Shedding some light on this year’s Super Bowl

Well, it’s that time of year again. Time to grade the Super Bowl TV commercials. Although not right now. The Super Bowl is so incredibly overhyped, overexposed, and generally underwhelming that I, for one, believe it’s nothing short of fantastic. Geez, if we had one of these every month, the economy would be fixed; take that Mr. Warren I can fix the economy in five minutes Buffett.

Biggest avocado day of the year, largest pizza delivery day, highest ad revenue day, and the beat goes on. Other than the National Football League, who was the big winner? No, it wasn’t the crowd-pleasing Clydesdale’s Brotherhood commercial, the sentimental Dodge Ram Farmer spot, or Tide’s Magic Stain ad. It was, ladies and gentlemen, The National Football League, of course.

I have no emotional connection with the San Francisco 49ers or the Baltimore Ravens. San Francisco might be my favorite city in the country (I do love New Orleans, too), but I’m not a fan of the team. I haven’t been to Baltimore in decades, but I do think Cal Ripken is still one of the greatest class acts in all of sports, and Ray Lewis is not. I thought the game was terrific. It could have gone either way – it was chippy, it had blown calls, and it featured the right mix of offense and defense. It was what the NFL hoped for, and needed.

I also thought the NFL commercial Leon Sandcastle was, as we say in tackle football, a home run. And how about the genius of the NFL operations crew? You’ve got to admit that snipping the power cord to the Superdome – excuse me, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome – was pure genius. More commercials, more revenue, and more promotions. You know I’m just kidding about that.

And speaking of power, we saw a halftime show that was worthy of interrupting the ebb and flow of the game. Nothing will ever rival the emotion of the U2 performance and Bono opening his jacket to reveal Old Glory. Prince was great, although he wasn’t Prince then. Springsteen and the Stones were very good too. Madonna wasn’t, Tom Petty is influential on my iPod but wasn’t the right fit for halftime, and the Black Eyed Peas didn’t please. But Beyoncé did. I’m not wild about the music, but she sure can dance, sure can smile, and even though a cameo by Slash can be interesting, it was good to see Destiny’s Child again, for the first time in my case.


Bathroom humor aside, I can judge the greatness of the Super Bowl experience using two factors. When can we cook and when do we eat? For me, it’s usually during the expert commentary, which is generally a low point. Thanks to the power outage, it made life easier as I sat in the Barcalounger snipping ends off green beans. Score another one for the NFL. And yes, just as a kicker can make or break you, and an end-zone dance can bring you fame or make you look lame, the commercials ran the gamut. I liked the spots I previously mentioned, along with Samsung’s ad called The Big Pitch with Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd, but hey, I’m in the business; Amy Poehler cracks me up, and Taco Bell’s Viva Young brought a smile to my face. I love the E*TRADE baby, but this one needed a diaper change; and if you value consistency in your value proposition, then hats off to GoDaddy for remaining consistently awful.

But in the end, my coveted A goes to the National Football League. 

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