Monday, February 4, 2013

Eximius Scaphium XLVII

A contest for the ages-- the favored XLIX of Civitas Sacti Francisci battled mightily but eventually fell in defeat to the Corvorum of Terram Mariae. The God of the Underworld even blanketed the stadium in darkness, reminding all of the fleetingness of glory. Still, the imperial nature of this event get a little more intense every year: A little more reflexively patriotic, a little more excessive and bombastic, a little more awesomely exclusive, a little less about football.

Heck of a game, so-so broadcast. Still a hugely watched event, 108 million viewers, the third most watched ever.

• Good, weird game. It was a story of competing tempos: The Ravens had it in the first half, and after the blackout the 49ers had it. Unfortunately, that's the wrong time to gain tempo: Super Bowl games can't be won before halftime-- but they can be lost.

• This was a hometown game. When the Giants won the World Series a few months ago, it was double 4th of July in my neighborhood. After the Super Bowl was over, you could have heard a pin drop outside.

• Halftime was professional, none of the coarse goings-on like last year's Madonna jamboree. Beyoncé and the Clones of Doctor Funkenstein did a great job. They probably pulled too many amps with all those video displays and 5K spotlights, which overheated something and lead to a blackout.

Beyoncé and the gang, backstage before the big show.
• Commercials: Blah, for the most part:

• The one that lead in survey as most memorable was a Budweiser ad featuring a horse breeder reunited with a Clydesdale running unbridled through the streets of Chicago, all set to "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac. Eh. First of all, using "Landslide" to tug heartstrings was done first and better in "You're Getting Old," an episode of South Park from 2011. Second of all, If I know anything about Chicago police, if they saw a huge horse running down the street alone the poor beast would experience a sudden and decisive animal-control action.

• Chrysler featured the highlight and lowlight ads. "God Made a Farmer" was a brilliant two-minute ad, stunning in it's simplicity: a slideshow of hyper-sharp stills of real farmers set to an old Paul Harvey spoken piece. It was the anti-Super Bowl: simple, unglamorous, VFX-free, and told with undeniable sincerity. It was so light on product push the product (Dodge Trucks) was not seen until the last title card. People are already making fun of it, which is a predictable pattern: much like the critical reaction to Les Miserábles, It's sincerity flew under their Ironic Radar Systems.

• Oprah Winfrey narrated an ad for Jeep illustrating the lives of military families and veterans. This pisses me off. I don't care if they stuck a USO logo in the final title card, using members of the military to sell things (like, as someone tweeted, a car that gets 13 MPG) is borderline seditious.

• The rest of the ads were unmemorable, and for the most part most of the Bay Area would just as soon forget the whole thing.

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