Yes, I watched the Super Bowl. Sorry, Jackie.
I could try to spin it, I suppose. An ecumenical gesture toward those who follow the Faith of the Oblong Ball, perhaps. But the truth is simpler and arguably less worthy. I wanted to see the Patriots lose.
Sure, I had some secondary motivations: wanting to see the commercials and the half-time show in context–important for proper snarkage–foremost. But the bottom line is that the Patriots exemplify all that’s wrong with sports teams setting themselves up as “America’s Team”. Like the Dallas Cowboys, LA Lakers, and Atlanta Braves* of yore, and the Yankees of, well, any day, they exhibit an arrogance and an attitude of entitlement that cries out for humbling.
* Ted Turner has much to answer for.
So it’s easy to root against the Patriots. It was harder to root for the Eagles, since–as Maggie reminded me–they’re the ones who brought Michael Vick back into football. But since they were the only team who had a chance to beat the Patriots on Sunday, we used the proverbial long spoon.
And I took notes, because that’s what writers do. Herewith, my thoughts on Super Bowl LII.
MassMutual served notice even before the kickoff that this was not last year’s television spectacle of Fox-sponsored odes to Amurrica. Can’t argue with the moral of the ad–don’t count on the government to help you through a disaster–but it would have been a stronger message if they’d mentioned Puerto Rico.
As expected, the camera angles during “The Star-Spangled Banner” made it impossible to tell whether anyone was kneeling or sitting. NBC’s not going to risk those glorious advertising dollars over three minutes of air time.
Apparently Sprint is fully prepared for the imminent robot rebellion, and is ready to placate our new robotic overlords from Day One.
Seriously, Turkish Air? If they think Dr. Oz is qualified to talk about the wonders of the human body, I’d hate to learn what they think qualifies someone to fly an airplane. Gonna put them on my “never patronize this company” list.
Bud Light’s sales were down 5.7% this past year. If their ads are any indication, those idiotic “Dilly Dilly” spots are the only thing keeping them in business. Hooray for living down to your smallest potential.
On the brighter side, NBC’s frequent promos for the Winter Olympics were considerably less annoying than Fox’s similar binge on behalf of the Daytona 500. Maybe because the Olympics aren’t a sport that glorifies unsafe driving and promotes climate change?
I’ll admit to enjoying the dual and dueling Doritos/Mountain Dew ad combination. I don’t like Mountain Dew, but the commercial didn’t drive me to forswear Doritos.
On the other hand, Diet Coke’s promotion of the desirability of uncontrollable, unstoppable dancing left me cold. Can I really be the only person in the world who still remembers Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Red Shoes“? Is a swig of mango-flavored Diet Coke worth pedal amputation and eternal damnation?
NBC hurried to assure everyone that no game action or commercials were lost to that eighteen second blackout. But they’ve been disturbingly silent on whether any jobs were lost.
I won’t bother with my screed about Dodge using MLK’s words to sell Ram trucks. Plenty of others have said more than enough. I’ll just put them on my list, right after Turkish Air.
Regrettably, Janet Jackson did not parachute into the stadium and rip Justin Timberlake’s pants off mid-song. But even in her absence, you have to know that NBC and the NFL paid close attention to the choreography of JT’s show. So now we know that both institutions believe it’s perfectly fine to hump a dancer’s leg on international television, as long as her breasts are covered.
And maybe it was just an effect of the television broadcast, but the much ballyhooed and equally derided “holographic performance” by Prince came off as a bare half-step up from projecting a movie on a bed sheet. And really, JT, choosing “I Would Die 4 U” was a damn tacky move.
Of course the blatant attempt to promote “Super Bowl Selfies” as a hashtag was mildly nauseating, if completely predictable.
All in all, I score it the most soporific halftime show since at least 2000, when we had Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, and Toni Braxton lulling us to sleep.
I got a chuckle out of the self-referential commercial for The Voice. But then, I’m an easy mark for self-deprecating, self-referential jokes.
Budweiser partially redeemed themselves for the stupid “Dilly Dilly” nonsense with their “Water” commercial, which did mention Puerto Rico.
My two favorite commercials of the day ran in succession. My Number One was the Jack In the Box / Martha Stewart spot. Juvenile throughout, but with a nice twist on the old “Got Your Nose” bit. And then, Number Two, the payoff to the sequence of apparently pointless Peyton Manning spots, recreating Dirty Dancing as a touchdown celebration. Stupid and pointless–perfect for the message that the NFL isn’t going away.
We’re putting Tide on the list, too. Not that their ads were bad. The concept was mildly amusing the first time. But by the end of the game, they’d completely run it into the ground and arrived at “thoroughly annoying”.
Unrelated to the actual game or the commercials: We discovered that Dish doesn’t think anyone has a four hour attention span. With about ten minutes left in the game, right on the four hour mark from when I turned on the TV, they popped up a message box that said (I’m paraphrasing here, because I didn’t get a picture) “It looks like nobody’s watching TV right now. If you don’t click ‘Continue’ within 20 seconds, we’ll shut the receiver off.” Uh, guys, you’re going to be sending the satellite signal whether the receiver is on or off, so why do you care if I’m watching? If I want to waste electricity by leaving the TV on all day, let me!
And, finally, my prize for “Worst Commercial of Super Bowl LII”.
No, it’s not Tide, Bud Light, or even Turkish Air.
Not only did this company completely ignore the well-documented complaints about their business model, but they’re actually promoting class violence. Congratulation, Groupon, come up and claim your trophy.
Or am I the only one who heard the message “He didn’t use Groupon, so we sent a couple of thugs to kick his rich, white ass”?
Seriously, there’s a right way to do things, and in this case, TV commercials aren’t it. If we’re going to have a revolution of the proletariat and forcibly redistribute the wealth, can we please do it as a spontaneous popular uprising, rather than because a coupon service wants to improve their bottom line?