The Super Bowl is one of the few sporting events that grows progressively worse with every year. Super Sunday was once the greatest day in sports, but has slowly devolved into a commercialized marathon that spans the two weeks leading up to the game.
To go along with the theme of overshadowing the game, this week’s column will be devoted to highlighting the best, worst and weirdest moments of Super Sunday (hint: there are a lot of weird ones)—and maybe I’ll get to the game, if there’s time.
First Oopsie Daisies Moment: Christina Aguilera forgetting the words to the National Anthem. Also, when she decided to hold each note for approximately 12 seconds longer than anyone was comfortable with.
Second Oopsie Daisies Moment: The entire Black Eyed Peas half-time performance. Particularly the Fergie/Slash combination.
Most Valuable Player: Aaron Rodgers. (Honorable Mention: Jordy Nelson, Rashard Mendenhall)
Least Valuable Player: Byron Leftwich. (Honorable Mention: Charles Woodson’s collarbone)
Best Name: Frank Zombo. (Honorable Mention: Frank Zombo)
Not Surprisingly: The one time they showed Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez, he was in a press box being hand fed by girlfriend Cameron Diaz. Just when I think you’ve reached the top of my unlikeable athletes chart, Alex, you go and find new ways to define the word “douche.”
Stop Doing That: Antwaan Randle El was celebrating after a first half catch like he’d just won his fourteenth consecutive Super Bowl MVP award. Unfortunately, in the real world his team trailed by 18 points. I wonder if there is a threshold where Antwaan thinks to himself, “We are down by way too much for me to be celebrating so ferociously.” 25 points? 30? 50? Get back to me, ARE.
Best Commercial: Doritos Finger Licking commercial was the only ad of the night that provoked a laugh-out-loud reaction from me, so it is by default my winner for Best Commercial. (Honorable Mention: Osbourne/Bieber Best Buy, both CarMax commercials, Reply All Email)
Weirdest Commercial: Don’t know what the Coca-Cola folks were thinking when they gave a green light to the “Mystical rodent version of Lord of the Rings” idea. In this commercial, a 15,000-pound fire-breathing dragon drinks a Coca-Cola and suddenly starts breathing fireworks and happiness to end what was about to be a terribly gruesome battle between the two rodent civilizations. (If you didn’t see the game, you probably don’t believe me. But it happened.)
NFL Record: For most horribly missed field goal attempt in Super Bowl history … congratulations, Shane Suisham! The measurements are in for your third quarter 52-yard field goal attempt and it was 85 yards wide left. Just barely missed it.
Possible allegations against Ben Roethlisberger this summer: I’m going to keep my mouth shut on this one. Instead, I’ll give you some keywords and you can fill in the blanks … Sex, underage, babies, motorcycles, non-consensual, settlement, Las Vegas, inappropriate, charges dropped.
Number of injuries sustained by Packers in first half: 37
Number of Packers fans in the country thinking/screaming “Oh S#!%!” when Charles Woodson was ruled out for the second half of the game: 12,182,092
Chances Antwaan Randle El was celebrating in the locker room despite losing: 100 percent. Didn’t you see he scored a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter?!
Key to the Game: The ability of the Packers to convert off of turnovers. The first turnover forced by Green Bay was a Nick Collins pick-six. The second, a nice read by Packers defensive back Jarrett Bush who undercut a route by Steelers wide out Mike Wallace. The Packers would march down the field and finish the drive with a Rodgers bullet to Greg Jennings down the middle of the field to give the Pack a 21-3 edge late in the first half. The third and most crucial turnover came on the first play of the fourth quarter when Pittsburgh running back Rashard Mendenhall coughed the ball up after getting sandwiched between Green Bay’s Clay Matthews and Ryan Pickett. Just like the previous two takeaways, Green Bay converted the fumble into a touchdown, as Rodgers again hit Jennings for what would prove to be the game-winning touchdown.
Sports Editor Joel Hafnor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.