Random Thoughts after watching Super Bowl 58 last night…
I have lost count of the number of NFL games I’ve seen that ended with a quick little pass to somebody going on a slant route to the right. I find it inconceivable that teams — who have watched way more footage of it than I have — can’t defend against that better. The Chiefs call it “Corndog,” and won the game last night, just as they did last year. So why weren’t the 49ers better prepared to defend against it?
When the game went into overtime, I figured the ad sales team at CBS had to be thrilled to have even more commercial avails to sell. Normally, they would have lined those up ahead of time just in case. Even if they couldn’t get an extra $7 million out of advertisers, they should have been able to sell some spots at what was likely the peak viewing time. But the extra time was only used for the same old promos for CBS shows and the NFL shop. A blown opportunity to make millions more.
For many years on my radio show, I quizzed my audience the morning after about the commercials that ran during the Super Bowl. I’d give them a one-sentence summary and ask them to name the sponsor. More often than not, they had no idea, meaning advertisers wasted all that money without making a positive impression. Last night, I felt the same way seeing the ads in which Christopher Walken and Glenn Close appeared. I liked them, but their message didn’t stick to my brain. The ones I do remember liking were the little kids pickleball spot for E-Trade, the Volkswagen ad using a Neil Diamond song, and the Kia electric car heart tugger.
However, I was disgusted by the campaign ad for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. which used a song from John F. Kennedy’s presidential push in 1960. What made it even more problematic was that the lyrics touted the youth of the candidate because JFK was only forty-three when he ran — but RFK Jr. is seventy. I guess we shouldn’t ask for message integrity from a vaccine-denying conspiracy theorist whose ad was paid for by a SuperPAC that’s funded by right-wingers who want him to draw votes away from Biden.
As for the halftime show, I’m been out of the target demographic for many years, and last night was no exception. While I knew the names of some of the performers, I couldn’t name a single song of theirs. To be honest, my TV was on mute for most of it. But when Usher and his backup dancers started moving around on rollerblades, I turned up the volume because I thought it was a tribute to the James Caan 1975 action movie “Rollerball.”
I also imagined this conversation between the music producer who lined up the talent and the NFL executive who had to pay for it:
NFL EXEC: Who’s doing halftime?
MUSIC PRODUCER: Usher.
NFL EXEC: So, we only have to pay one guy?
MUSIC PRODUCER: Um, no, it’ll be a few more than that.
NFL EXEC: How many?
MUSIC PRODUCER: About 300.
NFL EXEC: (biggest spit take of all time)
I think it’s nice that the stadium announcer always mentions the names of the sign language interpreters for the National Anthem and other pregame songs, but it’s an empty gesture if they aren’t shown in a box in the corner during the performances.
Talk about extremes: Mecole Hardman started this season with the New York Jets. He ended it by catching the winning touchdown pass in the Super Bowl.
After reading a fascinating piece by The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch about the “Doink Cams” CBS installed in the goalposts, I was disappointed none of the field goal or extra point attempts banged off an upright. Ironically, it wasn’t a doink but a blocked PAT that was the difference and sent the game into OT.
The game presented a tough choice for MAGA Morons. They couldn’t root for the Chiefs because superfan Taylor Swift endorsed Biden in 2020. They couldn’t root for the 49ers because that team is from a very liberal city which is represented in Congress by Nancy Pelosi. Since members of the cult think there are more of them than there actually are, they claimed they’d boycott the game, believing that would bring viewership down. In fact, they still watched, and last night is likely to be the most-viewed football game in history.
Along those lines, I’ll end with this clever tweet I saw just after the game ended…
The San Francisco 49ers can still win the Super Bowl if Mike Pence has the courage to do the right thing.
— Angry Staffer 🌻 (@Angry_Staffer) February 12, 2024