Ahead of Super Bowl Sunday, the New York Times Magazine's Mark Leibovich dives deep into Tom Brady, one of the "most famous [people] in the world nobody knows," and finds a man "bent on nothing less than subverting the standard expectations of how long a superstar quarterback can play like one." Meanwhile, questions continue to swirl about whether the Patriots deflated balls in their playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts -- and if so, how and why, with Coach Bill Belichick appearing to point the finger at Brady, the superstar quarterback himself. Others question the Deflategate/Ballghazi hype. [more inside]
Budweiser paid for Super Bowl advertising that supposedly was trying to honor the troops. But the troops and veterans themselves have strong and thoughtful opinions about the existence of the ad, their choice of returning soldier, and what it says about companies and organizations who use veterans as props. [more inside]
NFL holds Super Bowl in NYC; NYC unimpressed. While the stadium is technically in New Jersey, it is considered equally if not primarily a New York stadium, and the NFL turned Times Square and Broadway into Super Bowl Boulevard Engineered By GMC. Visitors can kick a football, watch television, ride a toboggan, shop, enjoy a free slice of Papa John's pizza, play XBox, take a photo with the oversized Roman numerals 'XLVIII', use relevant Twitter hashtags, and more. It is not decadent and depraved, though Vice and Gothamist would tend to disagree. The Times discusses less vehement disapproval and disappointment, while Business Insider wishes ill upon the city. Ticket sales are faltering relative to recent years, with the new mayor among those skipping out.
This NFL season, Jon Bois has been on a weekly mission to turn Madden 25 from a reasonably accurate video game simulation of football into strange and wonderful things using only the character editor and rules options already present in the game. He's created BEEFTANK, an unstoppable 400 pound quarterback/bowling ball. He turned off the offsides rule in a quest for 60 fumbles. He demonstrated to us all that Pat McAfee is the Destroyer of Worlds. He's proven that you can NEVER count out Touchdown Tom. Today, he ended the season with a Super Bowl for the ages. In short, he has Broken Madden. (previously) [more inside]
With another week to go before the Superbowl, tide yourself over with a brand-spankin'-new NFL Bad Lip Reading Video! (Previously, previously.)
A Guide To American Football. [2:48 Video] Superbowl Sunday is fast approaching. If you do not know the rules of American Football, here is a chance to learn.
In the 2012 superbowl half-time show, rapper M.I.A. flipped off the camera while performing with Madonna. On September 19, the Hollywood Reporter revealed that the NFL has been waging a "secret legal war" over the incident, demanding $1.5 million and an apology from M.I.A. This week M.I.A. responded with a video statement (transcript at Pitchfork):
So, now, they’re scapegoating me into figuring out the goalposts on what is offensive in America. Like, is my finger offensive, or is the underage black girl with her legs wide open more offensive to the family audience? That’s basically what it comes down to. It's a massive waste of time, a massive waste of money, it’s a massive display of powerful corporation dick-shaking. They want me on my knees and say sorry so they can slap me on my wrist. Basically, so they can say it’s OK for me to promote being sexually exploited as a female than to display female empowerment through being punk rock. That is what it boils down to, and I’m being sued for it.[more inside]
Super Bowl Prop Bets! Neatly organized based on how you think the game will play out, with a few non-football bets at the end. The Las Vegas Sun weighs in with some picks of their own.
Flight to Dallas? $400. Hotel Room? $179 a night. No seat for you at the Super Bowl, even with a ticket? Pricel... 3 times face value of ticket
Apparently the NFL was looking for a record crowd at Cowboys Stadium, and tried to add temporary seating. 2 hours before kickoff, workers were still installing that seating. That status later changed to 400 fans being denied entry and instead being offered 3 times the face value of their tickets. Fans are not happy, and the screw-up is news, both locally, and in Pittsburgh and Green Bay.
Now that Super Bowl XLII is over, all that remains is for NFL Flims to tell the tale. Documenting the greatest moments of the game since 1962, NFL Films is known for its distinctive style, its stirring music, and, until his death in 1983, the "Voice of God" narration of John Facenda.
Jerome Bettis is a hometown hero. After "leading" (OK, he doesn't play much anymore) his Pittsburgh Steelers to Super Bowl XL in his native Detroit, the locals came out to celebrate the future Hall of Famer. Last week was declared "Jerome Bettis Week" in Detroit and Bettis was awarded the key to the city. The last person to receive such an honor from the city? Saddam Hussein in 1980.
The Steelers were 7-5, then won their final four regular-season games to secure the AFC's last playoff spot. They went to Cincinnati and won a wild-card game. They won at Indianapolis, which had the league's best record. And then they handed Denver its first home loss in the AFC championship game. And now they're the first 6th seed playoff team ever to win the Super Bowl. History made.
This Super Bowl halftime, make it to the Lingere Bowl. American TV hits a new low by inventing another sport along the lines of Foxy Boxing and Hot Oil Wrestling. The gridiron action features Team Dream vs. Team Euphoria (featuring washed-up former NFL players as coaches) in full contact football while wearing skimpy clothing. Even weirder, but there will be cheerleaders to cheerlead the players that are already dolled up to look like cheerleaders in some sort of subtle hot lesbian action. It's all pay-per-view, but this "Girls Gone Football" seems more like a new low than a step forward for real women's sports.
White House Superbowl Ads Forget Britney's "Pepsi Generation" ad, we've got two commercials costing $1.6 million each linking terrorism with the drug trade! You gotta wonder if Rupert called in a favor.
Quoth the Ravens, nevermore. 34 - 7, and the Vince Lombardi trophy goes back to Baltimore. My favorite spots were...
Superbowl Sunday meets The Matrix Some of you may not need a reason to watch the phenomenon that is Superbowl Sunday. Others of us need technological cajoling. Here's a video demonstrating the replay special effect. (Sorry about the Verizon ad.) via slashdot.
Well, only 10 shopping days left until Super B(bleep)l Sunday, and of course, everyone's ready for the big... commercials. This one, from People for Eating Tasty Animals -- er, um, sorry; mispronounced that -- was refused by CBS, or so saith the minions at AdCritic. Hope they're planning a Superbowl focus page during and after the show. They really oughtta hold a vote. No, wait... it would take too long. :-}
TPD to NFL: Sure, we'll arrest your quarterback for getting a lapdance. Oh, do I wanna see them be dumb enough to try this.