50 Super Bowl Thoughts

1.  Congratulations to the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning as the defense gift-wrapped a huge win for the Orange faithful.  Here are the thoughts and comments you missed by not sitting on my couch during the game.

2.  I enjoyed the interview with Jim Nantz in the pre-game.  It followed a feature with the eight men who have called the game and reflected on the other six watching from their own skybox.

As a (very) small time play by play guy in my radio days, it was neat to hear the emotion in Jim's voice as he talked about advice from Jack Whitaker (Super Bowl I).  He placed a photo of Jack in his breast pocket and a coin from Pat Summerall (X11, X1V, XV1, XVIII, and XXI).

It's easy to dislike the play by play guy since it feels like he's "against" your team.  The announcer usually keeps his emotions off screen, so seeing and hearing how much it means to him to call the game was wonderful.

3.  The traditional interview with the President had a welcome touch with the First Lady included during the more social conversation.  President Reagan was the first to be interviewed as part of the telecast.  More interesting, President Ford was actually pursued by the Green Bay Packers after he graduated from Michigan.  He said no.  I guess it worked out for him.

4.  The best piece in the pre-game?  The story about the four time Super Bowl champs, the Buffalo Bills!  Maybe it happens if Scott Norwood's kick in their first appearance doesn't float wide right. Instead, spoiler alert, they lost 4 in a row.

5.  Gotta like the Turkish Airline ads promoting flights to Gotham and Metropolis... I hope they have graphic novels in the pocket in front of my seat.  It ran during pre-game as sponsor of hour 4.

6.  The end of the "Super Bowl Today" narrated by Joe Namath (III) and Brett Favre (XXXI, XXXII) set a nice tone tying yesterday with today in a game loved by many and celebrating the holiday its become.

7.  Ron Howard's "Dream On" open with everybody, including Big Bird and Larry King... awesome!  I'm ready for some football!!

8.  I love Bart Starr!  A better gentleman than football player.  An all-time great.

9.  Interesting that all but one MVP is still living - a great idea to show the heroes of this game (at least in the Super Bowl era).

10.  Stirring anthem by the Military chorus singing America the Beautiful.  It gets the emotions flowing.  Outstanding.

11.  Can't say I was ever a big Lady Gaga fan, but ever since she ditched some of the costumes and stopped hiding her face, I will say I enjoy listening to her.  She is a big talent, I think she has a future. Very well done.  I like the shots of players singing, the cheer of the crowd when troops are shown on screen.  And you can't go wrong with the Navy's Blue Angels.

12.  I won't get breakfast at McDonald's at night (or in the morning either, usually), but it was a nice spot.  The best of the bunch in the break before the coin toss.

13.  Kevin Hart's commercial just sold fathers of teen-age girls a whole bunch of Hyundai cars.  A+

14.  University of Wisconsin's Owen Daniels makes the first catch.  He and Carolina punter Brad Nortman are the two Badgers on the field.   Daniels started as a QB, was turned into a tight end and went to UW, in part, because of it's meteorology program.

15.  First Quarter ads worth mentioning:
  • Snicker's ad with Marilyn/William Dafoe a nice pick-up on their running theme.  A+
  • Avocado ad with Scott Baio under glass - classic.  B
  • Apartments.com "Moving on Up" ad is a 70s flashback for fans of the Jeffersons.  A 
  • Is the Doritos baby a Super Bowl baby?  B+  
  • Buying an Audi makes me an astronaut... cool.  B  
  • It must be my age, because the Mt. Dew Kickstarter ad doesn't work for me.  D  
  • I liked the Marmot ad, but then had to explain it.  As my teacher used to say, I'll have to mark down for that... C+
  • Buick "Odell-ed" it  C+
  • Advil - I might need one after this ad.  C
  • The Acura commercial is very cool.  I hope someone buys me one.  B
  • Rocket mortgage feels like a crash after launch.  D
16.  All year it's seemed no one can seem to figure out what a "catch" is - it figures that caused the first challenge.  To me, it was a catch - although there was a little ball movement when it seemed to hit the ground.

17.  Big turnover, Carolina looks a bit dazed and confused.  Denver is off to a quick start - it seems they want to win it for #18.  Nice play by the Broncos to lasso some momentum early.  10 - 0 Denver

18.  Panther sighting?  Kuechly's sack to force a punt is the first sign of a pulse by Carolina.

19.  Second Quarter ads:
  • Budweiser always comes through with their ads.  A
  • Skittles with a scary good ad - weird and compelling Skittle Tyler.  A-
  • T-Mobile's Steve Harvey ad might not make Miss Universe happy, but I like it.  B+
  • Hyundai's Ryan Reynolds ad is amusing, not laughing out loud though.  B
  • Do we really need to talk about OIC right now?  Eeeww.  F
  • Hulk, Ant Man, Coke.  B+ 
  • Is it just me, or are there a lot of movie trailers in this telecast?
  • I do drive a Prius, but their ad is funny!  A+  It's my winner of the evening!
20.  Aqib Talib meltdown - costly penalty gives Carolina a first down when he gets a penalty during a sack of Newton then flagrantly grabs a facemask which puts the Panthers on the goal line.  Stewart flies over the line and we have a ballgame.  10 - 7 Denver

21.  Four minutes into the second quarter and Big Mo seems to be switching sides of the field.  Kuechly again makes a big hit.  Denver punts again; three punts in a row now.

22.  A strange return... nonchalant catch ends up being the longest punt return in 50 Super Bowls to set up the Broncos inside the red zone (61 yards).  Big Mo is fickle.  The Carolina D keeps Manning away from the goalline to salvage some respect.  13 - 7 Denver

23.  Carolina is giving away gifts like it's the day after Christmas.

24.  The Panther defenders rise up with a pick and return, a crucial get-back after their O fumbled on their last possession.  Denver's defense is too good and the Badger's Nortman punts again.

25.  Halftime.  Two Carolina turnovers.  One by Denver.  Defense rules the field so far.  Carolina 7  Denver 13

26.  Coldplay, Bruno Mars, and Beyonce walk into a stadium to enjoy a Pepsi and put on a show...
  • I'll admit to a couple of things here - I recognized the melody of Coldplay's first two songs, have no idea about the third.  The music is ok and the choreography on the field is kind of neat. 
  • Bruno Mars is high-energy, it's got a beat and you can dance to it.  Don't believe me?  Just watch.  He can dance.
  • Beyonce is a show-stopper.  Can't say I know her music very well either, but she is the best performer on the field so far tonight.
  • It must be pretty hot behind the goalposts where the explosions/fireballs are going off.
  • All three entertainers together produce a nice synergy - maybe they should've done the whole half like this?
  • The card stunts are cool, but can you see the show if you hold a card in front of your face?
  • Does anyone else want a Pepsi?  Quick side note, whenever we went to my paternal grandparent's house, grandpa asked everyone if they wanted a Pepsi.  Back then, 16 ounces was a full bottle and if you finished one, they asked if you wanted another.  Maybe that's why I prefer Pepsi.
  • The Amazon Echo ad gets points for the deluxe stadium.  B
  • Jeep is an American tradition, a nice ad, but fades into the background next to the Amazon spot.  C
  • The "Know More" PSA is important.  I wonder if people paid attention.  C+
27.  Did some folks at your game watch suddenly leave to watch Downton Abbey?  That means more Chex Mix for me, I guess.

28.  NFL halftimes are usually 12 minutes, so both coaches could make adjustments to their adjustments tonight.  I expect to see more offensive scoring in the second half.

29.  Maybe not.  Carolina stalls at the Denver 25 leaving a 44 yard field goal attempt to inch closer coming out of the break, but it bounces off the right upright.  Still 13 - 7 Denver.

30.  Third quarter ads:
  • People love dogs, right?  And Doritos.  I guess dogs love Doritos.  C
  • Turbo Taxes ad seems forced.  C
  • Is Pokeman still a thing?  I can't do that.  C-
  • Does anyone else think the anthropomorphic gut is a little weird?  D+
  • LG OLED must be cool, it says it's the future.  Until next week.  B-
  • Sure, Death Wish coffee sounds like a perfect way to start the day.  C
  • Coffee to die for and Butterfingers represent bold choices?  Really?  D+
  • Hot dogs in a field running toward condiments.  Sure, I'll bite.  B+
  • Sheep singing Queen, I love it.  Honda.  A+
  • Budweiser is a big company with big horses.  And a good ad agency.  B+
  • Super Bowl Babies are apparently caused by Super Bowl victories.  Hmm.  B
31.  Denver's offense isn't helping their stellar defense.  Another field goal to go up 16 - 7.

32.  Outstanding deep throw for 42 yards from Newton to Brown.  Then a really, really long 4 yard run by Ted Ginn, Jr.  Then a Denver pick, fumble and Bronco recovery.  Carolina may not have many toes left if they keep shooting at them.

33.  Did you know Carolina's owner started his business life while playing for the Baltimore Colts when he opened a franchise of Hardee's?

34.  A good crowd in the stadium from the sound of things.  It must be close to 50/50 since it's been loud going both directions.

35.  Neither quarterback has much time to look around from the pocket.  It seems like neither team can sustain much of a drive.

36.  End of 3, it isn't pretty.  3 turnovers and 2 mistakes by Carolina.  A pick 6 or return may be the only way for a team to score.

37.  A Panther loses his cool and costs the defense 15 yards of real estate with a silly penalty by knocking the ball out of the hand of a Bronco when the play is over.  It's death by a thousand paper cuts in Carolina.

38.  A strip-sack and recovery by Purdue (correction 2/8/16 9:23pm - it's Missouri) product Kony Ealy gets the ball back to Cam Newton at midfield.  It's time to see if the MVP can find his mojo.

39.  Fourth quarter ads:
  • A much better Jeep ad captures the essence of Jeep.  A+
  • There must a lot of money in razors.  Schick  B
  • Axe is thought by some to replace the need for showers.  Interesting ad, though.  B-
  • May we present toenail fungus... appetizers anyone?  D
  • Christopher Walken is selling cars with 4 wheels and lots of horsepower. Sounds dumb, but it works for Kia.  A
  • A strange singing cell phone ad for T-Mobile.  I'm sorry.  C-
  • Helen Mirren reminds us not to drive drunk.  A fine message by Budweiser.  However, maybe the ad should have been aired before people started their imbibing.  Here's to moderation. B+
  • A thoughtful ad by Colgate reminding us to turn off the water while brushing our teeth.  B
40.  A 39 yard field goal after the turnover makes it a one score game again.  16 - 10 Denver with 10 minutes to play.  Carolina is fortunate to be in it.

41.   Denver three and out seems to be the opportunity Carolina has been waiting for - I wonder if Superman packed his cape.

42.  I'm sure there have been votes made by fans already for MVP, but the only possible candidate so far is Kony Ealy.  But if his team doesn't win, I don't see how he gets it.  4Q 8:26 left

43.  On the other hand, maybe Von Miller and Denver's defense shares the award?

44.  Carolina's defense is no slouch either.  It looks like tug-a-war out there.

45.  Less than 5 minutes to go.  Each team has 3 time-outs and Carolina starts from their own 24.  This is the drive which will likely decide if it's Denver's D or the Panthers get the trophy.

46.  Yep, give the MVP to Von Miller.  He strips the ball out of Newton's hand.  Denver gets the ball inside the Panther 5.

47.  The education of Cam Newton, 1 interception and 2 fumbles - one returned for a touchdown.  He is an imposing athlete at quarterback and he likely has many more good days to come.  However, he won't be sleeping well for quite a few nights as he replays this game.

48.  That should do it.  CJ Anderson reaches paydirt.  The two point try is good.  24 - 10 Denver. Carolina needs to find its heart in San Francisco right quick.

49.  If Carolina can figure this out, it's another reminder that it ain't over until it's over.  Denver's defense is really responsible for most of their points, either directly or indirectly.  A very impressive performance.

50.  Congratulations to Peyton Manning.  He gets his 200th win as an NFL quarterback, breaking his tie with Brett Favre.  He had very little to do with tonight's outcome.  He limited his mistakes and gave his team the opportunity to win.  It would seem it's time to ride into the sunset.  Five years from now, he can be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.