Last week saw the annual observance of one of the holiest and most revered days of the year – and I’m not referring to Groundhog Day (about which someone actually said this year, “Oh, they named a holiday after the movie!”).
No. The special annual ritual to which I am referring is the hallowed Sunday in February that saw the celebration that has become known as Super Bowl XLMCHammer. Or Super Bowl XLIV, if you prefer. Or maybe Who-per Bowl is even more fitting, as in Who Dat beats Hoosiers to the sounds of the Who. Hoo boy.
At least the game was good. Drew Brees and the New Orleans NFL franchise (Geaux Saints!) managed to do what they did to Minnesota two weeks before. Before I post my opinion here, I beg of you Saints fans not to shoot me (besides, I don’t taste good with rice). Minnesota (with an incredible year from Brett Favre) and Indianapolis (with perhaps the best-ever Peyton Manning) were both superior teams to New Orleans.
Minnesota should have beaten the Saints, and very nearly did. But as we all know, superiority does not always win Super Bowls (case in point: the Baltimore Colts’ loss to the New York Jets and Broadway Joe Namath in Miami, 1969).
In the NFL, especially on Super Sunday, knowing when opportunity knocks (and seizing that opportunity) will defeat superior teams and win championships. Saints cornerback Tracy Porter saw just that opportunity when he recognized the play the Colts were running, stepped in, and took an intercepted Manning pass all the way to the end zone. And so we hail the Champion Saints.
I’m not sure what happened to the commercials this year. It’s as if someone told most of the advertising agencies’ creative teams to put out stuff that just sucked. There were a few good moments, like the Snickers ad featuring Betty White and Abe Vigoda. My favorite spot wasn’t even a commercial per se, but rather the CBS network promo for David Letterman with Oprah Winfrey and Jay Leno. That was funny.
Other decent spots were the Punxsutawney Polamalu commercial for TruTV,
http://www.CareerBuilders.com’s Casual Fridays spot, and Dr. Pepper’s Mini-Kiss ad. And it was nice seeing the Griswolds’ return in the HomeAway.com commercial. The Doritos eater messed with the wrong dog – although if the dog could remove the bark-suppression collar without the evolutionary benefit of opposable thumbs, then how come the human Doritos eater couldn’t? Brett Favre’s 2020 MVP spot for Hyundai was almost too real to be seen as a goof. And the Google spot about the budding relationship with the Parisian girl, while not overtly funny, was most certainly creative.
Some commercials just kept recycling ideas that were funny in previous Super Bowls, but had run out of steam by 2010. The E*Trade talking babies need a new formula. This year’s Budweiser Clydesdale ad really “steered” in the wrong direction. And though many of us never tire of seeing Danica Patrick and the GoDaddy girls, the concept is not nearly as beautiful these days (and the “unrated” web-only content barely reaches PG standards).
How many of you got real tired of seeing and hearing puppet chickens screaming? Yeah, maybe it will take a lot of eggs to treat everyone to a free Denny’s breakfast, and maybe the chickens have some work ahead. What would have been really funny, however, would to have put those same screaming chickens in a commercial for a different restaurant. The spot could have been narrated like this: “In these fowl times, only one man has the power to strike fear into the hearts – and drumsticks and wings – of chickens everywhere: the Colonel.” (Cue screaming chickens.) Now that would have been funny.
Other bombs include Mike Ditka as hip-hop producer for Boost Mobile, and the oh-so-lame Simpsons ad for Coke. Pathetic.
The award for the worst 2010 Super Bowl ad, however, has to go to the genius creative team who cooked up the ad for the US Census. They must have been smoking some really bad stuff to come up with a commercial that was a total waste of $2.5 million in taxpayer dollars (plus production costs). The ad agency that created that stinker should be disbanded and its creative team exiled to Antarctica. The sad part is, they still got paid. On behalf of the taxpayers of the United States of America, I want my money back.
Is it too much to ask for a good game and good commercials?