That would be Super Bowl XLIII. It's like the seventh game of the Stanley Cup final, for American football. I have to admit I've never watched an American football game before. But indications are that the Super Bowl isn't so much about the football as about the marketing and the hype. And seeing as I'm in the USA, the commercials would be the "real" $5-million Super Bowl commercials. (In Canada they are replaced by ordinary commercials, marketing to Canadians). Plus it won't hurt to know enough about the game to have something to talk to my customers about. Guys apparently have to watch a certain amount of football in order to maintain testicular size, and my customers are all guys.
I only saw a few commercials. I stop watching by habit when the commercials came on, and kept forgetting that I was supposed to be checking them out. What did I learn? Some beer makes it summer wherever you drink it. Some beer is more watery (they call it drinkability) than other beer. Other beer (or possibly the same beer) has nice talking horses. Trucks with aluminum transmissions can drive uphill through fiery tunnels (actual demonstration). Drive recklessly enough and maybe the mouth will fall off the woman who is nagging you to slow down. (I'm hoping that one wasn't a beer or a car commercial). If roadies flew aircraft the runway lights would explode during take-off. (I think that one was an ad for a telephone or an internet provider). Pepsi is now teaching the world to sing. I was completely baffled what one ad was for, and then visited the site. Headsnap! It's a "discreet dating service for married people." A domain reseller (which coincidentally my employer uses) will enhance your assets, or possibly cause women to flash their tits at you. There will be a special edition of The Office on later. Thank you for watching and congratulations to the winning team.
I didn't perceive a level far above regular commercials. The money is in the audience not the production. I suppose the boob flashing was a wink to the halftime "wardrobe malfunction" of a few years ago. I'm guessing the broadcasting standards haven't changed in XLIII years? Considering the audience, a topless halftime show ought to be a hit. I guess it's too early in the evening to show skin on network TV. But if they can digitally put markings and advertisements on the field, they can digitally put bikinis on the performers. I can't see anyone in the target audience being really offended, and I bet more people would watch.
It's too bad the athletes have to be so heavily padded so you can't see the shape of their bodies. I understand it's to prevent injury on the field, but how about if they take off their helmets and shirts at the end of the game. All that time in the weight room just for hitting each other and running around? C'mon, show some muscles. I think I like sports where everyone wears spandex better. Yes, that's right, she watches one football game and she's going to tell you how it should be done.
Except I tuned in to watch a cultural event, and a football game broke out. You don't need to know anything about a game to realize that when there's two minutes left and the score is really close, and the ball is right on the edge of where the team that is behind needs to put it to get ahead, it's exciting. The yellow team guy threw the ball and another yellow team guy caught it, and the red team guys jumped on him. And then they did it again but this time the yellow team guy ran a longer way and caught the ball before the red team guys jumped on him. (But not nearly as far as the guy who earlier ran all the way from one end of the field to the other without getting knocked down). Next they threw the ball to a yellow team guy who was in the goal area, but he missed it, but being American football they got a fourth try, and this time the guy caught it. He then got knocked out of bounds, but apparently that was alright. The red team guys got a try at throwing the ball then, but there were only about 30 seconds left and someone caught it wrong or something and they did not get any more goals so the yellow team won. It was very exciting, I assure you.
A behind-the-scenes quirk that amuses me, but that veteran Super Bowl watchers probably know, goes back to the theme of people without shirts on. In anticipation of one of the teams winning, the marketing people print up gazillions of shirts and other merchandise proclaiming each team the champions. As soon as they find out which team is the loser, they deliver all the correct merchandise to where it can be sold to fans, and then send all the stuff with the wrong team declared the champion off to destitute people in refugee camps and disaster zones, where they care even less than I do who won the game, but presumably can clothe a family of five with a couple of 3XL football shirts, a baseball cap and a foam #1 finger. I'm not certain the foam fingers go to the third world, but the hats and ball caps do.
Go team! And they're getting bigger already, I can tell. See?
For television coverage of a different event, you can see the 60 Minutes interview with Captain Sullenberger and his crew online.