Behind the Mic: A Great (Between) Game

I think you would have to agree that Super Bowl XLIX (I like that they use Roman numerals because it helps me when I do crossword puzzles – I always confuse fifty and five hundred) was terrific.  And that was just the commercials!  The game was one of the best, but you can read about the game anywhere.  It’s the commercials that need to be discussed.  I thought there were some classics among the many and very few real duds.  Here were my top five:

  1. The Fiat 500X Blue Pill – I hope I just didn’t select this one because I’m old, forgetful, and, well, because I’m old. I just thought this was the most creative of all the ads.  It certainly kept you watching as the mini-drama unfolded and went right to the (dare I say climax) end until you realized the Fiat was promoting a newer and bigger crossover vehicle.  It was ingenious.
  2. Settle It the Usual way by Skittles – This one was a classic. Everyone in town – men, women, children, babies, and dogs all had, obviously, “settled it the usual way” by arm-wrestling.  I wonder, too, if there was a little NBC arm-twisting with Skittles since the candy got so many free plugs during the playoffs.  You know Skittles are Marshawn Lynch’s favorite pre-game snack (he ate some on camera right before game-time).  I laughed throughout the commercial.
  3. The Tortoise and the Hare by Mercedes – I both liked and disliked this one. I really thought the animation was excellent and, again, told a good story from beginning to end.  I really dislike the fact that I certainly cannot afford this beautiful Mercedes sports car.  Much like the tortoise, I felt like a loser after watching this one.
  4. First Draft Ever by Avocados From Mexico – This was a great concept for an NFL game – First Draft Ever. Doug Flutie and Jerry Rice were really good, the spot was humorous, and the choices were even funnier. However, I am not sure how I can help the company, Avocados from Mexico.  I do put avocado on my burrito and now feel it’s my way of helping Mexico.
  5. Loctite Glue –I never heard of the product, but I know it now and I would think that’s what a commercial is supposed to do. This featured very ordinary people dancing, gluing, and saving their marriage.  I now think Loctite!

There were certainly many others that were outstanding – “Like A Girl”, the Budweiser dog, the Jurassic Park promo, etc.  I would have probably loved the Kim Kardashian, Kate Upton and Victoria’s Secret commercials, but I was probably discussing the “Daddy” ads with my wife.  I may just have to go online to check those out.



  1. Just when it looked like the Patriots would be done in again by a spectacular catch, the Seahawks coaching staff outsmarted itself by calling a pass play on the one-yard line. Marshawn Lynch is nicknamed “The Beast” because of the way he runs.  It was second down.  Give him the ball twice and then get clever.  Oh, well.
  2. It figures that right at the beginning of the Super Bowl there is a call that is questionable and NBC, unlike CBS and FOX, does not have a former official to call upon for an interpretation. Was it “roughing the kicker” or “running into the kicker”?  I believe Chris Collingsworth, but an official would have had more credibility.
  3. Be honest – Did you know who Malcome Butler and Chris Matthews were before the game? I never heard of Butler and only knew Matthews because he recovered the onsides kick in the Green Bay NFC title game.  They were the least likely to be the stars of the game, but each was.
  4. Are the Patriots’ four Super Bowl victories tainted by the cheating accusations? Think Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and A-Rod.  More to come on “Inflate-Gate”.
  5. I have basketball games on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. And NFL football is over.  Any suggestions as to what to do on Sundays, Monday nights, and Thursday nights?

 NFL PICKS FOR THE YEAR     (Last week – 0-1)  (179-85-1 overall – 68%)   


Behind the Mic: Ray Donovan meet A-Rod and Riley Cooper


Ray Donovan meet A-Rod and Riley Cooper

Showtime has a new program on TV this summer titled Ray Donovan. It is adult in nature and reminds me of The Sopranos, in a way, but with a different “family”. Donovan’s family is made up of entertainment and sports figures. They hire him to keep their scandalous indiscretions out of the gossip pages and, more importantly, out of the mainstream media. His tactics are crude, violent, immoral, creative, and, yes, jaw dropping (dare I say, also entertaining?).

Now on to real life – You have to be living like a recluse this past week if you are unaware of the media bombardment of facts, opinions, and responses to both the Alex Rodriquez and Riley Cooper situations. One is accused of using performance- enhancing drugs in order to play the game of baseball better, the other of spewing an incendiary racial term at a security guard at a concert in order to prove (?) he is a racist.

To me, the common denominator here is not that these two men are prominent professional athletes who made some very bad decisions, but that they both committed serious offenses in a world where Big Brother is constantly watching and they should KNOW it. Throughout history, the sinner has never thought so much about “Don’t do it” but more about “Don’t get caught”. Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner, Pete Rose, Lance Armstrong, (you can add as many as you want) are all good examples of noted individuals who lived in the limelight and thought they could get away with indiscretions and lies.

We have all heard the expression, “History teaches us that…” Obviously, this message does not resonate at all. Every day in the news and, perhaps, in our own lives, we make choices that we hope no one ever finds out about. That goal is so much more difficult these days with the advent of security cameras that are virtually everywhere and phones, with cameras, that ARE everywhere. Any high profile individual who thinks they can “do it” and “not get caught” is highly delusional.

I am sure A-Rod felt the pressure and stress of succeeding and coupled that with the “everybody is doing it” belief in order to convince himself PED’s would not only help him succeed, but he could use them without getting caught. Riley Cooper can fall back on the alcohol excuse, but, to his credit, he has accepted responsibility for his inappropriate actions. However, one could logically ask if either man would honestly feel they did anything wrong if they had not gotten caught.

And that is the shocking aspect. In this day and age, when virtually everything a high profile person does has the potential for being seen by others in some form through social media, one would think our athletes, entertainment figures, and politicians would be wiser. I am sure they each have their own “Ray Donovan’s”, but, unlike the Showtime series, they do not always succeed in making the problem go away. Change the adage: “Don’t do it because you WILL get caught!”

“History teaches us…” – Never mind!