First, let’s get this straight. I’m a huge football fan. Super Bowl Sunday is one of my favorite days out of the year. Football. Wings. Drinking. The only thing that would make it better would be if my favorite team had actually made the big game. Sadly, though, they did not. And so, for the 18th time in my life, I sat through a game that has absolutely no bearing on my fandom. Only this time, I took notes. On everything but the game.
Commercial breaks during any other broadcast are the viewer’s free time. When Dennis Haysbert comes on telling you about Allstate, no matter how alluring you find his voice, those strong enough generally find their way to the fridge or to the bathroom, or just out of their seat to take a walk and stretch out. The Super Bowl sadistically denies you of this privilege. If you get up to empty your pounding bladder, you run the risk of missing the gem of the Super Bowl commercials, effectively alienating you from the following conversations about the bungee jumping dog who simultaneously bit a man in the crotch.
Luckily, if you actually left the couch this year, you didn’t miss much, unless you care to watch soft-core porn while sitting next to everyone on your floor. GoDaddy.com, famous for its racy commercials featuring Danica Patrick, set a new precedent for what to expect of commercials during the Super Bowl when they exposed 100 million people to a close up of an awkwardly intense make-out session between a beautiful blonde woman and a thirteen-year-old Jonah Hill.
The balance quickly shifted from immediately gratifying commercials meant for laughs to creepy, uncomfortable commercials that make you ask, “What the hell did I just witness?”
Car commercials showed how owning a Hyundai Sonata sends you on extravagant adventures, grants you a magical, blonde genie and fixes your marriage. A pistachio commercial featuring a certain Korean pop star made me wish the Mayans were right. Bud Light turned Stevie Wonder from a household icon into a maniacal super-villain. Color me superstitious, but cursing your buddy’s chair has got to have some ramifications in the demonic underworld that is apparently run by the very old, very blind 70s soul singer.
All hope for Super Bowl XLVII’s commercials seemed lost until The Rock came on the screen and started being The Rock, practically running through a warzone for a glass of milk. I also enjoyed Tracy Morgan coming on the screen and yelling at me about his sports drink or chicken nuggets or something. Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen nailed their commercial as well. Those two could be bantering about clubbing baby seals and it would put a smile on my face.
Halftime rolled around, and while Jim Harbaugh threw a temper tantrum in the locker room worse than a five-year-old girl on speed, Beyonce mystically appeared on stage. With her, my dorm’s common room was flooded with screaming girls like there were free cupcakes. Beyonce proceeded to take this opportunity to treat the Superdome like a strip club on Bourbon Street.
Soon she was joined by Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, reuniting the fabled Destiny’s Child. It seems like I’m the only one that would have rather seen Sean Paul walk on stage instead and sing his part to “Baby Boy.” Regardless, I’d rather spend the Super Bowl half time watching Beyonce do her thing as opposed to Tom Petty strumming the guitar. Sorry, Tom.
The Superdome staff threw a curveball at the audience when they blacked out half the stadium. Bold approach when being trusted with hosting the biggest event on national television. Comments and jokes were made about Ray Lewis turning violent in the dark confusion.
During the blackout, CBS displayed their incredible ability to fill time with mindless babbling. I don’t know why analysts can’t just admit that they have no idea what is in the minds of the coaches. The blackout confirmed what we all have always secretly thought: sports analysts are as useless as Alex Smith.
James Brown kept interrupting their dribble to send me down the sideline to listen to some guy I’ve never heard of tell me that he has no idea when the lights are coming back on. And not only that, I was sent down to two different sideline reporters to tell me that they both have no idea. Just have Shannon Sharpe try to string together a couple of intelligent sentences and explain to me that the lights will come on as soon as possible so that the announcers can get back to their riveting discussion on which type of AstroTurf is the best.
The game clock (eventually) hit zero and the Ravens were crowned Super Bowl XLVII champions. But the real champions are those who still get Jim and John Harbaugh confused. Those are the true Super Bowl fans, the ones who stick it out through blowouts and overtimes to see talking babies and the occasional wardrobe malfunction.