Random Thoughts About the Super Bowl
February 7, 2011

For the last several years, I've been invited to a friend's house to watch the Big Game. This year, there were eight of us (four male, four female), and even before kickoff, it was a pro-Packer crowd. Four were for Green Bay, one for the Steelers, two of us (myself included) didn't really care who won, and a six-year old boy who was mostly interested in playing with his Legos, eating, and playing with the two dogs in the house. In case you were on another planet and missed it, Green Bay defeated Pittsburgh 31-25 to take the NFL championship. Following are some observations, more about the broadcast than the game itself...

Pregame: Turned on the TV just in time for the O'Reilly-Obama interview. Not a "Factor" fan, but Bill-O did a decent job. I think the Egypt situation gave the interview a more serious tone. It was disappointing that the word 'pinhead' wasn't used once.

I don't think we needed both "America the Beautiful" and "The Star Spangled Banner", and our small crowd was chastising Fox for getting a 'Glee' singer in there. But face it, Lea Michele was much better than Christina Aguilera. Aguilera also got a little carried away and forgot a couple of the words.

Flyovers are always impressive. Too bad the roof was closed and the fans there couldn't see it.

CBS pointed out last year that the NFC had won six consecutive coin tosses. Not a mention of that from Fox when the NFC won its seventh straight this time.

During the game: Play-by-play man Joe Buck got in an early mention that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is from Chico, and played at Butte College before transferring to Cal. I took some classes at Butte while attending Chico State, so I have something in common with a Super Bowl MVP.

Favorite crowd shot--John Madden sitting next to George W. Bush, but not talking to him, instead sending a text (Do you think he says "boom" when he presses send?)...immediately followed by worst crowd shot--Alex Rodriguez and galpal Cameron Diaz, Diaz feeding him popcorn. Ewww.

Did you notice when they took all those injured Packers to the locker room? It looked like they had to walk through a restaurant before they got to the elevator. Yes, it's a billion-dollar stadium.

The halftime show was pretty good, but I guess I'm reaching old-fogeyhood. Give me The Who, Springsteen or Paul McCartney. It was also dinner time, so I missed a lot of it.

It's easy to criticize analysts for stating the obvious, but it was comical when Troy Aikman observed that the Packers would prefer to score a touchdown (rather than a field goal) when the game was 28-25. Even the dogs were saying "duh".

Postgame: Fox mentioned that Aaron Rodgers has topped his Green Bay predecessor Brett Favre. Each now have won a Super Bowl, but Rodgers also won MVP. The network didn't tell us the MVP in Favre's 1997 Super Bowl win was Desmond Howard.

Pet peeve (and they all do it), but Fox's Curt Menafee saying, "Congratulations to Aaron Rodgers for being the Most Valuable Player." Curt, you are a reporter, just telling us that Rodgers is the MVP would suffice.

Commercials: Favorites--the first Dorito's commercial with the Pug running for the closed glass door... the Volkswagen spot with the kid dressed up as Darth Vader...the Chevy truck as Lassie, honking to tell the owner that Timmy is trapped in a well... the Brisk iced tea ad featuring an animated Eminem... the Best Buy spot with Ozzy Osbourne and Justin Bieber...the NFL promo featuring footage of classic TV sitcoms (at least Betty White got a couple seconds of screen time).

Worst--the second Dorito's ad where the guy loves the crumbs so much he sucks a guy's fingers, and sniffs another guy's pants. The woman sitting next to me (a 35-year old lawyer) turned away from the TV in horror as if she just witnessed a traffic accident. Now that was funny.

Last year's Betty White-Abe Vigoda Snickers spot was better, but Rosanne Barr getting clobbered with a log was hilarious. Especially if you remember her singing the national anthem at a Padres game one year (she was booed mercilessly and then spat at the crowd). A whiny Richard Lewis? That was kinda awesome too.

I didn't think it would be, but the "to be continued" Budweiser ad was worth the wait...The Coca-Cola ad with the two border guards out in the desert would have been much funnier in 1980... Where did groupon.com dig up Timothy Hutton?

Why would they have Kim Kardashian do a shoe ad? Trust me, no one at the gathering, neither male nor female, was looking at her feet.