February 05, 2012 8:10pm PT by Tim Goodman
Unless You Were a Giants Fan, This Bowl Was Less Than Super (Opinion)
Fine, so M.I.A flipped off the cameras discretely during the Super Bowl. That should get some ink. And then there was...there was....um, have you actually seen M.I.A.'s new video? Way more exciting than the Super Bowl.
Of course, if you're a New York Giants fan, everything is great so don't even bother with this. If you're a New England Patriots fan, you shouldn't even be reading stories about the Super Bowl.
For everybody else, an otherwise lackluster football game devoid of any memorable plays ended up being midly exciting only because the score was close and there was a Hail Mary pass at the end of it. Otherwise? Wow, dullsville.
And that goes quadruple for the commercials, which were on the whole spectacularly underwhelming. Yeah, Clint Eastwood looked pretty pissed off about America being down -- but hey, we're not down. The second half, that's when we rise. If that ever becomes a slogan for this country, let's shoot Uncle Sam in the temple. Seriously, what was the message of that commercial? In an era of 99 percenters taking their rage out against the 1 percenters, we get a car commercial about an industry that was bailed out by the government? It's going to take more than a steely-eyed Clint to make that anything other than a disconnect.
Oh, and for the record, no mass brewed beer in this country is top shelf. End of story.
So, what were we left with? That's easy. Hope. The commercials were, en masse, so confoundingly unexciting this year that maybe -- just maybe -- we will all lower our expectations next year.
"Dude, remember when the Super Bowl commericals were awesome? Like, when we were growing up?"
"Yeah, man. Give it a year or three. These things are cyclical. Once they stop recycling stuff we've been applauding in past years, then we'll get some fresh creative blood. Maybe, like, 2014."
So, yes, we have hope. And that's all we have. Unless a great football game breaks out, our entertainment fate is left up to the advertising community and this year we saw what that gets us. A whole lot of "Wow, did they just spend money on that?" Our expectations have been raised through, what?, generations of hype? We want the Super Bowl ads to be great and funny and something we can talk about the next day at work. The Super Bowl is one of the few times that people with DVRs actually don't use them to fast-forward through the ads. We are led to believe that we should be quiet during commercials to see what the ad world will do with millions upon millions of dollars. Other than burning that money with a match, what did we get?
Um. Wait. Wasn't that one with Will Arnett good? For Hulu? And that ad for The Dictator was pretty funny, but it aired before the game. Then Clint was all pissed off about this country's first half performance. And...yeah, maybe a few ads. Not that anyone remembers what they were for.
Madonna and friends performed at half time. Memorable? She looks great for her age. But so would you, if you didn't have a job and could work out all the time and keep things tight. Otherwise, sure, just fine. It's hard to lip sync. Everybody knows that.
The football game was close but flat. Again, if you're a Giants fan, you are not allowed in this conversation. For the rest of us, starting the game off with a safety was a bad omen. This wasn't so much a Super Bowl as it was a forgettable Thursday night game on the NFL Network.
But that's OK. Maybe next year. And let's hope by then that all the good ads aren't put online before the game. Otherwise, why tune in at all? For the off chance that the game might be great? Sure, if that's your thing. Or, more accurately, if it involves your team.