Culture

Super Bowl XLVIII: A Recap Of America’s Drunkest Day

The ads, the action, the puppies. We watched it all so you wouldn't have to.

Sure, American football might be as foreign a concept to the vast majority of Australians as wearing a t-shirt is to Anthony Kiedis, but man, Americans really don’t screw around when it comes to the Super Bowl.

With Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos taking on Russell Wilson’s Seattle Seahawks in New York (well, East Rutherford — it’s officially New Jersey), it meant that for only the second time in the last 20 years the two teams with the best records in the NFL faced off for Super Bowl glory. Cool, right? Well…

PRE-SHOW

Four-and-a-half hours. Fox’s pre-game show ran for FOUR-AND-A-HALF HOURS. That’s a lot of commentators saying “legacy” and what this game would mean for Peyton Manning.

But really, I was kinda busy watching the Puppy Bowl.

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For the record: Loren, a 14-week-old Brittany Spaniel mix, was voted Most Valuable Pup, running in a record four touchdowns.

Anyway, back to the Super Bowl pre-show. Lots of meaningless predictions were voiced, Bill O’Reilly interviewed President Obama, there was an epic tribute to America’s armed forces/ideals (featuring FLOTUS), and Queen Latifah dropped by to belt out ‘America The Beautiful’.

America

Snake Plissken (aka, Kurt Russell for those in the cheap seats) provided the team intros, and, after a hilarious coin-toss fuck-up (legendary Jets quarterback Joe Namath put it in the air before anyone called it), it was finally KICK OFF.

FIRST HALF

AND HOLY SHIT. On the very first offensive play of the game, a missed snap by Peyton Manning and Denver safety Manny Ramirez resulted in the ball going out the back of Denver’s own end zone. That’s a safety, and two points to Seattle. Peyton’s eyes as the ball sailed past his head? Golden.

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The rest of the half was a tale of wasted challenges from each coach, and Seattle’s defense asserting itself… and how. Two interceptions of Peyton passes resulted in two Seattle touchdowns — one from running back Marshawn Lynch, and a ‘pick 6’ (an intercepted pass that’s returned for a touchdown) from Malcolm Smith.

Pick6

His celebratory dunk wasn’t great, though.

dunk

With it taking ’til the start of the Second Quarter for the Broncos to even get a first down, the best part for anyone supporting Denver up to this point was a Bud Light ad… featuring Arnie.

Denver were the first team to score zero points in the first half of a Super Bowl since 2001.

HALF TIME

Which meant… NEW SEINFELD!

Uh, it wasn’t that funny… perhaps proving that Seinfeld’s secret weapon was being not shot in HD.

Another ad dared ask the big question: really, at this point of their ever-increasing cultural irrelevance, who even wants a free U2 song?

Also, it’s a shame the Aussie entry for Doritos’ Super Bowl ad didn’t make the cut.

Which brought us to the most important part of the Super Bowl (that wasn’t the Puppy Bowl, obviously)…

The half time show! Bruno Mars appeared and played a drum solo, prompting the entire world to scream at their TV sets, “PLAY MOBY DICK!”

BrunoMars

He played the best song that The Police never wrote (‘Locked Out Of Heaven’), as well as two other non-descript songs, but really, put on a helluva show. Seriously, you can’t go wrong with a horn section (all dressed in Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane), even when you’re Bruno Mars. He even pulled out the splits, prompting our party to agree that he’s some weird conglomeration of Sting, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Elvis and Ellen.

Eventually the Red Hot Chili Peppers appeared to deliver a hellaciously badass version of ’Give It Away’ (and of course Flea and Keidis weren’t wearing shirts), and Bruno had an emo soft-rock moment with his ballad ‘Just the Way You Are’, with a faded shot of him overlaid on the fireworks behind him. It was proper ‘70s. Here’s the full thing if you’ve got 15 minutes to kill:

What’s better than a weird Scientology ad? A new Captain America trailer.

SECOND HALF

Oh, it was a laugher. Seattle basically ran away with the game, after Percy Hervin scored a TD on an epic punt return on the first play of the half, and Jerome Kearse scored an amazing TD after shrugging off three tackles.

Peyton Manning eventually got the ball to Demaryius Thomas for a touchdown, and then Wes Welker for a 2-point conversion… but that was it. The NFL’s greatest offense ever ran into a brick wall in the Super Bowl: the final scoring drive was Seattle marching down the field and getting into the end zone with three amazing Russell Wilson passes and a Doug Baldwin catch.

Hey, so that Axe deodorant ad was weird.

It was Seattle 43, Denver 8. And Macca had pizza.

Macca

And that was it. The teams traded possessions, but Denver weren’t able to shake that crazy Seattle defense. It ended with a whimper, and a drunken country either celebrated, commiserated, or got even more drunk.

FINAL SCORE: Seattle 43 – Denver 8

Post Game Wrap

Seattle becomes the equal youngest average-aged team to win a Super Bowl, and the final margin of 35 points was the biggest Super Bowl margin since the 1993 Dallas Cowboys beat the living snot out of the Buffalo Bills.

Dunk-misser and pass-interceptor Malcolm Smith was anointed Super Bowl MVP, and Seahawks QB Russell Wilson solidified his place as the football player most likely to become American president. Well done, Seahawks. Good job, ‘Merica.

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Jaymz is a New York-based writer (originally from Melbourne, and the former Editor of triple j magazine), super-yacht enthusiast, hi-tech jewel thief and Bengal tiger trainer. He enjoys wearing monocles, finely spiced rum, constructing pillow forts, and zip-lining from Hong Kong skyscrapers. You can find him on twitter via @jaymzclements