There really cannot be too much hyperbole about it: that was the worst game of football I have ever seen. I've personally played in schoolyard games where I got tackled about eighty times by an eighth grade fat kid after every single snap because my older cousins thought I could be a lineman at eighty pounds, and that was better than Superbowl XLVIII. My dad once took me to a couple of XFL games - remember the XFL? - in old Giant Stadium. The New Jersey Hitmen managed to put on a better show than the Denver Broncos did, and the Hitmen couldn't even kick the extra point upon touchdowns, they were that incompetent. The Puppy Bowl was better. Goddamn Tim Tebow in his obnoxious commercial spots managed to put together a tougher performance then our entire offensive line. It was a disaster, a humiliation, and I am on the verge of utter destitution.
The game was such a brutal defeat that I made a bet with my sister before the game started that Denver would win. She still hasn't asked for her money. She knows how bad this hurts. How do you clean tear-stains out of an orange Broncos T-shirt, by the way?
This post isn't really going to be about the game, its going to be about the television event that was Superbowl XLVIII. Besides putting together what was a simply unwatchable game - even the Seahawks fans got bored and declared victory after the half, and then proceeded to riot throughout all of Seattle - it was a big show, and a lot happened. I was not even going to talk about the game, but I am feeling so horribly awful right now, with the skies torn asunder all throughout my state, pouring out snow in apocalyptic fashion to fit my mood, I feel like I should go ahead and write about things. This is how I cope, I write. Its either I write this post or I hunt down Richard Sherman with a combat knife, and I suspect that's probably not the healthiest way for either of us to settle our differences.
So here's what this post is going to be: brief summary of the game, a quick review of the commercials, and a little bit about the halftime show. Then once I'm done writing this I shall return to my fetal position and weep bitterly until August.
(If you don't care about football, and I know a lot of you don't, just skip ahead to the next section.)
The game was basically a massacre right from the moment that Mammy Ramirez threw the ball six miles over Peyton Manning's head, thus giving the Seahawks their first score, and the entire Denver Broncos essentially surrendered the moment their receiver in the very first completed pass got run over by a train wearing a Seattle jersey. From there, on every level, Denver was beaten, out-gunned, out-run, and out-played in a complete brutalization. Peyton Manning would have thrown in the white towel, but his arm got blocked by Richard Sherman, so the towel was intercepted.
What's insane about this game, and what you'd never believe if you only watched this one game of football this entire season is that the Denver Broncos are not a brand new expansion team built of ancient retirement-age players and last minute hobos picked up on the streets of East Rutherford, New Jersey in order to fill out the roster so as not to forfeit. There are actually the second-best team in all of football, and this was generally accepted the entire season ever since they raped the former Superbowl champs, the Baltimore Ravens back in September. This was supposed to be a classical match up of an unstoppable force vs. an immovable object, the universally-agreed upon best in the league record-setting Denver offense against the universally agreed-upon best in the league Seattle defense. And well, Denver's offense turned out to be a spear with an incredible deadly metal point, held up by a branch of soggy rotten bamboo. And it turns out that Seattle wasn't just the best team in the league, they were demonic supermen summoned from another dimension made partially out of pure steroid and partially out of cybernetic machinery.
The Bronco bamboo shattered. They lost on offense, they lost on defense, they lost in the special teams. Denver couldn't tackle, they couldn't run, they could barely throw, they couldn't do anything last night. They didn't get a first down until the second quarter of the game, and they only managed to score once. Any hope Denver had was snatched away when Percy Harvin returned a kickoff with a touchdown, knocking away several blocking Broncos as if they were feeble leprous kindergarteners. I couldn't even watch the game after that. I left the superbowl party, I drove home, I didn't listen to the game over the radio. Instead I stared north, knowing that East Rutherford was only ten miles away - I drive past MetLife Stadium every time I pick up my baby brother from school. And despite that, there was nothing I could do.
This is the worst superbowl game of my entire life. Even if you're not a Broncos fan: it was boring, there was no excitement. It made the sport look bad. Seattle bullied my team and reduced them to nothing. This is the kind of game that makes you start to wonder if Golf is worth watching instead.
Anyway, that's enough about football, onto more exciting things.
Part of the genius of the appeal of the Superbowl is how its managed to market itself as something for everybody. If you love football, this is supposed to be the greatest game of the year. If you don't, you have the comedy stylings of the commercial breaks, or the halftime show. Unfortunately it seems every year people expect too much out of the commercials, much as they expect too much out of the Oscars, and the sports were so bad this year they actually sapped energy out of the advertisements around it. On Facebook, everybody was whining about mediocre commercials, almost as much as they were whining about this weird group of what appeared to be one-legged octogenarians trying to play football against the Seahawks. The whole night got surreal when Bruce Willis came on camera and said the words "great game", a comment so profoundly stupid and trolling it could only have been made by a recording made several months before the game happened, or by a badly-programmed computer AI gone rogue, using the face of Bruce Willis as a declaration of war against humanity.
Weirdly, a lot of the focus of the night commercial-wise was with huge sweeping epics, essentially the commercial version of Oscarbait. All rambling and masturbating over vague concepts of patriotism, liberty, and freedom. There was one pretentious ad which had "America the Beautiful" sung in about a dozen languages - I don't even remember what that ad was for. One comercial even got "Beasts of the Southern Wild" star, Quvenzhane Wallis to narrate:
What was that a commercial for? The Masarati Ghibli*. I have no idea what any of that has to do with an over-priced supercar, or why the Superbowl audience is getting shown it. The market for a Masarati isn't watching the Superbowl commercials, they're at the game in skyboxes! Nobody can afford a Ghibli, we can't even afford Hyundais that aren't ten years old. Get real, Masarati and stick to the "Top Gear" track.
The worst commercial, or at least the most misguided, comes from RadioShack. It was a funny premise theoretically pushing the store forward into the 21st century and out of the 80s by having it torn apart by various 80s celebrities all jumping into a DeLorean.
The only problem is that they actually removed the entire store's inventory and I'm not sure what they replaced it with. The message I got from this commercial was very simple: don't shop at RadioShack, they don't have anything. (Not that I need to be reminded of that, RadioShack today is pretty much just a cellphone hut that seems to never have the kind of batteries my phone takes.) RadioShack: the jerk store called, they're all out of you. Which leads me to one of my favorite moments of the night:
Wow, they're looking old. Jerry is almost as bald as George was in the first season. But they're back! And this proves you could still put together a "Seinfeld" show in 2014 and it will still be funny. By the way, that's the real Tom's Restaurant in Manhattan they're eating at, just down the street from Columbia University, which was used in the old sitcom as an establishing shot for their local diner. I've eaten there, try the omelets.
However, the very best commercial of the night was from "Colbert Report" host, Stephen Colbert, for Wonderful Pistachios. It was a two-parter, sandwiching something about a naked David Beckham, featuring the best laugh I had all night, besides the laugh of insanity and defeat I let out after Percy Harvin's return. The first part was perfectly fine, just Stephen Colbert being Colbert, selling the product. Then surprise, we come back, and now it goes off the rails. Since it was two parts, I'll just link it: Part 1, Part 2. Ford tried something similar for the Ford Fusion, to much less hilarious effect, since they hired the much less charismatic duo of Rob Riggle and James Franco, and made a huge bloated mini-movie - the worst kind of Superbowl ad. Wonderful Pistachios got it exactly right: quick, silly, and Stephen Colbert.
Now as for movie trailers, there were a few. We got a brief snippet of Optimus Prime riding a robot T-Rex in the newest and probably worst Transformers movie, "Age of Extinction". There were some brief bits of "The Amazing Spider-Man 2", but if you really want to see the whole deal, try this two minute epic. I'm a bit mixed: the jokes for that one seem a bit lame, Jamie Foxx is weirdly playing the Jim Carrey Riddler from "Batman Forever". But I do like how they hired Dane DeHaan to play Harry Osborn, even if the movie looks badly cluttered with too many supervillains, including Paul Giamatti playing a robot Rhino. And there's a cool techno song featured in the trailer that I can't seem to find anywhere. But I'm beating the around bush, what we want to talk about is the "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" trailer:
Yes, that looks awesome. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the Marvel movies, but that looks cool. The title is confusing, it sounds like Captain America is "the winter soldier" when really that's the big bad of the movie, or at least the one most prominently featured so far. It looks like Captain America is fighting some kind of civil war within SHIELD, somehow related to Robert Redford who is almost certainly evil. Boy those flying carriers sure seem fragile, who makes those things? Justin Hammer? Also, a flying guy. Also, Black Widow. It looks great, but then again, so did "Thor 2".
And really, you should never trust my judgment again, because I'm still wearing a Broncos shirt.
I remember not a long time ago the Half-Time Show was usually the time you changed the channel to go watch "Celebrity Death Match" or something. Now its become this major event right at the middle of the game. This is the most-watched concert of the entire year, without a doubt, yet is only twelve minutes long. We've come a long way with Half-Time Shows, with Janet Jackson's nipple, the Black Eyed Peas starting a war against music itself, and Prince. But lately, the Half-Time Shows have been really good, even I have to admit that Madonna was putting on a great show, despite how insane it was. And Beyonce killed it last year. So did Bruno Mars do?
I say "Bruno Mars" and not "Bruno Mars and The Red Hot Chili Peppers" because this was a Bruno Mars show. The Chili Peppers got one song, and it was "Give It Away". Not a bad song, one of their best, but not the song I'd pick if I had to listen to only one Chili Peppers song. Where was "Under the Bridge" or "Californication"? Come on, Superbowl!
See? Manning is pissed about it too.
Anyway, as for Bruno Mars. There's no way around it, the man rocked. It was one of the more low-key Half-Times in a while, hardly the three-ring circus that Madonna put together. Most of the show was just Bruno Mars dancing with a bunch of back-up singers behind him. Well, there's was also a drum set on a moving bridge and an army of people holding up lights in midfield, but mostly it was low-key. I'm not a huge Bruno Mars, I don't buy his records, but when a man puts on a good show, he puts on a good show. He was smiling the whole time, he was loving his moment, I was happy for him, and he made me happy to watch. And trust me, last night, I need a whole fucking lot to be happy about.
And look at the man dance. That is pure solid gold Michael Jackson right there:
Tell me this show didn't rock.
So I guess in conclusion here, Superbowl XLVIII was awful. One of the worst nights of football I've ever come across. But thankfully, Bruno Mars did some splits. So life can continue, and I don't have to extinguish the human race... just yet. So if you'll excuse me, I have a fetal position to get into.
* Clearly missing the chance to finally get Hayao Miyazaki to direct a car commercial.