Bad weather usually isn’t a problem for the Super Bowl since the game is always played either in a dome or in some fabulously, and famously, sunny locale. It’s kind of a special treat for me in the middle of a Minnesota winter — I get to watch football and see some nice weather. This year, however, the weather was so bad that it actually started to affect me the day before the game.
Regular readers know that I was looking forward to watching the game on the new High-Def TV I bought last week. I had everything set up and was just waiting for the DirecTV guy to stop by and swap out my standard dish for the HD; the appointment was for Saturday morning. Well, the “high” temperatures in Minnesota the last couple of days were well-below zero with windchills in the area of -40 F. Can you believe DirecTV wouldn’t send someone out to clamber around on my roof and handle stiff coaxial cables? Wimps. Must be some Texas company handling installation for them.
So, no HD for the SB. Ok, I figured, it’ll be “Old School” — just like, say, last week! The new TV is bigger and has a very nice picture even without the HD feed. Bring on the game! Lo, and behold, I turn the TV on around 4:30 o’clock (I don’t have the patience for a lot of the pre-game hoopla and “analysis”) and it’s pouring rain. Not only is the field wet, but so are the players and … the camera lenses! It was foggy as well, making it look as if the game was being played as a weird dream sequence out of a movie. The play-by-play could have been handled by SpongeBob and Patrick from the Bikini Bottom Bowl. The action itself, through the wet and smeary camera lenses, looked as if it had been recorded on an old VCR — and then dubbed off to the eighth generation before being broadcast. Oh well, at least those famous Super Bowl commercials will be sharp.
Unfortunately, the game wasn’t the only thing watered down this year as the commercial offerings were pretty mediocre overall. There were a couple that were funny enough or somewhat interesting but the majority of them were like Rex Grossman — clumsy and trying-too-hard under the pressure. I liked the one with the animals in a pet store trying to get online with a (real) mouse, though I had trouble remembering later who the advertiser was and what I was supposed to be going online for. The Bud Light “Rock, Paper, Scissors” ad where a guy hits his opponent with a real rock was worth a short, hard laugh that immediately after made me feel a little bad.
The GM ad with the fired robot was too creepy and the Snickers “kiss” commercial was obviously contrived for shock value with a clumsy and embarrassing (there’s Rex again!) effort to be funny at the end. I came in late to the commercial where the guy had the beard comb-over, cut-offs and roller skates and never did figure out who or what was being advertised there. Also in the “almost memorable” category was “Connectile Disfunction” commercial for some wireless card provider, parodying ED commercials. I got so distracted wondering who you’re supposed to call if your hard-drive won’t shut off after four hours that I didn’t notice who the advertiser was.
The Garmin “Maposaurus” ad with the paper map morphing into a giant Godzilla type monster that has to be defeated by a Garmin Power-Ranger-Wannabe was visually interesting, but it reminded me too much of the current AMP commercial where a slacker creative-dude — wired on AMP and short on sleep — sees his wadded up concepts come to life out of the trash can. It’s not good when your commercial makes the viewer think of someone else’s commercial —
and kids, energy drinks are not a substitute for proper rest. I did like the Spokes-Lions for Taco Bell, though I’m about to propose a moratorium on talking animal advertisements as the novelty and quality of these has definitely worn off (abundantly demonstrated by all the other talking animal ads yesterday). From past experience, I expect that Taco Bell will be getting a “cease and desist” from Dreyfus Funds any minute now.
Otherwise, I thought the best commercial was Coke’s makeover of Grand Theft Auto for being funny and creative. I will also give special recognition to Revlon’s Colorist commercial; not because it was particularly well done, but because it roused the Mall Diva (herself a professional Colorist) from her stupor in the corner of the couch. She’s normally quite effervescent but yesterday she pretty much stayed curled up in a little ball until that commercial brought her up snorting and sputtering (almost as good as making tortellini come out of her nose).
The half-time show was okay, and made more interesting by the drama of wondering if one of Prince’s back up dancers (who were wearing “wrist-sweaters”, btw) would slip and go flying off of the wet stage. Prince was in good form and paid a Black History Month homage to previous stars such as Ike & Tina Turner (singing “Proud Mary”) and Jimi Hendrix (“All Along the Watch Tower”) — and then pulling off his “doo-rag” to reveal Little Richard’s hair.
Oh well, at least I can start looking forward to next year’s game. Hopefully the DirecTV installer will find weather to his liking by then.