My reflections on the NFL’s latest Super Bowl Sunday extravaganza

Most people consider it a must-do activity. Super Bowl parties are commonplace, though I myself have never participated in one. Many folks put on a show similar to the one they watch on TV. Tables of food, plenty to drink and as good an excuse as any to put on a shindig must be their reasoning.

Perhaps, if the Cleveland Browns ever get to the Super Bowl, a party for me might be in the offing, but I won’t hold my breath. For me the day was going to be spent taking it all in by myself from the comfort of my couch. I would watch everything so I could report to you what I found fascinating. From the pregame, to the halftime show, to the commercials and oh yes, the game itself — I would share my thoughts.

I was ready for the big day, but it didn’t go quite as planned. Let’s take a look: 

The Pregame. It is difficult for me to watch all the blather and bluster of a normal pregame show. When the pregame lasts for several hours, well, I tend to tune out.

In fact, I watched little of the show, opting instead for the Waste Management Open PGA golf event. That was exciting as Webb Simpson came from two strokes back on the final two holes to defeat Tony Finau in a playoff. The fact that it went extra holes meant that by the time it was over the “big” game was about to begin.

I tuned in just in time to see what may have been the highlight of the day: The ad where the youngster takes the football and is encouraged to “take it to the house” was awesome. His trek through 100 years of NFL history was impressive. How many former NFL stars did you recognize as he made his way on the journey?

Then it went from an ad to live TV as the young man, along with friends, entered Hard Rock Stadium and he then handed the ball to referee Bill Vinovich. That was a stroke of genius. The veterans that were the honorary captains, all more than 100 years old, was another great idea.

The First Half. Now it was time to settle in and watch what most thought was going to be a close and exciting game. Congratulations if you had a 49ers’ field goal as the first score of the game. Both teams scored a TD and field goal and with less than two minutes left in the half the score was knotted at 10.

The use of timeouts in the last two minutes of the first half — or should I say the lack thereof — would be fodder for water cooler talk. The offensive pass interference call on George Kittle turned out to be a big call. It prevented San Francisco from getting a score to take the lead into halftime.

That possibility would never have materialized had Kansas City not decided to use a timeout. The 49ers seemed to be more interested in running the clock out, which, as it turned out, happened anyway.

The Halftime Show. Shakira and J-Lo were outstanding during the part of the day that some find more interesting than the game itself. At least, that’s what I am told.

All great plans get changed from time to time, and mine did too. I fell asleep just as the show began and missed the whole thing. Maybe it’s my age, or maybe I’m more interested in the game than the entertainment, but it is true. I literally missed the entire show!

The Second Half. Unfortunately, my nap continued into the third quarter. When I did awake, the 49ers scored to take a 20-10 lead. At that point, it seemed they were going to the Super Bowl champs, but Patrick Mahomes had other ideas.

The young quarterback did not play up to expectations for much of the game, but when it mattered most, he led the Chiefs back. That is the mark of a great quarterback — when you are struggling, but find a way to win. It’s like a golfer grinding it out for several holes or a pitcher with poor velocity, and even worse control, gutting it out for seven innings giving his team a chance to win.

Congratulations to coach Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs for winning the title.

The Commercials. Far and away the best commercial (at least from those that I stayed awake for) was the Bill Murray Groundhog Day spot for Jeep. The end, where he is carrying the varmint lamenting where he parked was hysterical.

If you want to get my attention in a commercial, just put a puppy in it and you’ll have me hooked. That doesn’t mean I will buy the product, or that I will even realize what is being hawked, but I will smile at the commercial. Fortunately companies don’t have to spend a lot of money on those ads. LOL!

Well, another Super Bowl has come and gone. The game was good, the commercials were interesting and the halftime show outstanding — I guess. What more could I ask for?

Come on, Brownies! Give me an excuse to stay awake for the entire evening.

Al Stephenson is a columnist for The Advertiser-Tribune.

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