Still recovering from that incredible, heart-stopping sporting event this weekend, that was hyped for weeks and was played in the New York area.
No, not the Super Bowl, silly; the Duke-Syracuse college basketball game Saturday night. What an unbelievable game that was, truly one of the five best regular season college hoops games I’ve ever seen. I could easily write 1,000 words on it, but there was that OTHER game this weekend that demands attention that I’m sure more of you are interested in …
Maybe it’s fitting that during a Super Bowl where so many of the commercials harkened back to the 1980s, the game itself was played like so many of the Super Bowls of that decade played out: Blowout, blowout, blowout.
What a miserable, hard-to-watch game if you weren’t a Seattle die-hard. The Denver Broncos failed to show up, and Peyton Manning’s legacy took a hit, and the Seattle Seahawks’ defense played ferociously, and it was never close after the first quarter.
That’s about all that needs to be said about the game itself, so let’s get on to the other, more interesting stuff Sunday night…
— The national anthem was stellar. Renee Fleming brought the goods.
— Bruno Mars was pretty terrific at halftime; I like his music but didn’t know if he could pull off a Super Bowl show. But from the clothes (I want one of those gold jackets) to the dancing, to the seamless transition to the Red Hot Chili Peppers (and man was that an odd pairing), Bruno was terrific.
— By the way, if we’re not allowed to see Janet Jackson’s nipple at the Super Bowl, why must we be subjected to Anthony Kiedis’ nipples?
— The commercials were pretty good, I thought, but definitely my favorite was the Radio Shack ad (below). When you put Alf, Hulk Hogan, Erik Estrada and Cliff Clavin all in the same ad, you’ve got magic!
I thought the Cheerios commercial was super-cute, the Coca-Cola commercial with the singing of “America The Beautiful” ad was beautiful and moving, and the Toyota Highlander commercials starring the always-awesome Muppets were great, too. Also liked the Turbo Tax ad at the beginning of the game.
— And oh yeah, the Budweiser puppy adoption one was fabulous.
— The commercials that stunk? I didn’t think the Tebow ones were that funny; the Bud Light “Ian Rapaport” one was only eh, and the Bruce Willis “hugging” ad was just creepy.
— Can’t believe Bob Dylan actually did a commercial. Never thought I’d see the day.
— One more thought on the game itself: Can’t remember a worse performance by a losing team. The Broncos offense, defense and special teams were all atrocious. How do you come out that flat and uninspired in the biggest game of your life?
— Loved the “Seinfeld” bit at the beginning of halftime; the whole 6-minute clip is much funnier, and can be seen here. “Newman!”
— Finally, really disappointed we didn’t get 20 degrees and snow for the first outdoor Super Bowl. I still think it was crazy to hold the Super Bowl outdoors in a cold-weather climate, but after today’s game went off without any weather issues, you know we’re going to have more.
**It’s pretty rare that a celebrity death makes my jaw drop and my wife runs into the room after hearing me scream “No!”
But when I heard that Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of the greatest actors of the last 20 years, died of a drug overdose at age 46, I couldn’t believe it.
The details of his death are awful: Hoffman was found with a needle in his arm and heroin lying in a bag nearby.
But I don’t want to focus on any of that today; I want to pay tribute to a fantastic actor and a great human being who always, always brought his best. Whether it was his iconic role as Lester Bangs in “Almost Famous,” his brilliance in all of P.T. Anderson’s movies, his spectacular job as a priest in “Doubt” (an underrated classic; see it if you haven’t), or his Oscar-winning portrayal of Truman Capote in “In Cold Blood,” Hoffman always stole every movie he was in.
He had a presence like few others, and I’m deeply saddened we’ll never get to see his acting brilliance again.