By now everyone knows the outcome of this year’s Super Bowl. All that remains is the inevitable Monday morning (or in the Tribune’s case Tuesday morning) quarterbacking before the event can officially be placed in the archives.
So, given my position as the sports editorial voice of the Pratt Tribune, I take word processor in hand to wax eloquent on my impressions of the recently completed Super Bowl XLVII. Of course, “The Bowl” is more than just a mere sporting event, and commentary would be incomplete without a guy also offering opinions on the other, non-sporting, aspects of the national holiday known as The Super Bowl.
First off, I would like to state for the record that, on the whole, I am not impressed by “critics” as a class. Movie critics tend to be snarky and to think that every film is supposed to be Citizen Kane. And I suspect that a person becomes a music critic when he/she either (A) cannot play a single note on any known musical instrument, or (2) cannot dance a lick. What else could explain why critics (1) used to hate on groups like Chicago and Kansas, who possessed actual technical expertise on their axes, in favor of the simplistic, cacophonous anarchy of groups like The Clash; or (B) dismiss out of hand anything that one can actually dance to.
But I digress. Long story long, let’s just say that even though I think critics on the whole are far less worthy than those they presume to critique, I am nevertheless going to offer a few thoughts on various aspects of the televised spectacle known as the Super Bowl.
As to the game, the 7 of you who are following me on Twitter already know that I predicted the Ravens would win, even though I would be rooting for the 49ers. The old head vs, heart conflict.
Of course the game ended up being a rather compelling one, after what was pretty much a snoozer of a first half. Anytime a football game ends with the decisive play being a 4th and goal from the 5 -yard line with under 2 minutes to play, you’d have to say it was a pretty good game. (Full disclosure: I can now admit that as a Frisco fan, I was responsible for the lengthy power outage that switched the momentum back in the ’Niners’ favor. I cannot reveal how I did it, however. I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.)
I personally was in a no-lose situation of course, since I wanted the 49ers to win, but I picked the Ravens to prevail. The only way I could be disappointed in the Super Bowl was if the game was horrible, but it wasn’t. With the ’Niners rallying in the second half to make it close, it ended up being a fun contest to watch, I thought.
Page 2 of 3 - Turning to the things that have transformed the Super Bowl into an American cultural event—not just a sporting one, I thought the commercials improved as the game got better. Probably my two favorites were the Budweiser ad—hard to not like an ad for beer that involves a story about a man and his Clydesdale; and the moving Paul Harvey homage to the American farmer.
Halftime show? I will admit that I did not recognize any of the songs that Beyonce was singing. I was not humming along with her as I might have been if the halftime artist had been one of my favorite classic rock bands.
But the halftime was definitely spectacular to watch, and certainly more in tune with contemporary pop culture than, say, The Who were in 2010. The lighting, dancing, special effects and pyrotechnics rendered the show eminently watchable even for old guys like me. I feel certain that those who are more familiar with Ms. Knowles music than I am probably enjoyed the halftime show to an even greater extent. The show was quite a technical achievement, setting all that up in six minutes is no mean feat. I would have to say the show was a big success overall.
Another aspect of the Super Bowl that seems to be getting more attention is the coverage provided by the sportscasters. Although in general I prefer ESPN’s talking heads to CBS’s , I do have to give props to the ever-improving Shannon Sharpe. I liked when he called out Bill Belichick for poor sportsmanship following the Patriot’s loss in the playoffs a few weeks ago. Then in the Super Bowl, he was the first to point out that the lengthy power outage had come at an opportune time for the then-reeling 49ers, and he predicted that it would allow them to get their ship righted and make a game of it in the second half—which was exactly what happened.
One closing thought: Am I the only guy that still has a hard time telling the Harbaughs apart? Whichever one coaches the 49ers (Jim?) kind of ruined it for me when he refused to be interviewed postgame. That seems to be a growing trend in the NFL (see Bill Belichick reference above.) I don’t know that anything he said after the game would add to our understanding, and I realize that he was undoubtedly distraught over the game’s outcome. But, c’mon man… Cowboy up, mouth some clichés for the camera, at least pretend to be a good sport even if you aren’t one.
So what’s my final verdict on Super Bowl XLVII? I would have to give it 4 ½ stars out of 5. I’m not sure what I am docking it ½ star for, except that I feel there is always room for improvement.
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