The XLVth Super Bowl is in the books, and — sigh — the Green Bay Packers are champions. But being the biggest rival of my favorite team, I will spend as little time focusing on their on-field success as possible. Here are the moments that stuck out to me throughout The Big Game.
You know who the real winner is on Super Bowl Sunday? AMERICA!
That’s why I was glad to see a reading of the Declaration of Independence to bring things to a fever pitch after Bill O’Reilly’s interview with President Obama. After all, the NFL is the one league that hasn’t sold out and given one of those Canadian cities a team yet. (Stay strong, Bills!)
So while feeling an intense patriotic sense of pride that is usually only inspired by Lee Greenwood, the stage was set for Christina Aguilera… who promptly mangled the National Anthem worse than anyone since Enrico Pallazzo. In fact, she actually manages to outdo Leslie Nielsen’s botched version in the Naked Gun since even he remembered to include the part about the ramparts. Maybe the whole thing was just an homage to the late, great Nielsen.
To me, the most significant play of the game may have been the one that occurred following the Steelers’ first possession. The Packers muffed the punt return near their own 20 and ended up with the recovery. If Pittsburgh falls on that ball, the entire complexion of the game might have changed from the get-go.
My other key first-half observation was dismay that the entire Packer secondary didn’t start getting injured en masse during the second quarter of the NFC Championship game. Even Todd Collins might have had a chance at a completion if those guys hadn’t been available. (Please note the term A completion, which does not imply multiples).
Ah, the Black-Eyed Peas. At least they aren’t Nickelback.
I must say that is was a very visually arresting performance, and if I had my television on mute I would have loved it. I was also pleased by surprise appearances from Slash and Usher, although given the presence of the Tron dancers on-field, I was rather disappointed by the fact Jeff Bridges did not show up.
MY SIDENOTE ON COMMERCIALS
I do like that Chrysler attempted to show America that Detroit doesn’t completely suck and is full of hard-working people trying to turn its fortunes around. But as my friend Chuck Steak noted, is Eminem the most effective spokesman for selling luxury cars to old white people?
I was also surprised by how suggestive many of the commercials were this year, and I have a high tolerance for perverse behavior. You had a car bragging to a female car that he was a smooth ride, a Mini Cooper ad in which a contestant “crams it in the boot” after a rather obvious butt sex reference, and another ad which removed any pretense of subtlety by having a guy sitting at a table and thinking “I hope she sleeps with me” over and over.
Back when I was in grade school, I got in trouble the day after the Super Bowl after repeating a joke I heard from an adult at our Super Bowl party the night before. (The joke was “The Password is cross-dresser.” Apparently they have no tolerance for that in second grade). Now kids just have to repeat commercials to get sent to the principal’s office. God, I sound like a 76-year old Glenn Beck fan right now.
Anyway, my favorite commercial was probably the one with all of the classic sitcom characters wearing paraphernalia of their favorite teams. Somehow it makes all the sense in the world that Cosmo Kramer was a Bills fan. And ALF was a Panthers fan.
Why isn’t anyone questioning Charles Woodson’s toughness?
The best part of the trophy ceremony came when it became blatantly obvious that the Cowboys Stadium PA guy had no idea how to read Roman numerals.
“And now, presenting the Vince Lombardi trophy, Super Bowl (pause… pause) MVP Roger Staubach!”
My other complaint is that the NFL copped out by not having all of the Packers’ owners onstage for the trophy presentation. Certainly there was room for 100,000 up there.
Also, can we finally shut up about Brett Favre now? If you ask any Packer fan, they no longer give a shit about Brett. Going with Aaron Rodgers was clearly the right decision, and everyone in Wisconsin has known that for two years. The fact that Favre had his career ended by the Bears and then had to witness the Packers winning the Super Bowl in the same year is the one thing that puts a nice bow around this whole season.
Luckily we won’t have Brett around to talk about next year. Hopefully that same story won’t be true for everyone else with the labor stoppage on the horizon. I don’t know if I can handle the Packers having two years with the trophy.