Monday Morning Quarterbacking: 7 February 2011

Boy, there was a lot of dissection going on at the office today after last night’s game. Maybe too much dissection.  There was the inevitable griping and “We wuz robbed” hoopla by the Steelers faithful.  Sorry, Steeler Nation. You wuzn’t robbed – unless you count the two interceptions the Packers defense took away from Big Ben.  And the Mendenhall fumble.  No, the office buzz was mostly about that “bull–“ call at the end of the game.  Sorry again, guys. It wasn’t pass interference.  Troy Aikman (and I can’t even begin to believe I’m saying this) got it right.  A good no-call. And I’m glad it turned out that way, rather than a challenge, or an obvious blown call, and all the ensuing acrimony that causes. Hell of a game by two extremely good football teams – one of the better Super Bowls I’ve watched.  I wish all Super Bowls could be that good.
Then there was the equally vocal (and more vicious) dissection of Christina Aguilera’s rendition of the national anthem. Yep, she blew it. Yep, we all heard it.  Yep, we knew she blew it as soon as we heard it.  But was it a “national embarrassment?” Eh, probably not. Roseanne Barr’s rendition – now THAT was a national embarrassment.  The MLB game a few years back where the color guard (an American color guard) at a Toronto (or was it Montreal?) game displayed the Canadian flag upside down? THAT was a national embarrassment.  The Disco Era? Congress? THOSE are national embarrassments. Christina’s botch is bad – especially for someone who DOES know all the words and has sung them correctly before, not to mention the set of pipes on the girl – but surely she doesn’t rate being put on the “no fly” list, as one acquaintance demanded.  Please.  Here’s some truly wretched renditions of the Star-Spangled Banner if you want to see truly horrid. Maybe I’m getting soft, but I say give the girl a break. Don’t ask her to sing at the Super Bowl again, but give her a break.
Also vocal were the people I refer to (today anyway) as the “commercial critics.”  My God, you’d think you were overhearing the Academy Awards judging committee.  They were commercials, people.  Advertisements.  And expensive ones at that.  And they weren’t even all that great.  Don’t get me wrong. I’m right there for the commercials, just like anyone else.  I enjoy seeing what (and how) gets rolled out.  But, and I’ve felt this way for the last few Super Bowls, I think the Super Bowl commercial has jumped the shark.  Maybe it’s because Budweiser isn’t killing us every commercial break or because Coke and Pepsi have pretty much given up their blood feud during the game as in years past.  But most of the commercials I saw were met with an “eh, so what?,” both at the party I attended for the first half and by me, comfortable at home, in the second half.  My favorite, hands down, was the mini-Darth Vader in the Passat ad – and even that one irritated me when I realized that the TV ad was significantly edited down from the leaked version.  If you liked it during the game, you owe it to yourself to see the entire ad here.  It was exquisitely done – check out the look on Mom’s face as she passes Darth his sandwich.  It’s not a beaming “Awww, he’s so cute,” look.  It’s more like, “You are one weird kid.” I loved it.  But other than that, I wasn’t really blown away.  Ok, I did laugh out loud at the Timothy Hutton Groupon commercial, even as I realized that Richard Gere was probably speed dialing Hutton’s number. And I thought Eminem’s commercial (the second one) was pretty ballsy. I fell for the Joan Rivers gag just like everybody else.  But the rest (with the exception of that mildly disturbing Doritos commercial – and you know which one I’m talking about) were not all that original or innovative.  And if you missed any, USA Today has its own scorecard here. Take a look, post your favorite in the comments section.
And then there was the halftime show (missed it).  And Cameron Diaz stuffing popcorn in A. Rod’s mouth. And. And. Good lord, people, there was a football game on, after all.

Want a little cheese with that whine?

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