13 Things That Made Super Bowl 52 Worth Watching

Neither my fiance nor my son are sports fans.  You won’t find any team jerseys or hear any fight songs in our house.  Since my enjoyment of pro sports has always been contingent upon someone else putting a game on the TV, I have lost touch in recent years.  Still, I can enjoy a good game.  Last weekend I found myself getting swept up in the excitement surrounding the Super Bowl.

After all, in its fifty-two years of existence the Super Bowl has ingrained itself in American culture.  Over 100 million people tune in to watch the big game each year.  Super markets and shops prepare party trays.  Those with foresight schedule the following Monday off.  Everyone else in work the next day gathers to analyze the game, the halftime show, and the commercials.  Viewership is assumed.  It doesn’t matter if your team is playing or not.

img_0213I think that it’s only fair to tell you at this point that my interest in Super Bowl LII has a little (a lot) to do with the fact that we are originally from Philadelphia.  While my fiance grew up in a house pretty much devoid of professional sports, I had a somewhat different experience.  My dad’s reverence for the Eagles rivals that of Pat Sr. in Silver Linings Playbook.

I hated Sundays in the fall when I was little – trying to find a location in the house from which the TV could not be heard, limiting the amount of times I walked past said TV while on my quest for quiet, dodging out of my dad’s path as he sprinted to the kitchen or bathroom during a commercial break.  But the game grew on me as I got older.  Now I look back fondly on Sundays in front of the TV being taught football by my dad – during commercial breaks of course.

It’s rare that I watch sports anymore.  When I do, the Eagles, Flyers, Phillies or Sixers are playing and I’m rooting for them.  We all live across the river in the Philadelphia suburbs now.  My dad is still as big of a fan as I am a casual one.

So this week I decided to make a (slightly biased) list of things that made Super Bowl LII worth watching for those of us who are not rabid football fans.img_0179

The Pregame Show  The pregame analysis was lost on us, but Leslie Odom Jr.’s high energy “America the Beautiful” and P!nk’s booming rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” made the wait worthwhile.

The Madden Cam  Those of us born before a certain time are still secretly impressed by this.  Glide behind the play like a ghostly referee?  Yes, please.

Dilly Dilly!  Learning that arrows with fire don’t hurt more than regular ones. Probably.

Hurdle Fail  Brandin Cooks’ attempt to jump over Rodney McLeod turned into an epic fail when his crotch didn’t quite clear McLeod’s head.

Do You Want to Eat Me?  Is it wrong that my favorite part of the M&M commercial was when Danny DeVito gets hit by a trash truck?

Ya Learn Somethin’ New  Adding to your mastery of Roman numerals one year at a time.

Getting Old  DJ Nana and her friends were awesome even if they did make me want to rethink any future visits to Savannah.

The Movie Trailers  Apparently the Super Bowl is the show to watch for movie buffs who want to get a jump start on planning their summer movie watch list.

img_0190The Philly Special  Watching Foles successfully execute the same trick play that Brady bungled earlier in the game.

The Halftime Show  Justin Timberlake fans would have found the game worth watching for the halftime show alone.  The rest of us amused ourselves by waiting to see if JT would cause a wardrobe malfunction that would have us watching Willie Nelson, Wayne Newton, and Dolly Parton for Super Bowls LIII, LIV, and LV respectively.

It Turns Out That Every Super Bowl Ad Was A Tide Ad  Maybe being a fan of Stranger Things was a prerequisite to enjoying the Tide commercials, but I don’t think so.  Who didn’t want to see David Harbour have another chance to shine without Winona Ryder making faces in the background?

Nobody Puts Odell in the Corner  Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr.’s reenactment of the iconic final scene from Dirty Dancing was as awesome as it was cringe-worthy.

Super Bowl Snacks and Drinks  Overindulging is mandatory, isn’t it?

Next year’s Super Bowl will be held in Atlanta.  I don’t know who will be playing (cough, Eagles) or who will leave with the Lombardi trophy (cough, cough, Eagles).  Whoever it is, I will tune in if only for the commercials and the evening off from my New Year’s resolution.