The Green Bay Packers--whose fans' fondness for Leinenkugel's, cheddar-shaped headgear, and ability to hold conflicting ideas in their mind about Brett Favre bespeak their standing as serious football appreciators--won their fourth Super Bowl in franchise history in Dallas Sunday night against the similarly tradition-rich (but, let's face it, much more annoying) Pittsburgh Steelers, by the score of 31 to 25. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers--the man Brett Favre was jettisoned for back in 2008--won Super Bowl MVP.
While the game itself was sloppy and the play at times uneven, events both on and off the field prompted plenty of discussion from voices around the Web? The summary: okay game, bad stadium situation, odd halftime show, terrible pregame filler from Fox.
- Not One For The Ages The score was close, but don't let that fool you into thinking Super Bowl XLV was a good game, advises Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio. "As expected," he writes, "the game entailed plenty of scoring. The Steelers fought back from an 18-point deficit to keep it interesting throughout the second half... It wasn’t the prettiest or most exciting of Super Bowls, but the Steelers had something that, early in the game, it appeared they wouldn’t — a chance to win the game late. In plenty of past situations, they’ve pulled it off. Tonight, they didn’t. So congrats to the Packers on getting their fourth Super Bowl win. With the Cowboys and 49ers at five and the Steelers at six and a strong nucleus of talent in Green Bay, the Packers could be getting to No. 5, No. 6, and maybe No. 7."
- Texas-sized Gaffes The entire weekend was as much a celebration of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his gleaming, $1.3 billion Cowboys Stadium as the two teams actually in the game, but poor snow removal efforts and a shortfall of 1250 temporary seats marred Jones' attempts to set the Super Bowl attendance record. Only time will tell if north Texas is out of the running for future games, writes Jeff Mosier of The Dallas Morning News.
Whether Super Bowl XLV could be considered a success depends on which Super Bowl is being discussed.
Was it the Super Bowl week marred by ice, snow, bitter cold, delays and cancellations? Was it the game week filled with A-list celebrities, pampered NFL team owners and Texas hospitality? Or was it Super Bowl Sunday with pleasant weather and a luxurious stadium but also struggles to accommodate a giant crowd that still fell short of a record?
- About That Halftime Show The Black Eyes Peas were brought to add some youth appeal to a halftime show that has skewed towards boomer rock in recent years, but the results were mixed, says Yahoo's Chris Chase. Particularly curious, according to Chase, was Will.i.am's three-line ad-lib in the song Where Is The Love?, informing President Obama (and, possibly Arnie Duncan), "In America we need to get things straight /Obama, let's get these kids educated / Create jobs so the country stays stimulated." Says Chase: "As far as political protest subjects go, children's education and creating jobs aren't the most radical of topics, but I appreciate Will.i.am using America's biggest stage for a constructive purpose." He adds that it was "much preferable to Fergie shrieking." (Will.i.am, for his part, has already blamed the shoddiness of his performance on AT&T's lousy coverage plan. Although he could've just as easily said the Steelers kicking game.)
- And the Award for Worst Pregame Filler Goes To...FOX, writes USA Today's Michael Hiestand, for the network's "mystifying" use of "a red-carpet celeb dropby[s], a Fox invention being tried for just the second time on a Super Bowl" in which a celebrity guest would sidle up to FOX greeters Michael Strahan and Maria Menounos and plug "Fox shows, a sponsor, what's coming up on the show -- about every seven seconds." The format got even more abstract as game time approached, with celebrities just being asked to offer their game picks. "And yet," notes Hiestand," when asked, actors such as John Travolta and Harrison Ford looked as startled and at a loss for words as if they been asked to, say, predict future price fluctuations for natural gas in Estonia. Travolta managed to recover and predict the Super Bowl would 'be a modern old-fashioned game' while Harrison looked almost frightened. Given that the least-bad celeb line might have been singer Keith Urban predicting a 'wicked game' you have to wonder: Couldn't any of these guys' posses have come up with a decent sentence or two?"