Not a fan of the Patriots? Not a fan of the New York football Giants? Maybe football is just not your thing? Surely you know by now that there are other reasons that people tune in to the ‘big game,’ which airs Sunday on Fox at precisely 6:17 pm. Here is a sampling of some of my faves:
– First and foremost, I have to tell you about one of the greatest days that my husband, Neil, and I shared together. We were fortunate enough to be at the dance when the Baltimore Ravens beat the New York Giants in Tampa at Super Bowl XXXV. Let me tell you something: watching the half-time show was impressive. The performances were good, yes, but what I am really referring to is the construction and deconstruction of the stage on the field and how quickly they got it done.
That year MTV was responsible. After the first half convened and the players went to their locker rooms, the mammoth stadium screens came on and Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler and Chris Rock did pre-recorded skits with some of the musicians featured in the show. This bought time for the stage to get set. The field was dark. We could see all kinds of goings-on (when we weren’t watching the skits). It was amazing because once the show started: lights, camera, action! It was a full-scale production going on. Those girls and guys who worked diligently behind the scenes deserve major props.
This year’s half-time show features Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. I am not a huge fan, but I guess he’ll do. MTV of course is no longer involved in the half-time show. I think after the Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction” the NFL backed away from that relationship and the Federal Communications Commission fallout.
– Celebrity spotting: it’s not necessarily what you see on the field, but who is in the stands. Celebrities of all kinds flock to this premium event. You can expect to see pigskin prognostications from people who you wouldn’t think have a lick of football knowledge in their brains.
For instance, I ran into Tyne Daly (“Judging Amy”). I quite literally ran into her when she was coming out of a smoking lounge. She’s a Giants fan (I asked) and I wonder if she will be making an appearance this game? Also, I saw Roma Downey, the “Touched by an Angel” star. She was surrounded by photographers and fans. Her petite frame is even smaller than on television. I couldn’t get anywhere near her to ask who she was hoping would win.
Another person I saw that I expected to know a thing or two about the game was Brad Garrett (“Everybody Loves Raymond”). He too was in the smoking section (not smoking) while I anxiously puffed away. This giant of a man was rooting for New York as well. When I recognized him and begin speaking he joked with me that he had smoked all the cigarettes in the ashtray. It was overflowing.
Sure there were others, but I didn’t get close to them. That was before I ever had any exposure with the media and I was just walking around to see who I could catch a glimpse of. Tony Danza, Adam Sandler, Cal and Kelly Ripken. I was celebrity struck.
I’ve heard a rumor that Michael Jackson may be making an appearance Sunday also. In the stands? As a performer? I cannot verify. Jackson is looking to call attention to the 25-year anniversary of a Thriller remake. It’s been that long already? Damn.
– Commercials … Ah yes, the infamous advertising world has rubbed some scratch together to give their products/services exposure to the 90 million viewers plus (United States). Those numbers are likely going to go up since both the Patriots and Giants are big-market teams. According to Fox (carrying the broadcast) a 30-second spot during the dance is averaging $2.7 million. That is a lot of scratch.
The commercials, to me, over the past few years have not been memorable.
One thing is for certain, we’ve got a reason to pay attention during the first-quarter. Our own local figure-skating star from Bel Air, Kimmie Meissner will be stepping into the spotlight. She will be one of several athletes promoting Under Armour. This ad is supposed to feature different sports personalities training under extreme conditions.
I believe it was Tiki Barber who said on the Today Show Friday morning about planning your trips to the restroom, “Go to the bathroom during a punt.” AYE! The coverage that this event gets is monstrous.
– The food (and this has nothing to do with the televised event). I recall hearing on the Food Networkthat Superbowl Sunday is second only to Thanksgiving for entertaining. That is big business for chicken wings, avocados and pizza. Finger foods, appetizer-style, are key for a successful game day. Junk food, American-style, that’s how we like it and the big game seems to give us one more reason to indulge.
Aside from all the hoopla, there is a football game going on this Sunday. The Patriots are looking to make their mark in history and with a win will go undefeated. Their record would move to a stunning 19-0. This would give the only other NFL team, the 1972 Dolphins, a run for their money in who is the greatest undefeated NFL team of all time.
My money is on the Patriots, they are favored big and Brady and company should be able to bring it home.