This year’s Super Bowl ads, like the game itself, were a crushing disappointment for the most part.
The once proud American institution continued its steady decline of recent years, either falling back on tired, shopworn cliches or trying so hard to be edgy that they just came off as desperate and weird. Still, while it wasn’t the best year, there were a few bright spots. Having compiled the data from an exhaustive, highly scientific survey (I asked the friends I had over to grade them on a scale of one to 10), here are the top five best and worst ads of the night:
T-Mobile’s “Drop the Balls”
Sure, this was utterly predictable given that celebrity-shaming is a Super Bowl ad tradition unlike any other. But Steve Harvey earned the humiliation.Budweiser’s “Drink Responsibly”
I’m just going to come right out and say it: Helen Mirren is hot.
Doritos’ “Ultra Sound”
Simply put, the funniest one of the night.
Amazon’s “Baldwin Bowl”
They had me at Alec Baldwin. There is simply no one on TV better at playing off his own exaggerated pomposity than him.
Avocados from Mexico’s “AVOS in Space”
Avocados are on a roll, following up last year’s NFL draft parody with this. And Scott Baio takes home the coveted “Has Been Celebrity Willing to Humiliate Himself” award.
Xifaxan’s “Talking Intestines”
What part of the digestive system do you think that mouth is, exactly? Hint: You don’t want to kiss this thing on the lips.
As I said when this one dropped last week, I’m a grown man and I refuse to accept the circumstances by which my parents conceived me. How does the NFL think 8-and 9-year olds should be singing about it?
Opioid-Induced Constipation’s “Envy”
I’ve just spent the day horking down chips, meatballs and chili. The last thing I need to hear about is this guy’s plumbing being backed up.
Jublia’s “Fight It”
Irritable bowels, constipation and toenail fungus? Was this a Super Bowl or a MeTV daytime marathon of “Murder She Wrote”?
Mountain Dew’s “Puppymonkeybaby”
Granted, it wasn’t that sick insurance company one last year with the kid talking about being dead. But this was an advertiser trying way too hard to be clever. Don Draper would have killed this one at the pitch stage. But in 2016, this is what makes it all the way to the Super Bowl. I weep for my country.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
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And this, my friends, is why I didn’t want Tom Brady to take part in the NFL’s little Super Bowl MVP donkey show. Far be it for me to be one of those people who brags about being right, but once again everything unfolded just as I said it would. Every past MVP from Chuck Howley to Jake Scott to Mark Rypien got treated like royalty, and the G.O.A.T. got treated like a wrestling heel.
Congratulations, Supreme Leader Snoke Goodell. You didn’t succeed in getting Brady suspended. You haven’t (and won’t) win your court case. You couldn’t stop his team from winning. But you did manage to do what no other commissioner in the history of sports ever did: Destroy the reputation of one of the greatest ambassadors your game has ever had over nothing. You took a man who’s represented your league with class, distinction and honor and reduced him to a punchline in the eyes of the nation. Even his own home town. I hope that thought keeps you up at night, but I doubt it does. To be bothered by what you’ve done would require a conscience and a soul and you have neither.
To everyone who argued with me that for Brady not to show up would be petty, ruin the ceremony and cost him the chance to enjoy a great moment, I’m going to suggest you listen to those boos and tell me who’s guilty of doing all three. And I’m going to suggest Brady himself listen to them next time he’s thinking about playing nice with others and just stay home instead. If they’re going to treat him like a villain, it’s time to start acting like one.
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
College hockey: Beanpot consolation, Northeastern vs. Harvard, 4:30 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: Beanpot championship, Boston College vs. Boston University, 8 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-AM)
NBA: Magic at Hawks, 8 p.m. (NBA TV) College basketball: Women, UConn at South Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPN2) College basketball: Louisville at Duke, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: St. John’s at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Oklahoma State at TCU, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Colgate at Army, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Notre Dame at Clemson, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Texas at Oklahoma, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
AROUND THE WEB:
— Sunday’s Super Bowl will go down as one of the least entertaining ever, a defensive snoozefest that was filled with mistakes by both teams. And as a whole, the Super Bowl commercials were similarly disappointing.
However, there were some memorable spots, including the bizarre PuppyMonkeyBaby commercial for Mountain Dew’s Kickstart energy drink. In an effort to promote the fact that the product is a combination of dew, juice and caffeine, the company featured a creature with a puppy’s head, a monkey’s upper body and a baby’s bottom half (including diaper). The animal enters a room with three men and starts chanting “PuppyMonkeyBaby” while distributing the drink. It then licks the face of one of the men before leading them out the door in a dance.
The commercial horrified many viewers, but it certainly appeared to be generating the most buzz.
Tweeted James Bates of Fox Sports: I’m scared of commercial breaks now. . . #puppymonkeybaby might start lickin’ stuff again.
Joked comedian Patton Oswalt: That puppy monkey baby is already being used in ISIS recruiting videos. #SB50
During the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, Lynch tweeted a picture of a pair of cleats hanging from a power line along with a peace emoji. The team retweeted it along with the hashtag #ThankYouBeastMode but said there would be no further comment.
Lynch’s teammates followed with tributes to the 29-year-old, who was able to play just seven regular-season games this season due an abdominal injury that required surgery. He finished with just 111 carries for 417 yards.
Wrote quarterback Russell Wilson: Honor playing with one of the best running backs of all time! Going to miss sharing the backfield with you 24.
Tweeted cornerback Richard Sherman: Salute to my guy @MoneyLynch . . . It was an honor sharing the field with you.
Speaking to Cleveland.com over the weekend, Jackson first expressed concern for Manziel’s ex-girlfriend, who allegedly was involved in a domestic dispute with Manziel last week. Dallas police said Friday that they are launching a criminal investigation into the incident.
As for Manziel, Jackson said. “I don’t know Johnny. I’ve never talked to Johnny. But I don’t want to see any young man’s life be at risk in any situation.”
Added Jackson: “I know our organization well enough that the powers-that-be would reach out and create any environment that could help. Because we’re not about hurting people. We’re about saving people. I know that without question.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 8, 1960, who was named the first coach in Patriots history?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Whenever you get a chance to run up and down and move the ball like we did tonight, it’s fun. And not only that, we were making shots. When everybody’s making shots, everybody’s happy.” — Celtics guard Avery Bradley, after the Celtics‘ 128-119 victory over the Kings
Picard and Price give their predictions for SB50 later today.
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