It's true. None of us woke up Sunday morning at 6am with I've Got You Babe playing on our radios. We didn't go downstairs, have a cup of coffee, walk outside, step in an ice puddle, and then head over to see a weather prediction from a furry rodent. It was Groundhog Day, but more importantly for most of America, there was a big football game to watch.
Some people turned on the television six hours before kickoff, and actually watched a pregame show. Some people went to the store and bought enough food to feed an army, for a party that was going to be happening later. Some got out their 49ers hats and jerseys, and some put on their Chiefs gear, and some, who may have been fans of other teams, still wore items that still represented the National Football League.
Super Bowl Sunday is so important, those who don't even care about football still watch the game. The halftime show is extra-special, and, of course, even the commercials are important. Tide had recurring short ads that said it was okay to wash out that stain later. Jonah Hill was late to a party with Marty Scorcese, but it was all okay after he had a Coca Cola energy drink. Ellen Degeneres and Portia DeRossi showed us what life was like before Alexa, and Tom Brady made an important announcement, saying how much he liked Hulu.
There were some cool moments before kickoff. The 100 year-old veterans presenting the coin to culminate the NFL's 100th season, and the kid that ran in the football and presented it to the refs. In between all of that stuff, though, there was a football game.
It was a game that was tied at halftime, saw San Francisco lead 20-10 after the third quarter, and then Kansas City scoring three touchdowns in the fourth period to win 31-20. For the 49ers, it was their second Super Bowl loss in a row (Baltimore in 2013) after winning five titles, but for the Chiefs, it was their first championship in 50 years. Head coach Andy Reid had 221 victories in his career, but never the big one. Win number 222 was his first time to lift the Super Bowl trophy.
Halftime was interesting. We know 50 year-old Jennifer Lopez has a nice body, and Shakira, celebrating her 43rd birthday (yes, she's a ground hog), can shake it with the best of them. They can dance, and they can sing, but it was difficult to determine their target audience. Us middle-aged white guys only knew a couple of the songs, and the pole dancing generated some less-than-flattering comments on social media. It was fun to watch, though.
Having nothing to do with football, about 12-hundred miles away, Punxsutawney Phil, the famous weather-predicting groundhog, failed to see his shadow. That's a good thing, though. It means an early spring. Spring means baseball, but as far as the San Francisco 49ers are concerned, Groundhog Day could mean a trip to the Super Bowl again. And again and again, until they get it right. Something they've done a few times before.
Commercials: Favorite—The WalMart delivery service spot in the first quarter featuring every sci-fi character from Star Trek to Star Wars, Back to the Future, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, and even the Martians from When Mars Attacks... Best commercial break—mid third quarter. The Bud Light Seltzer spot where he trashes the store because his brain can't decide what to buy, the Little Caesar's 'Best thing since sliced bread' spot, followed by the Doritos dance duel with Sam Elliot and Lil Nas X (If I didn't watch the Grammys, I wouldn't have known who he was)... Honorable mention. Late fourth quarter. The Jeep ad with Bill Murray from Groundhog Day. Loved it, but was hoping we'd see Andie McDowell under the covers with him.
I've seen this movie before: For some reason, according to my TV listings, Groundhog Day wasn't on television on Sunday. Usually, it's on repeatedly on USA Network, Comedy Central, or one of those channels. It's funny to me that the term 'Groundhog Day' actually has taken a new meaning from that movie. It means more about the same thing happening over and over again, rather than anything to do with the weather.
Burning Bush League: Much was made ahead of the Australian Open tennis championships about the wildfires, and whether they should cancel the tournament, or reduce the field. It turned out that for the most part, the weather was great. Except for a couple of days this past week, it was unseasonably cool, and no match had to be moved or postponed because of smoke... Not sure if it's a quirk in the calendar, or a new schedule, but the Open started a week later this year. It's ending on Super Bowl Sunday, which is something that used to happen when the big football game is played in January. Maybe it's a permanent thing.
All I owe, I owe Iowa: Strange political note. At 10pm Pacific Time, midnight in Iowa, and 1am on the east coast, there are no results from the Iowa caucuses. The Democratic party says there are some 'inconsistencies', and have not released any numbers. CNN and the other cable networks now know how we in small town radio feel when the polls close at 8, and we're still waiting for a website to show numbers at 10:30, while talking on the air but saying nothing all night. More importantly, this is either a very strange way to kick off the political season, or, perhaps, a disappointing and frustrating way to continue it.
Thanks to all who sent birthday wishes. I was going to go to Lake Tahoe to watch the game, but it snowed there and I had to work Monday, so I stayed home.