The Super Bowl and the weekend is over... I'm not going to let it go that easy. It's always been my stance that with the exception of Independence Day, there isn't one day that unites America more than the Super Bowl. Even people that don't like football tune in to see the half-time show and the commercials. The people who decide what's a national holiday should just get together and make Super Bowl Sunday official... complete with the following Monday off.
Watching this Super Bowl was a little different for me. Hanscom Air Force Base was a big event so we went there. I don't know if ever been to a party where the people are too generous, but this was such an occasion. Everyone in attendance, probably 125 people, had to have walked away with a raffle prize. We walked away with this specialty brownie pan and a slightly different brand of this giant cupcake pan.
There was so much free food that they urged people to take some home afterward. We've got meatballs for a few days. The beer? It was $10 for a 16 ounce cup that gave you all you can drink access to the keg... just go pour your own from the tap. While pouring mine, I relived a few college weekends by closing my eyes and think pretending I was in a dank basement with a radio playing Everclear's Santa Monica. It was about the same quality beer too. I'm not one to be a beer connoisseur, so the light and refreshing domestic stuff worked for me, especially with everything else going on.
The Super Bowl got things started off right with kids from Sandy Hook Elementary singing with Jennifer Hudson. My wife was quick to remind me that there's a connection of gun violence between them. As we'll cover a little later, I'm a big sap for things like this. It's good for the kids and it looks good for the NFL. While on the topic of looking good, I know that Subway celebrated 15 years of Jared last night, but Hudson has gotten and stayed in shape for a long time now.
The National Anthem started and everyone on the base stood and was silent. I wonder how many places outside of military bases had that happen. I went to a movie on the base a month ago and they played the National Anthem before the movie with the same reaction. It was a great of respect. A lot has been said about Alicia Keys' rendition being too slow and I have to agree. It seemed like she was purposely trying to draw it out as long as possible. Also, was that an extra line at the end? You are Alicia not Francis Scott.
Let's move on to the best commercials. As I mentioned before I'm a little bit of a sap. While I can appreciate a funny commercial as much as anyone else, the ones that really speak to me are going to get my attention. With that in mind the best commercial was the Budweiser Clydesdales:
Like most people, I've never raised a horse. However, I'm in year four of raising a dog now and we went through a lot of the same things in the video. Last month, we took Jake to a local dog park, only to find that it wasn't fenced in. We've only let him be off a leash in public a couple of times and it always makes us a little nervous. He'll chase a squirrel across a highway without thinking twice. My wife dropped Jake and me off while she parked the new car and was to come with our baby. Jake played with the other dogs for about 20 minutes and then got bored and started running towards the parking lot... the one place in the acres of forest that presented the most danger.
Of course his four legs are faster than my two, so he easily got by me and no one else seemed to care that this dog was running unattended. Suddenly he picked up speed as he made a dash for the parking lot, stretching the distance between us from 2 football fields to 3. He continued to the parking lot and straight into my wife's car. She couldn't find a place in the far parking lot and was circling to find a spot in the near one. It's not exactly like the commercial, but it felt the same.
It was a tough call for top spot between that commercial and this Jeep, Whole Again, one:
It's one thing to watch a commercial like that. It's another to watch it on a military base where it could apply to dozens of the people there.
Is it any surprise that I had Subaru split their charitable donation between the ASPCA and the USO when I bought my car?
Finally this farmer one got to me:
It was long and it was good. I know it's not what you'd expect from "Lazy Man." I have great respect for the un-Lazy.
A lot of people thought that the half-time show was really well done. I thought it was okay. It hit my expectations considering that most of it was dancing in front of a video screen. Nothing stood out to impress me like the 88,000 Chinese people drumming (or whatever it was) for the Olympic opening ceremony. I would have settled for some kind of flip, I've seen a mid-50's Steven Tyler do it, so why not Beyonce?
While on the topic of the half-time show, here's a random statistic that you may find interesting. Patriots beat reporter Mike Reiss noted that of 22 assistant and head coaching positions open this offseason, three new minorities added to the coaching pipeline. With Hudson, Keyes, and Beyonce, the NFL had the same number of minority singers for the Super Bowl. Seems like too little diversity in either.
The power outage certainly brought some excitement to the game. I was stuck wondering why they were keeping the focus on the announcers and the game when they had little to report. If it were me, I would have cut to some commercials. I know the commercial time slots were well planned in advance, but CBS should have taken some contingency commercials for such situations (or even overtime). Lazy Man and Money will start the bidding at $100 for a slot that comes up to unforeseen circumstances. I'm a few companies will outbid me by a few hundred thousand dollars, but that could have been all profit for CBS.
As for the game itself, if you stuck around past the power outage it got really good. However, for the second consecutive time, it ended with the team I had an affiliation with losing. I have a lot of disappointed friends back in San Francisco. The important thing to remember is that 31 teams are going to be less-than-pleased with how the season ends... and the draft is only a couple away.
Next: What You Can Learn from the 4 Events in 2012 That Changed my Financial Life