Well, it's America's cultural icon and as a male, I have to watch, despite the fact that I don't really like football. Welcome to the Foreign Intelligence Files (FIF for short!) liveblog of Super Bowl XLI. Mostly because of the commercials. I suppose that since I'm in Chicago, I have to cheer for the Bears. All times Central.
5:27 pm -- Well now, that was quick. I sat down to watch the game and Devin Hester returns the opening kick for a TD. Bears 7-0. However, this has some precedent and that doesn't look good for the Bears.
5:31 pm -- The Bears are wearing their classic blue unis. And the announcers are saying that it's a mostly Chicago crowd. How can you tell the difference between Chicago and Indianapolis? There's people in Chicago.
5:34 pm -- My wife is watching this game with me. She is more confused than I. After about two near interceptions, the Bears intercept a pass. First commercial break coming up.
5:35 pm -- Bud Light's Rock, Paper, Scissors commercial leads it off and that's brilliant (8 out of 10). The Doritos commercial made no sense (3 out of 10). The Blockbuster commercial (clicking on the mouse) was catchy and caused some laughter (7 out of 10). Back to the game.
5:38 pm -- What's with CBS trying to be all funky with their player introductions? Heavy bass-line. Rex almost gets picked off. Bad Rex. Bears punt.
5:39 pm -- Wife has the following thought on watching the game: "It's like watching Univision. I know that they're saying something and that it's all relevant, but I don't understand it." I love my wife.
5:40 pm -- The Sierra Mist commercials... with Michael Ian Black. They... just... don't... work. Go back to I Love the 90s, Michael. (3 out of 10)
5:43 pm -- I don't pretend to know what's going on football-wise. I've played some Madden, but I'm no expert. However, the announcers are making a point that Peyton Manning's thumb, despite being really beaten up, is not affecting his game. I suppose he just naturally sucks that much. For grits and shiggles, check out PeytonManning.com, including his personal journal.
5:45 pm -- It's raining in Miami. Must be rough.
5:46 pm -- TD Indy. Peyton throws the ball really far and for some reason, the Bears left the wide receiver wide open by about 15 yards.
5:47 pm -- I'll be, I make a joke about the rain, and it causes a fumble on the extra point. Bears 7-6.
5:49 pm -- Ford's got John Goodman doing their voice overs. Solid. (5 out of 10). Bud Light's auctioneer wedding was fantastic. (8 out of 10 for 30 seconds of fun.)
5:51 pm -- And again, weather causes a fumble on the kickoff. Update: and on the next play! Maybe they should call a rain delay.
5:52 pm -- The Bears running back guy (sad that I don't know my own team) just ran for 50 yards. Bear down Chicago Bears! Sounds like they're giving birth.
5:54 pm -- TD Bears! It was some sort of pass play. Bears 14-6.
5:55 pm -- Snickers "accidental kiss". Good pemise, but the ripping chest hair off was kinda rough. "Quick! Do something manly!" (7.5 out of 10). Wife laghed, though. The rest of the commercials were eminently forgetable.
5:58 pm -- Chevy's commercial featuring all the songs that have ever mentioned Chevy went on entirely too long (4 out of 10... 3 when you figure that I bought a Toyota). Bud Light's "no speak English" commercial was good up until the end, when it was excellent. (8 out of 10. My wife wants to give it an extra half point because she's an immigrant. Yes, dear.)
6:01 pm -- There's apparently a Chicago Bear named "Danielle Manning." Peyton, Danielle. What's with all the Mannings with girls' names? The Colts just punted.
6:04 pm -- Apparently there are "force outs" in football. I soooooo miss baseball right now. Also, I was trolling through YouTube and found this. Not really related to anything, but it's funny.
6:05 pm -- No one wants to hold on to the football. Colts have the ball after a fumble.
6:08 pm -- My wife and I just had another one of our crazy synchronous moments. She and I were both wondering why they were using the Chemical Brother's "Galvanize" She also added that the guys jumping into each other's arms was purely heterosexual, just like the Snickers commercial. I love my wife.
6:12 pm -- And now a Cleveland reference. The Bears just tried Metcalf-up-the-Middle on 3rd and 7.
6:15 pm -- End of the 1st Quarter, 14-6 Bears. More commercials! Go Daddy.com wants me to buy a domain name by showing me semi-clad women (4 out of 10. Try again. Wife's review: "eh.") Coke is running a commercial in which the guy from Grand Theft Auto goes around doing good deeds (5.5 out of 10).
6:18 pm -- My wife is ordering pizza. We figure we'll order now, because we'll be hungry in 2 hours.
6:22 pm -- Apparenty, the announcers failed Kindegarden. "Marvin Harrison is out on the right side of the offense." Problem was that he was on the left side. Colts kick an FG. Bears 14, Colts 9.
6:23 pm -- My wife and I just exchanged "What the hell?" glances after Budweiser did their "dalmation" ad (5 out of 10). The navigation system one where they basically tried to take the Beastie Boys video for Intergalactic and make it an ad didn't work (4 out of 10).
6:27 pm -- Wife continues to sit there and knit. It's entirely possible that she's made me a sweater since this game began. Update: no sweater. :(
6:28 pm -- Careerbuilder.com: What was that about? (4.5 out of 10 for extreme confusion) The Doritos commercial was just... creepy (4 out of 10). The Chevy commercial with all the naked guys washing down the car was just... well... considering that a car is often considered an extension of a man's... uh... how to put this... well, was that perhaps vaguely... how to say this? (5.5 out of 10)
6:32 pm -- Announcer: "I get issues, and I guess I have to talk about it all the time." Where's Tim McCarver when you need him? I think the Colts are driving.
6:34 pm -- The Bears are losing. My city will no doubt be burning within the next hour. It'll warm things up. Colts 16, Bears 14.
6:36 pm -- Budweiser wants us to slap people as a way of saying, "Way to go!" (6 out of 10. They need to go back to the Bud Bowl. I miss the animated beer cans playing football.) I don't recall any of the other commercials. They were that good.
6:38 pm -- An out-of-work, suicidal laid off... robot. With "All by Myself" as the theme. All this to tell us that everyone at GM is obsessed with quality.
No. (5.5 out of 10)
6:42 pm -- Prince is apparently doing the halftime show. Lewis Black's theory of if you want to see where American pop culture is at any moment, look at the Super Bowl halftime show is officially dead.
6:45 pm -- My wife just re-pierced her own ear. I realize it's been 20 minutes since I wrote something about the game. 2:00 warning!
6:46 pm -- Tim Allen and John Travolta are in a movie together... oh dear. Sprint just did their "Connectile Dysfunction" ad. Now that's a (9 out of 10). It was so perfectly parodied. Beautiful. I laughed. I cried. I want wireless broadband.
6:49 pm -- Another fumble. Bears have it. Update: Another fumble. Colts have it.
6:51 pm -- OK, a thought to all the Madden players out there: Do you feel like you should have your joystick in your hand calling these plays?
6:53 pm -- I hate to be "that guy", but we get it. Both coaches are African-American. Coke has run a Black History commerical, so has Lays. The thing I like about the Super Bowl is that we no longer have to hear that story line again.
6:55 pm -- Now, we're at the end of the half and the teams are exchanging time outs. Colts are lining up for a field goal. No good! Wide left. Scott Norwood would be proud. Halftime approaches. Colts 16, Bears 14.
6:59 pm -- KFC just ran an add with no special effects, music, narration, or point. Just a bucket of chicken and an understated commercial. (6.5 out of 10). At least it didn't fall flat.
7:01 pm -- At halftime, grown men are talking about "ball security."
7:06 pm -- Now, the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince. The stage is set up in the shape of his "symbol" and now the fans are on the field. What exactly is the man wearing on his head? When was the last time that he was relevant? 1999? (Wife's comment: "He looks like Aunt Jemima with that thing on his head.")
7:09 pm -- Was Britney Spears not available this year? Wife wants to know if Prince will have a wardrobe malfunction.
7:10 pm -- Prince is covering a medley of James Brown and Tina Turner. I don't get what the funky marching band is doing there. In fact, I just don't quite get it. It's a good energetic performance, but when you're at the Super Bowl and you're Prince, you sing Raspberry Beret.
7:14 pm -- Pizza's here! My wife just gave the delivery guy a $7 tip for being out when it's -3 degrees before the wind chill.
7:25 pm -- Time for the sideline reports. Both coaches told their teams to work hard, believe in themselves, give 110%, and every other cliche in the book. During the post-game, I'll be doing a cliche count.
7:28 pm -- One of the Chicago Bears just asked Oprah Winfrey to marry him on the air. Sorta. (Not quite as good as this one, but still...) One more reminder that the Super Bowl has nothing to do with football.
7:34 pm -- Like most of America, I'm not really all that interested in the game any more. That'll happen again in about half an hour. Have the Colts run every single play to this Joseph Addai guy? Also, the rain is starting to get ridiculous. Everyone's running around soaked.
7:39 pm -- Field goal Colts. 19-14. Disney is putting out a movie called Meet the Robinsons. E*Trade's bank robbery commercial was pretty funny. (7.5 out of 10) They needed to start it off ala Pulp Fiction with "Everybody hold up! This is a robbery!" Coke's parade commercial got a "WTF" from my wife. That about sums it up. (5 out of 10)
7:43 pm -- Bud Light (apparently all they do is Super Bowl commercials) checks in with two gorillas trying to get Bud Light (6 out of 10, maybe 6.5 for comedy factor). Then, Sheryl Crow, who now apparently writes all of her songs to become jingles for commercials advertises for Revlon color with her song "Not Fade Away." Wife looked at me and said, "She just won a William Shatner Award, didn't she?" Yeah, she did.
7:47 pm -- The Chicago Bears have apparently forgotten which way they are supposed to be going.
7:48 pm -- Careerbuilder.com checks in with more people pretending they are on "Lost" with office supplies (6 out of 10). Two lions try to pronounce "carrrrrrrrrne" for Taco Bell. What do lions have to do with Taco Bell? (5.5 out of 10).
7:55 pm -- Toyota did a truck commercial that I think was exactly the same as one that Ford ran in the first quarter. Update: It was the same commercial. Shows you how well I pay attention. Emerald Nuts (whom I've never heard of) ran a commercial with Robert Goulet. My wife asked who's Robert Goulet. Well now, thanks for wasting $1.5 million, Emerald Nuts. Oh yeah, the Colts kicked a FG. 22-14 Colts.
7:57 pm -- The Colts have been kicking away from Devin Hester and some guy named Gilmore keeps picking up the kickoffs. My wife keeps thinking of Gilmore Girls, longingly. I have to admit, I'd rather be watching that too. Is that un-manly? Quick, I should rip out some chest hair.
7:59 pm -- KEVIN FEDERLINE!!! "Federline! Fries!" (11 out of 10.)
8:00 pm -- "Should we pick him up? He has Bud Light." "He has an axe!" "Yeah, but he had Bud Light." Want to know what car rides with my wife are like? Just watch that commercial over and over. (9 out of 10.)
8:04 pm -- The Bears actually scored! 22-17 on a field goal. This might actually end up being a close game.
8:10 pm -- Turning point of the game. Marvin Harrison's catch that was almost ruled a non-catch. Unless of course, I look back on this and say "What was I thinking?"
8:12 pm -- Cargill (who?) just ran a commercial saying that they were proud of developing an ice cream truck, but for animal feed... in Poland. (pi out of ten).
8:15 pm -- Budweiser. Crabs. Huh? (7 out of 10). (Wife's review: drink Bud, get crabs. There's a great message.) The Honda CRV tried to make itself look... hip... fly... uh, dope... what do you kids say now?
8:19 pm -- Friend Omar sent me this, that was apparently on in some markets. Well now, time to get political in the middle of the Super Bowl.
8:21 pm -- The dagger just went into the heart of the city of Chicago. Indy just returned an interception for a TD. Bad Rex.
8:26 pm -- Izod just celebrated the fact that they are the world's preppiest clothing company. I think it's an old commercial. I didn't understand the Jay-Z Budweiser commercial. Update: Friend Omar explained the commercial to me. Beyonce will blow for Jay-Z. Use your clean mind.
8:31 pm -- Another Rex Grossman interception. Well, that about wraps it up.
8:33 pm -- Time for a Flomax commercial! I've never heard so many euphemisms for urination (wife corrects me: micturation). Peeing!
Things you can do with one finger from E*Trade! Best commercial of the night not involving Kevin Federline. (9.5 out of 10).
8:41 pm -- Time for Rex Grossman to pull a Joe Montana. I even kept a straight face while I typed that.
8:44 pm -- Or maybe not. Chicago goes out on downs and now it's just formality of running out the clock.
8:48 pm -- My wife just made the most astute football observation of the night: "Has Chicago had the ball in... a while?" This from the woman who's been asking me all night what happens if the receiver doesn't catch the ball and how the system of downs works.
8:51 pm -- Two minute warning. They're repeating commercials. Peyton Manning will finally get the "can't win the big game" monkey off his back. Alex Rodriguez, take heart.
8:56 pm -- Under a minute left. Bears look like a beaten team.
8:58 pm -- Your 2007 NFL Champions, the Indianapolis Colts (-7). Start the cliche counter.
9:00 pm -- Pitchers and catchers report in 10 days! Next year will be the Browns' year. Are they any good? Is it baseball season yet?
9:04 pm -- Can I just say the old guy in the heart costume walking around and getting beat up is just... odd.
9:11 pm -- Winning the Super Bowl is the greatest achievement in team sports? What happened to Paul Tagliabue? Is he dead?
9:12 pm -- You just won the Super Bowl, let's start off with thinking about a tragedy. And thank God. Because God really cares who wins the Super Bowl.
9:13 pm -- Jesus for MVP! I was watching the Super Bowl and a tent revival broke out. Rob Irsay thanks God for providing such good moving vans out of Baltimore 25 years ago.
9:15 pm -- Peyton Manning: Six cliches in 20 seconds! Did we mention that Tony Dungee is black? Is this the most lacksadaisical celebration of a major sports championship that anyone's ever seen?
9:21 pm -- Well, Chicago will be depressed for the next week, but life will continue. I suppose it's time to close up here. Until next time because this time was indeed better than last time, I am and will continue to be the Pizza Cutter. This has been the Foreign Intelligence Files. Say good night, DJ Chia Pet.
9:26 pm -- P.S., now I'm watching coverage in the aftermath. I can't shake memories of this.