Super Bowl 2013

Let me confess up front, if I had been offered $1,000,000 the day before the Super Bowl to just name the two teams that would be competing, I would not be any richer than I am now.  Just not my thing, following sports, even football in this Eagles fan town of Philadelphia.  Even on a phone call that Saturday, I didn’t understand someone’s comment about “wishing luck tomorrow (Sunday)”, clueless that Sunday was the BIG day for THE GAME.

But I do watch the Super Bowl, my one game of the year to watch, without a favorite team to cheer for, picking up any points of interest in the pre-game show, loving the commercials, just hoping for an exciting game of pure entertainment.

Well, we got all that and more this year of 2013 with what I would describe as the best football game I have ever seen.  It had everything – brothers as two head coaches (named Jim and John, same names as my brother and me), mom and dad (and sister) interviewed before the game as to who they were cheering for to win (great family story overall), excitement from the beginning to the end (from looking like a rout in the first half to that great comeback from behind to take the final decision down to that last 4 second mark, and even that with a contested call by the ref!, a record 109 run back (or did they finally call it “just” 108 yards and thus a tie for the all time record?), two exciting quarterbacks who never gave up and took the contest back and forth with great passing and runs that left that final conclusion in doubt, no matter which team you were rooting for.

Add to all that, the infamous Super Bowl dome blackout – well what more could you ask for, seemingly changing the whole game with the 49’ers comeback after the lights came back on 34 minutes later.  It will take forever to assess public blame for that one, which of course has been the daily news ever since.   Glad to see the fans took it all in stride, and Oreos getting special attention for how their ad agency responded and got a realtime decision to put that special message on the stadium light board promoting “eating their cookies in the dark”- something that typically takes many committees/executives and weeks to decide.  Good for them!

And of course there were my favorites, the commercials (I skipped the half-time show, amazed with the technology, but not a fan of the music show itself), some ads really GREAT, others watched with disbelief that anyone would have paid those millions of dollars of ad time and production costs for such a waste of poorly done message exposure.  My favorites?  Definitely the Budweiser baby Clydesdale returning affection for his original owner, and maybe even a tie with that for the two Chrysler ads – one in tribute for our troops (two full minutes of $3.5M per 30 second ad time? – “Wow!”) and their tribute to the American farmer – both were beautiful and very moving.  As one who often can’t figure out who the ad is even for, these ads kept the company and their products in my memory and isn’t that what its all about (yes, I would buy their products IF I was a beer drinker or interested in buying a car, given the very positive image of each company that was left in my mind – “Well done Bud and Chrysler!)” – to all the other companies I would just say, “See, it can be done!  Really great, positive and effective outstanding ads can be done – just do it!” 

Just for the record, not Super Bowl related (so you don’t think  you missed their ad there), another company that would get my vote for consistent best ads (and shows) would be Hallmark cards – I love their Hallmark Hall of Fame TV specials and each and every ad during those shows (all Hallmark ads), with that beautiful theme of “Life is a special occasion!” Couldn’t have said it better myself (smile!).

So, after a fun entertainment event, this really great SB game, I’m filled with football trivia for a few days, and then will go dormant as a fan until next year when, if I don’t forget that it is coming up, I will again become a football “fan for a day” but doubt we will see a repeat of this greatest football game ever (at least as I see it).

For the record, in high school, I went out for track and reversed that decision after the first day of practice, just not a runner even back then.   Later I was invited to become the tennis coach for (JFK HS in Iselin, NJ) the high school tennis team at the school where I taught math, to which I replied, “But I don’t know anything about tennis!”  The athletic director came back with, “Did I ask if you knew anything about tennis?”  I had always wanted to play tennis, so I said yes and he told me to report to the principal to tell her I was the new tennis coach.  I bought the book(s), learned the game as I went and taught kids who came out who didn’t know any more than I did, how to play tennis based on my reading and practice the day before.  Actually it was a good thing since I really understood what they were going through in slowly learning the game.  Years later, one year after my heart transplant, I was to play tennis in national competition at the US Transplant Games in Salt Lake City and had a really great time despite the high altitude and 100 degree plus weather that Sunday.  No, we didn’t win by score (yes, it was doubles), but was ecstatic at feeling so good, even offering to play another set with those 20-something California kidney transplant tanned and well-practiced players.  Since they had more matches to play in the next round, they declined.  Later I competed in table tennis, badminton (medal won) and swimming (also medal winning) but would never call myself “an athlete” – just a “non-athlete” with a “gifted heart” who lives life to the fullest, seeing each (Hallmark) day as “Life is a special occasion”hoping that you can do the same!

See you next year “at the BIG game” – well watching it with you on TV at least.