Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.
That was one hell of a Super Bowl. We are so spoiled right now; just about every Super Bowl in the last 10 years has been great, and this one … man, I don’t even know where to start.
The Ravens dominate, go up 28-6. Then the power, inexplicably, goes out at the SuperDome in New Orleans. Thirty-five minute delay. Then the 49ers roar back into the game, and the Baltimore D looks totally gassed, and Niners QB Colin Kaepernick looks like he’s writing the greatest comeback story in Super Bowl history.
Then the Ravens hang on with a fantastic goal-line stand at the end (and no, it wasn’t a hold on 4th down; a good no call by the refs, methinks) and finally after four hours the millions watching on TV exhale.
This is why the NFL can’t be killed. No matter how many concussions are doled out, how many lawsuits are brought by old players who are in unspeakable pain and agony playing the sport they loved… this is why the NFL endures. Because it gives us drama like this.
Some quick-hit thoughts on the game, the commercials, and the announcers who talked about it all:
— The blackout in the third quarter was bizarre. Did someone from the 49ers pull the plug to stop the bleeding on the field? Pretty embarrassing for the NFL, no matter how it happened. Just a totally different game when play resumed. (Best Tweet about it? From @NealPollack: “This time, it’s the rich people trapped in the Superdome.”
— Joe Flacco, the pride of the University of Delaware! I’m a very proud alum today, after our most famous recent athlete put on a dazzling show in the Super Bowl. Three first-half touchdowns, one prettier than the next. Man he has such a great arm. Representing Blue Hens on the world stage; way to go Joe. (Fun fact: in the last 5 years my little school has had a vice-president, a Nobel Prize winner, and a Super Bowl winning QB.)
— Kaepernick is just sensational. As bad as he played in the first half, he showed why he’s going to be so special in the 2nd half. Can’t believe on that last drive the Niners didn’t call a play for him to run it in.
— I thought the Sandy Hook Elementary School choir singing “America The Beautiful” with Jennifer Hudson before the game was just beautiful.
— Beyonce at halftime: I mean, wow. She looked phenomenal (someone Tweeted that all of America was rooting for a wardrobe malfunction; count me in on that), and sounded phenomenal. The computerized graphics were fabulous, and the woman just brought so much energy and flash to her performance. For my money, one of the best Super Bowl halftime productions ever.
— On the commercials, several really good ones stood out for me and the crew watching the game: The Taco Bell ad, with the old people partying and “We Are Young” in Spanish playing in the background, was awesome.
We also loved the Audi commercial with the kid who kisses the dream girl at the prom, then drives home happily with a black eye, and the Doritos ad with the fathers all playing dress-up in princess costumes was cute, too.
And the Oprah Jeep commercial tribute to our soldiers was pretty terrific and tear-inducting
But the top commercials, to me, were the Tide “Joe Montana Stain” commercial (above); hilarious…
and the Budweiser Clydesdale Farmer ad, which was moving and beautiful and made up for the two earlier crappy Bud commercials…
— Commercials we didn’t like: The GoDaddy.com ad was tame (for them) and the Budweiser “Black Label” ads seemed lame; the Psy “Pistachios” ad was incredibly stupid (your 15 minutes are up, pal).
— On the broadcast side, I thought Phil Simms and Jim Nantz did OK; although they seemed to have no idea how or why that 2nd-quarter brawl broke out between the teams, then they barely showed a replay of it. And they both talked way too much.
— Here’s something I thought of a few times during the game: Seven years ago, the Louisiana Superdome was just about destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. All the experts said the building was done hosting football, hosting anything. It was a shelter for thousands of people whose lives had been destroyed.
And now, it’s once again a shining sports cathedral. Made me happy to see the SuperDome shine again.
**Finally today, two things I love most combined again last week: Joe Posnanski writing comedy, and him writing comedy about a ridiculous infomercial. Never fails to crack me up. This time, he takes on the WaxVac (above), a needless product designed to vacuum-suck wax out of your ears.
The reaction of the guy who screams “Oww!” is just priceless.