Are you ready for some football? For two weeks they've been talking the talk. Tonight it's time to walk the walk!
~The past two weeks leading up to Super Bowl XLII could just as easily be referred to as the Super Blow. Not one other major sporting event, including soccer's World Cup receives as much pre-game scrutiny and analysis as the NFL's championship showcase.
~The recess between the NFL's conference championship games and the Super Bowl itself belongs not to the players, not to the fans, but to the media. Whether working in the print or broadcast venues, that two weeks is the press' Super Bowl.
If you are one who dislikes cliches and hyperbole, then the build-up to this game has you already at the saturation point. If you look at the word "hyperbole," you'll note that the first two syllables spell out 'hyper,' and within that word you'll see 'hype.' If you are one who pays attention to such things, the last four letters 'bole' could be phonetically pronounced "bowl." Super Bowl? Hyper Bowl? They're the same thing, aren't they? ...And oh yeah, is it a coincidence that 'bowl' can be anagrammed into "blow?"
In a post last year, Super Thoughts, I recapped Super Bowl XLI, complete with my review of the commercials that aired during the game. It was a fun post and was well received by readers, garnering 20+ comments.
I thought I would try it again this year with Super Bowl XLII. Last year I didn't care which of the two teams, the Colts or da Bears, won the game. This year was different. The game had possible historic significance: a fourth Super Bowl title in seven years; a quarterback who could become the youngest ever to win four Super bowls; the same quarterback to now be considered one of the greats of all time; a team to be considered the best of all time; and a team to be the first go undefeated with a 19-0 record.
Just as I did last year I sat back in my recliner, bloated with homemade chili and a pen and legal pad at the ready to record what would transpire over the next three hours or so. It is only 3 pm when the preceding is being posted. The game is still three hours away. I will continue this post after the game.
PART TWO -the game, first half
It is with heavy heart that I commit this recap to screen this year. It isn't going to be much fun this time. The New York Giants upset the New England Patriots 17-14!The Giants won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kick-off. They held the ball for the first nine minutes or so of the game and marched down the field until the Patriots defense stiffened and allowed them only a field goal. Score: Giants 3-0.
This was truly a case of David slaying Goliath. I will not resort to sour grapes. New England was clearly the superior team all season long. On the field this night, however, the New York Giants were the best team. Kudos to them, they played a great game. They had a magnificent post-season run. This does not lessen the achievemnets of the New England Patriots by any means. I applaud them for a great season with an impressive 18-1 record.
(Commercial:) Budweiser - "Hank" the Clydesdale is rejected and doesn't make the team to pull the wagon. He then goes into intense training under the tutelage of the dog, a Dalmation. The training is back-dropped with the music from Rocky, "Eye of the Tiger." Ayear later, Hank makes the team. The horse and dog exchange "high hives" using hoof and paw. ( I liked this clever and cute ad. )
Receiving the Giants' kick-off, the Patriots control the ball for the remainder of the first quarter. Thanks to a pass interference call against the Giants on a pass to TE Watson, the Patriots have a first and goal at the 1-yard line. The 1st quarter ends. Score: Giants 3-0.
(Commercial:) Vitamin Water- Sexy woman, I didn't know her name if she is a celebrity, dances with lizards. ( Cute ad with great animated graphics. )
To start the second quarter, NE running back Maroney scores the touchdown and Gostkowski converts the extra point. Score: Patriots 7-3 over Giants.
(Commercial:) Planters Peanuts - A beauty-challenged woman with a clearly defined uni-brow is turning the heads of men she passes. Some of the men walk into glass doors and poles being disracted and enamored by the woman. She is later seen opeing a can of Planters peanuts and then rubbing one of them on her wrists, her neck and in her cleavage. ( A funny ad. Girls, lose the expensive perfumes. You want to be alluring to men? Buy Planters nuts. )
After the Kick-off goes out of bounds the Giants start at their 40-yd line. This series featured a big gainer with Toomer catching the ball after grabbing the NE defender's face mask. Although a flag should have been thrown for offensive pass interference, it is ruled a completed pass. Mannings next pass bounces from Toomers hands into the hands of Ellis Hobbs for an interception.
The Patriots are unable to take advantage of the turnover and are forced to punt.
(Commercial:) Pesi - Apparently from the force of a young woman sucking hard on a straw in a glass of Pepsi, Justin
The Giants go three and out. Eli Manning was sacked in the series. They punt ball back to Patriots.
(Commercial:) Doritos - Man slices a small piece of a Doritos chips and uses it to bait a mousetrap. He pulls up a chair and waits for the mouse to come out its hole for the bait while he eats Doritos from the bag. A giant mouse (someone in a mouse suit) crashes through the wall. The mouse then commences to beat the daylights out of the man. ( This ad got a good laugh out of me. )
On the Patriots ensuing possession, Brady is sacked twice. New England punts the ball away.
(Commercial:) Fox Network - Actually this should be called a Fox Promtional ad. Throughout the game, as they have done all season long, an CGI football robot can be seen jumping around and loosening up in the lower left-hand corner of the TV picture. Today in several sequences the robot is used to promote a TV series when a Terminator crashes through the background and attacks and overpowers the Fox robot. Of course, this is being used to promote the TV series, "The Sarah Connors Chronicles." The last of these vignettes shows the Terminator standing over the fallen Fox robot when two more "Fox-bots" appear to help in the battle. ( I liked these clever spots. )
As the game continues to remain close, it is evident that the Giants are gaining confidence. On this possession however, the Patriots' defense rises to the occasion again. Manning is tackled in the backfield and fumbled the ball. The ball is batted forward by GIants' running back Bradshaw resulting in a ten-yard penalty. Nearly intercepted, Manning's next pass is incomplete. New York punts and New England takes over at the 11-yard line.
There is 1:46 remaining in the first half. The Patriots are faced with a 3rd and 13 inside the 5-yd line. A 14-yd completion to WR Dante Stallworth results in a 1st down. On the next play a 12-yd run by Kevin Faulk is negated by a holding penalty. After a screen pass to WR Wes Welker picks up 8 yards, Faulk runs for 5 yards and another 1st down. Brady then completes a long pass to WR Randy Moss to the 49-yard line. The Patriots are driving down the field until the Giants' Tuck hits Brady's arm forcing a fumbled which is recovered by the Giants.
The first half ends as a Manning 'hail Mary' pass falls incomplete in the endzone. (First half score: NE 7-3.)
PART THREE - halftime show -(Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)
It's amazing to me that this artist has been around for three decades and yet, he doesn' have a single hit that I have ever or would ever have in my music collection. I don't dislike Tom Petty, it's just that none of his songs do anything for me personally. He has many fans; to be around this long there are certainly many who bought his music.
~Having said that, this show was much better than the one last year that featured Prince.
PART FOUR - second half
The Patriots' first play from scrimmage after the kick-off is a 12-yd completion to Welker. Maroney is stopped for a 2-yd loss. A Welker 7-yd reception is short of the 1st down and the Patriots are forced to punt.
(Commercial:) Vitamin Water - Shaquile O'Neal as a jockey winning a horse race by a nose in a photo-finish. ( Not bad. Seeing him on a horse next to the other jockeys is humorous. )
We return from the commercial to find that the Patriots' coach has thrown a challenge flag that the Giants had twelve men on the field. The challenge is upheld and the Giants are penalized 5 yards giving the Patriots a first down. The Giants' Strahan sacks Brady for a 6-yd loss. On 4th and long instead of trying for a 49-yd field goal, Brady's pass into the endzone is incomplete. The Giants take over on their 31.
After making back to back first downs on Manning to Toomer completions, the Giants fail to covert when a Manning pass into double coverage is incomplete. The Giants punt giving NE the ball on their 10.
(Commercial:) Bud Light - Some Cavemen are worried about getting to a party on time with their cases of Bud Light. One of announces he has invented the wheel. The cavemen, not knowing what to do with a wheel, put their cases of beer on it and carry both on the shoulders of four of them. One says, "Wheel suck." Later they are party and one caveman tries to open a bottle by using a rock only to succed in smashing the bottle. He says "Bottle opener suck." ( A funny ad. )
New England drives to 50-yd line and is facing a 4th down when the 3rd quarter comes to an end. (Score: Patriots holding a 7-3 lead over the Giants.)
(Commercial:) e-Trade - A talking cute big-eyed baby boy buys stock on e-Trade and promptly throws up on the keyboard. ( I thought this was funny. )
Patriots punt to start 4th quarter. Manning and the Giants drive to the seven yard line and score a touchdown on a pass from Manning to WR Tyree. The point after is added on to give the Giants the lead. Score: New York 10-7.
The next possessions by both teams gain little ground and both teams are forced to give up the ball in what is turning into a game of field position.
The Patriots put together a sustained drive which results in a Tom Brady to Randy Moss touchdown. After the conversion, the Patriots have a 4-pt lead with 2:48 left to go in the game. Score: New England 14-10 over the Giants.
(Commercial:) Coca Cola - Two parade balloons, Underdog and Stewie Griffin (The Family Guy) fight over a balloon bottle of coke. They fight each other and chase the coke between buildings. The bottle eludes them and to their chagrin the bottle is caught by a balloon Charlie Brown. ( A clever and funny ad. I liked this one. )
The last 2:48 of the game is hard to write about, so I will not go into as much detail. After several errant passes, two almost intercepted, the Giants began a slow march down the field. Manning was sacked once in the drive and with 51 seconds remaining and facing 3rd & 11, the Giants were forced to use their final timeout.
(Commercial:) Victoria's Secret - A very sexy brunette in sexy lingere with a musical setting to the song, "I'm In The Mood For Love." ( Hubba-hubba! )
Another pass by Manning is nearly intercepted before a completed pass to Smith for a 1st down with 39 seconds on the clock. On the next play Manning lobbed the ball to Burress for a touchdown. The extra point is good. There is 35 seconds left in the game. Score: NY 17-14!
The Patriots get the ball on their own 24 with 29 ticks left. A long pass to Gafne falls short - 2nd & 10, 25 seconds. Brady is sacked by rush up the middle. It is 3rd & 15 with 19 seconds remaining and New England takes a timeout. There is a deep pass to Moss - incomplete. With 10 seconds left and facing 4th and fifteen the Patriots use their final time out. Brady's final pass is incomplete. THe Giants take possession with one second left on the clock.
I was in a state of shock while I was committing this to screen - not really having any desire to do so - but I decided to be a good loser and stick to my commitment.
Maybe next year.....