Sunday, February 01, 2009

Zebra pattern

Homer Simpson: I’m not a bad guy. I work hard and I love my kids, So why should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I’m going to hell?

God: Hmm, you’ve got a point there. You know, sometimes even I’d rather be watching football. Does St. Louis still have a team?

Homer Simpson: No, they moved to Phoenix.

Congratulations to the Arizona Cardinals for outperforming the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII -- for all but about two plays. At first I wasn't picking sides, but they kind of won me over by making gutsy plays in the second half, despite getting screwed repeatedly (almost comically) by the referees.

Whatever your bias, you have to admit that the zebras took over that game, holding the Tampa crowd and the national audience in suspense several times tonight. I was convinced that one of the men in black and white would win the MVP, at least until Santonio Holmes distinguished himself at the very end.

Time will tell if the Cards can build off their surprise success next season, or if their NFC championship was an anomaly. The Falcons and Panthers, for example, got there in the past and haven't really come close since. In the NFL, it's difficult to forge a new dynasty.

I don't dislike the Steelers. It's hard to root against Mike Tomlin. He's no elder statesman, like his mentor Tony Dungy -- he's reached the peak of his profession at age 36. A win like this could have some positive sociological consequences: if there's any chance he'll make life a little easier for African-American coaches at the college level, so much the better. If Hollywood ever makes a biopic, Omar Epps is ready to play the lead.

Finally: the Super Bowl commercials. I liked the premise of the ad. A few others were cute, but forgettable. The rest of them were a waste of time and money. Are the advertising agencies even trying anymore? Did they lay off all the creative people? Where have you gone, Don Draper?


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