Archive for the ‘Super Bowl’ Category

I understand why people don’t care about sports, I really do. There are lots of particular sports I don’t care much about myself. What I don’t get is this antipathy towards the things that others happen to enjoy. The Super Bowl, which had the highest ratings ever of any US TV show, apparently dethroning the M*A*S*H finale of 1983, is such an example. Don’t want to watch it? Fine. But there’s no reason to suck the joy out of other people’s pleasure.

I was rooting for the New Orleans Saints, and even predicted that they’d win. Some are puzzled about how important the Saints’ victory would be for the city of New Orleans. One pundit sniffed that if the victory would help New Orleans get over Hurricane Katrina, wouldn’t a Jets victory have done the same for New York City after 9/11? Well, no.

Anyone watching the aftermath of the August 2005 devastation will recall that the Superdome, home of the Saints, was at the epicenter of the disaster. Thousands of people lived there for days. The roof collapsed. The team ended up playing its home games elsewhere for a time, including San Antonio, Texas. The refurbishing of the Superdome and the win by the Saints, who had never even GOTTEN to a Super Bowl, let alone won one, was a fitting climax for both the team and the city that embraced each other in a most profound manner.

Of course, the real reason for watching the Super Bowl: the commercials, which you can see here or here. My favorite was the Betty White/Abe Vigoda Snickers commercial. While Betty White has been a regular working actress (the movie The Proposal and the TV show Boston Legal, e.g.), now at the age of 88, there’s been a running gag whether Abe Vigoda, a star on Barney Miller, was even still alive. I also liked the Dave Letterman ad; yes, late night TV rivals Letterman and Jay Leno were actually in the same room at the same time; see this. I liked the Simpsons ad for Coca-Cola; reminds me of an ad with MC Hammer losing all his bling AND the ad with Mean Joe Greene being offered a Coke. I enjoyed the Google ad. I’ve long admitted my thing about chickens, so a couple of Denny’s ads – for a promotion that’s now over – stick in my head.

Whereas I’ve long tired of the E*Trade babies. Even the sweet Clydesdale commercial for Budweiser has become predictable. I can’t imagine wanting to see ANY of the movies advertised. The commercials Casual Friday and I Wear No Pants were so close to each other, I thought they were for the same product; they weren’t. The Tim Tebow ad, with his mother, the reportedly anti-abortion message from Focus on the Family, was mostly, “Is that all there is?” And, most unfortunately, I thought the Census ad was an ineffective use of taxpayer money.

As for the music, Queen Latifah’s America the Beautiful was a bit wobbly and flat in the beginning, but Carrie Underwood’s a capella rendition of The Star Spangled Banner was OK, but the last note was painful. I love the band, The Who’s halftime show seemed off. The harmonies didn’t work, and the medley segues were clunky. But the drummer Zak Starkey (Ringo Starr’s son) was energetic, and they finished strong with Won’t Get Fooled Again.

Meanwhile, it’s been cold in Albany, but all the snow that has been hitting the Delmarva peninsula, Philadelphia (32.3 inches in 2010) and up the coast, repeatedly this winter, has so far missed Albany. Likewise, whatever snow off the Great Lakes may have affected Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, but Albany has been so far immune. Baltimore has been hammered; 41 inches this calendar year through February 8, more than Buffalo (36.1). All my NYC friends have made snarky remarks about Albany winters, but Albany has had only 8.3 inches of snow since January 1, the most 2.4 inches on January 3.

ANOTHER storm’s coming up the coast yesterday and today. Again the mid-Atlantic will get pummeled. What Albany gets will depend on the track of the storm, from an inch or two to six or eight. And it’ll still pale in comparison with what NYC’s going to suffer today; expect massive airline delays and cancellations.
ROG


1. Do you watch the Super Bowl? (That’s American football, BTW.) If so, is it for the commercials, the game or the halftime entertainment? Do you have special food for the occasion?

And speaking of halftime, don’t you find it interesting that it is The Who performing when the game is on CBS, since The Who provide the theme songs for all those CSI shows on CBS, such as CSI: Las Vegas, CSI: Miami, CSI: New York, CSI: Kalamazoo, and CSI: Portland (both the Oregon AND the Maine shows).

If you don’t watch the game, do you have a ritual for that? I had friends who always went to the movies on Super Bowl Sunday.

And those of you outside the United States: can you even access the Super Bowl?

2. Do you know how to write 44 in Roman numerals?

3. Do you have a rooting interest? I’m pulling for the New Orleans Saints, who have NEVER won a Super Bowl, and I can imagine would be a psychological boost to the city post-Katrina. I wouldn’t be devastated if the Indianapolis Colts won, and they are rightly favored.

4. What do think of the Pro Bowl, the all-star game of the NFL, being played the week before the Super Bowl (i.e., today), instead of the week after? Strategically, it makes sense to have an all-star game during the season, as it takes place in most other sports. On the other hand, since the players from the Super bowl won’t be playing the game, and they were the best two teams all year, it’s a bit of a lesser product.

Football 101.
***
A couple Who covers – Betty LaVette and the Ukulele Orchestra.


ROG

Football season begins today. (This is American football, not what we heathens call soccer.) All that other stuff for 17 weeks is merely prologue.

I need to rank the teams in the order I WANT them to win, not who I think WILL win. Right now, I think San Diego beats Minnesota in the Super Bowl, because the Chargers played their starters maybe a third of the time last week and STILL beat Washington. OK, it WAS a lousy team, but Indianapolis lost to Buffalo, FCOL.

1. *New York Jets (A) – I seriously thought they were toast after losing 10-7 to Atlanta at home a couple weeks ago. then they beat/were allowed to beat the 14-0 Colts and division-leading Bengals so they can play the Bengals AGAIN this weekend.
2. New Orleans Saints (N) – it’d be good for the city. Losing their last three makes me nervous about their chances.
3. *Philadelphia Eagles (N) – call it mid-Atlantic bias.
4. San Diego Chargers (A) – my sister lives in SD, I’ve seen them play. what can I
say?
5. Indianapolis Colts (A) – if only for the favor they gave the Jets.
6. *Arizona Cardinals (N) – still think it’s unnatural playing football in the desert, but like Mary Richards in the premiere episode of the Mary Tyler Moore Show, they got spunk.
7. *Green Bay Packers (N) – they’re GREEN, which IS a plus.
8. Minnesota Vikings (N) – always liked the Vikings. Why could Favre played like this LAST year with the Jets? Oh, because this is a better team.
9. *Baltimore Ravens (A) – eh.
10. *New England Patriots (A) – they’ve won too often this century.
11. *Cincinnati Bengals (A) – have a history of being thugs.
12. *Dallas Cowboys – when did they have an election and pick the Cowboys “America’s Team”? I sure didn’t vote.

Meanwhile in the Baseball Hall of Fame voting, Andre Dawson FINALLY made it in. “The Hawk” I’d have picked for sure. But there were FIVE BLANK ballots? Ticks me off.
Though in fact, without the five blanks, Bert Blyleven would have ended up with 74.9% (400/534) of the vote, with 75% needed, and no, they don’t round up. Now THAT would have hurt. And tell me, why doesn’t Lee Smith get more love? I also would have voted for Roberto Alomar, and yes, Mark McGwire.

QUESTIONS:
1. Who do you want to win the Super Bowl? Who do you THINK will win?
2. What did you think of the HoF balloting?
ROG

There was this article in the Wall Street Journal last week suggesting that the formerly hapless Chicago St. LouisArizona Cardinals got good because they changed their logo from this:
to this:

It noted that most of the logos, at least have sterner visages.
The Denver Broncos to

The New England Patriots
to

The Seattle Seahawks
to

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
to

Of course, the tougher logos don’t necessarily translate into greater football glory.

But my questions have to do with the game tomorrow.

Will you watch? Starting at what time? Do the participants affect whether you watch? Do you know who the participants are? Are you more interested in the game or the commercials? Or did you say, “What game?” If so, do you have an anti-Super Bowl tradition, such as going to the movies?

I’ll watch, starting at about 5 pm EST. Who participates doesn’t alter my watching. I will probably record it as well, if only so I can catch the commercials if I need a break to tend to the child.
***
Super Bowl XLIII and Its Viewers.

ROG

Before I get there: I’m not sure I’m happier about the Giants winning the Super Bowl, 17-14, or the Patriots going 18 and ONE.

I generally gauge a Super Bowl commercial by whether I can remember it he next morning, without notes, without notes. I remember hot air balloons fighting for Cokes, the annual “awww” commercial from Bud of dog training horse, a talking baby throwing up on e-Trade, that GoDaddy commercial tease to see Danica Patrick on their website, and those pandas in Chinese “dialect” for some career builder site which I expect to engender some warranted controversy (after it aired, I said, WT…). Oh, yeah, the first Victoria’s Secret ad since 1999, but I had read about that in AdAge; it was tame for VS.
***
I’m fairly sure I’ve done this before, but since Nik tagged me, not only will I answer it, I will endeavor to give answers different from the ones I gave last time. Whenever that was. If I can remember the answers I gave last time.

1. One book that changed your life?

The Closing Circle: Nature, Man, and Technology by Barry Commoner. It came out in the 1970s, and I ended up voting for Barry Commoner for President in 1980.

2. One book you have read more than once?

The Fate of the Earth by Jonathan Schell. Despite the dire predictions, it’s also such a hopeful book that a segment was used at a wedding I was at.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?

Oddly enough, Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Singles text. It will allow me to recreate some of the songs in my mind.

4. One book that made you laugh?

Pajama Time by Sandra Boynton. I swear this children’s story was inspired by rap music.

5. One book that made you cry?

This is so hokey and cliched – Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt.

6. One book you wish had been written?

The Bible. I’d leave in the good stuff.

7. One book you wish had never had been written?

I like Nik’s answer: “Well, the whole genre of right-wing Let Me Tell You Why Liberals Suck books by O’Reilly, Coulter, Limbaugh, et al I guess. I find them bankrupt as literature and usually preaching to the converted anyway.”

8. One book you are currently reading?

A book about cubicles that I hope to review soon.

9. One book you have been meaning to read?

I have shelves of them. If I pick one at random: Wired by Bob Woodward.

10. Now tag five people.

Well, I have to pick Eddie, who broke the pledge that Nik had been holding to;
Kelly Brown, because of her mysterious mind;
Deborah, in the hope that the meme will travel through Europe;
Uthalena, who hasn’t posted since early September;
and
Fred, because it’s been a long time since I’ve asked him to.
ROG

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