Super Bowl reflections

Commercials — As I said earlier, the commercials were almost an afterthought although three of the people attending my exclusive Super Bowl party were primarily interested in them.
If you want a recap of the commercials, TV Squad is one of the dozens of places with mini reviews and embedded videos.
My bottom line — it’s outrageous that people pay $2.7 million for 30 seconds of exposure, especially when the ads are mostly dissatisfying. Here’s what I thought was the best and the worst:
The best: I definitely liked the NFL’s Super Ad, much for the reasons detailed by TV Squad. Essentially, it details how future NFL player Chester Pitts was bagging groceries in San Diego when another football player discovered him and encouraged him to try out for college ball. Although Pitts said the only thing he played before college was the oboe, he turned out to be a good football player.
What an awesome commercial with a sweet rags-to-riches story. It definitely had a fairy tale feel to it, leading many to ask if the story was real. I said it has to be because I knew the months of promotion for the NFL Super Ad competition where people were asked for vote for the best story from NFL players.
I also enjoyed Coca-Cola’s duel between parade balloons Underdog and Stewie Griffin. It was all the sweeter that periennial loser Charlie Brown finally won.
Although the commercial was played for laughs, part of me was reminded of the injuries when floats have gotten out of control in the past (which is why there are much stricter rules in place at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade).
The worst: Let’s say you have a Web site in business to generate business leads, somehow. What better way to get the word out than buying at least $5 million of commercials. One of the commercials was pretty bad — it was a cartoon (!) featuring pandas having problems selling their bamboo furniture. However, thanks to this Web site (which I’m deliberately forgetting the name of), they were able to save their business.
This commercial completely rubbed me the wrong way. Not only was it the extremely rare cartoon promoting a business Web site, the whole premise of pandas selling bamboo furniture and speaking with seemingly stereotypical Asian accents struck me as vaguely racist or at least disrespectful. It seemed like one step away from making chopstick buck teeth and saying “Me so sorrie.”
I can’t say the Asian accents were faked because I don’t know who the voice talent was, but the whole endeavor didn’t seem sincere to me.
While Go Daddy may have been able to successfully promote its domain-registration business with inexplicably popular commercials, I don’t know if this other company will be able to see similar success.

The broadcast: I thought the actual game broadcast was nice although I have no idea what Super Bowl 3 and Super Bowl 42 are, as FOX Sports referred to them in on-screen graphics. I thought all the Super Bowls had roman numerals, like III and XLII. Learn to count, people.
I skipped the pregame show (which was apparently 18-hours long, give or take a day). It’s usually a lot of fluff and my disinterest grew when I heard that FOX News was producing this argueably sports-oriented program (so they could tout their Super Tuesday election coverage).
Having FOX cameras spot the celebrities in the stands was fun for a minute, but I always wonder why they have to be Hollywood celebrities. Just once I would like Joe Buck to say, “There’s Nobel Laureate Gerhard Ertl. He won the 2007 Nobel for his contributions in chemistry.”
I know not to hold my breath.

Halftime: I’ve largely derided the halftime shows since the NFL took over the production after the incident that brought America to its knees. In retrospect, it’s mostly because of their super safe choices not the entertainment value.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers gave a fun performance that definitely had a lot of people at my party singing along. I just wish the NFL would showcase some younger talent.
Also, it would be nice to see another female performer on the halftime stage. Heck, FOX Sports included a woman in its out-of-place, yet nice, tribute to the Declaration of Independence (which addressed a beef I had the last time).
Since “the incident” in 2004, the NFL must follow an extremely rigid set of rules when selecting the halftime show. The rules are all geared to avoid another “malfunction” of the sort that so disrupted our state of affairs. To the best of my knowledge, they are:

  1. No breasts — No breasts, no problems. Right?
  2. Performers must be on Social Security — All right, they’re not 65, but they’re close. The average age of performers is 59
  3. Performers must be dudes — See rule 1.
  4. Must not have reputation for taking clothes off, at least not recently.

In the end, the Super Bowl is supposed to be about a game and it succeeded this year.