February 2, 2009
I’m pretty much obligated to watch the Super Bowl. As an ad guy and all, I know that for the next couple of weeks, people will ask me what I thought about the ads. So I watch. For the record, I didn’t think there was a lot to write home about. There were some decent spots. I laughed out loud a few times. I was surprised at what some companies spent. And the game? Pretty darn good. I wanted the Steeelers but found myself happy when Larry Fitzgerald sprinted into the endzone to take the lead. And when Santonio Holmes reeled in that catch and managed to keep two feet in, well, I was happy again.
But maybe what I noticed to most about the Super Bowl was the halftime show. Springsteen. The guy is still a showman. I’ve seen him live a couple of times — but not for something like a two decades or something. So when he made for the piano and jumped up on it with a low degree of sprightliness, alarm bells went off for me. When he jumped from the piano, I winced. And when he was down with the microphone, I was sure his knees weren’t going to allow him to get back with any grace whatsoever.
I guess I was relatively wrong. And, judging from posts like this and the tweets in response, perhaps I’m in a distinct minority.
February 4, 2008
For the past two weeks, I have been asked one question a lot: Who do you like to win the SuperBowl, the Patriots or the Giants?
The truth is I often found myself somewhere between ambivalent and undecided — and I remained there right up until kickoff. (Now, I did care about the score, since there was money riding on that in the office pool.)
Seriously, how was a person to decide? A team on the cusp of perfection is pretty exciting. But it’s New Englanders with their three SuperBowl wins in the last seven years. There are a couple of World Series wins, finally. And they’re the odds on favorites to win yet another NBA championship this season — albeit after a very long drought. But enough already. One city seriously contending for three major championships. That’s about as bad as New York teams — and on a quick path to being more insufferable. I’m not going to even mention the whole cheating thing earlier in the season.
So what about the Giants? Well, damn, they’re from New York. And any New York team is about as hard to root for as Notre Dame, or USC, or the Cowboys. And Eli Manning was a bit of a prima donna when it came to San Diego drafting him. But New England figured they had it so much in the bag. The over confidence was too much. I’ve always liked gap-toothed Michael Strahan calling it like he sees it. And Eli Manning is a little brother — the last of three — and I can relate to that.
So, it’s a great game, back and forth. The fourth quarter, less than a minute left and Eli Manning is in the grasp, about to go down. Somehow he twists free, scrambles back, spins and off his back foot throws a pass on a rope that somehow David Tyree pins against his helmet and holds on to.
At this moment I jumped up shouting and ran a little lap around our small family room! My family just looked at me.
I guess I really did want the underdog more than perfection. I guess I really did want the little brother to step into the spotlight. I guess I learned something about myself.
Oh, and the ads were OK.