Monday, February 8, 2010

Yes, I know this is an international affairs blog, but sometimes you just have to talk about more important things - in this case, football. So here are a few quick slants about the big game last night.

  • As a Pats fan, I enjoyed seeing Peyton Manning blow the game. Over the years I've grudgingly come to respect him, drawn by his undeniably brilliant play and his shockingly funny commercials. Despite that, it was a nice dose of schadenfreude to see him choke when it mattered most.
  • As a football fan, I enjoyed seeing Phil Simms blow the most crucial moment of the game. As the Colts were driving, he cautioned New Orleans about their defense, advising them not to blitz lest they give Peyton an opportunity. No sooner had he finished speaking than the Saints blitzed and Manning threw the pick-6 that iced the game. Now I have nothing against Phil Simms personally, but the lack of quality NFL commentators is a neglected problem. Every broadcast team (with the exception of Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden) this season has been atrocious. When a grad student with only intramural flag football experience (Flipmode Squad - '05 CHAMPS) offers more insight than the guy in the booth, something is wrong...
  • As a fan of The Who, I had mixed emotions about seeing them up on stage at halftime. They started rough but hit their stride quickly, and I thought actually sounded pretty good for most of their set. They looked, however, like rejected extras from an Austin Powers movie. Someone else has probably made this observation already, but there is something ironic about the band that proclaimed "I hope I die before I get old" performing at the Super Bowl in their mid-60s.
  • Finally, as a fan (like all of us) of the Super Bowl commercials, I was underwhelmed. There were a few that made me chuckle, like Stevie Wonder punching Tracey Morgan or the Doritos samurai warrior, but most were just downright lame. I'm not the type who is easily offended, especially in this context where humor and envelope-pushing are de rigueur, but some of them were trying so hard to be edgy that they went overboard and ended up pathetic. The ad-makers did manage to offend me, although it was because of their pitiful products, not their content.
  • One shining moment of comedy that fell through the cracks, however, was this FloTV spot with Jim Nantz happily bobbing his head in the background - check him out around the 0:15 mark. The rest of the spot was unimpressive, but those two seconds of him subtly mimicking the happy kids are priceless.

And that marks the end of my football discursion. We now return you to your regularly scheduled fear-mongering analysis and rants insightful commentary.


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