The ads. The broadcast. The game. Superbowl XLVIII was perhaps the worst ever.
February 3, 2014
I would have preferred a snowstorm. Seriously.
Watching the Superbowl was like watching the proverbial car crash. I gaped for a while and then moved on. Honestly, did the Denver Broncos forget what day it was? They were awful.
However, so was most everything else. Including the commercials I happened to catch, which, given I’d stopped paying attention to the TV, were not all of them. I’ll get back to this.
But first the game. Let’s start with Peyton Manning. As good as he has been this season, from the very first botched play, Peyton Manning looked like a confused and terrified little boy. To my chagrin, he made loudmouth Seahawk, Richard Sherman seem prescient. Peyton did “throw a lot of ducks.” Some right into the hands of players from the opposing team. So bad was the “best player on the field” that it will likely eliminate him from the same conversation as Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana and even the man he helped defeat two weeks prior, Tom Brady.
Manning received no help whatever from his teammates. The O-line was pathetic. The coaches made no adjustments. At times it was odd and eerie watching this season’s record-breaking offense play so poorly.
Fox was mediocre at best. Granted, they were scrambling with the last minute scratch of veteran broadcaster, Terry Bradshaw, whose father had died the day before. I believe they substituted Michael Strahan, who was game but ill prepared. Beyond that I found the entire broadcast rote. The Superbowl has become a series of sponsored moments, from the coin toss to Halftime to the insipid “How does it feel?” questions at the end.
As for the Halftime show, I will give credit to Bruno Mars for delivering a slick and competent performance. I respect the dude for showing up prepared for such a big stage. The Red Hot Chile Peppers were completely unnecessary. Is there anyone on earth who still listens to this band, even nostalgically? They are like Fallout Boy; only imagine Fallout Boy ten years from now. Ouch.
Rote is a good description for the commercials. Few of them rose above the calculated goofiness of animals behaving badly, celebrity cameos and other super tired super tropes. Sure, I liked a few well enough. The Kia “Matrix” spot was big, fun and it actually sold something, which means it did at least two things better than most of the others. T-Mobile had it’s moments. Couple others.
For controversy we got Coke’s multi-cultural singing of “America the Beautiful.” I’m told the blogosphere lit up with haters and defenders. Meh.
For pre-meditated “shocker” there was the face-lifted Bob Dylan shilling Chrysler. What color do you want, Bob? How about tangled-up-in-blue? When Clint Eastwood and Eminem made similar appearances for Detroit and Chrysler and America everything clicked. Bob Dylan laid an egg.
Frankly, the whole f—king thing laid an egg. #Superfail.
To paraphrase the opening line from Radio Shack’s barrel of retro celebrities commercial: “The eighties called. They want their Superbowl back.”