a protein drink? an energy boost? a battery for Jim McMahon's scooter? I think that FloTV is a bad idea whose time has come .... will anyone do anything ever again??
There were two spots that touched me. One was the beer commercial early in the first quarter delightfully reminding the viewers to choose a designated dirver and get home safe. It wasn't hectoring or threatening, it was a gentle don't forget, honey. I liked it. And then there was Mark Sanchez, the Jets' rookie quarterback, a good-looking fella with eyes like limpid pools.... ok ok ok he was looking straight at me and his heartbeat was providing the ambient noise and he said that he liked me because I watched football and all of a sudden I was motivated to find out what the symptoms of heart disease look like in women because he spoke to me! Now that is a Public Service Announcement.
I loved the whale fishtailing out of the hatchback into the ocean and Dove for Men's feeble attempt to get homophobic men to use their product. Man's Last Stand, Dodge's refuge for the kind, considerate, thoughtful, perfect husband, had us laughing aloud. But there's one ad you're curious about, isn't there?
Focus on the Family sponsored Tim Tebow and his mother in a pro-life ad. That was the hype, and the senior quarterback has taken a lot of flack for his involvement. Everyone (you know how I love that phrase) is up in arms about it.... even without seeing it. We didn't have to wait long; it was right at the top of the show. And it was funny. Mrs. Tebow looks right at you and reminds us that she almost lost Timmy and then he tackles her and she laughs and tells him to let her tell the story and then there's a link to a website.
That's it. No proselytizing, no harangue. It's her choice and her story and she's sharing it. That's what it's all about for me - choice - and I have to compliment her on the subtlety of her approach. I might not agree with her views on the subject, but I don't really know. We've never spoken. But the ad makes me think that it might be a very interesting conversation.
For now, though, I'm going to focus on the sorrowful robot and the guy peeling out in his Dodge as I bask in the glow of the knowledge that the 'Aints ain't anymore.
Click here for a link to the ads.