Both from the game and the ad standpoint, the Super Bowl represented nostalgia and some tried-and-true formulas — and even some interesting personalities from the past.
The best defensive team usually prevails. But who figured the Seahawks would shut out the Broncos, statistically the best offense of all time, for three quarters? But who figured Seattle could apply great pressure to Peyton Manning with four linemen, releasing the other seven defenders to fly and make plays?
Who knew that Super Bowl and fur-coat legend Joe Willie Namath would appear in all his flamboyancy wearing conversation-piece, PETA-unfriendly, coat that at least three females I know claim it was right out of their closet from the 1980s? Quicker than the Broncos could gain a first down, “Joe Namath’s Coat” had its own Twitter account.
Who could have predicted the first play of the game would result in a safety?
And 12s were like crazy 8s. The Seahawks, who have upstaged Texas A&M a bit for their “12th Man” branding, scored in the first 12 seconds of each half and pulled a weird trifecta of scoring on a safety, interception return and kickoff return.
The first tackle of the game was made a defender, Derrick Coleman, who is deaf.
There was the proud Arkansas connection. The three coaches who have won both an NFL title and an NCAA championship — Pete Carroll, Barry Switzer and Jimmy Johnson — all served as assistants early in their careers for the University of Arkansas.
Opera singer Renee Fleming delivered a moving, straight-forward and powerful version of the National Anthem and did it under two minutes.
Bruno Mars may have elevated himself to superstardom with his halftime performance that made you wonder what the Red Hot Chili Peppers were doing there — except to wear only slightly more clothes than David Beckham did in a commercial.
Tim Tebow got to the Super Bowl — but only in ads, one that featured him in outer space.
The weather? New York City dodged a bullet with relatively mild temperatures. Then Monday, fans were stranded because the anticipated winter storm hit a day late. MetLife Stadium, clear Sunday, was covered in snow Monday.
The commercials? They were cute several warm and fuzzy, few of the spectacular variety and few that really wanted to make you buy the product.
By the second half, the commercials and folks’ Facebook and Twitter posts were the best thing going.
By the time it got to the latest and some of the best ad breaks, including Budweiser’s much-anticipated “Puppy Love,” the viewing audience had significantly dwindled because the game was so out of hand. Can those advertisers, who paid big bucks and threw out some of their best-stuff late, get a refund because the game was such an excitement dud significantly decreasing the potential viewers? Doubt it? You pay the money, you take your chances.
The commercials featured a whole bunch of creative retro:
The Budweiser folks are geniuses in prompting folks who don’t even like beer to love their ads. This year, it combined the can’t miss formula of a welcome-home celebration for a veteran and another with a puppy, pony, love story and country America.
Radio Shack did a great job of making fun of its “locked in the 80s” image by bringing in 80s’ icons Hulk Hogan, Mary Lou Retton, Chucky, Alf and the California Raisins in an amusing segment.
Coca-Cola celebrated the diversity of American with an hint of its classic “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.”
Cheerios mixed the anticipation of a new family member with the demand of a puppy.
There was crazy stuff like a “Full House” reunion over yogurt, the Muppets kidnapping Terry Crews and a steer version of “the Bachelor,” featuring a trailer made in Quitman.
Bob Dylan promoted Chrysler, whose commercial featured one of the worst and most meaningless lines ever, “There is nothing more American than America.”
Questions going forward:
Is Seattle, with a young team, the rising power in the NFL. Where does Peyton Manning go from here? He’s a fan favorite, one of the all-time (and most beloved quarterbacks) but will he want to make this his last pro football memory?
But that’s the future. Super Bowl 48 was about jolts of nostalgia — in defensive style, puppies personalities, commercials and fur coats.
(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 501-505-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on twitter @dmaclcd)