Just like that, the 2008-09 National Football League season is over. But what better way to end a season is there than the game we witnessed on Sunday night? Truly, a game can't get much better, and add in the whole Super Bowl factor, and the final product is being left speechless.
Super Bowl XLIII has to be one of the top three or four of all time. Not many other Super Bowls feature a touchdown (and a safety) to take the lead by both teams with under three minutes left in the game. It also featured the longest play in Super Bowl history, a 100-yard interception return by Pittsburgh's James Harrison. Don't forget about the near-amazing comeback by Arizona and the safety. Super Bowl XLIII was a great all-around game.
The second-best part of the Super Bowl is, of course, the commercials. Who doesn't love and anticipate the ads? Companies save their money and humor for this game. For the rest of this article, the ads will be correlated with the game. In a way, they do have something in common.
The first commercial that will be correlated with the game is the ad for NBC's Monday lineup featuring Heroes, Chuck, and Medium. The characters from the shows were singing Feelin' the Horror. Just as NBC's intended audience, adults going back to work on Monday (and students going back to school), the Cardinals will fear the horror of enduring the offseason, knowing they were so close to the Lombardi Trophy. Maybe NBC's lineup will relieve them of the horror - for one day, at least.
Early in the first quarter, Doritos had a pretty funny commercial. An employee at a company has a snow globe that "sees into the future". He predicts free Doritos for the day and chucks the globe at the vending machine. The glass cracks and FREE DORITOS! At the end of the commercial, another employee predicts a promotion and throws the snow globe, but it hits a man instead. No promotion for him.
Just as the first employee "saw into the future", Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt "saw into the future" with his challenge in the first quarter, and the challenge almost saved the game. He challenged the ruling on the field of a touchdown and it was overturned. Pittsburgh was held to three points, instead of seven. If the Cardinals had stopped the Steelers on their last drive, that challenge would have saved the game.
In a Budweiser ad, a man is fetching with his dog. A Budweiser Clydesdale sees this and gets jealous. He runs into the woods nearby and comes out with a big branch. "Showoff", the owner mutters.
Relating this to the game didn't require much thought. Let's say Kurt Warner is the owner and Larry Fitzgerald is his dog. Towards the latter stages of the game, Warner kept throwing the ball to Fitzgerald, who "fetched" it and scored twice. Santonio Holmes, the Clydesdale, wanted to prove that he could beat anything they did. Holmes had two huge catches on the final drive, the last one for the game-winning touchdown. And Holmes, like the Clydesdale, came back to the dog and the owner, showing off what he found - the Vince Lombardi trophy.
The NFL Network ran an ad declaring that the season never ends on NFL Network, showing the stages of the entire season from the Scouting Combine to the Super Bowl. Sadly, we have finished the last stage. Up next, the Scouting Combine and the Draft.
Utah Jazz star Carlos Boozer was showing off his jewelry that he got for discount prices to kids. When they would ask him, "What's this?", he would reply with "40 percent off" or "30 percent off". When they asked him about his Olympic gold medal, he replied, "That is twenty years of dedication". For Steelers' players, the Super Bowl ring is a reward for lots of years of dedication.
For careerbuilder.com, one office had the head of a buck as a showpiece. The office on the other side of it had the backside of the buck. You could put up an argument that sometimes, one team got away with the front end of a call, and one was stuck with the back end.
Do you remember or have you heard of the old Coke commercial with "Mean" Joe Greene of the Steel Curtain and the kid offering him his Coke bottle? Coke decided to a play on that commercial, this time starring Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu. When he was about to accept a kid's Coke Zero, two representatives of the Coke brand snatched it and started walking away. Polamalu jumped on them, took the Coke Zero, and then ripped off one of the men's shirts and gave it to the kid (as Greene had done, but he gave the kid his jersey, instead).
Polamalu and the rest of the "Steel Curtain 2" was jumping on the opponent's offense all season because they had, not a Coke Zero bottle, but the football. They were the league's top-ranked defense and jolted the Steelers into the Super Bowl. The defense scored a game-deciding six points and forced a fumble to clinch the franchise's sixth Super Bowl title.
I have to give out Most Valuable Player and Ad awards for this big event. The most valuable ad award was close between the Doritos, Miller High Life one-second ad, and the Coke Zero take on the "Mean" Joe Greene Coke ad. The winner goes to the humorous Doritos ad about the free Doritos and the snow globe that "sees into the future".
James Harrison might have won my MVP of the game, but I can't give it to him after seeing what a dirty play he committed in the fourth quarter. So, I agree with the official Super Bowl XLIII MVP in receiver Santonio Holmes. Holmes had nine receptions for 131 yards on a touchdown.