Well, not really. I couldn’t care less about the football, Superbowl or not. The only reason I paid any attention at all to the on-field action was because Darling Husband entered into some sort of random pool. If the score at the end of a quarter added up to a number ending in 3, 5, or 8, we could win $50. So I was doing some cheering: “Miss that extra point!” “Just take a knee already!” “Come on, go for the field goal. It’s only 50 yards!” Didn’t matter to me which team was ahead; I was just adding up the score.
As the dutiful yet happy wife of a football lover, I have learned to tolerate the Big Game and get my enjoyment from the commercials. Until this year, that is. I think last night’s mostly humdrum line-up of ads may be the beginning of the end for Superbowl commercial tradition. I can honestly say that not one commercial left me laughing out loud or saying “Wow.” Several left me disgusted, like the Doritos finger licker ad or the Pepsi Max ad with the black couple (who started out funny) slinking away after knocking the attractive white jogger unconscious. Oh, and the Teleflora ad was particularly tasteless. I had a little chuckle over the VW Darth Vader kid spot, but I don’t think it deserves all the praise it’s getting on Twitter. I did actually enjoy the NFL ad that featured classic retro TV clips. But does that even count as an eligible commercial since it was done by the NFL?
Just for comparison’s sake, I looked up lists of all-time great Superbowl commercials. Look here for an awesome trip down memory lane. Can anyone honestly say that last night featured anything to compare to the ads on that Top 25 list? The kids and I watched some of them this morning. There’s your first clue: the best ones were all family friendly. (Don’t even get me started about how I cringe over the tasteless and/or quasi-porn commercials every time Junior watches a sports program on TV.) I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the good, clean fun ads are among the most memorable:
- The Budweiser frogs of 1995
- The FedEx carrier pigeons of 2006
- Michael Jordan vs. Larry Byrd for McDonald’s in 1993
And what happened to the sentimental commercials? I’m referring here to the Budweiser Clydesdales, of course. This year, they were basically an afterthought in Budweiser’s commercial. No comparison to the good ol’ days of the Clydesdale in training, “Rocky” style (2008) or the young Clydesdale slipping into the harness and trying to pull the wagon while the other horses push from behind (2006). Admit it. You got a little misty-eyed. And of course, there was the 9/11 Clydesdale tribute commercial shown just once during the 2002 Superbowl. What’s wrong with stepping away from the raucous, frat-party stuff of Superbowl parties for just a moment of heart-tugging emotion? Is that so yesterday?
There you have it. The Uncommon Housewife’s take on the biggest sporting event of the year. The 2011 Superbowl will go down at least in our family lore as the year we won $100 in the random score pool, not the year we couldn’t stop laughing over a particular commercial. If this is a trend that continues next year, I’ll find it really difficult to tolerate watching the game in that dutiful wife fashion. Isn’t there always some chick-flick marathon on another channel?