Roscoe’s Thoughts on the Spectacle

First off, while I’m not a rabid fan of any particular NFL franchise, I do enjoy the occasional football game, and have no problem sitting down and watching the Super Bowl with some friends. This year I followed more football than I had in the past, thanks to TeeCoZee and his regular updates. But I’ll leave most of the actual coverage of the football part of Super Bowl XXXXIV presented by Vizio to his expertise. Because when you get a group of people together for something like this, only a fraction of them are actually interested in the specific teams that end up in the game. People are more interested in a reason to get together and have some taco dip and beers, and scream and yell and laugh at the various antics taking place on their TV screens.

That said, I had money on the game, and RoboManning and the rest of the Colts managed to prevent me from acquiring the necessary capital to invest in a quality bouncy ball. Everything was going well, at least in the first quarter, then the wheels started to come loose in the second quarter, but the axel didn’t actually break in two until the fourth quarter. Must be part of the protocol of RoboManning’s fourth directive. But that’s not what I came here to talk to you folks about; I came here to look into two time-honored traditions of the Super Bowl, namely, the half-time show and the commercials.

Bridgestone presents: The Who Sell Out (Again)

Now don’t get me wrong, for rockers that have been kicking out the jams for nearly half a century, they put on a pretty good show, what with the LED / laser light display and the iconic windmill pump from Townsend. And while drummer Zak Starkey (yes, he is Ringo’s son, born a year after The Who were formed) held his own, he certainly was no Keith Moon. But few are able to maintain that level of charismatic insanity, which is probably why Moon is dead. Was it just me, or has aging morphed Daltrey into a Gary Busey look-a-like? They kept the set-list to songs the entire stadium could sing along with, which helped cover some of the raggedness of Daltrey’s voice, belting out songs like Won’t Get Fooled Again for 46 plus years can’t be all that great for the vocal chords.

Bottom line: Nothing says American football more than an aging English rock band.

Now for a look at Bridgestone’s two commercial spots, both of which can be viewed here. One features Shamu or Willy, I have a hard time keeping my killer whales straight, in a vehicle in a race against time to get it back to the pier at Coney Island, all in the name of male-bonding and debauchery as part of the ritual known as a ‘bachelor party.’ The other showcases a Mad Max style post-apocalyptic world, where the unseen hero is given the ultimatum of his tires or his life, which he hilariously mistakes for his tires or his wife. See, it’s funny because the words sound similar. It’s a case of literary identity crisis. Or something.

Bottom line: No matter how crazy your life gets, you’ll always need tires. So make it Bridgestone, to keep you safe even in the most absurd of shenanigans.

The King of Beers and Hype

The memories of my childhood and the Super Bowl cannot be separated from a couple of frogs burping out a hearty:

As I grew older and wiser, at least older and more opinionated, the idea of Budweiser grew less appealing to me. If I’m going to drink cheap beer, I’ll stick with Stroh’s, Miller Highlife, or Old Style, affectionately known to some as simply “the trifecta.” I think part of my disdain for all things Bud comes not from a noticeable difference in the level of their crappy beer compared to other crappy beers, but rather the discrepancy in their advertising budget for said crappy product. Apparently Miller took out a one second ad, but I missed it. They could afford to compete with gimmicky ads, but chose a different approach, and I applaud them for it. Other than this, Bud totally dominated the beer commercials (there was one Michelob Ultra commercial featuring Lance Armstrong, but since Anheuser-Busch is the parent company for both Michelob and Bud, it doesn’t really count as competition). Something about having a cheaply crafted product and spending exorbitant amounts of money to promote it rubs me the wrong way. But let’s see what Bud had to offer this year.

There were four Bud Light spots that were mildly amusing, which I’ve taken the liberty of naming as The New Abode, Asteroid Alert , The Human Bridge, and Lost on an Island in the Sun. The New Abode was the first ad shown after the actual game had started, as such, Bud brought their A-game. This followed by a Snickers ad featuring Betty White getting tackled in the mud had my hopes high for the commercials. Unfortunately, Bud’s A-game still came from Bud and left me wishing for Cozo’s stale beer farts. All their ads spots were kind of funny, but not funny enough to not get old really fast. Each ad pretty much ends with the people in it getting shwasted off of Bud Light and generally being the typical drunken-asshole with no regard for anything close to resembling normal decency or sanity. A fairly standard and effective method of selling something that impairs the judgments of its users.

Bottom line: Reckless endangerment of ourselves and others makes us the life of the party.

Half-Baked, Yet Stays Crunchy

While Dorritos don’t directly impair their users, usually their target consumer is in a constant and near-permanent blazed state. Knowing this, their ads are probably pretty effective, considering for 2010’s run we were graced with such gems as The Anti-bark Collar, Don’t Touch my Dorritos or my Mama, Coffin Full o’ Dorritos, and The Gym Samurai. Another group that was amusing, but again, it’s the type of comedy with no real lasting value. A couple of these ads did manage to get me to laugh out loud, at least a chuckle or a guffaw, and I’m sure the high-ons out there laughed their asses off and then promptly went to 7-11 to purchase every flavor of Dorritos available. Sounds like advertising mission accomplished.

Bottom line: While drugs are never a permanent positive solution, they can be used to deflect problems and make a highly processed food-substance into your personal Holy Grail.

This brings me to the Coke ad with the Simpsons. Apparently, Coca-Cola has decided to add some cocaine back to their formula. How else do you explain a miserly billionaire like Mr. Burns getting stripped of all his wealth and material possessions only to find peace of mind when he cracks open some happiness? Mr. Groening, I thought the Simpsons were here to offer a satirical take on our world, not simply sell out to the highest bidder. Some may point out the Butterfingers endorsement early on in the shows run. To these critics I bid a polite pffffffffft. I’ve been told that’s an acceptable response in the world of philosophy, along with “I agree with, and here’s why” and “I disagree with you, and here’s why;” so it seems fit for use on BfD.

Bottom line: If the world drank more Coke, sunshine and rainbows and quite possibly lollipops would blast out of everyone’s assholes.

There were some commercials that managed to shine through the haze of mediocrity; the ones for the NFL and its network and Boost Mobile’s remake / reinvention of the Super Bowl Shuffle. The thank you spot for the fans was well done, and hit the appropriate mark to be a heartfelt gesture to all the people who share a passion for the game. The NFL network spots seemed to also have this genuineness to them and used this to stir something in its fan base. As for The Boost Mobile Shuffle, well yes, it is gimmicky. But it’s gimmicky with a history connected to the game we’re watching. Which gives it something with a level of quality that just stunts for the sake of stunts can’t achieve.

Bottom line:

We are the Bears Shufflin’ Crew
Shufflin’ on down, doin’ it for you.
We’re so bad we know we’re good.
Blowin’ your mind like we knew we would.
You know we’re just struttin’ for fun
Struttin’ our stuff for everyone.
We’re not here to start no trouble.
We’re just here to do the Super Bowl Shuffle.

P.S. This was all snidely written while Cozo was busy drinking Trifectas and dancing his ass off. WHO DAT?!?!?!?