Sunday, February 01, 2004

Joe's Super Bowl Blog

One thing I've always enjoyed most that Bill Simmons writes are his running diaries of given events. Now, I'm no Bill Simmons, but I figured I'd give it my best shot with today's Super Bowl. (I can assure you there will be multiple interruptions for my kids, dinner and the like.)

5:00 p.m.
CBS' Greg Gumbel and Phil Simms sign on. Just a bunch of worthless pre-game chatter. Kinda like this entry at this point.

5:03 p.m.
First commercial: California Cheese. I don't think there's anything else I can add to that.

5:11 p.m.
Just got through the second set of commercial's and the McDonald's one was pretty good, actually. The guy in the commercial accidentally used a Quarter Pounder w/Cheese wrapper instead a fabric softener sheet in the dryer and later on walked by his wife in her newly McCheesed shirt and started ravaging her. Pretty original I thought.

5:14 p.m.
Wow...I had no idea that today was the anniversary of the Space Shuttle disaster last year. Josh Groban sang a song in honor of the flight and crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia. Kinda cool stuff.

5:17 p.m.
Beyonce Knowles sings the national anthem. She's good, but not especially moving. At the end of the anthem, there was a flyover by what looked to be Apache helicopters.

Have you ever thought of what goes into coordinating those flyovers? Let me tell you, it ain't easy. They are way cool, but there is a ton of radio contact and timing is critical to making it work right. My hat's off to everyone involved in producing the in-game activities down in Houston. I know what it's like on a regular NFL game day...this has to be 10 times more stressful.

Pizza Hut commercial with Jessica Simpson and the Muppets. As expected, if it includes Jessica Simpson, it's probably not going to be that great...not even the Muppets could save this one.

5:23 p.m.
They just introduced the team captain's and I was surprised to see Rodney Peete named as one of the co-captains for the Panthers. He went to my wife's high school here in Kansas City and was in my brother-in-law's class way back when. That's kinda cool.

And while I was writing this, I totally missed who won the coin flip. Guess we'll find out in a minute.

5:28 p.m.
Looks like Carolina won the toss as they're receiving the opening kickoff.

5:30 p.m.

3 and out for the Panthers and a big return past midfield for the Patriots. Bill Simmons must be loving this.

5:37 p.m.
Pats kicker Adam Vinatieri MISSED a 31-yard field goal!

Wow...didn't see that one coming.

5:39 p.m.
First promo for Janet Jackson at halftime. Man, she's gorgeous.

5:41 p.m.
Early on, the Pats defense looks to be dominating...another 3 and out for the Panthers including a sack of QB Jake Delhomme.

5:43 p.m.
Another commercial break. Good god, man. So far, the McD's one is my favorite.

5:47 p.m.
Can you say, "Defensive Struggle"? The Pats go 3 and out on their second possession. Still no score in the ball game.

5:48 p.m.
Guess what?! It's another commercial break! Yippee! (If they were good commercials, I wouldn't mind so much.)

5:51 p.m.
CBS just threw up the total yards stat. More than halfway through the first quarter and Carolina has 2 total yards. OUCH.

Good news and bad news...they more than doubled their offensive production with that drive...but only by a yard. Another 3 and out for the Panthers.

The Pats will start again with excellent field position on the Panthers side of the field.

5:53 p.m.
OK...another commercial break and the H&R Block spot with Willie Nelson was pretty good. Not the Willie Nelson part, but the Don Zimmer ending was pretty good.

5:56 p.m.
CBS is using a camera setup called "Vision" that allows you to get a 360 degree view of any given play. Kinda cool stuff.

Just had our first shot of the back of two non-players on the sideline. I know these TV producers can see what their cameramen are shooting before they put it on the air AND can talk to them. How do these things happen?

The Panthers just stopped the Pats for a huge loss and forced them to punt again, but the Panthers are forced to start inside their own 10.

3:04 to play and there is still no score.

6:02 p.m.
I have to take a break to see if I can find out how you can tell if ground beef is bad. (I'm not kidding.)

6:04 p.m.
I'm kinda proud of myself. Turns out it's ok that the ground beef isn't red all the way through.

And, as an added bonus, I didn't miss anything in the game (big shock). Panthers have punted again. (OMG this is boring.) Would someone please have a big play?!

6:08 p.m.
End of the first quarter and there's no score. Welcome to the Not-So-Super Bowl.

6:16 p.m.
I'm starting to feel grateful that I didn't make that bet on the Panthers...although the 7-point spread might still be enough.

Delhomme just got sacked again and the Panthers had to punt again.

In another commercial break, they just had an ad for Pepsi where they're highlighting a promotion with Apple's iTunes. You can win a free song download from iTunes with a Pepsi purchase and the ad said "Starting Today."

Well...I won my first song yesterday from a fountain drink cup at 7-11. I'd never used iTunes before, but it seems cool enough. I haven't figured out yet, though, whether I can import my Windows Media songs into iTunes. Anyone know?

The other tough part was picking one song out of a bazillion. I mean, I've already bought the CDs of most of the songs I want.

I ended up downloading Randy Travis' "Forever and Ever, Amen"...I've always liked that song and I guess I was in a bit of a sappy mood last night.

Have you won a song in this promotion yet? If so, what did you download?

6:21 p.m.
With just under 12 minutes to go in the first half, neither team had converted on a third down attempt. The Patriots just did for the first time after that stat went up.

At the same time, though, the Panthers have ZERO yards of total offense.

6:32 p.m.
8:48 to go in the half and there's still no score. I'm taking a break to have a chili dinner with the family. Blogging will resume momentarily. (Not that you'll notice, as I'm doing this in one big post instead of a hundred tiny ones.)

6:44 p.m.
OK...dinner's still not quite ready.

Vinatieri missed ANOTHER field goal and was setting himself up to become the goat for the Patriots. But then the Panthers fumbled and the Patriots have scored first on a Tom Brady touchdown pass.

NOW dinner's ready...be back in a bit.

7:40 p.m.

Before I get to what we missed at the end of the second half, I have to pass along this "gem" from Phil Simms. "One thing history's taught us is that a lot happens in the second half of the Super Bowl."

Really??? I had no idea! I always thought the second half just didn't matter. I mean...it's not like they determine the winner at the end of the second half or anything...oh...wait.

So back to the game. When I left, the Patriots had scored first to make it 7-0 with about 6 minutes left in the first half.

The Panthers came back on a LONG pass play from Delhomme to Steve Smith to tie it up with about 1:40 left in the half.

The Pats followed with another long drive of their own and another TD to make it 14-7. Then, with about 25 seconds left, the Panthers managed to get to the Patriots 35 and kicker John Kasay converted the 50-yard field goal to make the score 14-10.

The Halftime Show
Now, I love Janet Jackson...but could they have been more obvious about the lip-synching? She was followed by P. Diddy and Nelly. They were lip-synching too, but there was a little more energy to the mix, so I thought they pulled it off alright.

Kid Rock was the best part of halftime (and no, I don't own any of his CDs). I actually think he might have been really singing. If not, he sure did a better job of selling it.

They wrapped up with Janet Jackson singing Rhythm Nation. Again, I'll watch her dance all night long, but this was no live vocal performance. The "mystery" guest that I'd heard about was Justin Timberlake performing with Janet. Now, I can actually tolerate Justin Timberlake (no, don't own his CDs either)...but I thought he did a much better job in the performance department than Janet.

Oh yeah...halftime also brought the best commercial of the night so far. It was for the NFL Network and it opened with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones consoling Bill Parcells and he started singing "Tomorrow" from Annie. Cut away to a bunch of other NFL players not playing today, such as Warren Sapp, the Chiefs' Priest Holmes, Dante Hall and Trent Green, Ray Lewis, etc., singing the rest of the song. The tagline, "Tomorrow, we're all undefeated." or something to that effect. Good stuff.

7:51 p.m.
OK...nothing's happened in the second half so far and I'm trying to win Father of the Year award right now.

I've allowed my kids to change the channel to HBO Family for the end of "Little Lulu." (It's the only TV in the house with all the pay channels on it.)

Then I'll get these guys off to bed. I'll be back in a bit.

8:00 p.m.
My next door neighbor calls me to tell me he's sending my daugher, K, home from his house. Then he proceeds to ask if I watched the halftime show. I assured him that I had and he asks me the following, "Did you see B-O-O-B?" (Yes, he spelled it out because he didn't want to say it in front of his daughter.)

I told him, "Yeah...but they didn't show nipple or anything." How sad is it that I'm not more excited about seeing Janet Jackson's nearly exposed breast???

(In case you missed it, Justin grabbed Janet's outfit and ripped it to expose her pastie-covered (sp?) breast...a la Lil' Kim a few years ago.)

I'm sure it'll be much talked about over the next few days.

8:31 p.m.
OK...back from putting the kids to bed and apparently, I've missed two more scores. Each team added another touchdown, but the Panthers went for a two-point conversion and failed. Current score 21-16 Pats with 11:45 to go in the game.

8:41 p.m.
I just now realized how huge that failed two-point conversion is to the bettors on this game. If they'd have made it, a New England field goal still keeps the Panthers within 7. Now a field goal would make it 8 points...enough for New England to cover the spread.

And, as I'm typing this, Carolina intercepted Brady in the red zone. HUGE play for Carolina.

8:46 p.m.
Just realized something else...by commenting on Janet Jackson's breasts earlier, I have probably just guaranteed a 200% increase in site traffic. (I think blogspot can handle the extra 8 people to read it.)

8:50 p.m.
Holy crap!!! What a HUGE fucking play by Jake Delhomme!

I think that was about a 85-yard touchdown pass to Muhsin Muhammad to give Carolina the lead.

WOW!

They just said that the rookie who got beat on the play is still lying on the ground. If I were him...I wouldn't be getting up either. I'd have them carry me out of there on a stretcher with a Kevlar blanket over me.

Now there's 6:53 to go in the game with the Panthers up by 1. (I know that's not proper AP style to use numerals for numbers under ten, but who really gives a crap?)

I think those advertisers who bought "cheaper" ads in the 4th quarter are pretty happy right about now.

9:00 p.m.
New England fans are probably starting to get nervous now. Not because they're down by a point...but because the announcers just noted the fact that Brady has yet to be sacked this post-season. I'm betting he does before this game ends.

(So much for that theory...Brady just completed a long pass to get them to about the 25-yard line.)

9:05 p.m.
Patriots just scored to take the lead again...a 2-point conversion would push their lead back to 7 and be the same as the spread a few days ago.

And they converted on a direct snap to Kevin Faulk who walked right into the endzone. Pats by 7.

Time to see what Jake Delhomme is made of. 2:51 to go and the Panthers are down by 7.

9:11 p.m.
Time for the two-minute warning and the Panthers have already crossed midfield.

9:16 p.m.
Damn! You're going to have to give Jake Delhomme the MVP Award for this game...and I'm thinking about it even if New England wins. He's been awesome when it counts.

Just scored a TD on 3rd & 8 with 1:08 to go.

The big concern now? 1:08 is a lot of time for Tom Brady to get within Adam Vinatieri's range. (How big are the missed field goal and blocked field goal earlier in the game?)

9:18 p.m.
Are you kidding me?!

John Kasay just kicked it off out of bounds!!!

Pats get the ball at the 40 with all three time outs left! Good grief!

9:21 p.m.
I'm just wondering...if Vinatieri kicks a game winner tonight, will some New England fan make him his first-round pick in a fantasy draft next year?

Wow...huge penalty right there...offensive pass interference.

9:23 p.m.
Alright...here's the situation. 14 seconds left in the game. The Patriots have the ball at about the 42, one time out left...3rd & 3.

(And I'm not doing this with the expressed, written consent of the NFL.)

Brady completes it (big shock) down to about the 22 with 9 seconds left and Vinatieri is coming in to attempt a 41 yard field goal. The earlier misses came from 31 and the block from 36. He hasn't made a FG today.

And now the Panthers call a timeout to try to ice the kicker. (Does that ever work?)

Just got an interesting stat...Vinatieri is 31/35 in indoor stadiums and all four misses were at Reliant Stadium.

IT'S GOOD!!!

9:27 p.m.
Pretty much the Panthers have to score on the kickoff.

9:28 p.m.
And they didn't...and this hellaciously long blog entry is over.

Thank you and good night!

Until Next Time...

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