Well, the ceremonial Gatorade has been dumped, The Who offered up a laudable fifteen minutes of song, the script on the field didn’t go quite as the pundits and oddsmakers had written it—and (as a result) the Ain’ts ain’t no longer!
The question “Who dat gon’ beat dem Saint’s?” has finally been answered with a resounding “no one!”; so: congratulations New Orleans, after all these years, hats off to you!
It was quite a Super Bowl, all things considered. But how about the ads? Did they live up to expectations? Or even surpass them? Well, like art, cuisine, literature, fashion, human attraction—any number of subjective undertakings—it probably depends on who you ask. Which is why, we should ask
In most years the Super Bowl is the most-watched TV show in the United States (4 of the top 10, 9 of the top 16, 10 of the top 20 rated broadcasts ever). It is a spectacular that is almost a must-see—not only for the game, itself, but because it draws some of the biggest names in music for the half-time extravaganza. So, too, the advertising—which has become its own kind of spectator sport; due to its enormous price tag, ads often seek to be controversial, memorable, and/or over-the-top. It has been announced that this year, thirty-second spots will cost between $2.5 and $2.8 million dollars.
I’ll poll viewers about which ads they most enjoyed and also thought were most effective later, but for now, time to focus on the sporting aspect of this year’s game. How about making some picks?
Today is the NFL’s Final Four, The Super Bowl play-in day. Watching CBS (before it was blocked on the web), I noted that The Who is getting prominent billing as the final game’s halftime act. Last year, prior to Springsteen’s bow on The Super Bowl stage, I asked PM readers to weigh in with their preferences for The Boss’s playlist. With Bruce favoring his newer stuff, no one’s wishes came close to Springsteen’s reality. I wonder how we all might do this time around?
To that end, I’ve put together the poll below. If you want to offer up your opinion, you can pick up to 5 songs you’d like to hear from the list I’ve prepared. And, if you don’t see a song up there (Acid Queen? Boris the Spider?, Squeeze Box? Eminence Front?) feel free to punch in “Other” and make your selection in the Comment Box below. On game day I will review the results and compare it to the band’s actual set.
In terms of what actually will be played, I have learned from a buddy of mine, who is both a confidant of the band and has a sibling who works for the league, that the NFL put in a pretty definitive request to the band. Unlike a number of groups in the past, there has been very little resistance from the performers; The Who is pretty much down with what has been suggested by the league. So, if you look at it through the NFL’s eyes, rather than the creative’s, maybe you’ll have an inkling of what we will actually end up hearing.
For now, though, let’s go with what you’d most like to hear . . .
So, walking around Seoul last month, I had one of these out-of-body experiences that often overwhelm me, where my mind tries to trick me into thinking that I might have been teleported back to some other space-time similar. In this case Japan.
It started with the Christmas-y decorations that were already up, albeit in cellophane, despite the fact that it was early November.
And then it grew in insistence as I approached the glitzy neon central train station . . .
Out on the road, it is sometimes hard to make the traditions that you grew up with come to life. I know that in Japan, for instance, it can be hard to find a turkey for Thanksgiving—but even if you can, try locating an oven of sufficient size to accommodate a 16 pounder (or even 10 for that matter). So, there have been years when I have had to go without.
Those of you who didn’t experience Thanksgiving as a kid, probably are scratching your head and saying: “what’s the big deal?” but those of us who have sampled the stuffing, gnawed on the wishbone, pan-cooked and poured out the giblets, dipped into the yams, and forked up some pumpkin pie, know exactly where I’m coming from.