Congrats to the real winners of Super Bowl XLIV: CBS. This year’s Super Bowl was reportedly the most-watched TV event ever. CBS estimates that the game was watched by 106.5 million viewers, which is 600,000 more than watched the previous record-holder, the “M*A*S*H” series finale in 1983. I’m not surprised. While the Colts and Saints are two relatively small market teams, both are very likable from a football fan’s point of view. Further, most would agree that the Colts and Saints were really the best two teams in the league. The Colts started 14-0 and the Saints 13-0. Ultimately, both teams finished 14-3, and both teams earned the number one seeds in their divisions.
The Play on the Field
I thought the game was a pretty fun one to watch. The Colts bolted out to a 10-0 lead after the first quarter, and I thought it was over, even with a powerful Saints offense. Then, Pierre Garçon dropped a perfect pass on a crossing route which would have been good enough for a first down, but instead ended the drive. The momentum shifted from the Colts’ side to the Saints’ side, and Peyton & Co. never regained it. The Saints’ defense really impressed me. They played hard, they tackled very well, and Tracy Porter guessed right, picking off Peyton Manning (My jaw dropped when that happened. What a mistake!) for the fatal pick six. In my opinion, the Colts didn’t lose that game, the Saints went out and won it. Sean Payton’s gutsy call to go for an onside kick completely shocked the Colts and when the Saints recovered the ball, you could tell the Colts were rattled. In the first half, the Saints went for a fourth and goal on the two, and while they didn’t convert, they sent the message that they knew they had to play big or go home losers. I feel bad for Peyton. The Colts had a fantastic season, but they came up a little short. Congrats to Drew Brees, Sean Payton, and the rest of the Saints’ team. Well done.
Peyton vs Brees This was the biggest story leading up to the Bowl. Arguably the two best quarterbacks in football, going head to head, in the biggest game of the year. Brees played a great game, tying a Super Bowl record with 32 completions. Peyton played well, but ultimately made the biggest mistake of his career in what I thought was going to be the game-tying drive. In the end, I would say that it wasn’t as high-flying an affair as it could have been, but the two quarterbacks lived up to the hype.
The Drought Could the Saints finally win a Super Bowl? Could they do it for the city of New Orleans, a city that just a few years ago suffered through a devastating hurricane? Obviously, the Saints pulled it out and won the game. As for how it will affect or change New Orleans, we’ll see about that.
Dwight Freeney’s Bum Ankle Towards the end of the AFC Championship game against the Jets, Colts’ defensive end Dwight Freeney stepped on Mark Sanchez’s foot, injuring his ankle. For much of the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, everyone wondered whether the all-pro would be able to play in one of the biggest games of his career (he already played in and won one Super Bowl). In the end, Freeney toughed it out and played a solid game, including one amazing sack of Drew Brees to stop a nice Saints’ drive.
Last but not Least, The Commercials
I usually really enjoy to the Super Bowl commercials, but I thought the commercials this year were a pretty big failure overall. While I’m certainly biased as a person in the tech/web industry, I think the most memorable was the Google commercial. It was simple yet powerful. It was the first time that Google has advertised in the Super Bowl, which made the appearance extra surprising, I think. We all know and use Google, but a Super Bowl commercial was unexpected.
The LBJ & Dwight Howard McDonald’s commercial as well as the Doritos Samurai commercial, and the Doritos “Don’t touch my mama” commercial were some of my other favorites. A couple of weeks ago, I talked about the creativity of the Doritos Super Bowl campaign. I think the fans came through and voted for some great commercials. There were a couple of other memorable commercials, but other than that, I wasn’t terribly impressed.
What did you think? Did the game live up to the hype? How about the commercials?