Did you miss the Big Game? Or just need to catch up on what everyone is saying about this morning? He's a recap of what happened... and what happened after the New York Giants pulled of their big 21-17 victory.
The Game: Two themes run through most of the post-game essays: Eli Manning as Best Quarterback in Football and the Patriots' missed opportunities. Despite a well-played game on both sides, the game boiled down to one great catch and one missed chance. Tom Brady failed to connect with a wide-open Wes Welker on a fourth quarter pass that might have sealed the when they were still ahead. Then Manning hit WR Mario Manningham with a tip-toe reception along the side line (the longest play of the game) that set up the game winning touchdown moments later. Welker blamed himself saying, "It’s a play I never drop. I don’t drop. I always make.…. It’s one that I’ll have to live with," but as Brady said afterward, "It always comes down to one or two plays in this game. If you make it, you’re celebrating. If you don’t, you don’t sleep for a week.” The image of the night (that wasn't actually caught on TV) may be Brady's wife, Gisele Bundchen, chasing after her dejected husband to give him a conciliatory hug.
Madonna: Opinion seems to be split pretty evenly on the halftime performance, with many finding Madonna's dance-heavy light show to be classic Material Girl, and the rest finding it an embarrassing rehash of the '90s nostalgia. There's was some minor controversy after co-star M.I.A. gave a finger to the camera (and maybe swore?) but it was so subtle that not a single person at the viewing party we were at even noticed. Neither did NBC apparently, until it was too late, as the 10-second delay imposed on most events wasn't enough.
The Ads: There will be plenty more to dissect of these later, but this year's crop of commercials was mostly underwhelming. Advertisers mostly avoided the big budget, over-the-top spectacles, and instead mined familiar characters (Coke's polar bears, the E-Trade baby, Darth Vader). The winner, according to USA Today's "Ad Meter", was Doritos' cat murder ad, which was created on a $20 budget. (It's creator won a $1 million for being the panel's top pick.) Our personal favorite was the Chevy "apocalypse" ad, which rival Ford only made worse for themselves by crying to NBC after being the butt of the joke. Though the best ad of all might have actually been this Bud ad, that only aired in Canada:
Gambling: As you might expect, the Las Vegas casinos did very well last night. They appear to be downplaying it this article, but admit that they did pretty good, mostly because of prop bets. The low scoring not only beat the under when it came to total points (most bettors tend to bet the over in the big game), but kept most bets involving individual performance from going over as well. The one prop bet that hurt them, was the fact that the first score of the game was a safety, a proposition that few gamblers take on, but pays off at huge odds. Betting that a safety would be the first points of the game was 50-to-1 shot.
Twitter: Have you heard? Everyone is using it! There were 10,000 messages per second during the end of the game, according to Twitter. Even NFL players got involved, with James Harrison taking a moral lesson from the game, and one Giant taking the opportunity to dig at other athletes,
The Fans: Disgruntled Patriots fans at the U-Mass Amherst campus had to be arrested after their team lost, but most were too bummed to riot. The Giant's parade is on Tuesday. This guy may be watching it from his bathroom.