(Posted at 2:30 AM because I’m still waking up with coughing fits. What is this, emphysema I have?)
Super Bowl Sunday was a Mr. Mom day for me with S. working a 24 hour shift. As an added bonus, not only is M. teething, but she’s also fighting what appears to be her first illness. In other words, there are parts of the game (along with the corresponding commercials) that I just didn’t see. Oh, and I watched none of the pre-game hype. At 6:30 I turned on picture-in-picture and flipped to Fox only when I saw the ball was about to be booted.
First, for the game itself, I don’t think it was a classic game; there were far too many sloppy turnovers; but at least the result remained in doubt until the final seconds. I’m sure the anti-Patriots backlash is going to really get going now that they’ve won three titles, but even the haters have to give them this: they’ve given us three decent Super Bowls. The best part of the game was how ferocious the defense of both teams played in the first half. Once, while feeding M., I was literally gripping her bottle extra tight each time someone got hit on the screen. Those guys were all teeing off. The worst part was, without a doubt, the nearly criminal clock management skills of Philadelphia on their next-to-last drive. Sure, they scored on the drive, but even having half a clue on how to run a 2:00 offense probably would have saved a good 45-60 seconds that would have come in very handy the last time they had the ball. I was not surprised the game was close at the end of three quarters. I was surprised that the Eagles still had a chance to win or tie late. I figured the Pats would dominate the fourth quarter and win going away. Despite the turnovers, Donovan McNabb and especially Terrell Owens deserve a lot of credit for their performances. TO earned a lot of respect from people around the country with his come-back and stellar performance.
I know there’s going to be a vocal group of pundits who say the Pats aren’t a dynasty. Those people are idiots. I agree with Troy Aikman; what the Pats have done and how they’ve done it is more impressive than what the star-studded, free-spending Cowboys did ten years ago. I don’t want to hear the nonsense about how the Pats couldn’t have played with those Cowboys, the 80s ‘Niners, the ’70s Steelers, or the ’60s Packers. Whether that’s true or not, and we can never know, it doesn’t diminish what they’ve accomplished. But I tend to think what the Eagles have done in the last four years is pretty impressive, too. And despite their four Super Bowl losses, I always though the Bills were a dynasty. Maybe I just don’t get it and all the blowhards who have national columns and appear on shows like Around the Horn can explain to me why I’m wrong.
Speaking of pundits, my favorite anti-Pats column last week was the one, written by several different people, that reminded us that Bill Belichik wasn’t always a genius. As if what he did in Cleveland has any bearing on putting his accomplishments in New England into perspective. Being a snarky blogger, I know I do more than my share of nit-picking. But do we have to always find a dark cloud in every accomplishment?
OK, other things I saw on TV Sunday:
I did accidentally see one pre-game show that was on at 11. It was Fox’s Inside Access, or Super Secret Access, or some nonsense like that about the broadcast team preparing for the game. Only part I saw was Joe Buck filming his Budweiser commercials, and preparing for his next broadcast during downtime. “I feel like this is how Gerry Coleman went to school. Shot a few scenes, hung out with Willis, then did some math.” Good stuff.
Did anyone else see Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet? Three separate three hour shows of puppies, well, playing. They were in a room designed to look like a football stadium, complete with “artificial turf”, yard markers, and so on. There was generic, highlight quality music in the background, but not commentators. It was just video of dogs playing. I hit the info button at one point and was greeted by this description: “A shepherd mix, a French bulldog, a lab, and a chihuahua play.” OK. I guess if you know no one is watching, that’s a unique way of filling the air. It certainly got me to stop a couple times. I did enjoy the “referee” who came onto the field and threw a penalty flag when one of the puppies soiled the field.
I missed a lot of commercials, but I think my favorite was the P. Diddy Pepsi ad. It was a pretty clever use of how what’s trendy is dictated to us by celebrities. And, of course, it continues the long, lonely battle by Pepsi that continues every Super Bowl. You know, they spend more money than Coke, have several clever commercials, and a year from now their market share will not have changed a bit. Think of all the good that could have been done with the money Pepsi has spent in the last 20 years to spin their wheels. The monkey ads for Career Builder were good, too. I would be remiss not to mention Jon Gruden telling his kids to knock it off in the NFL Network commercial.
While flipping around, I went by poker on NBC while they were showing the obligatory Rounders clip. After the clip, one of the announcers said, “Rounders is to poker kind of what Field of Dreams is to baseball.” Really? So baseball was this niche game people played but didn’t really talk about much until Field of Dreams was released? Then it exploded upon the nation and soon everyone was playing it?
Is the fact Hammer was in two different commercials a sign that the world is coming to an end very soon? Or just a sign to prepare ourselves for 90s nostalgia?
Doesn’t George Bush (#41, not W) look like he just wants to go take a long nap and not have to be The Former President any more? Even his opponents always credited him for being a very decent man. I bet he gets pissy with people fast now.
Speaking of yawn, Sir Paul McCartney ladies and gentlemen. If he’s performing live and gets to do more than one song, even money you’re hearing “Hey Jude”. He might be boring, but he’s not stupid.
Isn’t it a little silly to shoot fireworks off and drop millions of pounds of confetti when the Super Bowl ends? It’s really a false celebration. All that paper is going to be dumped and those fireworks shot off no matter who wins and what the score is. It’s kind of like crowds at golf tournaments. Whether it’s Tiger, Els, Singh, or Michelson, people are going to go nuts when someone crushes a drive, sinks a 50 foot bomb, or wins by ten strokes.