Super Bowl Exlix musings

So the Super Bowl was last night. Two teams about which I could not possibly care less playing for a ridiculous amount of money. (Don’t get me started on the NFL’s status as a [exaggerated air quotes] “not for profit” company.) Anyway, here are some thoughts on last night’s ridiculous spectacle:

-Three hours before kickoff, NBC was running some ridiculous piece about ex-NFL players riding shotgun with NASCAR drivers. Here is an idea: instead of starting the “pregame show” nine hours before kickoff, forcing you to run out of Super Bowly things to discuss and to air completely inane fluff pieces that have nothing to do with the game, how about you just start your pregame show one, maybe two hours pre-kickoff, talk about the matchups, and be done with it? Only the diehard meathead football fans give enough of a crap to watch an all-day pregame show. Oh- and good lawd, TV sports guys, enough with the “Deflategate” thing. That was nothing more than an excuse to say “Tom Brady’s balls” on the air for two weeks without fear of being fined by the FCC.

-While her version was by far not the worst, Idina Menzel failed, like so many before her did (and, undoubtedly, like so many after her will), at singing the National Anthem. It’s a hard song to sing, but if you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all. Learn the words. Sing it in your range. It was written in 3/4 time; SING IT in 3/4 time. Keep it under about 2:30. And for the love of all things holy, knock off the vocal gymnastics, histrionics, and overdone fake vibrato, and trying to make it your own song. It’s NOT your own song. Sing it right or don’t fucking sing it at all. Oh- and if you’re going to further disrespect the National Anthem by lip-syncing it, at least make it convincing.

*bracing for all the “‘Let It Go’, John HAHAHAHA” comments*

-Memo to Bob Costas: That massive case of pinkeye you got last year in Sochi never really went away, did it? Or is that permanent damage?

-Unless one knows nothing about the game of ‘Merkan football, we all know by now that Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll made perhaps the worst play call in Super Bowl history by attempting a short pass [that was intercepted at the goal line, naturally] instead of letting Marshawn Lynch bulldoze the New England D-line and punch the ball in for what should have been the game-winning touchdown. Hence, the Patriots won, causing a simultaneous orgasm among every sportswriter, commentator, and talking head in the country, all of whom seem to be 100 times more smitten with Tom Brady than any woman ever could be. He got MVP, natch, thus “cementing his spot in the Hall of Fame”, as I heard one guy say. Really? I can’t stand Tom Brady, but was his HoF status EVER in doubt? Has it EVER been? I know those guys’ main job- besides speaking in nothing but stupid clichés, metaphors, and catchphrases- is to create things that they can turn around and beat mercilessly into the ground, but come on.

-The halftime show was largely awful, as most are. The Katy Perry wardrobe malfunction for which I was secretly hoping never happened. She rode some giant tiger (that looked more like a lion or a bear than a tiger) during “Roar”, boogalooed with sharks in some weird live-action cartoon thing, cavorted briefly with Lenny Kravitz (whom, I imagine, immediately regretted signing the contract to appear- I would have, were I he), and then was completely upstaged and outclassed by Missy Elliott. Finally, she was George Jetsoned on a cable in a giant circle about 20-25 feet off the field. With the exception of Bruno Mars’ show last year, the halftime shows have been brutal to watch for years. I’d much rather see actual marching bands.

And now, the commercials. Those stupidly overpriced, overhyped, and underdelivering 30-second insults to the viewers’ collective intelligence. As they have been for several years now, this year’s ads just didn’t have the oomph that they used to have.

  • Budweiser. Of course, the Best Attempt at Pulling At Your Heart Strings award goes to Budweiser (AAAAA-gain), for their diabetes-inducing ad about the lost puppy. Yawn.
  • McDonald’s. This “Give Lovin’, Get Lovin'” ad about randomly selecting customers to pay for their orders by telling their mother they love her meant well, I believe, but as we debated at my folks’ house, what about people who have lost their mother? People who are estranged from their family? People whose mother is in prison? I imagine that is not the only way Mickie Deez will try to get people to be happy and all (or whatever it is they are going for), but that just seems like a lot of potential for problems at the ol’ Golden Arches.
  • Snickers. Not sure I get the appeal of Danny Trejo. The ad was entertaining enough, but the campaign has kinda run its course. The one from a couple years ago, with Betty White and Abe Vigoda, will never be topped. And yet they keep trying. Kinda like those goddamned GEICO commercials that never seem to friggin’ stop ever. EVER. Thankfully, GEICO ads were pretty much invisible during the game. Although… #gitsomecoldcutsgitsomecoldcutsgitsomecoldcuts
  • Fiat. The “little blue pill” ad had all sorts of potential as far as where they could have gone with who or what wound up getting the LBP, instead, they kinda pussed out. I mean, seriously… oooooh, the Fiat’s bigger now. It has four doors now. It’s still a little bitty-ass Fiat that seats less than two comfortably.
  • BMW. Always nice to look at Katie Couric, but Bryant Gumbel looked like a fairly lifelike animatronic wax replica of himself. I kinda tee-heed watching the 1994 Today clip in which Katie & Bryant were, seemingly, legitimately completely baffled by how to “pronounce” the @ in an email address. “Do you write to it like a letter?!” Ah, the pre-internet innocence. I do, however, like just about any ad in which people can make fun of themselves. Especially when it is deserving.
  • Nationwide. Definitely a dark ad. But life is not all sunshiny happy and what not. Many children die in very preventable ways every year. Nationwide pointed that out and it bothered people. We basically were playing it off when we saw the kid crushed by the flat-screen TV. We were all, “Hey, I can make another kid, but TVs are expensive! Thanks, Nationwide!!” Okay, ’twas *I* who said that, but still. Sick, I know, but it’s a sick world in which we live. Stop pretending it isn’t. Nationwide’s other ad, with Mindy Kaling stalking Matt Damon, kinda fell flat.
  • Bud Light. Shitty beer, but the real-life Pac-Man game looked pretty friggin’ awesome. I hope it actually exists somewhere. I’d totally do that, even if the prize is nothing more than a bottle of Bud Light. I’m sure I could find someone to whom to sell it.
  • T-Mobile. The Kim Kardashian ad was pretty lame if only because it contained Kim Kardashian, but the Chelsea Handler-Sarah Silverman ad was pretty good. I adore both of them. (Speaking of the Kardashians, my mother asked everyone’s thoughts about Bruce Jenner. I said that people need to leave him the hell alone and let him do what makes him happy. Don’t judge; you don’t know what kinds of horrors he has endured. After all, I said, if I were a part of that fucked-up family for that long, I’d want to rid myself of everything about that part of my life as well. And that could well even include my penis. Seriously, people- get off Bruce Jenner’s case. You do you, let him do him.)
  • The Terminator Genisys movie. Oh, Arnold. Just stop. Seriously. All of these movie franchises with their stars in their 60s and 70s… just stop it.
  • Game of War. For the love of Chrysler… between the television ads and the between-game ads on the Trivia Crack smartphone app, someone PLEASE get rid of Kate Upton and the ads for this ridiculous app. Unless you’re going to let her be naked, as she apparently wants to be, I am sick of seeing Kate Upton. Outside of those ads, I don’t even know who she is and I hate being forced to see her every six minutes.
  • Skittles. The ad about the town that “settles it™” by arm-wrestling was kinda cute, I must admit. Especially with the baby (and the dog) with the one big, buff arm.
  • Avocados from Mexico. The “first-ever draft” ad could have been decent, but it wasn’t. Then it got a tad bit racist at the end with the singer with the obviously fake Spanish accent singing, “Ahhvocahhdos from Mexeeeco”.
  • Nissan. Their ads were kinda out there. The one about the deadbeat dad that is always off racing and then finally- FINALLY- comes home to see his kid once he finally- FINALLY- wins a race? Wow. The one about the plastic ball prank, I had seen that online a week or so ago. Cute idea, but I know that if I did that, my wife would have kicked my ass if for no other reason than for spending that much money on millions of ball-pit balls.
  • E-surance. I guess you had to have watched ‘Breaking Bad’ to appreciate the Bryan Cranston spot.
  • GoDaddy. Their ad with the guy working during the game was largely forgettable. Which is to say, I don’t really remember it. My thing with GoDaddy was their original ad. Not because it ripped off Budweiser’s “lost puppy” ad, not because it was “so tasteless and offensive” (which it wasn’t), as the public outcry screamed when the ad was put on the internet a couple weeks before the game, but because GoDaddy pulled it after said backlash. If you’re going to take the time to create, shoot, and produce a potentially offensive ad, then stand by it. If you’re purposely going for “edgy” and “cutting-edge controversial”, as GoDaddy CLEARLY was by making the lost puppy ad, then be “edgy” and “cutting-edge controversial” and stand by it. Don’t make the attempt and then be a pussy because someone complained. GoDaddy didn’t pull the very adolescent, sexually suggestive ads a few years ago with Danica Patrick, Jillian Michaels, and Candice Michelle after so many people bitched about them; why pull the inferred puppy-mill ad?
  • Jeep. Anyone else find it… I dunno, weird… that Jeep was using a remake of Arlo Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land”?
  • SquareSpace. I don’t even know what SquareSpace is. It just was kinda comical- if not a bit creepy- seeing Jeff Bridges do the Gregorian monk-like chanting next to someone’s bedside with the little music bowl.
  • Always. This “throw like a girl” ad was a viral pro-feminism, pro-gender equality internet video last summer (if not before), and now it’s a maxi-pad commercial. Just think on that for a while.

I could go on (and on and on and on and on) about the rest of the commercials, but these were the ones that stood out and/or that I remember. If you don’t remember the commercials I listed, or if you just want to watch every single friggin’ SB XLIX (which I pronounce “exlix” just because) commercial, then click this link.

So what say you? Which ads did you like? Which ads did you not like? What else about the 27-hour SB Exlix extravanganza did you like/dislike/notice/not notice?

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