Tuesday, February 27, 2024

BARRETT: It’s not football that makes this Super

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The game of the year – so they say.

That was aggressive. I don’t dislike the Super Bowl – not at all, actually – but I’d rather watch SEC football or the Stanley Cup playoffs.

It was a phenomenal game, but football is the least-interesting part of any given Super Bowl, right?

That’s because they ooze pop culture and entertainment. Let’s see.

Reba McEntire. That National Anthem was perfect, if you ask me. Classy voice, classy outfit, classy everything – just perfect.

But what was up with those mirror mazes the teams walked through for intros? Good thing no one bopped their head for an early-game concussion. 

After Reba and Gronk’s wide right kick, came the moment movie fans had been waiting for. The third Deadpool trailer – revealed to be titled “Deadpool & Wolverine” – marketed itself quite nicely. 

Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine – sign me up.

Speaking of celebrities, stars were aplenty. 

In a constellation full of them, faces included Ice Spice, Blake Lively, Carrot Top, Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton, The Geico caveman, Paul Rudd, Wayne Newton, LeBron James, Luke Combs, Shaquille O’Neal, Jay-Z, Ryan Garcia, Gordon Ramsay, Guillermo, Jason Derulo, Lady Gaga, and Beyoncé.

I almost forgot Taylor Swift. To me, there’s not much to say. She’s a girl supporting her boyfriend at work and (most) people enjoy watching her. 

But the double-digit amount of camera shots were a bit much. 

Wait, did Travis Kelce just shove his own coach? Anyway… 

After an unfunny commercial between Vince Vaughn and Tom Brady – how do you mess up with those two? – others were actually funny.

Including an M&M making fun of Scarlett Johansson for losing two Oscars “in the same year,” Tommy DeVito making an Italian hand gesture while eating pizza (that’ll help him keep the starting job), Aubrey Plaza calling herself “America’s sweetheart,” Chris Pratt being compared to Mr. Pringle, and, especially, Christopher Walken running into people impersonating him – what a voice he’s got.

But which of those was the best? Neither. That belonged to FanDuel, which honored the late Carl Weathers, a former NFL player and actor who died last week at the age of 76.

Harkening back to Apollo Creed’s role in “Rocky III” as a supportive trainer, a pre-filmed Carl Weathers was shown coaching Rob Gronkowski through his field goal kicking endeavors.

After Weathers tells the former Patriots and Buccaneers tight end, “You gave us your all, Gronk,” FanDuel cut to Weathers with the edited message, “Thank you, Carl.”

Winner, winner.

The halftime show was… fine. 

I like Usher, but he was at the top of his game in 2010, so he should’ve headlined that Super Bowl – one Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts in.

They used to have Michael Jackson and Prince headline these things. Unless you’re an Usher superfan or something, this one has to go in the ‘miss’ category.

None of the special guests were, well, special, and the songs weren’t iconic enough to be brought back from a decade-and-a-half ago.

Oh well. I hope you enjoyed it, but for me, it was a “Let’s get back to the game” performance.

Anyway, see you next February.

  • Joey Barrett is the Daily Item’s sports editor. He reports on local high schools, colleges, and professional teams. Prior to his current position, he worked for UMass Athletics, the Cape Cod Baseball League, and Gannett Media, among others. Barrett was also sports editor at Endicott College and treasurer of Endicott’s Society of Professional Journalists branch.

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