One ad stuck out during this year’s Super Bowl broadcast, for its message of patriotism, shared sacrifice and faith in American exceptionalism—and it wasn’t Clint Eastwood’s Chrysler spot.
The spot began with a pregnant woman, framed by a playpen and on the phone, asking an unseen person to “Be safe.” A man on what appears to be an aircraft carrier replied, “You know I will.”
It was a military recruitment commercial.
The legend “On February 24th” appears onscreen, as Eminem’s “Not Afraid” scores footage of enlisted men skydiving, deep-sea diving, and shooting in a desert. “We all have something worth fighting for,” intones a narrator as a man kisses a woman while a towheaded child rests on his shoulder and the legend “FAMILY” appears onscreen. More footage—a fighter dropping through a glass ceiling, a military funeral, a bomb exploding, many a handshake—is intercut with legends reading “HONOR,” “FREEDOM,” and “A MOTION PICTURE EVENT.”
Wait, it was a feature film trailer.
If you were among the crowds in Indianapolis rooting for the New England Patriots or New York Giants last Sunday, there’s a chance you received more than a beer and barbeque hangover or big foam finger for your troubles: health officials in Indiana report at least two cases of measles in the Super Bowl village.
While the patients who came down with measles didn’t go to the game, they did pass through Super Bowl village along with 200,000 others. Since measles is highly communicable, Indiana officials elected to alert state health departments across the country.
They were the epitome of determination during a season that seemed lost on more than one occasion. To be sure, they looked overmatched at times, pretenders who had no business being mentioned among the league’s elite teams. But their coach preached a single word—finish—and eventually the message took hold.
And so the Giants finished their season in high style, winning their second Super Bowl championship in five seasons. Like their title run in 2007-08, this one seemingly came out of nowhere. A season that seemed like the very definition of mediocrity became, almost in an instant, a magical, memorable season of brilliant moments and unforgettable images.
Through it all, through the depths of a four-game losing streak that seemed to doom their playoff chances, through the blitz of called-in demands for coaching changes and doubts about the quarterback, the Giants’ owners did precisely what Giants’ owners traditionally do.
They did nothing. More to the point, they did nothing rash. They said nothing to incite back-page headlines. They issued no demands of their players. They ended no sentences with the phrase “or else.”
The Mara and Tisch families run the Giants with a sort of patience and class that seems so very old-fashioned in the 24-hour sports-media cycle.
Yesterday, New York residents found themselves split into two categories: the people who celebrated the New York Giants’ victory over the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl—for the second time!—by reveling in the ticker tape parade that stretched all down Broadway, and the people who spent the day trying to get through their daily commute. We’re not saying that Eli Manning shouldn’t be celebrated like the “elite” quarterback (take that, ESPN) and god of pigskin that he is, but why couldn’t the city have the parade over the weekend?
Not that we’re complaining—O.K., we are complaining—but if there’s anyone whom we should be cheering on for their performance on Sunday night, we’d pick Madonna over Victor Cruz.
Madonna’s first U.S. tour dates since 2008 will include a stop at Yankee Stadium, it was announced today. The star, most recently seen at Lucas Oil Stadium doing her best Roman-goddess routine, is hitting the road to promote her upcoming album MDNA. She’ll be at Yankee Stadium on September 6, with additional tour dates Read More
Last night’s Super Bowl was super exciting, what with Madonna and the very close game between the New England Patriots and the the New York Giants. And New Yorkers were not the only ones who thought so: last night’s game was the most-watched television event in TV history, beating out last year’s 111 million average by an extra 300,000 viewers. (We speculate that those extra viewers were people who hate football but love Madonna, and who turned off NBC the moment Downton Abbey started.)
A giant event like the Super Bowl breaking its own record is not that unusual. A little bit stranger is the fact that the night had a second huge win for NBC when the second season premiere of The Voice became the highest rated entertainment program since 2006.
Last night’s Super Bowl received the third-best “overnight” ratings of all time, following only the games held in 1987 and 2011. It was good news for NBC all around, with a 47.8 rating for the game and a 19.4 rating for the lead-out program The Voice (that series’s best rating ever). The program increased in Read More
M.I.A. briefly shot the camera a middle finger during her guest spot on the Super Bowl halftime show last night–because nothing is so much fun for everyone as a multimillionaire flipping off 100 million plebeians at once. Anyone who remembers the somehow more-innocent and crasser time of 2004 will remember the months-long “controversy” over Janet Read More
As many as 2000 students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst rioted in the streets tonight following the New England Patriots’ 21-17 loss to the New York Giants. There were riot squads at the ready. Police used flashbangs and smoke bombs break up the action and supplemented with horseback officers who waded into the crowd gathered in student residential area. Police were on hand because reports indicate rioting in conjunction with major events is simply something students at UMass Amherst sometimes do:
Someone behind the New York Giants’ website tried to play sports Nostradamus on Saturday, prematurely declaring the Giants champions of Sunday’s Super Bowl match with the New England Patriots. Giants.com briefly became a portal to Super Bowl champs merchandise and triumphant images of team members raising fists in victory. Web producers quickly realized this might be bad form and reverted the site to its more modest state, but not before Comcast Sports Net anchor Mike Giardi happened to take a screengrab. Sports blogs like The Nosebleeds wondered if this could be a “bad omen” for the New York team, but Giants fans would likely insist it was just an effort to get a head start on the inevitable.