February 2, 2015 by gregrabidoux2013
Super Bowl XLIX was exciting (thank you Katy)if not imperfect (thank you players). Tom “Terrific” Brady threw a couple of picks to go with his 4 TDs. The ESPN-anointed “elite” QB Russell Wilson didn’t complete a pass, as in a single toss, for nearly a half. Appropriately enough, the game ended on a play call as inexplicable as a team that thinks it has to (may have) deflate a football to win. Especially, when your QB is a Hall of Fame lock and your coach is arguably one of the greatest since one V. Lombardi to roam the sidelines( actually, the game ended on a kneel-down just after a silly fight but you know what I mean).
Still, there were some heart-stopping, if not purely fortuitous plays (The Kearse catch with the ghost of David Tyree giving a helping hand) in the waning moments just before “The Call” and “The Catch” (interception, actually, by Malcolm “Don’t call me Rookie” Butler).
And there was of course, Ms. Katy Perry. Looking both fit and fierce as she strode atop her mechanical Lion, she roared louder than Richard Sherman, Gronkowski and even Serena, all combined. Lenny Kravitz made his obligatory cameo to lend even more “cool” to the moment and Katy’s special guest that was gonna “make our jaws drop and faces melt” turned out to be a rapper whose last hit was circa 2008. Still, the dancing sharks and swaying palm trees somehow seamlessly fit a bikini-clad Katy though the whole scene seemed better suited for an episode of “Yo-Gabba-Gabba.”
But what threatened to put me on anti-depressives (no, not “the call” that gave the Pats the win, I wanted the evil empire to win this one) were the Super Bowl ads. Anything but super, collectively, these ads appeared to be competing for the title of “Who can depress the audience more?” and for pushing we, the viewers over the edge and into the abyss of despair.
Let’s see, there were kids and adults with no legs, absentee Dads getting into racecar crashes, a preachy message about how we routinely insult all girls even our own sisters, and a kid who will never get to grow up, you know, cuz he’s already dead (though he did look full of life in the ad).
Not to be outdone in the pathos department, there was also a scruffy dog that once again is lost from his owner and needs the Budweiser Clydesdales to scare away a salivating killer wolf (geez, where do these people live and why can’t they just keep the dang dog inside?) a Weightwatchers ad about control that just made me hungry and something about hate and violence on the internet that gets “cured” because a techie spills a coke in some main network circuit. This last one just scared me and made me want to see the dancing sharks a bit more.
About the only ad that truly seemed to hit the mark was for the movie “Ted” that talked about the true golden boy Tom Brady and his “tight spiral.” A bit crude but I’ll take that over tears.
I don’t read as much into these games and its winners and losers as much as I used to. It is after all, just mostly big business. But I guess without even trying to, I have a couple of personal takeaways for those of us who won’t earn $20 million this year for throwing a tight spiral.
One, success is never more impressive when it is sustained over time. It had been a decade since the Patriots won it all. Yet, every year they are in the thick of the race and if not for 2 truly miraculous catches by NY Giants receivers I believe this could have easily been the sixth (!) Super Bowl victory for Messrs. Kraft, Belichick and Brady.
If, the definition if insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for different outcomes, then brilliance is sustaining the same level of excellence year in and year out and not being at all surprised when the outcome (victory) is the reward.
Second, winning like life, seems at times nearly equal measure hard work, talent and luck. Funny and unpredictable things happen when grown men play with an oblong (usually properly inflated) ball. Life seems to mirror this formula. I have often felt that I prepare, work hard, apply my talent but Lady Luck is either with me or not. Sinatra knew.
Third, it is often the most unheralded among us that achieve greatness. Chris Matthews and Malcom Butler. If I had told you before this game those were going to be among the brightest stars of the NFL’s biggest game you would have asked me if I had been partying early and if those were the dudes who deflated the balls. Word.
Finally, an incredibly hyped event like this does have a way of reminding us and me of big and small things to be grateful for at game’s end.
I am thankful that despite us living in an age of terrorism that we again were able to join and celebrate a truly American national event without the tragedy of terrorism.
At a much smaller scale I am also grateful I will not have to endure Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman telling us all why he and he alone is the greatest thing that ever lived nor again be told by his teammate Marshawn Lynch that he “is just here because he has to be.”
Guess what? Everyone has a boss, and we are all usually somewhere doing something because we have to. Might as well make the best of it.
Bring back the dancing sharks and the Minions please.
And God Bless these United States of America.
Hey Marshawn, enjoy all your free time.