After all the hype, the so-called clash between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Sunday really should have been billed as the Super-Bad Bowl, as audiences across the globe witnessed wild horses well and truly annihilated by a flock of well-assembled raptors. It was Seattle’s defence that clinched the coveted first title win for the Seahawks franchise, by refusing to allow NFL veteran, Peyton Manning, to make history off the back of his record breaking regular season performance. There was no doubt that it was the defensive back-line’s day, and for the first time in a long while, a linebacker (Malcolm Smith) won the coveted “Most Valued Player” honour. The self-proclaimed “Legion of Boom” certainly lived up to their name, forcing four turnovers during the game.
Whilst Manning’s stats were surprisingly respectable, Seattle’s QB, Russell Wilson seemed far hungrier to seal the Championship, and he successed to flawlessly silence those critics who’d condemned the Seattle team’s youth and inexperience.
In what was to be the fastest score in Super Bowl history, Denver conceded a two-point safety within 12 seconds of the opening whistle, following a fatal miscommunication in the line of scrimmage, which led to a misdirected snap over Manning’s head into the Bronco’s end zone. Reminiscent of a similar early score in Super Bowl XLI, (which was ironically against Manning’s Indianapolis Colts, (although 2007 had a far happier ending for Manning!)), this fumble paved the way for a crushing and decisive Seahawks victory. By half-time, the Seahawks had secured a comfortable 22-0 lead, leaving the Bronco’s with an unenviable challenge ahead of them in the second half.An 87-yard touchdown return by Percy Harvin within the first 12 seconds of the third quarter (yes, the first 12 seconds, again!) meant that Denver trailed by 29 points after the first play, with the situation not improving for the Broncos until late in the third quarter. A two-point converted touchdown on the last play of the quarter managed to save them from a humiliating shutout.
To the frustration of the Denver squad, the points deficit continued to grow. Seattle relentlessly capitalised on Denver’s every mistake, propelling the North West franchise towards an unequivocal 43-8 win over the Broncos.
SECOND QUARTER – The Party
After the hugely ambitious Snackadium challenge I put myself up to last year, for Super Bowl XLVIII, we decided to have a far more low-key event. Once again, simple brown packaging paper was used as covering for our coffee table, and we drew on chalk yard-lines onto the paper to have our own mini football field as the centre-point. We also resurrected last year’s felt bunting for hassle free decorations.
To represent New York’s co-hosting of the event, we served snacks in a vintage glass-apple bowl, and displayed the brownies on a cheeseboard purchased at the legendary Murray’s cheese store, which is located on Bleecker Street in New York’s Greenwich Village.
THIRD QUARTER – Commercials
Even the commercials seemed to be a little lack-lustre this year, with only a handful even threatening to coax a giggle or two out of an increasingly disinterested audience. Below are my personal top 5:
1. Budweiser, “Tiny Tennis”: I am, of course, particularly biased when it comes to all things Arnold Schwarzenegger, but Budweiser’s #UpForWhatever campaign really is a classic. Watching Arnold compete in a “Tiny Tennis” game kitted out in ping-pong attire with a notably Conan-esq style is a nod to his long-serving fans, and the “princess” quote is just hilarious. The warm-up trailers are also worth a visit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ8DBddW270
2. Coca-cola’s “America the Beautiful”: Coca-cola’s decision to have the American National anthem sang in a number of languages spoken throughout the United States has caused a deluge of individuals to speak out against this particular rendition. As a Republic founded by immigrant settlers, and considering the sheer diversity of the American population, the number of disapprovals was surprising. In fact, with no official language at federal level (although English is very much the de facto language of the Union), what better testament to the American Dream and the foundations set by the First Amendment than to have a nation singing the patriotic hymn in unison, as one United States? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=443Vy3I0gJs
3. Audi’s “Doberhuahua”: This is possibly one of the strangest adverts I have seen in a long time. Whilst trying to emphasize the point that Audi is not a car -maker that likes to make compromises, the commercial depicts an hypothetical world in which a freakish cross between a Doberman and a Chihuahua results in a monstrous invasion of a small American town. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcXtsvFYhqw
4. Jaguar – “Super Villain Rendezvous”: For us Brits, one of the questions we always ask is “why are movie villain’s always British?” This big-budget Jaguar commercial employs Sir Ben Kingsley, Mark Strong and Tom Hiddleston to philosophise on this very question. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yvc9j8wL7Wc
5. Budweiser’s “Puppy Love”: Although I am not usually one for sloppy best buddy movies, this was just pretty cute. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeCtaFqCggc
FOURTH QUARTER – Sacked
The half-time show, featuring Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers went some way to making up for the lack of competition unfolding on the football pitch, but all in all, you couldn’t help but feel underwhelmed by the whole event. Having been promised a true “clash of the titan”’s style contest, the Broncos were out-classed, and certainly out-witted, by a determined and energetic Seattle side.