Commercials, Super Bowl and Full Tilt
Some actual semi-poker content here. I'm watching the Poker Superstars show that was televised on NBC before the Super Bowl, and I have to say that the Full Tilt commercials are pretty goddam funny. I was somehow distracted during the Lindgren-Matusow commercial featuring the Hammer, but it looked pretty funny. The Lederer-Seidel commercial was pretty funny.
But the Phil Ivey commercial made me laugh out loud and demanded a rewind. "Have a nice day," Phil says, and Mean Gene laughs. It's his expression, and the tone of his voice. Outstanding.
The Super Bowl commercials I only half-watched, as I tried not to spontaneously combust. I liked the FedEx commercial very much. The Hummer commercial was friggin awful. The Diet Pepsi "Brown and Bubbly" was beyond friggin awful. I'm switching to Coke, right now. I liked the Bud commercial in the stadium with the fans turning the cards.
If I was commissioner of the NFL, I would get rid of the Super Bowl halftime show. It's gotten ridiculous, and while the Stones weren't as horrible as some folks say, why is an 45-year-old English rock band playing during our biggest sporting event? It's like Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band playing at the FA Cup Final. It bewilders. Last year it was Paul McCartney. This year the Stones. What's next, do they dig up and reanimate Mozart? A concert solely of whalesong from a dozen humpbacks swimming in specially constructed tanks at midfield?
I'm pretty pissed off about the constant bitching on ESPN and beyond about the officiating. Partially because the Seahawks have some reason to be pissed. To my mind there are only 2 plays that had any impact. The Big Ben TD was a touchdown, or was close enough you can't complain. Or, if you want to complain, the Steelers score on 4th down and an inch and the point is moot. The Hasselback personal foul meant nothing, as Hines Ward would've scored on the reverse pass had the play been 15 yards further back. Moot.
So we have the Darrell Jackson interference and the holding penalty. Let's say the Seahawks get both calls. Let's even assume that the Seahawks score a TD after the pass down to the 2 yard line. That only ties the game up. And in those circumstances I think the Steelers still win. Because if the score had been 14-7 instead of 14-3, I don't think the Steelers call the play that Big Ben threw the pick on. With an opportunity to go up by 2 scores I think the Steelers would've just run the ball and either scored or, more likely, kicked the field goal. Giving the Steelers the lead. At best, those calls cost the Seahawks 11 points. Meaning the game wouldn't quite yet be in Seattle's control.
I'm a big believer in fair play. I think the officiating was pretty poor, in this game and throughout the playoffs. I found myself not enjoying the win because I want the game to be adjudicated fairly and the win without taint. But to say that the officiating cost the Seahawks the game stretches credulity. Maybe with a tie game Big Ben leads the Steelers on a triumphant game-winning drive. Steelers did make 2 first downs late playing ultra-conservative. I think I've finally cleared away whatever residual guilt I feel about the win.
That said, good Lord, the officating needs to get fixed. How many terrible, huge calls were there in the playoffs? Dozens. As I said before, officiating an NFL game is a daunting task. They need full-time refs.
Another thing. Why the hell do they rotate a different, brand-new ball in for every play. The balls are slick, they haven't been rubbed down, and they have a logo right where the QB's thumb goes that makes it even more slick. I don't blame Big Ben's problems on the balls, but why on Earth would you introduce this idiotic variable into the biggest game of the year? The league showcase? Is it really necessary to extract a few extra thousand bucks out of the game and impact the game? How about we get rid of the ludicrous halftime shows and let the teams use rubbed-down balls?
The Super Bowl is so overhyped that its become a parody. Short of Jesus returning to Earth in the middle of the 2nd quarter, the game can't live up to expectations. Look, obviously I'm a pretty serious football fan. I like football. I don't like pretentious self-serious nonsense. Lose Media Day. Lose the halftime show. Lose the footballs treated liked each is the Shroud of Goddam Turin. Play some football.
The chances of this happening? Less than absolute zero.
Pictures tomorrow, from my friend at the game and maybe some from the parade tomorrow, if anyone I know has a camera. Gonna be cold. Awesome.