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.
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 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
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.
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?
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:
It noted that most of the logos, at least have sterner visages.
The Denver Broncos to
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.
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;
Fred, because it’s been a long time since I’ve asked him to. ROG
It was four years ago. I was at a church with a BIG (100″)-screen TV. It was halftime of the game, and I wasn’t all that interested in the performers. So I went to the kitchen to get something to eat. And I missed Nipplegate.
Sure, I’ve caught it on the Internet subsequently – THAT was what the excitement was about? – but I wasn’t even aware of it, really, until the next day, though the announcers were making some vague comments in the second half that didn’t quite register at the time.
Since then, the FCC was SHOCKED! by this lewd behavior and fined CBS a zillion dollars.
Janet Jackson was vilified, not allowed to go on some awards show that was coming up, and became the poster child for our declining society. She’s had minimal commercial success since, relatively speaking.
Justin Timberlake got to go on the awards show and apologize, has had massive commercial success and is responsible for an extremely popular Saturday Night Live bit that was at least as risque as Nipplegate. Of course, it was after 11:30 pm, so “our children” weren’t exposed to it. Unless they happen to have access to YouTube or like entities.
Oh, yeah. That Super Bowl game in Houston four years ago was one of the best, with New England beating Carolina 32-29.
I finished watching the Super Bowl at 11:47 pm Sunday night. Yeah, I know it didn’t run that long. I finished watching the pregame last night.
I don’t think I’m THAT selfish. Most TV I watch pre-recorded. The Grammys? DVR, mostly to see, this year, the re-formed Police. The Oscars? Like to watch for the speeches, not who wins. (Note to self: watch the Golden Globes before Oscar night or delete ‘em.) As for the baseball playoffs and World Series, I tended to watch until 9 or so, then get up early the next morning and fast-forward through the rest.
I’ve watched the bulk of the football playoffs on the five-inch black-and-white set, while Carol and Lydia watched skating on the 19-inch color set. I offered to go to a sports bar on Sunday to watch the Super Bowl, but was told that I didn’t need to do that. All I wanted to do was watch about six hours of mind-rotting football/commerce once a year in more-or-less real time, including about half of the pregame.
The wife asked earlier in the week whether she could go to the movies on Sunday, and I’d watch the child. Well…what time? 1 or 4. Yikes, not 4! So she went at 1 to see Freedom Writers, which she liked, BTW. Then she asked me at 4:30 if I wanted to take Lydia for a walk. I’m pretty sure I whined something, and she relented. (It was also COLD out.)
Anyway, I ended up taping the pregame, which allowed me to show the wife the segment about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Hines Ward and his Korean heritage Tuesday night. (She really liked it, as I suspected she would.)
The great thing about the DVR is that I can pause live TV, and I did, several times, to eat with the family, to make Lydia feel better when she had a table crash on her, to change Lydia. The tricky thing about the Super Bowl is that I DON’T fast forward through the commercials, as I do through usual TV.
End of pout.
Anyway, here are this year’s Super Bowl commercials, watched only once each (unless they were broadcast more than once), to ascertain whether I 1) remembered them and 2) liked them.
NFL: Chad Johnson’s Super Bowl Party
Martha Stewart, Janet Reno, Jimmy Fallon and David Beckham all gather together for a Super Bowl bash.
This was so grainy or out-of-focus that I didn’t recognize any of those people in the commercial except Fallon.
Pizza Hut: Cheesy Bites and Jessica Simpson
Jessica Simpson glides down the red carpet, all for the tasty Cheesy Bites pizza.
My cultural illiteracy is such that I wasn’t sure if that was JS, or someone feigning to be JS. Eh.
Ford: New F-Series Super Duty
The new Ford F-Series gets broken down into tons of tiny pieces.
For whatever reason, I tend not to remember motor vehicle ads very often, including this one.
Bud Light: Rock, Paper, Scissors
Bud Light shows why playing “Rock, Paper, Scissors” probably isn’t the best way to determine who gets the last beer.
There is a bit of a mean/violent streak in a number of these commercials. Here’s one, which I didn’t enjoy, in part because I guessed the punchline before it occurred.
The Blockbuster rabbit and guinea pig are back, but they need a little help learning how to use a mouse.
Have they used these characters during the year? It’s not that it was SO memorable two years ago. They should reprise the characters later in the year to maximize their effectiveness for the SB. That ad was OK. But the poor mouse!
Doritos: Crash the Super Bowl
A finalist for the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest.
Sierra Mist: Beard Comb Over
That beard comb over isn’t fooling anybody. But, Sierra Mist Free tastes just like regular Sierra Mist!
Don’t know if I liked this because I like Jim Gaffigan, or what. It’s very silly.
SalesGenie.com will give you 100 free leads for signing up right now!
This was so cheesy that I thought it was a local ad.
Sierra Mist: Karate Class
How will you defend your Sierra Mist?
I didn’t get the point of this ad, which featured Gaffigan and Michael Ian Black, both of Ed, now that I think of it. Seemed dopey.
Toyota: Tundra Stops on a Dime
The Toyota Tundra has awesome breaking power.
I said that I didn’t pay attention to vehicle commercials, but this one I remember as pretty darned impressive, if you care about that type of thing.
Fedex: Office on the Moon
Behold, the zero-gravity moon based office of the not too distant future.
Better in concept than execution, which is how I find many FedEx SB commercials. The puns were a bit sophmoric.
Bud Light: Auctioneer Wedding
With an auctioneer presiding over the services you can get to the beer faster.
Not big yuck funny, because it telegraphed the joke, but OK.
There’s nothing more sensual than sharing a sweet, delicious Snickers with your best friend.
The great controversial ad of 2007. I’ve heard earlier versions of this had the guys going at each other with wrenches and other tools after “the kiss”. It wasn’t so much offensive as it was so “Brokeback”, and after a dozen parodies, and aware of hundreds more, it seemed…dated.
Schick: Quatro Science
Super Bowl Ads – Four blades are better than 3, are better than 2, are better than…
Saw it, don’t really remember it.
A new sports drama from Lionsgate.
Chevrolet: Everybody Loves a Chevy (General Motors)
There’s Chevy car for everybody.
Bud Light: Language Course with Carlos Mencia
Carlos Mencia teaches all the different ways to ask for a Bud Light.
I’m sure some people were offended by this one. Liked the punchline more than the setup, Holmes.
Late Show with David Letterman (CBS)
David Letterman and Oprah cuddle up to watch the game.
My favorite commercial. Worked on SO many levels: he’s from Indiana, she’s in Chicago; the feud, followed by her blockbuster appearance; the Oprah-Uma thing Letterman did at the Oscars. Sublime.
Everybody wants to work at GoDaddy marketing when it’s a room full of sexy girls.
Saw this three times, I think, and each time I went, “Eh.”
Coca-Cola: Grand Theft Auto
It’s the Coke side of life with Grand Theft Auto.
I think I want to see this again. It was too busy on a first watch, but I wasn’t turned off by it.
Budweiser: Fake Dalmatian
A little dog feels down and out, then the next thing you know he’s got his own parade.
Awww! Not as clever as some of the others in the series.
Garmin Ultraman will defeat the evil map beast!
CareerBuilder: Office Jungle
Do you feel like your job is a horrible jungle?
I’ve been there, so I related to this one.
Doritos Crash the Super Bowl: Checkout Girl
This checkout girl gets a little excited over all the new Doritos flavors.
Need to watch again, because I wasn’t sure what to make of it.
GM: Car Wash Dudes (General Motors)
Stripping gentlemen are here to wash your Chevy!
Here’s the real problem with this ad: I can’t see the car. Reminded me of a segment of The Apprentice (my wife watched, I was in the room) where both teams were supposed to make a commercial for a body wash, and the ads were both SO bad, neither team won the challenge.
American Heart Association: Gotta Have Heart
Diabetes and obesity beat up a poor little heart. Take care of the guy!
This ran at least twice. Yeah, yeah, take care of your heart, but this won’t help me do so. That violent streak in the SB commercials continues.
NFL: NFL and United Way
NFL and United Way want you to step-up and volunteer your time.
I’ve become inured to NFL soft-and-fuzzy commercials. They become like wallpaper.
Bud Light: Slapping
Instead of a handshake, try slapping the other person real hard in the face.
More violence. Didn’t particularly like. Irritating frat boy stuff. (But I can imagine other people actually doing it.)
GM: Robot (General Motors)
A car-building robot is nearly driven to the edge by an insatiable demand for perfection.
Bob Garfield’s position on this was exactly the same as mine, which is that it reminded me that GM is llaying off people, and nobody can build a decent car for them. (See below.)
Coke celebrates Black History Month.
Don’t remember specifically..
Wild Hogs (Walt Disney Pictures)
A new type of road movie starring John Travolta, Tim Allen, and William H. Macy.
Saw the trailer for this movie in the theater, which I probably won’t see, so didn’t pay the ad much attention.
Sprint: Connectile Dysfunction
Do you suffer from Connectile Dysfunction?
Frito-Lay: Enjoy the Game
Frito-Lay celebrates Black History Month.
Don’t remember this, specifically. I remember SOMETHING about Black History Month, but don’t know which ad was which.
Coca-Cola: What Else Haven’t I Done?
When an elderly gentleman tries a Coke for the first time, it acts as a catalyst for all kinds of experiences.
I like the idea of this commercial more than the real thing, but didn’t hate it.
The new Honda Ridgeline hauls quite a load indeed.
Oddly fond of this one.
Toshiba: HD DVD
Experience the thrilling new Toshiba HD DVD.
GM: Chevy is America’s Favorite
Every twelve seconds, somebody buys a new Chevy.
NFL: Making a Difference
The NFL does its part to help make a difference in the community.
Nissan: Auto Claustrophobia
The new, and affordable, Nissan Versa puts an end to squashed hair-dos and auto claustrophobia.
Am I not paying attention anymore?
The Panasonic Toughbook can take all the abuse you can dish out.
Nope, don’t remember.
Acura dreams up new innovations to keep them one step ahead of the rest.
Bud Light: What Would Carlos Do?
What would Carlos Mencia do in a situation like this? Hilarious.
Did see this, or maybe I’m confusing it with the previous Carlos ad. BTW, the notion of the minority person giving others as little info as possible reminds me of something I read years ago from a black female writer of note that the character should offer up as little info as possible.
Meet the Robinsons (Walt Disney Pictures)
The latest animated feature from Disney about a quirky family in the not-too-distant future.
E*TRADE: Bank Robbery
You’d never guess who the perpetrators are of this bank robbery.
OK, hit me over the head: your financial institution is robbing you blind. Irritating.
Coca-Cola: Happiness Factory
So just what happens when you put your money inside of the vending machine?
OK, on first view.
Bud Light: Gorillas
Gorillas trapped inside a zoo plan to steal themselves some Bud Light.
Better in concept than execution.
Revlon: Sheryl Crow
Revlon challenged Sheryl Crow to go on tour with their new hair color.
This ad had been teased during the pregame. Eh. But I do admire the resilience of the singer, who seems to have recreated herself a couple times. Not enough to actually buy her albums, though.
CareerBuilder: Office Jungle Fight
The office turns into Lord of the Flies when you’re fighting for a promotion.
Good thing CareerBuilder ran three ads, for even though I enjoyed the ad, I still didn’t remember the name of the company.
Taco Bell: Lions
Lions discuss the proper pronunciation of carne asada.
Eh. A followup, I noticed later, of a pregame ad.
Van Heusen: A Man’s Walk (Phillips-Van Heusen)
This guy’s got some stylish clothes.
Toyota: Tundra is Powerful
The Toyota Tundra climbs up an extremely steep crane.
Liked. OK, I liked quite a bit.
Emerald Nuts: Robert Goulet
Beware of Robert Goulet, for he will mess with your stuff once you fall asleep.
They should repeat it during the year, could be a successful conmmercial. Bob Goulet, perpetrator of ersatz cool. I rather liked it.
T-Mobile: Dwyane Wade and Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley is old news…Dwyane Wade is where it’s at!
Saw this before the SB. It’s OK.
FedEx: Don’t Judge
FedEx advises us not to judge a book by its cover.
Remember it. Maybe with repeated viewings, it’ll be more interesting.
Nationwide: K-Fed Rollin’ VIP
The now infamous Nationwide spot featuring K-Fed.
What is the problem here? I thought it was fine.
Bud Light: Hitchhiker
Would you pick up a hitchhiker? Would you pick up a hitchhiker if he was carrying a case of Bud Light?
More violence, this time implied. And I liked it, especially the punchline.
A Lexus gets dropped from a helicopter.
Jack in the Box: Just Like Dad
Little Jack follows in his daddy’s footsteps…almost.
Footlocker: Kevin Garnett
Meet one guy who isn’t too happy to receive Kevin Garnett’s autograph.
Budweiser: Beer-Stealing Crabs
Little sand crabs scuttle away with a cooler full of Budweiser.
Remembered, but have no impression.
Prudential Financial: Rock Solid
Prudential wants to be your rock. How romantic!
The CR-V is all glitzy with Elvis playing in the background.
HP: Orange County Choppers (Hewlett-Packard)
The boys from Orange County Choppers shill for HP.
IZOD (Phillips-Van Heusen)
The sporty, preppy clothes of IZOD are back.
Budweiser Select: Jay-Z and Don Shula
Jay-Z and Don Shula play a high-tech game of tabletop football a la James Bond.
Remember well. Eh. Slightly irritating, and I’m not sure why.
E*TRADE: One Finger
Oh, the things that you can do with one finger.
The better E*TRADE ad; it DOES have that underlying attitude in the implied punchline.
Flomax: Here’s to Men (Astellas Pharma)
Here’s to men and all of their urinary problems.
I’m sure I saw this and ignored it.
Hannibal Rising (MGM)
Hannibal Rising is the prequel to all of the Silence of the Lambs movies.
Saw it. Eh.
Does your job feel like torture?
I’ve been there. Yes. AND I remember the brand name.
Honda: Fuel Efficient
Little Hondas motor around a slalom of gas pumps.
A man journeys to find out what EGCG is.
Do remember. Labored.
NFL: It’s Hard to Say Goodbye
For some football fans, it’s very hard to say goodbye.
An NFL ad I DO remember. It’s OK.
Cadillac: Punk Rock
Decades of Cadillacs melt seamlessly into one another.
Cadillac: Tiki Barber
Tiki Barber explains why he loves his Caddy.
Netflix: Billions of Movies
Tons of movie characters take over the landscape as they make their way to people’s homes.
OK, though I was VERY unclear at first just what was going on.
fight Girls Return!
The Miller Catfight Girls return to IFILM in a no-holds-barred manfight between two hot and sweaty beasts.
VIDEO: Bob Garfield Reviews the Super Bowl Commercials. “Why Snicker’s ‘BrokeBack Mountain’ Moment Was One of the Game’s Big Ad Blunders.”
Found two old friends here, one of whom I’ve been in contact with. Happy, happy, joy, joy.