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Well, that’s it.  The 2010-11 football season officially came to an end last night when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Super Bowl XLV (that’s 45 for all you non-Romans out there).  I hope you enjoyed it, I hope you cherished it, because you might not have one next year.  Gasp!  No, it can’t be!  Ok, well it’s doubtful that the NFL is that stupid that it would let an entire season of revenue go down the tubes because the owners and players can’t agree on how to split the gazillion dollars they make.  But the fact is, a lockout is looming and football is in jeopardy for 2011.

Over the next several weeks that lead up to the end of the current agreement, and the months of negotiations that are sure to follow, we will be immersed in a sea of NFL talking heads.  They will speak legalese to us, tell us how no progress is being made, and interview players who claim they “just want to play football” while explaining how their current $4 million a year salary isn’t enough to keep their family fed.  The debate over which side deserves the bigger piece of the pie is ridiculous to the average fan since most of us can’t even picture what a million dollars looks like, but we’ll listen and have our opinions and hope that football returns to us next fall.

But before we let cynicism take over and we become jaded by this fight between the millionaires and billionaires, let’s sit back and have a little fun with one of the biggest spectacles in American sports and entertainment.  The Super Bowl is the most watched television program of the year, every year, and it’s not just because of the game.  It’s the ridiculously long pre-game shows, the equally long half-time show, the crazy commercials and the “did that really just happen?” moments that keep everyone talking for weeks after the big game.  So let’s have a little Super Bowl recap with some of the more interesting aspects of last night’s event.

I’d be doing myself and all sports fans reading this blog a great injustice if I didn’t begin with my opinions on the game itself.  For those who watch the Super Bowl for the commercials and half time show, you may not care much for this part but here it is.  In my opinion (and with this being my blog and all, my opinion is always the right one), this game continued the recent tradition of great Super Bowl games.  It had the potential early on to be a blowout, as the Packers jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead but despite turning the ball over 3 times, the Steelers kept it close and even had a chance to take the lead with the game winding down.  It had all the ingredients for a great game; spectacular plays, timely turnovers, a big comeback, and the potential for a game-winning drive.  I think when the dust settles from this one, people will look back at it as one of the best performances by a quarterback in any Super Bowl.  Aaron Rodgers was efficient (0 turnovers), electric (3 great touchdown passes), and never flinched when the heat was on.  All in all, it goes in the books as one of the better Super Bowl games I’ve seen.

Now on to the pop culture events from last night that most people are probably talking about this morning.  First of all, way to go Christina Aguilera!  When it was announced that the former Mouskateer would be performing our hallowed anthem, I figured it was a safe play.  Sure, she’ll throw in some unnecessary runs that will drag out the song long enough for the camera to pan in on the faces of every single player on the sidelines, but she’ll at least nail the big notes and get the crowd fired up.  Well, it only took a few bars to throw that “safe play” moniker out the window as she forgot the words and repeated a previously sung line.  If you weren’t watching, I’ve included the train wreck below.  Just another classic performance of our national anthem by a “professional” singer.  At least she didn’t have a wardrobe malfunction halfway through.

I also want to mention what I felt was a general lack of good commercials this year.  I feel that the buildup for Super Bowl commercials is almost always too much for the commercials themselves to live up to.  There are, however, a few that usually stand out as being worth the wait.  This year though, I can’t think of more than a couple that I even remember as being funny or memorable.  I enjoyed the Doritos commercials and the E-Trade baby of course (I’m a sucker for a talking baby), but other than that, it was pretty disappointing.  Let me know what stood out for you this year.

As far as halftime goes, I must admit I only watched about half of it.  It coincided with bedtime for Iz and the Jakester, so Jen and I spent most of it with Green Eggs and Ham rather than Black Eyed Peas.  I will say that it was nice to see a current artist on stage again after several years of flashbacks to the 70’s and 80’s with artists like Prince, Tom Petty and The Who.  Were the Black Eyed Peas a good choice for the Super Bowl halftime show?  Well, all I can say is at least it wasn’t Justin Beiber!

Finally, something occurred to me last night as we closed the books on another Super Bowl party.  Kids have really zapped the strength right out of me!  I used to have no problem staying up until midnight and getting up at 6:00am the next morning for work.  Today was another story.  I literally felt hate in my heart for the alarm clock this morning.  Jen and I both looked like we just stepped out of the video for Thriller this morning (interesting choice of songs on Glee last night by the way) as we attempted to fit our heads directly under the Keurig dispenser rather than dealing with the delays that come from using a cup.  The kids are definitely responsible for our transformation from closing-down-the-bar People to Is-Grey’s-Anatomy-over-yet-so-I-can-go-to-bed? People.  It’s ok though, I’ll choose snuggling with my little girl on the couch over kneeling on the sticky bathroom floor of a bar, hugging a toilet bowl any day.

So how was your Super Bowl Party?