Colts. Bears. Talking lions. K-Fed. Katie. Dave and Oprah. Rainy night in Florida (and on CBS camera lenses). Prince rules. More after the jump ...
(The following was written in real time as I watched the game. Hey, I sound like a "24" opening!)
It's been a cold (single digits) and busy (church, grocery shopping, a Monday column) Sunday, and I managed to avoid most of the pregame stuff until 6 p.m. -- well, aside from little bits, such as Katie Couric's scary hair. I've got no dog in this fight, either, but I'll be watching some.
And, having avoided the first four hours of coverage, I feel curiously refreshed. Almost as if I was experiencing the "light sprinkle" falling on the field. Colts introduced. Who for music. Smoke already over the stands. NFC's turn. Sideline interview with Brian Urlacher. Sound goes out during the interview. Commercial break. Paul Newman voiceover for Ronald McDonald House. (Sad how weary he sounds.) Truck ad. "Ghost Rider." Celebs at "Chad Johnson's Super Bowl Party," for NFL Network. Promo for CBS Monday comedies. All right, I'm bored.
Back to the game. Color guard. Moment of silence for the Florida tornado victims. You can still hear some voices here and there. The "light sprinkle" looks wetter. National Anthem -- Billy Joel, on the piano. I like Billy. This is not his song, although he plays it completely straight. The rain is pretty brutal, too. Who pays to dry out the piano? Marlee Matlin doing the sign language!
Another commercial break. "Norbit" ad. Jessica Simpson for ... Pizza Hut. Blockbuster ad bashing Netflix. Too bad they don't mention that the reason many of us went to Netflix is that BLOCKBUSTER NEVER HAD THE NEW MOVIES IN ITS STORES!!! So the store deal isn't all that attractive.
Coin toss. Rain still bad -- the light hitting it makes it look like snow.
Another commercial break. Another truck ad. Back for the kickoff. Phil Simms says that kicking might be an advantage for the Colts because in a big game, it's better to start with your defense. Bears take the kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown.
Bears get to kick. Colts take it to the 31. Nantz brings up that the Colts were down 18 in the AFC title game. Translation: Please don't change the channel yet. Series ends with a Bears interception.
Bud Light ad. Doritos ad. Blockbuster ad. (See above.) CBS News ad. Promo for Prince and the halftime show. Translation: Pleeeeezzzzzzz don't change the channel yet.
Oh, right, football. Bears go three and out. Punt. Another commercial break. Sierra Mist, Jim Gaffigan, the guy from "Ed" and a beard comb-over. Semi-funny. Salesgenie.com ad. Another Sierra Mist ad with Gaffigan and the guy from "Ed." (Michael Ian Black.) All right, I'm tired of them.
More football. The rain is bad enough for Nantz to call it "intensified." Data: Peyton's thumb, Bears' takeaways. 3rd down pass for a touchdown. No coverage on the receiver at all. Muffed extra point. Wait for it, wait for it ...
Aw, I was sure somebody would say, "This could come back to haunt the Colts."
Another truck ad. "The first moon office" for FedEx. Nice effects, so-so script. Bud Light with an auctioneer. So far, nothing that's going to be worth extended discussion tomorrow.
Kickoff. Fumble! Colts recover. Good replay of the hit. (But I'm watching in HD. Everything looks good.) Another fumble! The Bears get it back. This is exciting, but not exactly great execution. The wet is clearly a problem. Aren't they supposed to pick Super Bowl locations where the weather isn't an issue?
Another long gain for Chicago. Eventual touchdown.
Snickers commercial. "Do something manly." Not bad. Schick Quattro. "Pride." "Survivor" revisiting "memorable moments" -- but no "snake and the rat."
Kickoff, then more commercials. Chevrolet sing-alongs. Not bad. Another Bud Light ad -- English school. Grammys contest promo. Letterman with Oprah. All right, I laughed.
Game goes on. I just realized that someone could make a nice piece of change selling those old Motorman's Friends before the Super Bowl. After all, you don't want to go to the bathroom during the game, and you don't want to go during the commercials either.
Another fumble. Colts recover. They don't capitalize. Deep punt. Recap by CBS: "Big hits." Simms notes "so many turnovers." Nantz provides the number. Bear injured. Action stops. Resumes. I wish I had stronger feelings about one of these teams.
We pause now for a press release that just landed in my e-mail, concerning the Oprah-Letterman spot:
Dave and Oprah – in love?
Well, not exactly – but show business titans David Letterman and Oprah Winfrey did team up to shoot a special surprise LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN promo that was broadcast during CBS Sports’ coverage of Super Bowl XLI, Sunday, Feb. 4.
The one-time-only spot, which ran during the highly-rated first quarter of the big game, was secretly taped Wednesday, Jan. 24 at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City.
In the promotional spot, Indianapolis native Letterman, wearing a Colts jersey, and Chicago resident Winfrey, donning a Bears jersey, sit snuggled together on a couch watching the game. Letterman, while eating a mouthful of food, says to her, “You want the Bears and I want the Colts, but we both win because we’re in love.” Winfrey then turns to him and says, “Honey, don’t talk with your mouth full,” with Letterman responding, “Oh, sorry.”
This marks Letterman and Winfrey’s first appearance together since her highly-rated visit to the LATE SHOW on Dec. 1, 2005. That broadcast, which marked Winfrey’s first visit with Letterman in 16 years, was viewed by 13.45 million viewers, making it the fourth most watched episode of the LATE SHOW ever.
End first quarter. GoDaddy.com ad. Interruption at home for a phone call. Back to the game in time for a Colts field goal. CBS points people to a Web site to re-see their favorite ads. Am wondering if the Letterman-Oprah spot will break its "one time only" vow for that. Doesn't matter, since it'll be all over the Internet soon enough.
Human lemmings for CareerBuilder.com. More Doritos. Chevy car ad challenge winner. Very good. Another shot of rain. More promos. More rain shots. Simms and Nantz banter about the rain. Fog on a camera lens. Colts driving. In the movie version of "Semi-Tough," there's a point where Burt Reynolds declares something like, "I choose to win this bleeping game." Manning against New England had that vibe -- "I choose not to lose to bleeping New England." And right now he's got something similar going. Colts take the lead.
More ads. Another Prince promo. Kickoff. More commercials. GM "All By Myself" robot. Coca-Cola celebrates Black History Month. Back to the game, but all I'm thinking about is 5:29 to halftime. Prince was one of the high points of "American Idol's" finale last year, so I'm hoping for something good here.
Down to 2 minutes. More stuff. Another turnover, Bears, then another turnover, Colts' ball. Has no one in this game ever played in the rain before? Ad at the 39-second mark notes game's significance in African-American history. Time-out at 2 seconds, another commercial. Coca-Cola inspires old guy to adventure. Coca-Cola inspires me to have trouble sleeping. Game, another time-out, ad for "Rules of Engagement." (I've seen a couple of episodes. Not inspiring.) Ad for Grissom's return to "CSI." Game: Field goal attempt by Colts, missed. HALFTIME.
Promos: "Two and a Half Men." "CSI." "Shark." "March Madness" (nice touch with the bubble teams). Actual commercial -- Panasonic Toughbook. Cleveland State. What seems like the 900th promo for Channel 19's "Are the Cleveland Browns for sale?" story.
Studio guys. Boomer is holding the ball better than the teams in the game. He's also not in the rain.
Halftime show. Lights, fireworks and "We Will Rock You." Prince. "Let's Go Crazy." Stage shaped like his insignia. Do-rag on his head. Usual playing-field crowd of enthusiasts who never seem genuine. Prince in good form. "1999" riff -- marching band enters -- ... and "Proud Mary!" The man knows how to surprise. "All Along the Watchtower," slowed down and ominous. I am in awe, and he's not done yet. Prince proceeds to remind us that even if he wasn't a great singer and songwriter, he would be famous as a killer guitarist.
He's soaked and thoroughly confident. And, of course for these conditions, "Purple Rain." This may well be the greatest SB halftime show I have ever seen. Could we just bag the second half and get another 90 minutes of Prince?
Commercials and promos, including for "Jericho." I've seen the Feb. 21 flashback episode and am absolutely ready for its return -- more than for "Lost," and I've also seen its return episode, too. "Jericho" continues to be comfortable both making sense and explaining a great deal about what's going on, while "Lost" is still dancing with us three seasons in.
Oh, more football. And a discussion of a player who wants to marry Oprah. Sorry, pal, looks like Letterman got there ahead of you. More rain on a lens. CBS sure wasn't ready for this weather. The game just feels like a slog. Indianapolis field goal, lead goes to 19-14.
Commercials. "Meet the Robinsons," not even opening until March 30. E*Trade. Another Coca-Cola spot, lots of effects. Am trying to figure out on what planet this guy gets a bottle of Coke with a coin.
Kickoff. Bud Light ad. Revlon with Sheryl Crow. "Not Fade Away," eh? Promo says "Wild Hogs" is "the comedy event of the spring." Based on a trailer we saw at the movies awhile back, it's on the bride's viewing list.
Grossman gets sacked twice on poor ball-handling. This was supposed to be part of his road to redemption. Bad weather was supposed to favor the Bears. CareerBuilder.com ad -- think the Bears are wishing they could change careers? Taco Bell ad with talking lions gets big giggles from the bride. "Give me an ad with a talking animal, and I'm putty," she says.
Colts are just knocking around the Bears now. Chicago defense has to be sucking wind. Facemask call, too. Colts have to settle for another field goal -- only the Bears smack the kicker. Colts take the field-goal points.
Robert Goulet commercial for Emerald nuts. Dwyane Wade and Charles Barkley for T-Mobile -- good "is this your dad?" line, although I don't think Charles would have taken it well in a situation where he wasn't getting paid to hear it.
Kickoff, good position for Bears thanks to Colts penalty. Commercial: FedEx. And ... the K-Fed "Life comes at you fast" ad. (Do you think FedEx likes being back to back with K-Fed?) It was funnier when Hammer did it -- and this one makes us listen to too much of Federline's rapping. Bud Light ad with the man with the ax; funnier than K-Fed.
Bears manage a field goal, 22-17. CBS shows a crew member going splashdown. More football, end third quarter.
Katie promo. Pro Bowl promo. The Masters promo. (It's in April.) University of Akron ad. ... Crabs worshipping Budweiser. Prudential plays with rocks. "Burning Love" and a Honda. So far, my favorite ad is still Dave and Oprah. The bride votes for the talking lions for Taco Bell. Young son picks Budweiser and the ax-man. (CBS Sportsline's commercial roundup has both of their faves, along with a bunch more.)
Bears drive, intercepted, Colt runs it back for a touchdown. I thought at first that he stepped out. Chicago challenges. Replay seems to show that he's inbounds. Challenge rejected. Colts lead 29-17.
Good looking ad for HP, but still not all that interesting overall. I wonder if my blah feelings about the game are making the ads feel blah, too. Then again, how many great ads can you get in a single year? ... Bud ad with Shula and Jay-Z at least has a decent closing line.
Colts intercept Bears again. 9:55 to go and it doesn't feel like a real game anymore. Hey, how about playing Prince's halftime show again?
Officials include "first step of brothers to work a Super Bowl," says Nantz. Indication of how little they've got to say about this snoozer, too.
"Hannibal Rising" ad. CareerBuilder. "Criminal Minds" promo. More football. 5:16 in the game. According to my DVR, the game coverage is supposed to end at 10, followed right away by "Criminal Minds." Seasoned viewers know such schedules lie. Remember the flap last year when "Grey's Anatomy" was delayed much later than the schedule said -- frustrating countless early-to-bed, DVR-trusting viewers?
Since the Colts have the ball with 5 minutes left, let's talk about last night's "Saturday Night Live." Checked out the opening "American Idol" parody. Some decent ideas (including the dog "family" waiting outside the audition room) but not a dazzler. Jumped then to the digital short. I admired the invocation of the cheesecake "exercise" shows from the '80s, but it wasn't strong enough to make me want to watch again. Definitely not in league with the "box" song and "Lazy Sunday." Anything in the show worthy my going into the recording for?
Two-minute warning. GoDaddy again. Snapple Green Tea. Good unhappy-fans ad (to "St. James Infirmary") for the NFL. "CSI: Miami" promo. ... Back to football, and it's time for the plaudits for Tony Dungy. Deserves them, too. Clock rolls, Bears have no timeouts ... Dungy gets the bucket. Game over. MVP? I'd give it to somebody on the Colts defense. Can't give it to the weather.
Another commercial break. Post-game show. Who's the MVP? Chatter. Who's the MVP? Chatter. Who's the MVP? Another commercial break -- lots of reruns of ads. ... Presentation of the Lombardi trophy, with Shula. He'd better not play Jay-Z for that thing.
Oh, no! A moving van has pulled up, stolen the trophy and taken it to another city!
Sorry, just couldn't end the evening without reminding people how Indianapolis got the freakin' Colts. Especially now that Irsay is talking God so much.
Manning gets the MVP. That's like one of those career-achievement Oscars -- not for this game, but for everything he did to get there.
It's 10:18. And with a wish that you didn't trust your DVR to get "Criminal Minds" at 10, I bid you good night.