Good Monday morning, all. I write from eastern Kentucky, where I have just landed for a pit stop on my way to meetings further into the region. It's cold, getting colder, and starting to snow here. If I post again later it will be because I have been somehow stranded here!
Despite not having a dog in the fight last night (more about dogs in a bit), my wife and I watched the Super Bowl last night. You read right....no party this year, as our son and his brood have been circulating a respiratory ailment among the four of them. So they stayed in, and so did we. Not nearly as much fun as it often is. We made chili, which was fitting for a cold, wet day and evening, and watched the game broadcast in hopes of seeing the dreaded New England Patriots get theirs and lose.
No such luck. Inexplicably, the Seattle Seahawks had the game in their grasp, called a different, riskier offensive play as the game was winding down, and committed a turnover to lose. Bet that wasn't a fun plane ride home last night or whenever.
The best football moments were provided by former Kentucky wide receiver and sometime Seattle pass-catcher Chris Matthews, not to be confused with the bombastic cable news host. A couple of great catches in the field and one for a touchdown late in the first half buoyed the Seahawks into a tie with the Patriots, but his heroics were for naught.
Anyway, we committed ourselves to watching the commercials and the halftime show, and accidentally watched some football while we were at it. The commercials were decidedly gentler in tone, perhaps in response to NFL standards of content to be met. Some were baffling, like the Nationwide Insurance spot about accidental deaths of children. Worthwhile message, but an odd place to convey it. Nationwide did have a couple of other ads that were OK, but that one was a head-shaker.
In my opinion, Budweiser was the winner last night---great commercial featuring the puppy who has a deep connection to one or more of the vaunted Clydesdales (somewhere my late mother is smiling at that) and their other effort talked about Budweiser the beer, its tradition of quality and very unapologetically called it beer for people who like to drink beer. I agreed with that sentiment.
Lots of car ads, none terribly memorable. There was one commercial featuring Liam Neeson talking about some video game, which was amusing, but I couldn't tell you what the name of that game happened to be. Saw a commercial for a movie coming out next summer called "Tomorrowland," which looks intriguing.
And McDonald's promises that random customers will be able to pay for their order with "lovin',", which means to call your mom or tell your significant other what they mean to me. I'm in a McDonald's as I write this, but I had to pay for my coffee!
Now to the halftime show, featuring Katy Perry, with oddly positioned appearances by Lenny Kravitz and rapper Missy Elliott (to whom my wife and I asked each other who she and her large entourage were--Wikipedia was helpful in that regard). Katy has several things going for her to assure success in such an environment....she's pretty popular among younger folks; despite her costuming she's pretty wholesome; and she can actually sing without massive amounts of studio embellishment. And she has enough semi-recognizable songs to weave into a 13 minute performance that it and the staging were an overall success, which is not always what you can say about the halftime performer.
Idina Menzel did a bang-up "Star Spangled Banner" (what a voice!) and John Legend did well with "America the Beautiful," too.
So, with that, football season is over. I'm told that the Cincinnati Reds will open spring training to pitchers and catchers in 16 days. Can't get here too soon......
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