Super Bowl Over: Bring On Baseball
February 4, 2013

Super Bowl XLVII is in the books. Harbaugh beat Harbaugh, and for the first time in the entire history of the National Football League, the San Francisco 49ers are Super Bowl losers. I'm happy about that, even though the Baltimore Ravens had to hang to pick up their 34-31 victory. I'm not real thrilled about the Ravens either, but I think everyone could take something enjoyable from it. It was a good game, and from the northern California perspective, the Niners are improved, and wait until next year.

For me, I say wait until next week. Pitchers and catchers will start to report for spring training, and I get to begin the process of trying to figure out who makes up the infield for the Oakland A's this year, and things of that nature. Hey, it may sound weird, but it's one of my favorite things. I'll see some rosters and say to myself, “How did that team get that guy?” Oh yeah, the trade. I remember. Stuff like that.

Lots of mental notes about Super Bowl Sunday. Getting them into print has taken awhile, but here they are...

Pregame: Did we have to have the Sandy Hook Elementary kids AND Jennifer Hudson sing America the Beautiful, AND Alicia Keys sing (a 2 minute, 44 second version of) the Star Spangled Banner? The kids and a faster-paced Keys doing one song would have more than sufficed. We weren't paying attention to the coin toss, and I didn't realize the newly-elected Hall-of-Famers were the ones doing it. Nice.

The game itself: I have to admit that when the game started, I was more interested in my Super Bowl pool numbers instead of the actual game. I had ten squares, but not very good ones. I didn't win any money. I quickly became comfortable with the idea of a Baltimore blowout, especially after the Jacoby Jones touchdown that made it 21-3. The 109-yard (which looked about 107) kickoff to start the second half was game over. At least I thought so at the time...I sat with one current and one retired football coach, so there was a lot of discussion of strategy in the game's final minutes. They both agreed that Baltimore taking that safety was a good idea.

A now, a word from our sponsor: The commercials seemed largely underwhelming to me. I could stomach the ad once, but they aired it again during the post-game. It was rated the worst by one report....Movie ads shouldn't be allowed. There is nothing special (good or bad) about them...Favorites at the party I attended were the M and Ms ad, followed immediately by the Audi spot with the kid going to the prom. And of course the baby foal-turned-Clydesdale Budweiser ad. I think I read that the Volkswagen ad with the guy and the Jamaican accent was racist. I thought it was funny. Some of my other favorites included the Amy Poehler Best Buy ad, the Taco Bell spot where the old people sneak out of the retirement home, and the Doritos commercial with the goats. Many liked the Paul Harvey-narrated Dodge ad. It was good, but I just kept wondering where they were going with it. We had a seven year old in attendance. He loved the Gangnam Style pistachio ad. And even though I've never liked the 49ers, I loved the Joe Montana stain Tide commercial. I could so see that happening for real.

Halftime: I enjoyed the Beyonce show, but I didn't really know any of her songs. I had heard she wasn't going to do 'Single Ladies', and I'm glad she did, otherwise I would have been completely clueless. I'm sure after her inauguration debacle, she wasn't lip-synching. I also hope she had nothing to do with the power outage. I probably fit more in the geezers of rock category, but looking at Beyonce is much better than the Who, Rolling Stones, or Tom Petty.

Delays, delays. I hate delays: I was reading today that the 34-minute delay during the third quarter could cost New Orleans from hosting the Super Bowl again. I don't think this is true, and why should it be? One delay in 47 years I think is manageable. Let it go...As a play-by-play guy, I thought it was funny that when they came back from the first break, the sideline reporters did all the talking, and we heard nothing from lead announcer Jim Nantz. I had a mental picture of him frantically running around the booth trying to get the equipment to work. My boss, who also does play-by-play, told me he was visualizing the same thing. I know at the network level, they have other people to do that, but still.

Postgame: Did CBS ever present the MVP award? I saw Joe Flacco accept the Lombardi trophy, but I must have missed it if they said he was MVP. Most of us thought it should have been Jones. And why to they have that egg-like, pod, podium thingie? I was expecting Lady Gaga to appear out of it.

On to baseball: There's a three-week hole in the sports calendar (especially with the less-than-scintillating season the Lakers are having) until spring training games start...The Oakland A's decided to wait until the Niners were done to announce a trade. They acquired infielder Jed Lowrie from Houston today, but included catcher Max Stassi in the deal. Stassi, the former Yuba City High and Gold Sox product, may have a faster track to the big leagues with the Astros, but it was a bummer to see him moved.

And: Thanks to all for the birthday wishes. If you missed it, the groundhog didn't see a shadow. That means an early spring.

More important: Friday was the tenth anniversary of the space shuttle Columbia explosion, and on the eve of that anniversary, it was reported that NASA officials on the ground knew something was wrong with the shuttle's heat shield, and elected not to tell the astronauts, fearing it “would worry them.” Seven people died in that explosion, and no one ever has ever had to face criminal or other charges. The American space program went from one of pride, integrity, and knowhow, to shortcuts and people shrugging their shoulders. Ten years later, someone has still got to fry for this.

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