Monday, February 04, 2008

Judgment Day

Well Super Bowl XLII is in the can and while most people would have considered it an exciting and memorable game; I for one was disappointed in nearly every single way. As I mentioned in previous posts, I have nothing but personal animosity for both teams so whatever result would have been loss loss anyway. After the game, however as I sat there watching the confetti falling, the fans in blue exploding in ecstasy, Michael Strahan flashing his large gap toothed grin, and the perpetually smug and evil Bill Belichick being deservingly humbled, I realized...I would have preferred the Patriots win.

There's something unsettling and unfair about the Giants being declared the superior team over the Patriots. On one side you have a team that has demonstrated week in and week out a historically superior level of play. They broke records by the handful, they embarrassingly blew out opponents, and in the close ones, always came in the clutch. Then you have the Giants, a team full of question marks, unproven players, whose uneven play all season and general weakness of the NFC backed them into the playoffs as a wild card team. From an objective perspective (I guess hating both teams is objective) does it seem fair that the previously undefeated, record breaking squad be considered inferior to a 10-6 wild card team? I'm all for upsets, but I'm also for history. If this was a seven game series I would be fairly confident that the inherent talent of the Patriots would overwhelm the Giants, but alas these are the breaks, everyone only gets one shot, for better or for worse. Aside from the universal unfairness of the situation, now I have to deal with all the blow hard Giants fans proclaiming their champion status like they caught that final touchdown for a whole year; as oppose to if the Pats won, all the arrogance and championship apparel would be far away from me up north.

As disappointing as the game was for me, it paled in comparison with the disappointment I felt with the slate of Super Bowl ads presented. In the ever competitive task of trying to get the consumer's attention towards their product or service, advertisers seem to have eschewed trying to be creative or clever for just crudely trying to catch your eye with shock or straight up confusion. One of my all time favorite Super Bowl commercials was by FedEx from a few years ago. It is so accurate in its breaking down of the unique beast that is the Super Bowl ad that I have used it to judge all other ads that came since. After watching all the commercials I can't recall a single commercial that amused with a clever joke or attempted to convey a genuine emotion. There were just so many CGI filled ads with things crashing (FedEx pigeons, Dell computer demolition); people getting beat up (Justin Timberlake, that Doritos commercial with the rat); cameos that served no purpose (James Carvelle and Bill Frist? Oh look it's Shaq on a horse, hilarious!); and of course animals, animal, animals (those Sobe people sure must have spent a lot of money to turn me off to their product). While I do enjoy all these things and feel no piece of media is perfect unless it contains at least one of these elements, after you get my attention with your gimmick there should be something behind it.

Of course, the only thing worst than a Super Bowl ad are the endless promos for whatever show the host network is trying to push or show after the game. This time around you had a whole bunch of standard issue ads for the new "House MD" episode afterwards, but they were dwarfed by the landslide of "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" promos that took up every other unoccupied piece of advertising real estate all night long. However, while the regular promos were uniformly generic and awful, the most satisfying and genuinely surprising moment for the whole night was when the trademark Terminator robot suddenly came out of nowhere to beat the crap out of that Fox NFL robot.

For anyone who has seen their share of NFL games on Fox, I know you are more than familiar with that annoying, bulky metal monstrosity. Every game while the network is rattling off logos and lists of sponsors there it is (apparently Cletus is his actual name) doing it's never ending assortment calisthenics and stretching exercises. If you can somehow manage to go beyond the question of why a ROBOT would need to do stretching exercises, the real annoying thing about it is that it never DOES ANYTHING ELSE! For probably the last five years it has done precisely nothing but that, get ready to play, sometimes even do a point out, but never actually play football. The thing obviously looks like was created to play football, I refuse to entertain the profoundly idiotic notion that someone would have made this gigantic robot just to demonstrate warm ups. For years we had to put up with its no talk and no walk while some voice mentioned that the game was brought to you by Bud Light, but then somewhere around the second quarter it finally happened.

From out of the wall itself a random Terminator robot burst through and immediately began to apply the beat down that all of us watching at home have only dreamed about for years. It just threw that robot around like a little bitch. A completely unexpected scene, that alone I would gladly watched the next episode of the "Chronicles" in gratitude for. But it didn't end there. A short while later another promo showed that Terminator continuing his beating of Cletus. Cletus did mange a dirty move here and there, but clearly the Terminator has the upper hand throughout. If this wasn't enough, towards the end of the game, a third spot ran where the Terminator clearly showed the true cowardly nature of Cletus. After throwing him around yet again, you see that Cletus is pitifully clawing at the ground as he is dragged away by the Terminator. This would have been the end of him if it weren't for the two other identical goons that show up to rescue him. Although the commercial ends there, I'd like to believe that the Terminator robot welcomes the challenge and ends up beating up all three robots into a large pile of scrap.

You can see all these showdowns here under promos; however this will involve going to a myspace page, something that's always better to avoid. They should find a reason to do this every year the Super Bowl's on Fox. With the demise of the Bud Bowl, there is definitely a gaping hole in America's need for violent sports with inanimate objects. It's the least the network could offer the fans for putting up with that robot's crap for 17 weeks plus playoffs. This piece of sweet commercial vindication almost put right the no win situation of the game and the lackluster plate of advertisements...almost.

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