Saturday, January 31, 2009
Super Bowl XLIII
The Short Version
HERE WE GO AGAIN. This really isn't hard to do. We have it from the MSM that there's a lot of hoopla but little mystery.
Everything about the Super Bowl is bigger, grander and more expensive. There is no better example than the live television production.
Broadcasting Sunday's Pittsburgh-Arizona game at Raymond James Stadium will cost NBC $8 million to $10 million, and that doesn't count $600 million a year in rights fees the network is paying to also get "Sunday Night Football" through 2011 and the 2012 Super Bowl...
Viewers won't notice any new gimmicks or major enhancements in the telecast, but there's already enough technology in a Sunday or Monday night NFL telecast to land Ben Roethlisberger on the moon.
Basically, the Super Bowl telecast is an amplified edition of "Sunday Night Football."
So if you'd rather get it all out of the way ahead of time and use your Sunday for something other than an exhausting TV marathon, here's our little cheat-sheet of a post.
This part of the day will last, well, all day. Every single segment of it will begin with the same quasi-Ben Hur chariot race music accompanied by stupid graphics, so you may as well get it out of the way now with our small-scale version:
Then comes all the pre-game crap presided over by Bob Costas and his crew of exceptionally self-satisfied jocks and NBC know-it-alls and technicians. Here's pretty much all you have to know about them. (You can make up tomorrow's Steelers-Cardinals banter for yourself: Pittsburgh tough, Arizona lucky.)
Remember that line about "a different feel." Think MORE ADS.
And since halftime will be its own mega-extravaganza, NBC will probably have to give Keith Olbermann his airtime in the pregame hours as well. Here's a sample.
Again, you can make up the football hysterics for yourself.
Eventually every single person shown on camera will have said everything everybody else has said enough times that they start to collapse from boredom and vocal strain. Then it's time for...
This is easily the least important part of the proceedings. Think of it as filler for the real purpose of the broadcast: commercials and NBC programming promos (commercials). We can easily simulate this experience for you right now. Here's the whole damn game of football that will be played.
Of course it's tempting, but you're not allowed to watch it all the way through. After every kickoff, punt, touchdown, timeout, and any other excuse you can think of, you must pause the game and go to this site, where they have the most ballyhooed Super Bowl commercials available for your viewing pleasure, and watch at least one of them. After that, you have to go here and see at least one of the NBC promos. Only then can you return to the game, and on no account can you let more than a few minutes of playing time elapse before you pause for the next commercial. Got it?
You also have to pause the game at halftime, of course, so that Bob Costas can narrate the incredible pyrotechnics that will be taking place on the field:
Oops. Wrong tediously overblown stadium event. Our mistake. Actually, there will be a slight delay as they construct a second stadium inside the first one for the super-spectacular Bruce Springsteen concert. Here's Bruce telling us how long that delay will be:
Everyone will be glad to wait, though, for the always unforgettable poet-idiot of New Jersey, secure in the confidence that we can't be offended by loopy political non-sequiturs we couldn't possibly decipher through his increasingly Dylanesque slur. It's bound to be as great as all his other legendary four-hour concerts.
Don't make the mistake of rushing right back to the game after Bruce is done. They still have to demolish the temporary stadium on the field, which means you need to go back here and here for more commercials. And keep going back, again and again till all it's all mercifully over.
Got it? Enjoy the game.
Yes, if you're still not in a coma after the final gun, there will be highlight shows. Here's what we expect you'll be seeing a lot of.
We know we're really looking forward to it.