Monday, February 3, 2014

Super Bowl XLVIII

by Bill Holmes

In case you didn't hear, there was a football game on Sunday, February 2, 2014. It was held in New Jersey at MetLife Stadium. The stadium is about 10 miles from Central Park. More importantly it is only about eight miles from the hospital where I was born and about 6½ miles from my first home. This is Super Bowl XLVIII which is number 48 for you digital folks, 30 in hex and 110000 in binary.

I hope you got to bed early on Saturday night because the pregame show on ESPN started at 9:00 AM for the 5:30 PM game. ESPN had their regular lineup of buffoons plus several guest analysts. Everyone who works for ESPN had something to say about the game. OK, I'm guessing that was the lineup, I didn't really watch any of it. I can't stand that NFL gang on ESPN especially ring leader Chris Berman.

The official Fox pregame started at 1:00 PM. They had the regular guys, Howie, Michael and Jimmy along with moderator Curt. Terry Bradshaw was absent because his father died on Thursday. He was shown in some prerecorded segments. I didn't tune in until around 4:00 and there was some entertainment going on. Then there was an interview of Obama by Bill O'Reilly, what the hell was that? The POTUS predicted a 24-21 score but wouldn't pick a winner. He said the teams were too evenly matched. Oops, I'm sure the Republicans will jump on his error. I have to give Fox some credit. The pregame show was not overblown.

It was then time to turn the broadcast over to Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and the two sideline reporters, Pam Oliver and Erin Andrews. Just so we wouldn't be confused, this part of the broadcast was called Pre-Kickoff, not a continuation of the pregame show. Not much to report here. Opera singer Renee Fleming did an outstanding job on the National Anthem and the flyover by the helicopters was nice. For all the worry about the weather in New York City (or northern New Jersey) it was not a problem. The temperature at kickoff was 51°. That's considerably warmer than the 30° it was at my place. What's the fun of that? I was hoping for about three feet of snow. In other news, apparently NJ governor Chris Christie didn't interfere with traffic on the George Washington Bridge.

A funny moment occurred during the coin toss. Two old Super Bowl QB's, Joe Namath and Phil Simms, were the honorary tossers/captains. Namath did the actual flip. Apparently his adrenalin was pumping because as soon as he got the coin he flipped it. Unfortunately, Seattle had not called the toss. The referee made a great save and caught the coin. Namath gathered himself and redid the toss. Seattle won, deferred and kicked off to the Broncos.

That was the beginning of the end for Denver. On the first play from scrimmage they snapped the ball into their end zone for a safety. The Seahawks ran off 36 straight points before the Broncos finally scored with 00:03 left in the third quarter. There is really not much to say about the game. Seattle completely dominated every phase of the game. Although the Broncos only trailed in total yards by 35 yards, they also had four turnovers and gave up an 87 yard kickoff return for a TD. Peyton Manning never had a chance, he was under pressure all game and his receivers were covered. Score at halftime Seattle 22 Denver 0. 

Let's move on to halftime. I thought the graphics introducing the halftime show were good. I thoroughly enjoyed the Bruno Mars parts and could have done without the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Bruno has talent and a lot of energy. He's an entertainer. I detected a little James Brown in his performance. On the other hand, the Chili Peppers don't own any shirts and yell a lot.

The second half of the football game was more of the same although the Broncos did finally manage to score with three seconds left in the third quarter when the Seahawks were ahead by 36 points. Final score was 43-8. Very suspenseful. Denver was favored by 2½ and the over/under was 47½ points. I don't think the Broncos quite covered the spread and OVER won.

Doberhuahua, an unfortunate cross breed
So, how about the other reason people watch the Super Bowl, the commercials. I thought dit was a very mediocre lineup this year. There were a couple of OK ads but nothing outstanding. The Budweiser puppy/Clydesdale one was good but it had already been on the internet for a few days. Some others were funny or clever. I liked the Wonderful Pistachios - Wonderful Colbert one, the Doberhuahua ad for Audi was funny as were the Full House - Dannon and Sienfeld commercials. In the not terrible category were the Tim Tebow/T-Mobile and Doritos/Mastiff ads. There were a few that confused me and/or made no sense for the product. All in all a disappointing year for commercials as well as the game.

The great Peyton Manning is now 1-2 in Super Bowls and still trails his baby brother Eli in championship rings. As a reminder, the great Peyton was 0-4 against the Florida Gators when he was the QB at Tennessee. In the Super Bowl, Manning got to watch Gator Percy Harvin return a kickoff for a TD. While Peyton's overall statistics are very impressive, he has not performed that well in big games.  

Thankfully after the game Erin Andrews asked Denver coach John Fox how he felt. Despite the urge to probably say "like shit", he said disappointed. Why do the networks insist on these post-game interviews with the losers?

I think we are now officially done with the 2013 football season. It is time to get ready for some real sports, the 2014 baseball season. High schools, colleges and pros are all either practicing or soon will be. I guess we'll have to also find some time for March Madness.



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