First of all, it was great - overwhelmingly positive. There's a lot of cynicism out there about the Super Bowl and I suppose that a lot of it is deserved - especially with things like the ticket debacle yesterday, and Christina Aguilera mangling the National Anthem. And let's be clear - even if she had remembered the words, that was a horrible, horrible version of the song. Marvin Gaye was a great enough artist to get away with "reinventing" the National Anthem. Christina Aguilera is not.
A lot gets written about how this is not a game for real football fans. On the one hand, I can understand that - the cost of the game, the cost of getting to the game, and the cost of staying somewhere at the game are probably prohibitive for most fans. But on the other hand, you could probably say the same thing about any team's regular season games - you can either afford season tickets (assuming you could even get access to them) or you can't. I'm not sure that says much about your value and/or worth as a "football fan."
What I can say with certainty is that there were a lot of "real football fans" at the game yesterday. I don't know how loud it gets in Cowboys Stadium when the Cowboys are playing, but it got really loud yesterday, and given that the crowd was roughly 50/50 Packers/Steelers fans, that meant it was loud just about all of the time.
- The process to get people into the stadium was poorly handled at best. I understand the need for security and I understand that it takes a lot of time to move 100,000 people anywhere, but still - this was not well done. The NFL could learn some lessons from the line-masters at Disney on how to move a lot of people quickly from one place to another.
- They have cocktail waitresses at Cowboys Stadium, in what appeared to be every part of the stadium. And the seats are very comfortable, and the sight lines, as advertised, are just terrific.
- Unless you know exactly where you are going, it's pretty damn hard to find your seats. And there was a marked shortage of people to help in this regard.
- The NFL Tailgate Party comes perilously close to sensory overload. You've got a band on the main stage, you've got bands on auxiliary stages, and you've got DJs playing songs at excruciatingly high volume - and I like loud music.
- It doesn't matter how many football games you watch on TV...there are some things that you will never learn unless you attend a game in person. For example, I had no idea that Troy Polamalu played so deep on so many plays. I mean, we're talking 30 yards off the ball deep. But he was the defensive player of the year, so you can't really criticize him for it. Although he wasn't much of a factor last night.
- I predicted 27-24 Packers and Craig predicted 35-24; we both declared victory. And how about that Aaron Rodgers MVP prediction? Sure, it may seem obvious now...but only when you know the outcome.
- At one point, the big screen showed Jason Garrett deep in conversation with Jesse Jackson. I'd love to know what they were talking about.
- The biggest non game-related cheers of the night probably came when President Bush was shown on the screen. The biggest boos were definitely for Cameron Diaz feeding Alex Rodriguez. My loudest boos were reserved for Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore.
- That Rashard Mendenhall fumble at the beginning of the 4th quarter? Right before that play, I said to Craig, "Man, we desperately need a turnover right now." Voila! That little Darth Vader kid in the VW commercial has nothing on me!
- I'll deal with this in greater detail in a separate post, but I really enjoyed the halftime show - and from the sound of it, so did the entire stadium. And, folks? It's a halftime show. It's not supposed to be great or high art. Methinks it is time for many to get off their high horses.