Super Bowl Upstages the Super Bowl

*Insert intro about how everyone watches the Super Bowl and it is so important to our popular culture*. Good, got that out of the way, because I’ve got things to say.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Like some guy who writes for The Atlantic has already been paid thousands of dollars to tell you what you already know wrote, “That was a really good game.” You don’t need a resume to tell someone that. Because it was, truly, a very entertaining and well-played game. Two excellent football teams played excellent football, and with the exception of late 2nd quarter to early 3rd quarter (when it appeared Baltimore was going to run away with the game), it was an entertaining game from start to finish. I wondered if I should mention that I predicted that on Saturday, but I decided that would seem vain, so I won’t.

But there is more to the show called the Super Bowl than the game called the Super Bowl. And that’s what CBS aired last night; we watched a show, not a game. There are four parts: the game, the halftime show, the commercials, and the effects (postgame handshake, trophy presentation, camerawork, Batmanesque blackouts, and the like). Super Bowl XLVII delivered the hundred million plus viewers a very mixed bag with these four categories. The end result was a show that I think left just about everyone happy for some reason, nobody happy for every reason, a few people unhappy for lots of reasons, and THIS guy unhappy and happy for a lot of reasons.

The key to 20 million dollars is 108 yards.

Joe Flacco, the Super Bowl MVP, is going to make a lot of money with his upcoming contract. And whether or not he is an elite quarterback or not is really a superfluous question at this point. He played very well and won a Super Bowl after throwing 11 postseason touchdowns and zero interceptions. If he hadn’t won, then we might be having a different conversation. But, a fumble here, an interception there, Jacoby Jones here AND there (and back again) all added to Flacco’s personal achievement to create a solid win for the Baltimore Ravens. The goal line stand, Anquan Boldin’s catch, and a number of other moments in that game helped get the Ravens to where they were going, but none more so than Jacoby Jones’ ludicrous return.

Think about it: The Ravens were up 21-6 at halftime. After the blackout, the rest of the game belonged to the 49ers and their furious comeback. Let’s just say Jacoby Jones does the smart thing and doesn’t run the ball out from eight yards deep. What if Kaepernick gets the ball after a three and out? The Ravens punted on their first two offensive possessions after the return, and then fumbled on the next. What if the 49ers start their comeback down by 15 instead of 22?

This game was great for a lot of reasons. There were exciting plays, bizarre play-calls, some interesting (yet ultimately, non game-determining) calls from the officials, and an unprecedented comeback that eventually hinged on one play. All of the NFL season came down to a 4th and goal, because one play starting at the -8 yard line made it so. Foolish as it might have seemed, Jacoby Jones’ play was THE play of this Super Bowl. Not that this game will be or should be defined  by a single play, but that was the play of the game.

If you actually watched the game (and even if you couldn’t hear it, like I was unable to, because Simms and Nantz are less than spectacular) you were pleased. Football fans who watched this game at least partially for football reasons are happy today. Just like that guy at The Atlantic got paid to tell his thousands of readers. Eff you man.

Shoulda put a ring on it. Some clothes too.

I did not like last year’s halftime show. At all. So when I heard back in whenever *Hans Landa dismissive gesture* that Beyonce was going to do the show I was like, “Hey, that sounds decent. She can put on a show, people know some of her songs, and it plays right in to the featured guest thing that has become all the rage the last couple years.”

And then I watched just about the worst possible show they could have put together with Beyonce as the headliner.

Who else misses this show?

Who else misses this show?

Can you tell me one thing, just one thing *William Wallace yell* about that show that was redeeming other than the fact that Beyonce is hot? No, you can’t. And you’re kidding yourself if you think you can (only exception is the holograms, but that’s been done some time ago *Hans Landa again*). In fact, that was all the show was about. They dressed her in an outfit that was almost more revealing than Janet Jackson’s post-Justin Timberlake, had her strut about the stage, writhe on the floor, and shake her booty like it was no one’s business (actually, it IS someone’s business, Shawn Carter, and that is a little perplexing, do you not think?). They created a bunch of other Beyonces to dance up there too! She even made highly suggestive faces at the camera, just to be sure every man in America started freaking out.

And that was it. That was the show. Oh, what, the guy with the sparklers taped to his guitar was cool? Or the Destiny’s Child reunion? Which was, to me at least, just a few more attractive women lip-syncing. I’m not going to address lip-syncing. Can’t lose my train of thought with that discussion. Not a fan.

That show told us something I have known since I was a very young lad: Beyonce is hot. Okay, neat. Now EVERYONE gets to loudly proclaim, “She is SO hot” and tweet something of a similar nature. Really? Guess what: you can watch her do the same thing on YouTube any day of the week. You can do it while you’re doing homework, or making a casserole, or drinking a smoothie. Anyone can do it: tough kids, sissy kids, kids who climb on rocks.

The halftime show should be something special or something simple that knows that it’s simple. Bono should be up there in front of the names of those killed on 9/11 with an American flag sewn into his jacket. Heck, even the Black Eyed Peas, who are terrible live, had that cool thing with the people running around in the glow in the dark suits. On the other side, the simple show with Prince, just himself and his guitar and a couple of cool effects, also made a great show. This was nothing. This show was as substantive as Beyonce’s pants (I’m going to use derivations of that joke a lot).

What did that show teach our young women? What did it say about our culture?

And where the @#$& was Jay-Z???????????

SSSSHHHH! It’s a commercial!

Yeah, I’ll admit: I want people to be quiet during the commercials. That didn’t always happen, and as it turns out, I didn’t miss much. The E-Trade baby provided a smile, Oreo was creative, Doritos was decent, Skechers proved to be a pleasant surprise, and that was about all the funny commercials had to offer. Overall, the funny commercials were a terrible bust.

Good thing the serious commercials slightly bailed them out. After the awful halftime show, we were presented with a Jeep commercial narrated by Oprah about troops returning home. I cried. Don’t feel bad about it one bit. Then there was the “God made a farmer” Dodge commercial. Also a bold and powerful commercial. Well done by Jeep and Dodge to create some very memorable commercials.

Overall, the commercials were just kind of blah. Even the slapstick attempts fell flat. Overall, the majority of commercials were ones you just smile at because they were moderately funny and/or creative and then forget about. We could go through commercial-by-commercial, but there wasn’t much to talk about.

You mad bro?

Well let’s start from the beginning. Alicia Keys sang the National Anthem. Really slowly. And I was getting kind of annoyed, until the broadcast switched from Keys at the piano to troops in Kabul, Afghanistan. Suddenly, I was struck with a feeling of realization. The quiet, resolute look on the troops made me forget about how long it was taking her to sing the anthem. What is two and a half minutes when you’re thousands of miles from home? What is a bit of showiness when the enemy is making plans on how to eliminate your brothers in arms? What is a nontraditional ending when you’re in between patrols? Her rendition of the anthem was beautiful. It was not ideal, or perfect, or my personal favorite. But it was beautiful.

Phil Simms and Jim Nantz are Phil Simms and Jim Nantz. Unfortunately.

Camerawork was decent, but we missed Jacoby Jones’ dance.

There was a blackout.

John Harbaugh showed he’s not necessarily that much more mature than Jim when he yelled a cornucopia of curse words at whoever was explaining to him the cause of said blackout.

The blackout continued.

They showed us lights that were not on.

Bane jokes were made.

The blackout continued.

Did it affect the game? Maybe. Maybe. Fair or not, this bizarre accident might end up being what this game will be remembered for. Let’s remember though, an AFL playoff game was once tuned out for a broadcast of Heidi. Worse things than a blackout could have happened. It distinguishes this game from the rest.

The brothers did not hug. Nantz inappropriately asked what they said to each other. Nunya business.

Joe Flacco was heard using foul language. Hurray for seven second delay.

Super Bowl trophy presentation was nothing special, except for Ray Lewis once again sort of misusing a Bible verse.


The game outdid the show. If you were there for the game, you’re happy. If you were there for the commercials you’re probably unhappy. Sounds like everyone loved the halftime show. That’s sad. Overall, this was a special Super Bowl, for the reason that the game was of the highest quality (and because of the blackout). The football season is finally over. There’s just enough time before the draft for basketball to shine. This season wrote a chapter in the NFL’s history very different from any other. Let’s put this book away for a while and focus on other sports. Or other things. Because sports are more than a game, and life is more than sports.

The SneakyGoodSportsGuy is an independent blogger who doesn’t get paid a cent and has a minimal following. Thanks for reading this post. Like, comment, subscribe/follow, post to Facebook and Twitter, email at Keep watch for #5 in the ongoing countdown as well as the weekly Saturday List.

Soli Deo Gloria

The SneakyGoodSportsGuy


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