Stray Observations: Super Bowl 49

Time for some stray observations about Super Bowl Exlicks!

The Game

Wow, that was a very entertaining 3 quarters of football! Yeah, the first quarter was pretty boring, but after that things really picked up!

The secretly most important moment of the game might have been the early injury to Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane. Lane intercepted Brady early in the game, but suffered a nasty arm/wrist injury that knocked him out for the game. Lane was the nickel back on this team and was quite good. Once a backup was pressed into more playing time (Therald Simon), Brady threw 2 TDs against him.

The second half had lots of great moments! Brady drove down the field quickly to take the lead late in the game after starting the 4th quarter down 10 points.  That was impressive, but it left plenty of time on the clock for the Seahawks.

Then it was Kearse’s amazing catch that brought Antonio Freeman to mind for Vikings fans.

Brady couldn’t believe they were going to lose the Super Bowl AGAIN because of a miracle catch!

It seemed that Seattle was a couple of Lynch power runs away from the title. Indeed, they bled the clock a bit to set up for final plays. Bill Belichick didn’t call a timeout, so this was it. Then… ugh.

Seattle decided to skip the Lynch run and throw a quick slant, which was picked off at the goal line by undrafted rookie Malcolm Butler. Ball game.

Brady?

Richard Sherman? Get ready for the memes.

From there, the Seahawks couldn’t ride off in style and picked a big fight as the clock was ticking down.  Dumb.

But not as dumb as outsmarting yourself by calling a pass play from the 1 yard line when you have a runner like Marshawn Lynch on your team! Coach Pete Carroll took the blame, but word is it was actually offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s call. Does he get fired?

So a thrilling end to a great game. What more can you ask of Super Bowl? Yeah, you read that right? Super Bowl is an entity now. That’s what I learned from Katy Perry.

The Halftime Show

So the halftime show this year was Katy Perry. It seemed a fairly coherent choice given that she’s known for the kind of live spectacle shows that the NFL favors for their halftime shows. It’s also usually a given that these things will include a couple other acts as “surprise” guests.

Perry opened the show by riding a giant puppet tiger (I think) and singing “you’re gonna hear me roar!” To close that segment, she pretended to actually roar while a lion roaring sounder was fired. I found that element super cheesy.

That first song felt very Hunger Games to me – riding into an area on a weird float. She was even wearing a dress with flames on it!

Then we had a very cool visual thanks to an LCD dance floor as she sang “some other song I don’t know” and danced with weird people.

Then it was guest time and we got Lenny Kravitz. More Hunger Games connections! He sang “I Kissed a Girl” with Perry and badly mimed playing his guitar. About 1 minute of screen time for him.

Next up – a trip to crazy town. It was like we completely changed gears and got dropped into an insane Yo Gabba Gabba parody. Dancing sharks and trees and beach balls that were lip-syncing with Katy Perry on a couple of songs. Totally bizarre.

The next guest was Missy Elliott. She’s good and all, but this really broke the flow of the show for me. Especially because she Perry didn’t participate much at all in this segment and Elliott sang for about 5 minutes! Of course, Perry did have time to yell something like “Let me hear you, Super Bowl!”, indicating she thinks Super Bowl is an actual person or something that she’s performing for.

Anyway, Elliott took a lot of time so that Perry could change clothes again and get strapped to some kind of aerial rig and fly around during the last song. And people everywhere thought it looked like she was riding on NBC’s “The More You Know” logo from the 90’s whilst singing into a Nintendo controller.

And then we were done. It was just too choppy for me. But maybe it’s just that I don’t like Katy Perry. I’d rather have an actual band, not a carnival show.

The Commercials

Okay, so the NFL has had a very rough season as an institution. Spousal and child abuse scandals, more concussion fallout, ineffective and clumsy leadership, officiating controversies and deflated balls. Clearly the NFL needed to do some image re-hab. Apparently they decided that a good start would be to pepper the Super Bowl with commercials that depict a lot more sensitivity and a lot less goof.

So you had a number of commercials about being a good dad that tried to tug on your heartstrings while trying to sell you cars.

And after all those ads, late in the game NBC airs a promo for a show called The Slap that centers around a man slapping a child and the fallout from that. Mixed messages.

Then you had your Budweiser “lost puppy” commercial. Lots of people told me they got teary over that one. I’m not a dog person, so it did nothing for me.

The one that really got a response from my wife and me was the Nationwide commercial with a dead child in it. You know the one. The boy says he will never get cooties because he died in a tragic accident. So the point is apparently to remind people that accidents kill kids (thankfully it’s not something else, right?), so be vigilant! But also buy insurance from us. What?!

I liked the “Like a girl” ad for it’s clear portrayal of how young girls have a confidence that fades during puberty and it gets reinforced by others around them. A good message for girls to hear, even if it comes from a feminine products company.

I think my personal favorite was the clever and cute ad featuring Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel. First flashback to them talking on TV about not understanding the internet. Then a modern-day riff on that as they talk about not quite understanding this new car. I thought it was great.

I thought it was hilarious that Budweiser feels to threatened by craft beer and microbrews that they spent money on a Super Bowl ad just to try to make fun of them. Maybe this tactic works for some people, but I feel like most of my circles don’t want to hear a company say “we sells black and white Xerox copies, not interesting paintings!” And “brewed the hard way”? Please.

My kids watched the first half with us. Their favorite ad? Overwhelmingly it was the trailer for “Minions”. They were almost rolling on the floor laughing.

What will you remember about Super Bowl Exlicks?
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2 thoughts on “Stray Observations: Super Bowl 49

  1. I disagree. I would rather see a carnival show than just a band playing.

    I like Tom Petty and all. He did a half time show. He did the concert thing, but it really wasn’t all that great.

    I thought this years half time show was fun. It was over the top, I mean it had singing trees.

    I don’t know why the special guest are always musical. Why not include some dare devils and magicians. Just think how great it would have been if you took this years half time show and added David Copperfield and Nik Wallenda to it. Now that would have been cool.

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