One man's Super Bowl diary ...
6:00 p.m (EST): I’m a massive fan of Jay-Z and Rihanna’s solo work. To get them together on a Super Bowl pregame show takes care of another Bucket List wish for me.
6:04: Our first look at the duo behind the mic tonight. For the 28,014th straight time I remain Jim Nantz’s friend, which is always kind of comforting. And Phil Simms has his “25-year veteran of the LPGA Tour” haircut going. Very Dottie Pepper. I approve.
6:10: Admit it, when Nantz announced the Saints and Colts, you thought of the 2001 Patriots being introduced as a team and teared up a little. It’s OK.
6:12: Solomon Wilcots and Steve Tasker as the dueling sideline repoertes won’t confuse anyone with Bird/’Nique. And apparently Dwight Freeney has some sort of ankle problem. And why is this “the most famous ankle injury in history?” Have we already forgotten about Brady in 2001? Willis Reed?
6:20: Sean Payton looks like a former child star and I can’t figure out who it is. Help me out. Scotty Schwartz? The girl from “Small Wonder?”
6:25: That Lebron/Howard horse ad was pretty good. I still can’t believe CBS wouldn’t air the original idea, a Greg Oden/Dirk Diggler showdown.
6:30: Adam Vinatieri is sitting next to me. He’s wearing the leather pants he broke out on Letterman and seems pissed.
6:33: Not a good call on third-and-2 on the first drive by the Saints. A deep ball that was overthrown by about 20 yards. As a rule I never bet on a team whose head coach wears a visor and looks vaguely like a former child star. Something to remember.
6:37: First “Phil-Osophy” spot with Simms. He broke down Manning’s footwork. I was expecting an examination of early 12th century marriage in Jerusalem and its effect on the following 300 years.
6:43: Betty White (who just got blasted in a commercial) is 88 years old. Did she ever have a peak? “Mary Tyler Moore,” maybe? There should be a website that lists the physical peak of every celebrity. Why doesn’t this exist? I am talking about printing money here.
6:52: Who else is fired up about Russell Crowe as Robin Hood? Who else? Come on, he’s only 58 years old. Any chance they bring back Christian Slater as the youthful sidekick? How about Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as the love interest?
(Her peak? “Scarface.” See how easy that was? Her anti-peak, by the way, was “Class Action.” Maybe I should turn the game back on.)
7:00: If you had Pierre Garcon at 10-1 to score the first touchdown, good job. It's 10-0 and I’m starting to get a “38-10” vibe.
7:06: My brother-in-law (who had Pierre Thomas at 5-1) just perked up at the sight of a beaver playing the violin. “Animals in commercials are generally pretty funny,” he said with the joy usually reserved for a birth of a child.
7:10: Player I want to see win a Super Bowl least from each team. Saints: Reggie Bush. Colts: Pau Gasol.
7:19: Can we all chip in and pay for a Martin Scorsese/Leonardo DiCaprio divorce? It’s time, right?
7:20: Leno/Letterman/Oprah got the first “holy s—t” from the crowd at the bar. Never a good sign an hour into the biggest games of the year. Any chance Leno wasn’t CGI’d into that ad?
7:24: Manning bitching at Garcon after a key drop. Nice flashback for Pats fans to a better time. Underrated Manning fact: He trails only Dan Marino and Stan Gable from “Revenge of the Nerds” on the all-time “ripping off chinstrap and yelling at receiver” list.
7:27: The Who are about an hour away. How many old white bands are left for the halftime show? Anyone ready for 38 Special in 2014?
7:28: First mention of Jeremy Shockey. I had 8:11 in my pool. I still have 10:13 in my Steve Tasker pool, though, so I’m not sweating it.
7:34: Is there any doubt that Jim Nantz’s go-to road outfit is the golf shirt and tan slacks with no socks and the boat shoes? None, right? And I’m thinking he’s seen Yanni in concert more than once. But I’d give him a Simms a solid B+ so far. Nothing great, but they stay out the way, which is about 80 percent of the battle.
7:36: Two-minute warning. All I want is a “CSI in Space” commercial.
7:38: Thanks, CBS.
7:40: All I’ve heard over the past two weeks is about what an imaginative play-caller Sean Payton is. Terrible third-and-goal call, and I’m first guessing this fourth-down call (to go for it) as a lousy decision.
7:42: Stopped! My best prediction since I walked out of the Somerville movie theatre in 1998 and suggested that Denise Richards was going to be the biggest star in the world.
7:46: And Nantz’s streak of unfunny commercials lives on. He’s like the Anthony Young of hideous ads (arcane reference, I know, but it felt right.)
7:50: It's 10-6 at halftime. Bad job by Caldwell on that last Colts drive after the stop. Way too conservative. You have Peyton Manning, Jim. How about letting him throw the ball, I don’t know, once? He just gave the Saints three points. Belichick lost to both of these morons this year?
7:52: Tasker sighting! Tasker sighting! He just asked Caldwell a question that A) no one cared about and B) would never yield an answer that would be anywhere within 50 miles of interesting. Caldwell just gave him the “You know that they don’t even let me turn on my sideline headphone, right?” look. Can we make sure that the elimination of the sideline reporter is part of the 2011 collective bargaining agreement?
7:59: The Chiclet teeth are the male equivalent of a boob job. And if you buy into that theory, Bill Cowher is Tara Reid.
8:08: That is the worst Who cover band I’ve ever heard.
8:21: Sean Payton showing some serious grapefruits with an onside kick to start the second half. It somehow took four minutes to figure it out, but the Saints recover. Caldwell was ready to throw the flag until someone told him that 1) he can’t throw the flag in that situation and 2) they don’t let him hold the flag anyway.
8:23: Bad sign for the Colts when Pete Townshend has had more air time in the last hour than Peyton Manning
8:28: Touchdown, Saints! If they do win this game, that onside kick goes down as an all-time call.
8:30: I’m not one to judge, but even the folks at Mancrunch.com were offended by the “Prince of Persia” trailer. What happened to Jake Gyllenhaal? He looks like the bastard child of Kevin Sorbo and the female trainer on “The Biggest Loser.”
8:34: When I wrote two weeks ago that Manning was the best QB of all-time, throws like he just made to Clark (rolling to his right, hits him in stride with three guys on him) were the kind of plays I had in mind. Unreal.
8:38: Wow. Easy TD drive by the Colts. All of the sudden this is an entertaining game. Could we be heading for a Pats-Panthers kind of fourth quarter?
8:41: Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo in an ad.
(And yes, Beverly in the shower in the first Vacation is one of the three easiest peak calls of all time. The other two? The aforementioned Denise Richards in “Wild Things” and Patrick Swayze in “The Outsiders.” Remember to edit that out later and write Demi Moore in “Disclosure,” if only to protect the macho image you have cultivated over the last year and a half.)
8:44: Talking babies = gold. If they could ever get an actual talking baby and an actual talking animal you would have the biggest sitcom in history. Throw in a wacky gay neighbor and you’ve got 10 years on the air.
8:45: Why no Kim Kardashian shots? Or Kendra Wilkerson? I’d settle for Brenda Warner at home in her sweats at this point.
8:51: In a playoff defined by atrocious kicking, it is possible that Garrett Hartley (3-for-3 on field goals of 46, 44 and 47 yards) might be the MVP of the Super Bowl.
8:53: Can we fit Caldwell and Reggie Wayne (one catch) for goat horns?
8:56: HUGE quarter for Manning’s legacy.
9:00: Is there any chance that a member of the Who is still in the stadium?
9:05: It makes ZERO sense for the Colts to trot out a 424-year-old kicker to try a 51-yard field goal. I thought Jim Caldwell was George Seifert (guy who takes over for the guy and knows how to stay out of the way) but I’m starting to think that he might be Ray Handley. Gotta give Simms a hit on this, he’s been pretty easy on Caldwell tonight.
9:10: Three guesses as to what the guy next to me said after this line:
“I’ve never understood the prevent defense.”
A) “I wish Jeremy Shockey had taken over 'The Tonight Show.' ”
B) “Is it possible to get tickets for 'Prince of Persia' right now?”
C) “The only thing it prevents is winning.”
9:14: Touchdown, Shockey. Goodbye to anyone that took the Colts and the points. This is Shockey’s chance to remove himself from the Awkward Rings Club, a group that includes Drew Bledsoe, Nomar Garciaparra and the paralyzed kid from “Remember the Titans.”
9:18: Strange moment during the review on Lance Moore’s two-point catch as Caldwell ran out on the field and tried to snap the ball.
9:22: They might come back and win this game, but the Colts have, to quote Clint Howard in “Parenthood,” NO BUSINESS winning. Incredibly tentative since about the middle of the first quarter.
9:26: Timeout, and the commercials have lost some steam, so how about we take a moment and appreciate the effort by Mr. Rasheed Wallace vs. the Magic. One rebound and two points (on 1-of-6 shooting) in 19 minutes. A minus-10 in plus/minus. Is he still taking bets on 72 wins?
9:30: And Tracy Porter gives the Brady over Manning crowd the fodder they needed — a 74-yard interception return for a score. If you looked at that as the biggest drive of Manning’s career (which is fair) I can see why the Tommy flag-wavers would be doing the lambada. No way Brady throws that pick in that spot.
9:37: Why is it that I feel lower when I go to GoDaddy.com to see the rest of the commercial than I do when I look at actual pornography?
9:41: Manning working a stat-stuffing drive in the last two minutes. That should mean $5 for Drew Bledsoe, who was shrewd enough to patent that move in 1998.
9:45: Fourth-and-goal and … incomplete! Drop by Wayne, who will be forgotten in the Manning and Caldwell bashing.
9:46: Good for the Saints and for Payton. Give him credit for the onside kick and the faith in Brees. This is a guy who had his play-calling duties taken away by Jim Fassel a decade ago.
9:48: Do the Pats keep or trade their first-round pick? And if they do trade it, would it be the worst idea to have a talking baby make the announcement?