Though I really enjoy (and used to play) ice hockey, and enjoy soccer and baseball tremendously, I'm not a huge sports fan. I don't really live or die when teams win or lose, and until recently, I couldn't stand football.
That all changed when I got HDTV. I can't quantify why, but football went from something I just didn't understand to something I felt excited to watch and really enjoyed. Unless someone is playing against the Cowboys, I don't really have a team to cheer for, so I prefer close, hard-fought, exciting games. Games in extreme conditions, especially snow and ice, are also highly regarded.
For this year's superbowl, I didn't really have an emotional investment in either team. Yeah, I get the Payton Manning thing, and who of my generation doesn't remember the Superbowl Shuffle, but I was just hoping for a close, hard-fought, exciting game.
Also, because it was the superbowl, I was hoping for some entertaining commercials, as well.
Man, was I disappointed on all counts. I find turnovers and fumbles to be the opposite of exciting (unless they're made by the Cowboys, in which case they are the equivalent of finding twenty dollars in my pants after they've been washed) and though the game was close until the half, it was pretty clear to me, in my entirely uninformed opinion, that the Colts were just a better all-around team.
But let's talk about the commercials, which media seems to make a really big deal out of hyping up every year: what a pile of crap they were!
I can think of
three four* that made any impression on me at all:
1. Rock, Paper, Scissors. Very funny.(Incidentally, I wonder what sort of deal SAG has worked out for these commercials being featured and replayed online? One of the big concerns actors have with commercials is getting over exposed by one popular spot and losing work on other spots as a result of it, so those actors in very successful commercials typically get good residuals to make up for the new work they're not getting; I wonder how SAG has addressed this with regard to online reuse? When I negotiated for SAG, the producers were real shitcocks about online stuff.)
2. The Garmin one with the Japanese monster movie theme. Very clever.
3. The Snickers thing. I didn't see that coming, and it made me laugh.
4. KFed. I hate to admit it, but I laughed very hard at this one.
Around the end of the third quarter, I observed that I really missed the dot com era, when creative people had stupid amounts of money to spend on creatively risky commercials that didn't care if they offended anyone, or were just too silly or outlandish. You know what I wanted to see? Edgy commercials, and instead I saw commercials that were boring, bland, "safe" and predictable. Why do advertising executives think talking animals and computer graphics are clever? The "user generated" commercials seemed as uncreative as the "ad agency generated" ones, which really disappointed me.
I'm happy for Peyton Manning; he seems like one of those guys who always gets nominated and never wins, but I didn't enjoy the game as much as I enjoyed some of the playoff games.
So all you football fans out there: what did you think? And are any of you going to watch the Pro Bowl? That seems like the most useless all-star kind of game in professional sports to me.
* I missed the Robert Goulet spot, but just saw it at YouTube. I really liked it, because it's that absurd kind of silliness that appeals to me, but do the damn kids today know who Robert Goulet is? And this doesn't get included in the list, because I was so bored by the whole thing by the time this spot aired, I'd walked away from the TV for some reason. Probably to walk away from the TV.