Too much food. Too much drink. Too much for Payton Manning to overcome. The Super Bowl is too much of everything and that’s why we love it so. It gives a whole new meaning to “wretched excess” but it’s a habit America shows no sign of kicking.
Watching a Super Bowl when there’s no vested interest in who wins or loses is unusual for me, but not wholly a bad thing. What did I care if the Saints or the Colts won? My team’s season ended over a month ago.
Contrary to my typically pro-Black sentiments, I wasn’t even pulling for Colts coach Jim Caldwell. While I wouldn’t have been unhappy to see the brother hoist the Lombardi Trophy over his head, it didn’t bother me to watch Sean Payton have that privilege because New Orleans is a chocolate city. Either way it was going to be a win-win situation.
Minus any emotional attachment all that was left was the game itself, the cavalcade of crappy commercials, the geezer rock n’ roll of The Who, and plenty of food and drink. In other words the best of everything and way too much of it.
The Game: The first half was hardly super. More like two heavyweights pawing, grappling and jabbing at each other probing for a weakness and looking for an opening. Though Peyton Manning and Drew Brees are more than capable of winding it up and flinging the ball down the field into the arms of a wide receiver zipping down the field, neither one of them dialed one up choosing instead to throw underneath the coverage to running backs and the tight end. As the first half closed with a 10-6 score, the Colts and Saints had avoided the big turnover but they also avoided any real excitement.
The second half…ahhh, now that was a different story. Coach Sean Payton called for an onside kick, the Saints recovered and the Colts were clearly stunned as the Saints went marching in for their first touchdown. The teams began to swap scores and it was beginning to look like whoever had the ball last might win this thing.
But then Manning had a brain fart of Brett Favre proportions and threw an interception that Saints cornerback plucked from the air and took it back the other way for six while Manning, bowled over by a block during the return, could only look on helplessly as Porter sealed the game and the team from The Big Easy had won their first Super Bowl in the team’s history.
Final assessment: Super Bowl XLIV captured the biggest viewing audience in television history. Some 106 million people watched a game that I’d give an “A” for hype, but just a “B-” for excitement. You can’t get much better than Santonio Holmes tip-toe catch to win last year’s Super Bowl and you sure didn’t have that kind of high drama in this game.
It was a good, not great Super Bowl. Now comes the long darkness where the NFL steps aside for the NBA and Major League Baseball. No professional sports league has a longer off-season that the NFL which is why nobody anticipates a new season like pro football fans.
The Halftime: With The Who following such geezer acts as The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and Prince, you kind of get the feeling the NFL is saying, “Don’t trust anyone under 50” when it comes to the halftime entertainment at The Super Bowl. Roger Daltrey can’t scream as loud and long on “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” but he’s still a great frontman with a helluva rock n’ roll voice. Pete Townsend is still all arms and legs and one of the most overrated guitarists ever to pick one up, but he can write a good song. Problem is he peaked on Who’s Next and it’s been downhill ever since. The revelation was Zak Starkey, Ringo’s son, bashing the shit out of his drum kit. He’s no Keith Moon, but he does have the advantage of not being dead. As for the rest of the touring band—who cares?
The Commercials: Some solid laughs. Some real clunkers. Same as every year. The Betty White and Abe Vigoda appearances in the Snickers ad made me forget how much I hate Snickers. Loved the Doritos one with the little brother telling his mom’s date, “Keep your hands off my mom and off my Doritos.” At least his priorities were in order. Got a giggle from Tracy Morgan and Stevie Wonder showing up in one commercial though I’m damned if I can remember what it was selling.
Though the Career Builder “Casual Friday gone too far” riff with a parade of pale White folks in their underwear was good, why CBS approved the Dockers ad with men parading around in their drawers as well was pure overkill. In light of the controversy not to air a gay dating site ad, the message seems to be tighty whiteys and suggested nudity are fine for a family audience. Two men kissing is out.
All n’ all, it was a good night spent with the family with plenty of food and drink on a cold February night. We followed up The Super Bowl by watching The Hurt Locker, but I’ll get to that in another post.
And how was your Super Bowl Sunday?