02 February 2014

Stoneruper Bowl Sunday

The following utterly random thoughts (if, that is, they pass for "thoughts") have nothing to do with the strangeness coming from the Super Bowl being contested by teams from prominent, but largely beneath the notice of denizens of Boswash, states that recently (and newsworthily) legalized recreational use of mary-j-wana.

  • I'm hoping for a good, competitive game for sixty (or more) minutes. I'll settle for a big lead with a great comeback (whether or not successful)... but I'd prefer a game in which both teams are in it for the full match. The main reason: The booth announcers really suck when their attention/focus on the game wanders (yes, that is a specific criticism of both Mr Buck and Mr Aikman), and when the booth team wanders off so does the rest of the Fox Sports broadcast army — especially the selection of off-field shots.
  • This game is going to be decided by a purely mental moment. The critical play, or perhaps even set of plays, will be distinguished by a critical player on Team X outthinking a critical player on Team Y. The most obvious possibilities are Manning calling an audible that sets a receiver completely free... or Sherman suckering Manning into a critical interception. But those players might not prove the game-changers; in all of the conversations about "#1 offense v. #1 defense," the tendency of the very top squads to neutralize each other has overshadowed both "rising young (short) QB and Beast Mode v. injury-riddled defense" and so-called "special teams." It's rather disturbing that the vast majority of these mental moments are going to be delegated to men who didn't go to college to learn, but for an unlawfully unpaid apprenticeship (all too frequently an incomplete one). Division III rulez!
  • The commercials are gonna suck. They always do, as a whole; there are usually a few interesting ones (some of the classic Audi spots, "package didn't make it" and the aftermath, and so on), but the selection of commercials is almost always the result of trying much too hard to be clever by people who really aren't all that clever — usually on behalf of a product that isn't very clever, either.
  • The pregame "show" is longer than the bloody broadcast would be but for the extended halftime (which is not going to help the quality of play in the second half and will lead to muscle injuries). And it will suck worse than the commercials.
  • Shoot the halftime acts. And I don't even know who they are. Super Bowl halftime is one of the most ridiculous examples of excess and marketing overcoming anything relating to actual entertainment in all of Western media, against some extremely stiff competition. The only possible excuse for the halftime show is anticipation of:
  • Wardrobe malfunctions. <SARCASM> Maybe some cheerleaders. Maybe, for the sake of the locals (since I live just south of That City By the Bay), Mr Buck and/or Mr Aikman... </SARCASM>

Meanwhile, PBS looks a lot more worthwhile tonight. Not just Sherlock, either. Fortunately, since moving out here to the Left Coast, I don't have to choose quite so directly between them... and the real football is on at an unconscionably early hour, so I can record it and skip all the commercials (if there were any during the 45-minute halves!).

Update, halftime (with the sound off): I guess I'll have to be satisfied with the Smokin' Seachickens pulverizing the Guys From Mile High. The commercials are, on the whole, worse than I expected. Really: A Super Bowl commercial for $cient0l0gy????

Update, postgame: Congratulations to my hometown Seachickens for showing up (and, more than most teams, graduating from at least their apprenticeships before the NFL). Too bad the game sucked, the broadcast was an appalling mix of fawning and "let's distract the audience because nobody with any brains (which obviously excludes us, since we can't count the number of two-point conversions necessary to go from zero to thirty) is paying much attention any more," and the commercials went downhill after halftime.

There was one good thing about this game: Sportsmanship between the teams. There were no huge/obvious cheap shots or intents to injure; no obvious taunting (or gratuitous running up of the score, despite the final margin of victory); no harassment of the officials (who were largely invisible, proof that they did their job almost as well as the Seattle defense). The losing team was gracious and the winning team wasn't arrogant; the trash-talking stayed on the field where it belonged. Of course, since the result was inevitable by midway through the third quarter — about the time Mr Aikman demonstrated his poor grasp of basic mathematics — the adrenalin had a reasonable opportunity to taper down before the idiot reporters started asking stupid and obvious questions...