Monday, February 2, 2009

Putting the "Super" Back in the Super Bowl

Was it just me or was the Super Bowl really entertaining yesterday?

Usually the game is just way over-hyped, the commercials are dumb, the half time act is lack luster, and the TV show that follows the game is traditionally disappointing; but for whatever reason, I enjoyed... everything!

The Game

I was intrigued by the Steelers-Cardinals match up from the beginning and even though they beat the Eagles in the NFC Championship game, I was randomly a huge Arizona fan during the Super Bowl. I love Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin and I did not want the Steelers to become the first team to win six Super Bowls because they will never be regarded as the greatest NFL franchise of all time. They are a great NFL franchise, mind you, but they're not the greatest.

The game obviously turned on that whacky James Harrison INT right before the half. The score was 10-7 and the Cardinals were inside the Steelers' five yard line about to either take the lead with a touchdown or tie it up before the half.

No, Kurt Warner had to turn into Donovan McNabb for eight seconds and tried to throw a pass to Boldin in between a linebacker and corner who both had good coverage. I've watched the replay a hundred times and I still have no idea what he thought he saw.

What was really bizarre was the fact that no Cardinal could chase down Harrison who looked like he was running in slow motion down the sideline.

So instead of the game being tied or the Cardinals being up, the Steelers led 17-7 at the half and then added a field goal in the boring third quarter before the Arizona offense finally woke up in the fourth and gave us all an epic finish.

Where does this game rank all time?

I still think the Denver-Green Bay game in '98 is the best I've ever watched and I would have to think about the '91 Giants-Bills game and last year's contest between the Giants and Patriots but this one is up there.

The question becomes how much weight does the fourth quarter bring to the conversation because other than the Harrison INT, the second and third quarters weren't entertaining.

I like Mike Tomlin a lot so it wasn't a total loss but it was a shame to see the meteoric rise of Fitz end without a ring.

I hate to see greatness wasted.

Before these playoffs, I never thought I would even think about a wide receiver in the same terms as Jerry Rice just because of what Rice did in the playoffs year in and year out, but if Fitz can sniff the postseason a few more times it will be an interesting topic to monitor.

The Commercials

I can't figure out why but I felt like the commercials were (overall) great this year. They just seemed to reach my sensibilities and sense of humor I guess.

Maybe the new "G.I. Joe" movie trailer was such a great start to the ads that I was just in a good mood after that. I don't know but that one along with the Conan O'Brien Bud Light spot, the Troy Polamalu Coke Zero "Mean" Joe Green redux, the Doritos crystal ball, and the Pepsi ads featuring "MacGruber" (and MacGyver) from "Saturday Night Live" were outstanding to me.

I actually went to this morning and watched them all again, and I've never done that after a Super Bowl.

The Half Time Show

I'm so happy about that Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" happened a few years ago. Because of that stupid incident the Super Bowl got away from annoying hip hop acts and now feature artists that I really like.

I loved Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers last year and I LOVED The Boss and the E Street Band this year. At that point, I actually didn't care about the game anymore, I just wanted to hear more Bruce and I almost stopped by a store to pick up his new album on the way home after the game.

One girl at the party I was at commented that she missed the half time show being more hip and I couldn't disagree more. I'm not hip, you see, so this new direction suits me just fine.

The Post Super Bowl episode of "The Office"

Um... so that was definitely the greatest television episode to EVER follow a Super Bowl and that might be one of the greatest episodes in the history of television. I'm going to watch it a few more times and do a little research and get back to you on that one but I'm thinking that it's definitely in the conversation now.

I love "The Office" but usually their hour episodes are terrible and run out of gas after 40 minutes so my expectations were low going into this one, especially with the extra hype of having to follow the Super Bowl ON TOP of the fact that this was supposed to be the night they debuted the spin off, which obviously didn't happen.

My biggest complaint with "The Office" recently is that there have been too many continuing story arcs and that they have spent too much time out side of the, well, office. What made the show great early on was that every episode was self contained and was just another day at the office.

And they finally got back to this is a big way last night.

Whether or not this was the greatest episode of all time doesn't matter, it was hands down the greatest opening to a television episode ever and that needs no debate.

Dwight's "fire drill" had me on the edge of my seat and some how they made something so potentially horrifying so hilarious at the same time. It was like the Nightcrawler scene at the White House at the beginning of "X-Men 2". It was so amazing that I almost wanted to stop watching because nothing that followed could top it.

Until the CPR training scene.

I was laughing so hard, I was crying. My sides and stomach hurt and I was temporarily afraid that I was going to stop breathing.

In that moment, the show hit the "Cheers" stratosphere for me. In that these people hate their jobs, hate their boss, and hate their lives but as soon as Andy starts singing "Staying Alive" they can't help but grooving together to the music.

They can't help but be the losers that they are.

That's what "Cheers" perfected and that's where "The Office" is headed and as a I wannabe writer, I can't tell you how poetic and brilliant that is to watch when it is perfected like that.

There were so many great lines too.

Michael: "Nobody should go to work thinking this is where I'm going to die. That's what hospitals are for."

Creed, out of nowhere to the CPR training lady: "You were from the parking lot earlier. That's how I know you!"

Phyllis: "You almost killed Stanley." Dwight: "Yeah right, I filled him full of butter and sugar for fifty years and forced him not to exercise."

Michael: "Kevin, I can't decide between a fat joke and dumb joke."

Oh, so good... I'm actually going to hurry up and wrap this up because I want to go watch it all again. A great night all in all. I had a fun time catching up with an old friend and meeting some new ones.

Maybe it was just an unexpected, one time thing but it was good to see the Super Bowl act so super.


Anonymous said...

i could be a food critic.
"that muffin was bad."

i could be an art critic.
"that painting is bad."

Just Being Josh said...


Who is "Anonymous"??

My other favorite Andy line was: "Jim and Pam are like movie genuises"

- Josh

chris said...

Pam - "If his penis were an IPOD, it would be a shuffle" haha...that was the line that had me rolling!