by Michael Walls
since I mouthed off
last week about the NFL and Fox catering to the non-football
fans by simplifying the game with over-the-top graphics,
outrageous advertisements and poorly produced halftime
shows – I guess I need to comment on the overall
packaging of this year’s Super Bowl extravaganza.
my surprise, the main things that stuck in my mind were
the commercials and the halftime show. Maybe I was paying
too much attention (usually, I use the commercial breaks
and the halftime show to make trips to the bathroom or
fridge), but it’s more likely the fact that the
Super Bowl game itself was a borefest – lacking
in creative play calling, exciting highlight moments or
even a sense of suspense.
can thank that brainiac Bill Belichick for the lack of
creativity in plays. He may be the former defensive coordinator
to Bill Parcells, but he certainly didn’t pick up
any tips of “how-to-keep-the-game-interesting”
with unexpected or risky calls or trick plays. Belichick’s
got about as much personality as an IBM server, and has
the uncanny ability to know exactly what play to call
at what moment. Boooor-ing...
even with a near perfect Tom Brady (no INTs) and a stifling
defense, we still didn’t get to see anything even
closely resembling an exciting highlight. The best play
of the game came with under 2 minutes remaining as Donovan
McNabb finally threw a ball further than 5 yards by airing
it out thirty yards down to Greg Lewis for a touchdown.
Too bad he waited until they already lost the game to
try something gutsy.
far as suspense – the minute Tedy Bruschi intercepted
McNabb in the middle of the 4th quarter (which was more
of a bad throw by McNabb than anything fancy by Bruschi)
we all knew this game was over.
for once, this year’s Super Bowl needs to thank
the marketing-powers-that-be for keeping the entertainment
amazing what a difference it makes when you get musical
artists with some talent to perform. Kids nowadays (I
can’t believe I just said “kids nowadays”)
really don’t have a clue as to what the words “musician”
or “artist” means. Do Justin Timberlake or
Janet Jackson even play musical instruments? I don’t
even think they’re considered musicians or artists
– rather they’re referred to as “entertainers”.
McCartney may be old and wrinkled and not much to look
at anymore, but he certainly doesn’t have to resort
to baring a star-burst nipple brooch to get anyone’s
attention. And he showed the world what it means to ROCK.
No fancy costume (or costume changes), no dance routines,
no slutty backup dancers, and no lip-synching. Just a
left-handed bass guitar, a piano and some timeless classic
tunes that everybody knows – young or old.
I can’t think of any other artist that could get
80,000 people to sing a cappella together as McCartney
did with – “na-na-na, naa, heeey Jude…”
to the team that produced this show – showing MTV
the difference between “class” and “trash”.
same could be said for the advertising approach this year
as well. While last year was absolutely a low point for
the NFL and the Super Bowl, catering to the low class
and tastelessness of the viewing public – this year
most of the advertisers took a higher road and went with
traditional serious ads or genuine laughs.
say “most” because as always, there’s
a knucklehead in the bunch. This year’s “go-for-the-obvious”
controversial ad was from GoDaddy.com. Hey, I’m
a red-blooded male, and I appreciate (and enjoy) gratuitous
buxomness as much as the next guy. But when I’m
sitting on the couch at 7pm with my 4-year old son watching
a sporting event, I don’t want him to see some trashy
commercial of a woman feeling herself up. Yeah, it was
funny, I chuckled (I don’t know what they were selling),
but couldn’t we run this commercial later in the
broadcast, maybe after all the kids were in bed? Poor
scheduling on the part of Fox. Especially considering
the rest of the ads were fun and clean.
my list of funniest commercials was FedEx’s “top-10
list of things you need in a Super Bowl ad” featuring
Burt Reynolds, a dancing bear and a groin kick.
had it’s usual funny moments, including the “skydiver”
commercial. A skydive instructor tosses a six-pack of
Bud out the door in order to entice a reluctant skydiver
to chase it, only to have the pilot jump out after it,
not roll-off-the-couch funny, CareerBuilder.com did a
good job depicting many people’s perception that
they work with a bunch of monkeys, as an office filled
with corporate monkeys makes a guy’s life miserable.
commercials from advertisers like Lays’ Potato Chips
and Pepsi featuring washed-up entertainers like MC Hammer
and P. Diddy proved mildly entertaining, while Anheuser-Busch
went for the emotional approach, saluting our troops.
while I’m still not a fan of the on-field graphics
(which, by the way, was on-and-off throughout the game
– to a point where when I expected a big arrow to
show me the down and yards-to-go, it didn’t appear),
I was fairly pleased with the quality of the peripheral
if we can only get a Super Bowl game that entertains us
as much as the commercials.
Walls is a volunteer staff writer for 2 Walls Webzine
and does not know the name of the actress in the GoDaddy.com
commercial, so stop asking him.)