According to numbers I heard Monday, some 120 million people in the U.S. were watching the last 15 minutes of Sunday night’s Super Bowl. That’s more than one in every three Americans – gathered around a television set somewhere watching what proved to be an excellent game with an almost unbelievable finish.
If you were buried under a rock somewhere and either didn’t see it yourself or haven’t heard about it since, the Seattle Seahawks, a team that featured three former N.C. State players among its starting lineup and a head coach who earned his coaching stripes with the Wolfpack, were on the one-yard line with half a minute to play. A touchdown would probably have won the game for them.
Instead of giving the ball to their great running back, they chose to throw the ball and the pass by one of those N.C. State alums, Russell Wilson, was intercepted and the New England Patriots won the game 28-24.
God didn’t bless me with a boy to watch growing up as a football player, but He did give me two daughters who love the game. My youngest, Pitt, watched the game with me Sunday night. She hooted and hollered and kept my running commentary on Facebook fueled with quippy one-liners. At one point, she even offered to write this week’s column for me, to explain why pass interference is the dumbest violation in football.
We rated commercials when the game was at a standstill and came to different conclusions than most Americans about our favorite commercials. Most people, apparently liked the Budweiser commercial that featured the lost puppy and his Clydesdale friends who come to his aid when he was in danger.
We preferred the Dodge commercial that featured centenarians dispensing life advice. What other show but the Super Bowl could actually keep people in their seats for the commercials? That’s impressive. Nationwide Insurance has taken some heat for its offbeat commercial about protecting our children. The ad ended with a little boy explaining that he had missed a lot of things in life because he died in an accident.
As a parent, though, the commercial hit home with me. Every time one of my children pulls out of our driveway, I worry about what might happen to them before they get back.
After Sunday’s ball game, I took the dog out on his nightly walk and as I walked through a nearby neighborhood, I saw several boys out in the yard tossing a football illuminated by only a spotlight on the corner of the house. A few houses down the street, I noticed a garage door open. Inside the garage looked like a living room with a large television in the center displaying the post-game coverage and sofas and chairs spread all around the room.
And here’s one final Super Bowl note: as noted in my colleague Aaron Moody’s column last week, the oddsmakers had odds on the color of the Gatorade that would be poured over the head of the winning coach. If you had money on that oddity, I hope you picked blue. If you did, you beat the 8-1 odds.