Whose team will reign supreme? The guys whose fans wave towels or the guys whose state has vowels? Which QB wins: the one who found Christ or whose appendix was sliced?
10:16 — So ... wow. I got nothin' left to say. It's been two straight years of teams I don't care about, but two fan-freakin'-tastic finishes. I'd better duck out of here before one of the Actual Editors makes another post, rendering this one outdated and passé. There. I'm done. Fantastic game. I might even consider buying gold and then selling it to CASH4GOLD just because of the exemplary work displayed by McMahon and Hammer tonight. Thanks for playing alone, gang. See everyone for the next mostly-important sporting event.
10:12 — My friend says that she doesn't think Santonio Holmes's right toe ever touched the ground on that touchdown. Really? I didn't think there was any dispute on that, but I'm sure we'll all be hearing about it in the coming days with conspiracy theories and "get over it" mantras from both sides. It'll be fantastic!
10:11 — If I knew how to text message, I'd probably give the MVP to James Harrison. Think about it ... without his play, the Cardinals win. Then again, without any one of those touchdowns, Arizona wins. Without Jeff Reed's field goal and PATs, Arizona wins. But James Harrison had the best individual play of the game, so I say he wins.
10:10 — And the Gatorade color prop bet ... YELLOW.
10:08 — So this is great. The ruling is that Warner fumbled the ball, but if they review it, then ... no, they're not going to review it. Steelers win their sixth. DO YOU BELIEVE IN SEEING WHAT YOU EXPECT TO SEE HAPPEN IN FOOTBALL? YES!
10:07 — A pass in the middle to Arrington, and there's the final timeout. But look, they've got much better field position and the desperation throw in the end zone isn't of a Colorado-Kordell Stewart length.
10:05 — And heeeere weee gooo the other way ... Fitzgerald hauls in a decent catch, and with 22 seconds left, AZ calls their second timeout.
10:05 — Michaels mutters something about needing a huge return. And .. an average return by Arrington.
10:00 — Oh, so THERE'S your Wheaties box. Holmes toes the sideline with both feet. That's a legit catch. Touchdown Stillers. BUT WILL THE REVIEW oh come on, there's no way that wasn't a touchdown. Get out of the peep show booth, McAulay.
9:59 — First down ... RIGHT through Holmes' arms. That would have been a Wheaties box cover had he snagged that.
9:58 — That's all of PIttsburgh's timeouts. 49 seconds left.
9:57 — WOW. Holmes runs down the sideline, finds a seam inside, and it's first and goal.
9:56 — Large Ben scrambles but doesn't scramble far. [Witty pun involving breakfast scrambles] Steelers call timeout and there's 1:02 left.
9:55 — Nate Washington makes another first down, but he is brought down in bounds. They're at midfield.
9:55 — Cardinals blitz, Pittsburgh blocks 'em all, and Holmes catches the first.
9:53 — Roethlisberger throws one more down the field that's batted away before the two-minute warning.
9:52 — 2003 MAC Championship phantom nightmares again. Holy shit, Roethlisberger is covered in Crisco.
9:51 — Why not start the drive with a holding call? Sounds apt.
9:49 — So it appears that this Larry Fitzgerald man is a fine wide receiver, but ... CAN HE DANCE?
9:48 — !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Let's just throw this last factoid out of the way before we get to the important shit:
Super Bowl Momentous Momentable Moments That Are Memorable
SUPER BOWL MMMXXXVII - The HondaTown (formerly Detroit) Lions, three thousand years after becoming the first (and still only) team to lose 16 games in a regular NFL season, win the franchise's first Super Bowl. Quarterback-droid ORLOVSKY ran a series of computer applications that displayed on his side monitor, "IF LIONS(X) > OTHERTEAM(X), THEN GO TO DISNEYWORLD." The Lions were finally able to break through after every other NFL franchise sent the majority of their resources to fight the second 500-year robot war. Wide receiver-droid CALVIN was fined by the NFL for celebrating a touchdown by loading a game of FreeCell in his auxiliary mainframe.
9:44 — Of COURSE they converted the first down. You can just tell this will ... wait, holding in the end zone? Jesus flag-waving Christ, they're starting to use Terrible Towels for penalty calling now. That'll be a safety and a ... wait, any other penalties they want to call? Maybe they should do a legal uniform pants check and assess some 5-yarders.
9:43 — Wow, I'm sure everyone not wearing a Pittsburgh #39 jersey thought that was a safety ... but they're ruling Parker escaped out of the end zone. 3rd and 10.
9:42 — It's 1st and 99 to go for Pittsburgh. Seems inevitable that the Steelers get a first down somehow.
9:41 — Penalty on James Harrison ... or MMA tryout tape?
9:39 — Incomplete on 3rd and 20. Probably not a wise choice for victory conditions. Time to punt.
9:37 — We were due for an Arizona penalty. It's been so long.
9:36 — Huge play to Steve Breaston. Remember when the Cardinals were mathematically eliminated from this game? That was two Clydesdale commercials ago!
9:35 — Ike Taylor lays down some illegal swagger on Anquan Boldin after the first down, so that's about a total of 25 yards in the Arizonan direction.
• Pepsi Max/MacGruber - I thought Hulu was the sole place where they dumped their crappy SNL skits. I was misinformed.
9:32 — Silly quarterback, throwing the checkdown to Heath Miller. He can't block for himself! (Or can he? Madden?) So they punt and Arizona has five and a half minutes — PLENTY of time — to take the lead.
9:31 — Darnell Dockett wants you to text his name for MVP. He records his second sackle of the night.
• Hulu - Eh, now that the entire country knows about the website, it is no longer cool to watch. Especially since they took down their free copy of The Big Lebowski.
9:28 — Please vote for your Super Bowl MVP now. NownownownowNOW. Now, back to the eight minutes left in the game that will decide the winner.
9:25 — Well, look at that. The jump ball for Larry Fitzgerald makes this game suddenly worth watching. Quick pan to Fitzgerald's dad, who is not impressed. Oh, what does your son have to do to win your journalistic affection?
Super Bowl Momentous Momentable Moments That Are Memorable
SUPER BOWL XXXVI - The New England Patriots defeat the St. Louis Rams, becoming the first expansion team to win the Super Bowl. Patriots fans are elated that they "finally have an NFL team" and "expect to win a championship every year," until such a time at which the Patriots stop winning Super Bowls and Boston reverts back to "really more of a baseball town."
9:21 — Fitzgerald validates the last two weeks of feature stories about him with his second catch of the night. (And his third.)
9:20 — Hey, J.J. Arrington. I think I remember that guy. First and ten inside the 30-yard line.
• Coke Zero and Troy Polamalu - Ah, parody. Had he thrown the guy's pants and not his shirt, I give them a better rating.
• Cash4Gold.com - Ed McMahon and MC Hammer in the same commercial? Are you guys fucking kidding me? For a gold consolidation commercial? I'm sorry, but YOU GUYS WIN THE AWARD! THAT WAS AMAZING!!!
9:16 — Darnell Dockett finally grabs Ben Roethlisberger like a bag of tortilla chips and throws him to the ground like a bag of light tortilla chips. The punt return goes about zero yards, since Steve Breaston was immediately tackled like a bag of lime potato chips.
9:13 —Defensive holding? Maybe there's time for me to make a bingo card strictly for penalties that Arizona has committed tonight. (Seriously. They RAN OVER THE FUCKING HOLDER. I have never seen that.)
9:10 — And there's the punt, and it's fairly short, giving the Steelers a short field. Anyone have any chicken wings left?
9:08 — Really? A first down for the Cardinals without a holding call? Well, if they say so, then I guess it'll stand as ... ah, there's the flag.
9:07 — Did they run out of new commercials? Please say yes.
9:04 — Riveting stuff about Kurt Warner wearing gloves, as opposed to not wearing gloves, which dates back to whenzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
9:03 — Arizona's got the ball again, and they still need two touchdowns. Probably time for another:
Super Bowl Momentous Momentable Moments That Are Memorable
SUPER BOWL VII - Not at all foreboding the comically dangerous play that would occur at the end of the game, during halftime Miami Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian successfully constructs the entire board game Mouse Trap without any issues or spills. He left the locker room forgetting to take his bucket full of water from the top shelf, which hovered above a power outlet of frayed wires and a picture of his beloved black cat. No one was injured.
• Coca-Cola - Ha! Ha! Insects can't have caffeine.
9:00 — Something something football. But first, these sponsors.
• Careerbuilder.com - That one really pulled out all the stops. Did ... did I see a koala with glasses and a cup of coffee getting punched? All right, boys, you get a nine. Hats off.
8:57 — And they force a much shorter field goal. This time, they'll instruct their special teamers not to treat holders like trampolines. Reed's field goal makes it 20-7, like it should've been all along.
8:56 — Did you see that ball leave Antrel Rolle's hands? That was Arizona's next-to-last chance at making this game interesting.
8:53 — Jeff Reed kicks the field goal. Add three points to the ah, ha, just kidding. Roughing the holder on the Cardinals. (Roughing the holder?) First and goal.
8:51 — After that block, Heath Miller drops the pass. But he made that great block two players earlier, so it's OK.
8:50 — Willie Parker runs far to the right, giving John Madden the perfect opportunity to compliment a tight end. (Like he needs an excuse to.)
8:48 — Hell, I'll say it again, because I'm out of pride at this point: Slant-onio! LOL!!
8:47 — Every once in a while, I have phantom flashbacks of Ben Roethlisberger avoiding rushing Bowling Green Falcons linebackers in the 2003 MAC Championship. I just had one as Roethlisberger danced around the pocket, threw the ball out of bounds, and drew the roughing penalty. MAKE IT STOP.
8:44 — That's a 15-yard penalty on Rodgers-Cromartie-Howard-Fine-Howard.
8:43 — Did the Cardinals punt? It looked like the Cardinals punted during The Rock's movie ad.
8:43 — Look, there's Cuba Gooding, Jr. He was in a movie that mentioned the Arizona Cardinals. And look, the Arizona Cardinals!
8:42 — We've gotten to the point in the ads where Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson stars in a kids thriller. Probably time for:
Super Bowl Momentous Momentable Moments That Are Memorable
SUPER BOWL I - With a new trophy and a new championship game, engravers accidentally etch Green Bay Packers' coach Vince Lombardi's name not in the designated "winning coaches" spot, but in the "name of trophy" space. Nobody corrected this engraving error and is still there to this day.
8:40 — We just dropped in to tell you it was a forward pass. Now, back to the ads.
• Coca-Cola - You know, I've never tried to pick up a girl by offering a soft drink. Something tells me it doesn't work anymore.
• Denny's And Martin Scorsese - OMG FREE DENNY'S ON TUESDAY. There's probably a catch. Ah ... it's Denny's.
• Monster.com Trophy Animal - Well done, job website.
8:35 — So this is how the second half is going to last. Warner's throw turns out to be a fumbled ball, and it lands in the hands of a Steelers defender. That's another turnover. I can see another challenge flag in the short-term future.
8:33 — So, Edgerrin James is gonna up 'n put the team on their shoulders, it looks like. That's two first downs he's gained this quarter.
8:29 — How will Arizona put that play out of their mind? With this, probably.
8:26 — I gotta say, that was a fun halftime show. Sure, some of the post-boob shows have been a little dull, but they've all been better than the "how many pop stars can we fit onto one stage and sing one coherent song" efforts of the early 2000s. One man or one band is the way to go. Although, every time I think of Bruce Springsteen I can't help but think of this clip:
Halftime Entertainment Video In Which Bruce Springsteen Choreography Might Improve The Quality Of Dancing
Because it's the Super Bowl, this probably needs to be seen.
7:55 — McAulay also gives it to him. It looked like Harrison's knee landed in the warm, receiving hamstring of Fitzgerald's lower half, enabling him to tumble into the end zone. That was probably the worst thing that could happen to the Cardinals at the end of the half. Actually, the worst thing that could happen would be for the touchdown to count, and have to watch that Audi commercial on loop for halftime.
7:55 — So, even if that doesn't count as a touchdown, I'm going to go ahead and rate that runback regardless:
7:51 — I ... should ... probably ... stop ... typing shit. James Harrison was the INT-TD creator, and holy crap, that man made about five tremendous moves to evade the Cardinals "defense." I guess they didn't look at Fitzgerald's ability as a receiver-turned-safety. BUT MAYBE IT'S NOT SEVEN POINTS.
7:49 — Well, the first and goal is set up with 18 seconds left. If nothing else, Arizona looks to have ended the first half at least tied. Check that, there is still a great chance for an interception-TD. But Matt Leinart's on the sideline.
7:48 — Two weeks of Larry Fitzgerald culminates to a two-minute drill first down pass. His dad must be so proud. I wonder where he is right now...
• Cheetos - Taking down the talkative rich girl down a peg or three. Throwing Cheetos to her feet worked, but so would've a positive pregnancy test. Hey, we all have our own methods.
7:45 — Nice of Warner to try and throw an interception, but the task fails. Tim Hightower accidentally grabs the flat pass and mistakenly runs for a first down. This is not what it says in the script should happen.
• HR Block And Death - I'm probably going to rate this higher than Tom Daschle will.
• Teleflora - Wow, it took a hell of a long time to get that commercial from the unknown entity. Salesgenie must've gone out of business.
7:41 — Rut-roh. Roethlisberger was tipped at the line and Karlos Dansby grabs the Pop Warner-difficulty interception.
• Pixar's Up! - That's one way to get rid of the kids-on-the-lawn moral quandary. Just leave the lawn. (no rating)
• Bud Light/Skiing - I'm probably going to rate this higher than the Kennedy family will.
7:38 — Another penalty on the punt. Crimony, if penalties were commercials for movie flops, Terry McAulay could buy the Raiders from Al Davis. Right, Mort?
7:37 — Edgerrin James cunningly drops the 3rd and 22 pass. Totally fooled the defense. With three minutes left, it's time to punt.
• Hyundai - Oh, I'll keep saying it Hun-DIE.
• E*TRADE Baby Gets A Black Friend - Hmm. Must be Sweeps Week.
• Well, That's A First - A commercial previewing the commercials of the second half.
7:34 — 3rd and 22. That seems far.
7:32 — Chopblock penalty on the Cardinals. Madden: "He can block, he can even chop, but ..." And that, people, is why you keep John Madden doing the Super Bowl until he can no longer speak.
7:31 — Steve Breaston gives Michigan alums a reason not to shoot themselves with a very solid return. (There are still 739 reasons in the "pro-shoot" column, unfortunately.)
7:30 — Well, they tried it with Mewelde Moore, but I think I knew he played for the Steelers. Maybe.
7:28 — An impressive 3rd and 12 conversion is wiped from our minds by offensive holding. DO IT AGAIN, THIS TIME FROM A LONGER DISTANCE. (They probably will. With another running back.)
7:27 — Another impressive pass breakup by Rodgers-Cromartie-Day-Lewis.
7:25 — Pittsburgh has the ball now, and Roethlisberger checks down to running back Carey Davis. So, did I just fall asleep for four years and they just got a bunch of new tailbacks? If I see Reuben Droughns get a carry, I'm going to be very upset.
• cars.com And That Child Prodigy - Aw, man, that one had so much hope to be fantastic. "He buys his cars on our website, and you can, too!" Lamejuice.
• Gatorade And What Do Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning And That One Autistic Kid Who Played Basketball Have In Common? ELECTROLYTES, MOTHERFUCKERS!
7:21 — Ben Patrick jumps up and grabs the touchdown. Gentlemen, it's the game of TDs caught by people I've never heard of.
7:20 — So hey, there's that long pass. Anquan Boldin was so wide open, it would have taken him five seconds to punch his offensive coordinator. First and goal at the two.
7:20 — Y'know, we haven't had two plays separated with three commercials. I'm starting to lose my rhythm.
7:19 — Ah, holding penalties are just excuses to attempt more passing plays. 1st and 20.
7:18 — Edgerrin runs. BAD. Edgerrin catches the pass. GOOD!
7:15 — Pass to Edgerrin. Pass to Edgerrin. A running game is for bull queers.
7:15 — Fantastic shot of Matt Leinart on the sideline and what appeared to be listening to his iPod. Love it.
7:14 — Oh, the Cardinals get the ball on offense too? I was not aware of this.
• Another Goddamn Clydesdale Commercial - And, sadly, this one was actually kinda cute. God, I hate horses.
• Another Sci-Fi Movie - Way to say the movie for those that get our movie trailers by sound, assholes. (no rating)
• Pepsi Max Feat. A Lot Of Head Wounds - Hey, works for me.
• Pedigree - An ostrich for a pet! WHAT KIND OF WACKY SITUATION IS THIS!?!?!
• Budweiser Clydesdale Commercial - I never understood why the Clydesdale is the best kind of horse. Is that a breed? Is that just a ... the hell is it? I ask this finally, into our 43rd Super Bowl, as a legitimate question.
7:08 — Gary Russell scores the first touchdown of the game. That was a 12-1 return, for those with money problems.
• Land Of The Lost Movie - Everyone will be saying "Matt Lauer can eat it!" tomorrow at work. (no rating)
• Doritos - Um, some money was falling, the police turned into a chimp, and a guy got hit by a bus. Man, I hate these Belgian docudramas.
• GoDaddy.com - Oh, those SCANDALOUS domain registrars!
7:04 — Heath Miller, again, with the ball! And a little bit of shovepushery ensues, with Hines Ward coming out of the fight cloud.
'Tween Quarter Commercials
• Bridgestone Tires And The Potato Heads - Ha! The lips came off the woman! Don't you wish your wife was like that? Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go pee standing up.
• Fast And The Furious XLIII, Feat. Vin Diesel's Torso - It's nice to see Vin Diesel's torso take this job to show his range. (no rating)
• Castrol And The Grease Monkeys - Didn't they open for Pearl Jam in 1996?
7:00 — More like Slant-onio Holmes! [awaits high five] Another first and goal for Pittsburgh.
6:59 — Fine, I'll say it. Heath Miller is being a ball hog.
6:57 — Wow, after a false start almost put a beam in the ass of that drive, Roethlisberger runs the exact pattern of a Wendy's order waiting line, and chucks a first down.
6:55 — Holy hell. The Pride of The Tiffin Dragons, Nate Washington, had that touchdown, but the ball was tipped out of the stratosphere by defensive back Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie-Griffith-Joyner.
6:54 — Santonio Holmes runs wild and free like a little kid who just got out of Sunday school. First down Steelers.
• Conan O'Brien and Bud Light - Now we need to see if Andy Richter can match it.
• Some Comedy Movie That is Keeping Michael Cera From Doing The Arrested Development Film. Also starring the guy that Bruce Willis killed in "The Jackal" (no rating)
• Some Car Commercial - Wow, that didn't even try to try.
6:50 — Al Michaels clarifies that Ike Taylor didn't actually go to Swagger University, that it's just more of a state of mind. Oh, Ike Taylor! You establishment-railer! At least I think it was Ike Taylor. But the point is, 3rd and 17 is no way to go through the Super Bowl, and the 'Zonans punt it forth. MORE COMMERCIALS PLEASE.
6:49 — They probably didn't mean to hand the ball off to the ground there.
6:47 — And they convert the first down! Except, well, holding. But the first down counts, so it's just 1st and 20. (Really?)
6:46 — Arizona starts with the ball in the very-average twentysomething range. Edgerrin James goes about as far as Roethlisberger did, and a pass sets up a third and short.
• Incredibly Long Pepsi Commercial - Well, it was fun, and I guess if John Belushi were alive today, he'd approve, then go back to his heroin nap.
• Doritos/Crystal Ball We have violence against vending machines and crotch pain for an executive-type person. We have a clubhouse leader.
6:42 — Oh my. They spotted him short, and we have our first four-point swing of the year. Seahawks fans probably need a change of pants at this point. Jeff Reed dongs in the first field goal of the game.
Bud Light: So they throw a guy out of an office building, swivel chair and all. Nice. Not great, but nice.
Some Da Vinci Code Sequel: Feh. (no rating)
Incredibly Long, Drawn-Out Car Commercial For An Audi We get it, you have an incredibly large advertising budget.
6:38 — 49 states agree: Ben Roethlisberger definitively runs the ball into the endzone for the first touchdown. BUT PERHAPS SEATTLE WAS RIGHT. Ken Whisenhunt throws the red flag and it's time for commercials.
6:37 — Gary Russell probably wasn't the way to go on first down. But Parker got the yardage back on second.
6:35 — Huh. NBC showed the play clock run to zero, and five seconds later the Steelers snapped the ball. Did the White House audio guy get demoted to on-screen play clock resetter? Roethlisberger throws it to Heath Miller for a super short first and goal.
6:34 — William Q. Parker runs immediately for another nine yards.
6:33 — Well, except for the part where they kept a 10-yard halo around Hines Ward, Arizona guarded that 2nd down pretty well. Pittsburgh moves the ball to about the Cardinals 35-yard line.
6:32 — And the kicker starts off the game with the first tackle. Someone just won $40,000 on that prop bet.
6:30 — Blah yaddy blah, Kurt Warner grocery store storyline, and ... hey, hey, HEY. We haven't kicked off yet.
6:29 — Arizona wins the coin toss. You gotta admit, America is safer for having General Petraeus toss heads.
6:28 — Nice to see Jeff Reed wear his Guy Fieri costume for the game.
6:26 — Men now converge at midfield to enact the world's largest lightbulb-related joke: how many football players, league officials and celebrities does it take to flip a coin? (Q: Roger Goodell, how many NFL officials does it take to change a light bulb? A: We'll look at that in the offseason.)
6:22 — And Jennifer Hudson successfully joins a long list of singers who will be known first and foremost as people who sang the national anthem before Super Bowls.
6:18 — Look, it's the US Air 1549 crew, who was rewarded for working probably the shortest flight since the Wright Brothers. Oh, well, at least they waved, but I'd have liked to have heard from them. "Iiiiiif ... you'll look to your left you'll see the first 9-7 team in a Super Bowl since the late '70s. Just let us know if there's anything you can do to make your Super Bowl more comfortable. We know you have a choice in sports entertainment and we thank you for choosing Super Bowl XLIII." They never consult me on these things.
6:16 — Wait, how can Faith Hill be there in Tampa singing "America The Beautiful" and, minutes earlier, in that NBC virtual studio jamming up the pre-game song? They must have a private plane for her.
6:15 — Kurt Warner wins the Walter Peyton Award. But c'mon ... they only did that because he was there. That, or for his charity work.
6:10 — And HERE COME THE TWO TEAMS. [cheering] So, remember when they individually announced the starting lineups and then the Patriots decided to, seemingly at the 11th hour, to be introduced as a team? Well the team that was so brazen as to single out their stars was that 2001 Rams team, featuring Kurt Warner. And to think, that was the last time the Super Bowl coverage found room so shorten up something in the pre-game to make room for more commercials. So touching.
Now that NBC has fired whoever was in charge of audio during that White House interview, we can all enjoy a little football. The actual live blog starts whenever I feel like it, so get off my back! Also, there will be brief looks at the commercials and, like last year, I will rate them on a conventional scale of zero (Carlos Mencia) to ten (duck riding a monkey riding a unicycle colliding into Carlos Mencia).
Also, stay tuned throughout the live blog as I look back into some of the more memorable moments of other Super Bowls in a feature known as Super Bowl Momentous Momentable Moments That Are Memorable. For the title, I was paid per word.
Finally, before this bastard begins, I would dutifully wish my right pancreas to see either Matt Leinart and/or Byron Leftwich to have to play some or most of this game. Especially Leftwich. Then we'd have an uplifting story about the first human being without motor skills to play in a Super Bowl game. Seriously, his 40 time throughout the years has been charted not with numbers, but with "yes" and "no."