Monday, February 06, 2017

My thoughts on the SUPER Bowl

Here are my ramblings on yesterday’s Super Bowl. Warning:  It’s impossible to discuss without touching on politics. Politics is so a part of the story. So if you only want to read my blog when it’s politic-free, that's totally cool, have a great day and we’ll see you tomorrow (I got a comedy post planned).

To the business at hand.  WOW.  That was maybe the greatest Super Bowl in history. I know Falcon fans don’t agree. I feel your pain. Now you know what Hillary went through.

Tom Brady may be the greatest NFL quarterback ever. But I fucking hate him.

How many sportswriters used this phrase today: “Even Hollywood couldn’t write this script!”?

Sorry haters but Joe Buck did a great job. Totally on top of the action, kept you informed of all in-game situations, and set just the right dramatic tone for the unbelievable rally. Imagine Gus Johnson doing this game.

For all of the Patriots’ heroics, one more field goal by Atlanta would have iced the game, and they put themselves out of field goal range by penalties. THAT was the killer.

I wonder how many people turned the game off after the Half-time show.  Mike Pence split before the players could give him a speech on love and unity. 

What’s the point of a flyover over a closed dome stadium?

I don’t remember a Super Bowl that received as little hype as this one. And now they’ll be talking about it for XXILCIXXL years.

One of my favorite moments was when the two opposing players got their helmets entangled. Siamese Super Bowl.

Oops. Fox’s live stream went down in the fourth quarter. Putin strikes again!

Okay, now let’s get to the stuff people really tuned in for – the commercials, the Half-time show, and shots of Fox stars who will be out of work come June.

The commercials were really underwhelming again this year. Not funny. And many were confusing. How many times did you see some spot and go “What the fuck does that mean?” A western movie set falls down and it’s an ad for Snickers. Huh?

Classy doing an air freshener spot during Half-time. Actually, I think more people went to the bathroom when the Justin Bieber spot came on.

The people who say they’re going to boycott Budweiser because of that fantastic ad (where they show an immigrant, Adolphus Busch, becoming something) still have twenty cases in their basement for emergencies just like this.

They might as well boycott Audi too because their ad proposed that women should receive equal pay. Not that those people buy Audis anyway.  Instead, they’ll boycott the go-carts.

And what was the CHEERS theme doing in a Michelob commercial? It had no relation to what was happening on the screen. And it was the second sponsor that has now used it. All-State Insurance was the other I believe. Paramount hasn’t made enough money off the show? Jesus!  I hope hearing the theme again motivated you not to buy their product, but to binge-watch CHEERS again on Netflix so I can make a dime.

Don’t you find it sad that commercials that celebrated our country’s ideals of tolerance, acceptance, and opportunity are considered insults by the current president of the United States?

Lady Gaga crushed it! Can that gal make an entrance? In her case a wardrobe malfunction might have resulted in death.

My friend Andy Goldberg was hoping Tony Bennett would fly in from the open roof as well.

Considering these shows are pretty much the same now – star on giant stage, belting out their hits in highly choreographed routines with male Rockettes, changing costumes, fireworks exploding, a mosh pit of candle holders, etc. Lady Gaga really showed off her stuff. She sang, she hoofed, she tinkled, and like all truly gifted trained singers – she flew.

Some people complained she wasn’t outspoken enough. Not sure that was the place for that. I mean, it’s bad enough she sang about equality. Probably half the country boo’ed her for that.

Instead of listening to Terry Bradshaw and Jimmy Johnson gas off during half-time, wouldn’t you like to just see how they get that enormous stage on and off the field in five minutes? And all those people. Just once I’d like the third quarter to begin and during the kick off there’s some confused skeesix on the 30-yard line holding a candle.

What happens to that set? Does it go back to the $25,000 PYRAMID?

How pathetic to see Spuds MacKenzie now reduced to a translucent piƱata. Did Ed Wood direct that spot?

If you were attending a Super Bowl party did you notice how all talking stopped when Christopher Walken filled the screen? And then resumed 30 seconds later when everybody said, “What the fuck was that?”

Anyway, for those who stuck around until the end, it was a comeback for the ages and just another reminder that we’re in the age of bad guys win. But take heart. There’s a new BAYWATCH movie coming and pitchers and catchers report this week.


The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

Lady Gaga was terrific. A great performance.
But wasn't it strange, after all the hype of Gaga coming down from the Roof, that the cameras didn't follow her down. Did they expect her to possibly plummet to her death.
Instead of showing her coming down they kept panning the crowd below.

Commercials were underwhelming.

In the third quarter our superbowl party watched the new POWERLESS show.
don't know if it'll make it past the 4th episode but Ron Funches is always funny.

Rays profile said...

How dare they link the music from "Cheers" to BEER, of all things?

Matt said...

I think SF is reassessing there choice of head coach. Get to the 26 yard line and you need a field goal to win. Run the ball twice and you probably be SB champs. Instead he calls a 7 step drop and gets knocked out of FG range. Seattle fans are happy because we are no longer the biggest chokers of all time.

Hermite said...

About that flyover: 14 NFL teams have been accepting money from the Defense Department and the National Guard to put on displays of patriotism, events like their Hometown Heroes segments and jet flyovers. The Atlanta Falcons received the biggest allocation of funds, accepting over a million dollars in the past four years!

At no point have the NFL teams involved in these deals explained that the tributes were sponsored. They've been taking credit for supporting the troops altruistically when it's really the troops that have been supporting them!

The icy sting is felt most when one learns that the money the NFL has been taking to honor the troops —something they should be doing for free as proud Americans— has been taxpayer money.

found at: The Veterans Site

Rich Shealer said...

The Avocados from Mexico spot with the secret society was pretty good, especially the extended version on YouTube. It lost a little with the shortened version. I saw it Thursday as a precursor to another video.

The Tide commercial with Terry Bradshaw and Jeffery Tambor was also funny. I liked the reprise around the end of the game as well.

John Leader Alfenito said...

"What’s the point of a flyover over a closed dome stadium?"
Thanks for my first actual LOL of the day.

Roger Owen Green said...

I listened to Howie Long at halftime, and I had no idea what he said. It was footballish, but really inside football, and I've followed the sport for over 50 years. The casual fan must have been baffled.

Mike Botula said...

I took your advice and dialed in your podcast on my Apple TV I-Tunes thing-a-ma-bobby. It's a keeper! Oddly enough, I remember hearing "Beaver Cleaver" back in the day and thinking "BEAVER CLEAVER!??" Like your blog, which I am devoted to, I have, after wandering for years through the wilderness that radio has become, found a spot on the dial where I feel that my host is talking to ME! Which is what great radio was all about. A guy in front of a microphone, communicating with a gaggle of human beings. Thank you for taking the podcast plunge, Ken.

Tacomagamefan said...

In addition to Joe, I'm pretty impressed with Aikman when, immediately after a play, he marks up something I hadn't noticed and explains what happened and who was involved.
Amd Trump left before the comeback, presumably to trump around in his PJ's and think of new grievances to tweet about in the morning to continue violating his oath to defend the Constitution.
I would have said violating his oath with impunity but I try not to get in to disparaging his puny appendages.
Seeing Bush 41 and wife Barbara after their hospitalizations was terrific -- whatever one's political affiliation, they are such a striking contrast of service, humility and class to the current occupant of the white house.
Well, it's a snow day and the kiddos are still sleeping, so time to see what Norm, Sam and Diane are up to this morning ...

Mark said...

Why do you hate Brady? Is it just because he wins all the time?

The Minstrel Boy said...

i quoted your line about traditional american values being considered an insult, with attribution of course on amanda marcotte's facebook page. so far 14 positive responses. that hit a nerve with me, and other people as well. great job as usual ken.

Kosmo13 said...

The Super Bowl? Is that still on?

DwWashburn said...

Don't know if you saw Bill Maher's program last Friday, but he also lamented that you can't talk about the game without getting political. Here is the piece, and I warn you Maher does not use Sunday School language.

Buttermilk Sky said...

I think I read that Fox showed the half-time program on delay in case there was a disaster. Or Lada Gaga said something to upset Mike Pence.

cd1515 said...

Friday Question: I'm with Mark, can you expand on your hate for Brady?
and is there a Hollywood version of Brady, someone everyone out there hates because he's too good/rich/lucky etc?

benson said...

FWIW, Ken,

The story of yours and David's 1983 Cheers Super Bowl one-off was tweeted out world wide by Mental Floss yesterday.

Now you can be the darling of the millenials.

Anonymous said...

We hate Brady and Bellicheck because they are part of a team culture of cheating. They weren't satisfied to just watch game films of the St. Louis Rams in preparing for Super Bowl 36 in 2002. They set up a camera and filmed (against firm, hah, rules the NFL had set up) the Rams practices. They were caught doing the same thing in 2007 and received puny fines. Then came Deflategate and Brady's reaction.

That is why we hate them.

Oh, and we really hate Goodell & Kroenke more than the Pats.

Pam, St. Louis

Sharon J said...

I didn't watch a second of the game because I didn't want either team to win, so now matter the outcome, I knew I would be disappointed. I did, however, find the commercials and Lady Gaga halftime show online and watched those. Gaga was amazing! I'm probably going to have to pony up the usurious cost of a ticket to see her when she goes on tour. The commercials were all underwhelming. I couldn't begin to describe one of them. And I don't begin to understand why the advertisers release them before the game. I'd think they'd want to make sure people watch them as they air in order to get the best bang for their buck. If anyone can explain this rationale, I'd appreciate it.

Howard Hoffman said...

Harry Connick posted a time lapse video of the entire halftime field and its remarkable. LINK

eric said...

I know facts don't matter any more but "Spygate" had nothing to do with the unsubstantiated allegations of the the Patriots recording the Ram before Super Bowl 36. The Patriots were punished for recording defensive signs from the sidelines. It never was and still is not illegal to record defensive signs*. It was illegal to record them from the sidelines. Had the Patriots had someone 30ft back in the stands recording, it would have been perfectly legal.

I spent many decades hating the Yankees for their victories so I understand people's hatred of the Patriots and Tom Brady (or Derek Jeter). I've also found it's much better to be hated.

*In response, defensive plays are radioed in so there is no point in recording them now.

Ted said...

Apart from her own songs, Lady Gaga's most political act was to sing "This Land Is Your Land." (Perhaps neither today's liberals nor conservatives realize that the song, by communist-sympathizing folkie Woody Guthrie, was intended as a more inclusive response to the sappily patriotic songs of his time.)

Cap'n Bob said...

I think Lady Gaga is talented, but I found her show to be boring. Maybe that's because I only listened while doing a crossword puzzle and missed all the pyrotechnics. When I looked up a time or two I had the idea she was lip synching, but I could be wrong.

Second quarter penalties definitely killed the Falcons. And, as a previous poster noted, the lame-brained pass call on what should have been the Atlanta winning field goal attempt.

MikeN said...

>they put themselves out of field goal range by penalties.

No they didn't. They put themselves out of range by deciding to pass rather than run. It is doubtful whether they would have tried a field goal over 50 yards once they took that sack. A miss gives the Pats the ball at midfield and plenty of time.

The point of the Snickers ad was you had to know it was a live ad. It was a meta-ad where they messed up the live ad.

When Trump said "We'll be winning so much that you're going to be tired of all the winning!" I didn't know he meant this.

Tom Brady is innocent of deflating footballs, and the Wells Report shows it, though hidden well enough no one noticed until it was too late.

MikeN said...

Eric, you are not allowed to film from the stands either. The rule says any location accessible to the staff is off limits for recording. However, there is another rule that requires teams to do some recording. Belichick had a legitimate interpretation of the rules, that you are allowed to record as long as you don't use it in the same game. This is consistent with the rule requiring teams to film.

MikeN said...

Roger, I also didn't get Howie. Found out later that his son is on the Patriots, and they are the first father son combo to win the Super Bowl.

CarolMR said...

I saw Joe Buck on FOX News before the game and he predicted that this Super Bowl would be the first to go into OT.

MikeK.Pa. said...

Sorry haters but Joe Buck did a great job.
Troy Aikman wasn't bad either. Heads and shoulders better than Phil Simms.

For all of the Patriots’ heroics, one more field goal by Atlanta would have iced the game.
After that great catch by Julio Jones, the momentum was all with the Falcons. Ryan and Quinn got greedy and went for the kill with another pass and suffered a killer sack, when three conservative runs and a FG would done the trick.

What’s the point of a flyover over a closed dome stadium?
I heard a squadron of drones was considered but the FAA and Homeland Security couldn't get on the same page.

The commercials were really underwhelming again this year. Not funny.
I didn't catch all of them, but the Skittles commercial with the teenager throwing the candy into his sweetheart's bedroom window and the congo line of recipients - girl, parents, granny, burglar, cop - cracked me up.

Jahn Ghalt said...

A 30-second spot was rumored to cost $5-million at the Super Bowl this year. So I was surprised to see a spot for avocados (were there others?). I'm not suprised anymore. Wikipedia report US consumption at seven pounds per capita - 2.3-billion pounds in all - nearly $600-million at $0.25/pound wholesale.

(Holy Guacmole!)

I've been a Lakers fan since I first heard the champions on Armed Forces Radio in Anchorage the year they won 33-straight (71-72?). I saw that team (Wilt, Zeke, Goodrich, Harriston, MacMillan, Riles, Hot Rod) lose #34 on a nationally televised game. My innocence was lost when the Rockets knocked off the Lake's in the playoffs mid-80s. All the hostility. Since then I tell Yankees fans I know how they feel - add the Pats to that. Only teams more dominant was the Russell Celtics - 11 rings in 13 seasons and the Yankees teams of the fifties.

We have a high-school football coach in the office. His take was that the Pats never stopped the Falcons run game and that they should have kept running. My take is that the NFL continues to have the dumbest, most unfair, most F#@Ked Up overtime rule in American Sports. A coin flip and a touchdown settles it??? May as well have the visiting baseball team settle a game on an error, a stolen base, and two sac flys in the tenth.

Fair would be to play a full 5th quarter. At least get a clue from basketball's 5-minute overtime periods. Round it up to six or seven or 7.5-minutes for the No Fun League. Even something like the college playoff overtime would be preferable to "Stupid Death".

michael said...

The game was a good example why I don't watch the NFL much. Neither team was great for sixty minutes. Atlanta was great in the first half, New England stunk. One of my favorite plays was when the defense lineman sacked Brady not from great skill but because two New England offense linemen whiffed and ran by him. The second half roles reverse with Atlanta going bad so New England could come back.

I like games where two great teams go at it with the score going back and forth for the entire game - something like the Green Bay - Dallas game. I like a game where both teams play to win not play not to lose.

This game was two separate games - New England loses the first half and Atlanta loses the second half and the NFL stupid overtime rules blows what might have been a good overtime.

This Super Bowl is an example of how modern NFL is getting like the NBA. Only the last few minutes are worth watching.

Anonymous said...

@ Mike N:
The Falcons have one of, if not the best, kickers in the game. They are definitely trying a field goal from 55 or closer in an indoor stadium to win. The sacks wee the killers - not just the strip sack but the sack on the onside kick possession which took them out of field goal range, and the Julio Jones possession. The penalty on the Jones possession did take them out of about a 53 yard attempt.
The Wells Report did not show Brady was innocent, merely that they could not prove he was guilty. Big difference. Remember he destroyed cell phones.

VP81955 said...

But as Ken so adroitly noted, pitchers and catchers report in less than a week (hooray!), beginning Sunday with the Cleveland Indians (who certainly can emphasize with the Falcons after blowing a 3-games-to-1 lead against the North Siders last fall).

Gary said...

My favorite part of every Super Bowl aftermath is the rash of stories about how heartbreaking it is for fans of the losing team. As a lifelong fan of the Buffalo Bills, nobody will ever touch us when it comes to heartbreak. And now they're calling this Super Bowl the greatest comeback in history, so we've lost that too. (Bills came back to win after being down by 32 points in the 3rd quarter, in 1993 wild card game.)

sanford said...

If it had been a regular season game I would have turned it of at the end of the 3rd quarter. With the score 28-9 one had to figure the game was over. It was certainly an exciting 4th quarter, but up until then not a great game.

Andy Rose said...

@The Bumble Bee Pendant: The part with Lady Gaga on the roof was recorded a few days before the game, so they had to cut away. There was no continuous fall to show. This was done because the drone light show behind her couldn't be done on game night due to logistics and FAA restrictions. Also, let's be realistic... no insurance company is going to cover an act that involves one of the biggest grossing singers in the world taking an actual swan dive from the top of a football stadium, safety cables or not.

I haven't heard official confirmation, but it looked like she was lip synching most of her songs, which is inevitable for major dance numbers. She was live singing the number where she was sitting down and playing piano, although I think the piano playing may have been mimed.

Charles H. Bryan said...

I'm disappointed that there wasn't more obvious Goodell discomfort. That's all I wanted.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

Andy Rose...
thanks for the information.
very helpful!

Unknown said...

Since I don't gamble - on anything - I had no reason to watch the Super Bowl or its halftime burlesque show (you think people weren't betting on that?).

MeTV got my business: Columbo and Kolchak (both from the Previous Century).

I also amused myself by visiting to check out one of its new features: Gaming The Electoral College 2017, which explains far better than I did a few weeks back why the Electoral College ought to be decertified.
Anybody who didn't stick around March Of Dames long enough to catch my belated response to Bill Jones's takedown of my reasoning (and this includes Mr. Jones himself) ought to check this out.
Just thought I'd mention it ...

MikeN said...

Wells Report didn't just fail to find Brady guilty. They actually declared him guilty on a standard of 'more probable than not.' However, the underlying evidence exonerates Brady. The referee said he used one gauge, and use of this gauge has Brady in the clear, according to the report. Yet the scientists decided that since the Pats and Colts balls were measured by the referee the same as the teams intended, he must have use a different gauge, and thus Brady is guilty.
So to clear Brady it would suffice to show that the referee used the gauge he said he used. Turns out the Wells Report does exactly that.
Go back to Belichick's press conference where he says he is not the Mona Lisa Vito...
He explains how gloving that the Pats do lowers the pressure in the balls, unknown to the Pats until that time. Wells Report analyzed this and said the effect wears off in about 30 min so this can be ignored. However, the Wells Report also says that the Pats did the gloving and then IMMEDIATELY set the pressure. Now because according to the Wells Report, ball pressure will go down right after this gloving, this means that the balls when they got to the referee were lower than what the Pats thought they were. This also means that the referee could not have used the gauge that the Wells Report said the referee used. The only explanation is that he used the gauge he thought he used which is coincidentally off by the same amount as what Wells Report calculated for the gloving. Bill Belichick is at least Joey Gallo.

Roger G said...

How dare you name this entry with the words "Super bowl!" I'll have your head for this!

Barry Traylor said...

Don’t you find it sad that commercials that celebrated our country’s ideals of tolerance, acceptance, and opportunity are considered insults by the current president of the United States?

Actually it is the asshole that just happened to get in the White House. This dope has the thinnest skin doesn't he.

Brian said...

Apropos of NOTHING, but I have to get to work and I thought this was cute.

I saw this film in elementary school and I remembered nothing about it until I saw it again. One of the listed actors is "Diane Chambers"! That might have been a funny "Cheers" episode, if the gang found out that Diane shows up in a film, dressed like a monkey.

VP81955 said...

Instead of using the verboten phrase "Super Bowl," companies now use the term "Big Game." Somewhere, Cal and Stanford officials are PO'ed they never copyrighted it.

Chito Martinez said...

@ MikeN - Steve DeOssie and his son Zak each won Super Bowls before Howie & Chris Long.

By Ken Levine said...


Are you the same Chito Martinez who was on the Orioles with me?

MikeN said...

Chito, that explains the bizarre way they explained it on the air.
I don't think the father DeOssie actually played in the Super Bowl.

Chito Martinez said...

Hi Ken,

I'm not actually THE Chito Martinez. I just remember him from when I was a kid for some reason and was reminded of him when I recently read "It's Gone!...No, Wait a Minute." My real name is Randy Milligan.

Sports Hunter said...
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