Lawdy, lawdy, lawdy, that was one damn fine Super Bowl game played Sunday night.
I’ve seen lots of close Super Bowls in my life: Giants-Bills, Titans-Rams, Cardinals-Steelers, and many more. I’ve seen Super Bowls that were better played, that maybe had greater individual performances.
But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more exciting Super Bowl than the one that was played Sunday night. Every few minutes something thrilling happened. The losing quarterback Sunday, a young whippersnapper named Tom Brady, threw for 505 yards, no interceptions, and still lost.
There were so many twists and turns in this game, and so little defense being played, that I was still certain, even down eight points with less than a minute left, that Brady and New England would come back and win.
But the Evil Empire fell short, and I know many, many long-suffering Philly fans who are delirious with joy today (and probably a little drunk).
Some rambling thoughts from my tired brain about the game, and then, some thoughts on the commercials and young Mr. Timberlake’s halftime performance.
— Nick Foles. I mean, what can you say? Guy had a great start to his career, then did bubkes for a few seasons and looked to be a career backup. Then, Eagles starter Carson Wentz gets hurt, Foles comes in and plays as well as anyone can in the playoffs. Some of the throws he made Sunday were Elway or Marino-like. Tremendous game at exactly the right time.
— And now, of course, someone like my Jets or the Browns will wildly overpay him to be their starter next year, and he’ll go back to being stinky.
— The Eagles’ play-calling was sensational, especially the wacky option pass caught by Foles in the end zone at the end of the first half. Coach Doug Pederson knew that to beat the Patriots you gotta be ballsy and always go for touchdowns. I was actually really surprised that in the final two minutes, up by five, he didn’t throw the ball on 3rd down to try to get a first down and end the game, not letting Brady get the ball back. It worked out, but wow, that was a long final minute.
— For an entirely different football perspective today, I highly encourage you to read this moving essay by Emily Kelly, wife of former NFL safety Rob Kelly, who now suffers from serious brain damage caused by playing football. I read stuff like this and I wonder, how can any parent let their kid play tackle football??
**OK, on to the REAL reason so many people who aren’t sports fans watch the Super Bowl: The commercials. I thought this was a pretty uninspired year for ads; honestly only two or three were good, I thought.
The best was from the NFL, with New York Giants stars Odell Beckham Jr. and Eli Manning (see, Patriots fans? That should’ve been a sign it wasn’t your night.) doing a hilarious dancing routine to the song from “Dirty Dancing.”
The rest? Meh. The Amazon “Alexa loses her voice” commercial was decent. But mostly I thought the ads were so-so.
That’s OK; some years the Super Bowl itself is horrible that the commercials are all we have to look forward to. This year, the game was sensational.
— Lots of people on these here Internets were super mad about Justin Timberlake’s halftime performance, what with the whole “singing with Prince” thing, and what not. I dunno, I kind of liked JT here. He certainly did some different things, going into the stands, having the set be different at least four or five times. And him singing “I Would Die 4 U” with Prince was pretty cool.
Plus, he ended with “Can’t Stop This Feeling,” which thanks the our 3-year-old’s obsession with it, is a song we’ve heard dozens of times in our house. And I really do like it.
So I say good job, JT. Ignore the haters.
**Finally today, it’s rare I write about a TV show the day after it airs, but I love “This Is Us” and since they’ve been building toward this episode showing how Jack died for two years, I felt like I had to watch it live.
So as a warning, if you haven’t seen Sunday night’s episode, STOP READING NOW, AND COME BACK AFTER YOU WATCH IT.
Thank you. For the rest of us, I thought it was a solid episode, Mandy Moore continues to stun me with how good of an actress she is, and I’m so relieved that finally, finally, finally maybe we can move on from the incredible storyline of how Jack died, and onto more interesting stuff.
I mean, man oh man they have dragged out this man’s death for two seasons, and every single thing that happens in the show seems to always trace back to his death. Look, I get it, he was the greatest man in the history of the world, but can we tell some other stories now too, please? Thank you.
As always Sterling K. Brown’s Randall was the best part of the show; I thought the beautiful twist with the foster child and family being a grown-up Tess’ placement, and not a placement into the Pearson house, was a fabulous touch.
Kate’s speech to Toby (who I love) was also fantastic; poor dude never can measure up to her father but it seems Kate may finally be starting to give him his due.
I like “This Is Us,” a lot, I just hope we’re done being hit over the head with Jack’s death and can move on to other things. Like, for example, Kevin finally being forced to grow up, Toby and Kate’s wedding, and the continuing adventures of Randall as building super. All of those would be better than a 483rd reminder that Jack Pearson was a God among men.