Say cheese? Say champs!

I just returned home from dropping off Phoebe at her preschool. Kates is back to teaching -- for the first time in more than a week. And her parents, who were in The ‘Ville for a long weekend, are on the road back to Wisconsin.

And I am basking in the glory of watching the Green Bay Packers win the Super Bowl last night. Along with a day to myself at home.


Indeed, last night’s Super Bowl was a great one. I’ve remained confident in the Packers’ play all season long, but admittedly, I wasn’t as confident going into last night’s championship against the mighty Steelers.

But the Packers started fast, thanks to a couple key turnovers by Ben Roethlisberger. ... Bam! Suddenly it was 14-0. Then 21-3. For most of the first half, the game looked like a shade of the Packers stomping of the Falcons. ...

When the Packers scored the first touchdown, we screamed so loud that we scared Phoebe and sent her running to Kates for cover. She learned to deal with it, and eventually joined in, as the game moved along.

Then Donald Driver and Sam Shields went down.

And when Charles Woodson went down … Gulp.

In the third quarter, the Steelers looked as though they would roll right over the Packers. The breaks were suddenly going Pittsburgh’s way; I thought that contested call early in the fourth quarter was a fair catch. The Packers receivers also seemed to forget how to catch the ball; a couple, if caught, could have been touchdowns.

Jordy Nelson dropped passes that could have been big plays, but he made up for it by making some big plays, too. Rick Reilly had a good video piece on ESPN about Rodgers' passes to Nelson.

Then the fourth quarter arrived. Pittsburgh's Rashard Mendenhall fumbled the ball and the Packers recovered. New life. ... The Packers capitalized with another touchdown. And added a field goal that helped but didn't exactly put the game away.

When the Steelers offense took the field, we could only hold our breath. ... It came down to a 4th and 5. Mike Wallace couldn't hold on Roethlisberger's pass, and with about 30 second left, it was over.

Our living room erupted. I embraced Kates and we sat on our couch grinning from ear to ear as the celebration began on the field. ... We watched the post game coverage, the trophy presentations, all of the interviews, and eventually switched over to ESPN to watch the continuing coverage -- with some cake and ice cream in between to celebrate Kates' father's 60th birthday.


Good reads ...
a They made it to top with stability
a Packers' backup Nelson steps up in Super Bowl
a When Injuries Flared, Packers Had Able Spares
aRodgers repays debt to Packer organization
a Lombardi Trophy goes long way to ease the pain for Packers' Woodson
a Not to be denied, hardened Packers persevere to Super Bowl victory
a Super Bowl Morning After: Mike McCarthy in His Words
a And Bob Ryan: Recovery mission a success
The numbers for Rodgers, which were impressive enough (24 of 39, 304 yards, three touchdowns), truly do not convey the magnificence of his performance. There really were either five or six terrible drops (depending on how strict a pass receiver marker someone is). And a few of his completed passes were either laser-like missiles that squeezed through microscopic openings or perfectly arched floaters that settled into the hands of his receivers. Very little about this performance was ordinary. The Packers came out of this game with a universal declaration that Rodgers has risen to the top of the current NFL quarterback class, and nothing will dislodge them from that belief.
* * *

The social media. I was all over it last night. Planting my laptop in front of us the coffee table. Tweet deck front and center, with a couple running media and advertising blogs running in the background.

Who says the party only includes the people in your living room? ... I was trading thoughts on the game and commercials with friends across town, friends and family across the country and colleagues across the media landscape.

Some of my favorites from last night. Pregame ...

russfeingold: Two of the greatest franchises in football history meet in the Super Bowl, but sorry Pittsburgh, Green Bay has got this one! #GoPackGo

After the Packers were penalized for excessive celebration after their first touchdown ...
SI_JonHeyman: nfl shrugs at 300-plus arrests in a decade, then punishes player for celebrating the moment of his life. #nofunleague
After Ben Roethlisberger started limping from a knee injury ...
EricStangel: After just watching Ben Roethlisberger tweak his knee, Jay Cutler had to be carted out of his living room #LateShowWriters
In the fourth quarter when the Steelers seemed poised to pull it out ...
ThisIsRobThomas: shit! i'm actually watching the game. and i care.
And when the game finished ...
sadjournalist: I'm sad because some poor designer in Dallas had to create a special edition Steelers Super Bowl cover, just in case.

RepPaulRyan: Go Pack Go! A special night for Wisconsinites/Cheeseheads!

And after the game, from my friend Noah: Excessive postgame celebration. 15 yd penalty.

National Post had a good running blog of the game that included some tweets from a variety of people.

* * *

The commercials and other delights ...

I thought the commercials were mostly forgettable, which doesn't surprise me. Our society has hyped Super Bowl commercials so much over the years; the expectations are so loaded that companies can hardly compete.

... The NFL's homage to great sitcoms.
... Chevy Silverado's "Tommy."
... Hyundai's: "Anachronistic City."
... Doritos "House sitting."
... And Bridgestone's "Beaver Intervention"  are going down as my faves.

VW's "Star Wars" kid was my favorite of all the bowl (the boy was unmasked on Today this morning).

And let’s not forget the frenzy over the news that Christina Aguilera flubbed the national anthem (Kates caught it, the rest of us didn't), which was all over the interwebs within minutes of her last note. Or the laughable scene of Cameron Diaz feeding Alex Rodriguez in the suites (We all saw it on our TV and shared a good chuckle).

The Black Eyed Peas halftime show. They’re made for the studio, not the live stage. So I wasn't expecting a stellar, smooth sounding show. ... But I thought it was pretty darn good considering. The lights, Slash in for a cover of “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” I was pleased.

Hank Stuever has a good review of all of it.

For me, the game, of course, was the best part.

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