Monday, February 4, 2008

Thoughts on the Game...

I thought I'd take the opportunity to share some of my Super Bowl XL2 thoughts with know, since no one asked. Fair warning, this is quite long...but then again, its not every day that you get to watch America's biggest sporting even in a city that calls a giant ferris wheel as its finest architectural and technological accomplishment of the past 50 years.

- Game was broadcast on BBC as well as SkySports here in London. Rounding out the crack studio crew for Sky Sports were former Patriots receiver (and London native) Scott McCready (or, "who?" as I liked to call him), and...I swear on my life I'm not making this up...the fucking special teams coach for the SMU football team. Yes, you read that correctly. Unfortunately his name escapes me (shocking, I know). But this was the best that Sky Sports could do. A coach...not even a head coach...for a second tier division 1 college football team! Which begs the question...why wasn't I hired?

-After the first half, the bar I was at actually changed the channel to the BBC telecast. This was an even more odd, since it was essentially the NFL Network broadcast minus commercial interruption. Think about that...a Super Bowl without commercials. Something was just missing. So instead of the commercials, viewers were treated to in game analysis from two british dudes and...former all pro safety Rod Woodson?? What the heck is he doing here? Has he fired his agent yet? Actually, I theorized that Sky Sports and BBC actually made a pregame trade- the SMU special teams coach for Rod Woodson. Thats the only explanation for how out of place both of them appeared in their respective roles.

-the bar I was at, called the Walkabout, actually featured a team of London cheerleaders, called "The London Rockets" (they even have a website! complete with a review and breakdown of the cinematic classic Bring it On: In It to Win It!). These gals, while not completely wretched looking, certainly weren't the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, either. Unfortunately, their routines consisted of zero stunts, and the most elaborate move was when they waved their hands in the air, and waved them like they just didn't care. At one point in the evening, they strutted around the bar trying to raise money for some tour. One of the guys I was watching the game with actually turned and said to me, "if we tip them, will they go away?" Probably not a strong endorsement for your cheerleading squad. The fact that they looked like they stepped off the set of the "Mickey" video didn't help either.

-I thought it was worth mentioning...had I organized this party, I would've skipped the cheerleaders and hired the dude that sings the Glasgow Diamonds song (his name is Paul Birchard, in case you were curious). His mustache alone would've been worth the price of admission. And yes, I just wanted an excuse to link to the greatest song ever written.

-Another interesting subplot from the SkySports broadcast was the interactive options, like the "beginners guide to American Football" option. I never thought this was a complicated game until the cab ride home when my scottish cabby was bemoaning the confusing nature of american football. If only every sport was as simple as "kick orb into net" and "fall down and writhe around in faux pain at the slightest hint of physical contact"

-Ahmad Bradshaw needs a nickname, and I think I have the perfect solution: Farooq. Ahmad gets a cool nickname, and the WWF's Acolytes get 15 more minutes of fame. Everybody wins!

-Ok, by the third quarter I was sufficiently hammered (which is what happens when you watch a game with a New Englander, an Aussie and a Hungarian), and these cheerleaders were not getting any better looking. I was having a really hard time talking myself into even the asian one.

-Tom Petty is pretty much awesome. I'll admit I've never owned any of his albums, but like everyone else around me, I knew every word to every song, and by the start of the third quarter, I was plenty fired up...this after nearly falling asleep during the second quarter, a combination of too much Carlsberg, putrid, lackadaisical play on the gridiron, and uninspiring cheerleaders (boy I'm really harshing on these gals). Then Tom Petty comes in and recharged us all with his halftime set. Can we all agree that the first 5 seconds of "I Won't Back Down" is the coolest 5 seconds in rock music?

-Seriously I can't get over these cheerleaders! This reminds me of the Chris Rock bit where he chastises America for "falling for a trickless magician!" (David Blaine). Are we really being entertained by a group of "cheerleaders" that are not only failing at "cheering" but failing to incorporate standard cheerleading maneuvers and practices (like spelling out words, and standing on each others shoulders). This wasn't cheerleading...this was dancing around a bar looking like an idiot. Somewhere, Skurny is collecting royalties. Zing!

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