Super Bowl In Pajamas

My Facebook friends were supportive. They liked the game. They enjoyed the commercials. Bravo Madonna. On Twitter the people I follow sniped at everything.

Helaine went zero for the playoffs! Every team she wanted to win lost. Today it was the Giants with the coup de grâce.

“I’m not going to be able to listen to WFAN all week,” she said. She hates New York fans gloating. Oh hell, she just hates New York fans.

We watched the game from home. We were on the sofa in pajamas. Pizza was delivered, served and eaten.

The game started strangely with the Pats giving up a safety. Mostly the first half was boring. Sorry NFL.

I had my tablet on my lap. Reading tweets was very entertaining.

Here’s what I later observed. My Facebook friends were supportive. They liked the game. They enjoyed the commercials. Bravo Madonna.

On Twitter the people I follow sniped at everything. I follow a lot of writers. They snipe for a living.

Madonna was OK. Is it alright if I’m non-committal here? I’m not a fan of lipsync. The spectacle was pretty good.

The second half of the game was amazing. The lead went back and forth. Until time ran out it was still a game . The Giants won in a most amazing and humbling way.

There are a dozen or so shows that are now ‘must watch live.’ The universal experience used to occur only when people sat at the TV together. No more. The Super Bowl is universal TV because we all communicate while watching.

When not listening to sports radio Helaine listens to 80s rock. She will hear lots of 80s rock this week.

Playboy? Are They Still Around?

Playboy. I think back to Barbie Benton. She’s six months older than me. Probably a grandmother now. That fantasy’s been derailed.

I can’t tell you the last time I saw Playboy¹. A bill came from them today anyway! Unbeknown to me someone put my name on a subscription form. There’s a website for problems like mine. In two sentences I explained my situation.

“We have received your email inquiry and it is being sent to a Customer Service Representative; please do not reply to this message. We respond to all email inquiries in the order in which they are received. We value our customers and promise you a prompt reply. Thank you for contacting Playboy.”

Playboy. I think back to Barbie Benton. She’s six months older than me. Probably a grandmother now. That fantasy’s been derailed.

Through my daughter I know Hefner and concubines have been on cable for a few seasons. Viagara notwithstanding, does anyone really think these girls desire Hef and, quite honestly, vice versa?

I don’t have Hef’s money but to women of playmate age I am transparent! This is not a recent occurrence.

One of these women married Hank Baskett the former Philadelphia Eagle who fumbled the ball during this year’s Super Bowl. That makes sense. Hef, not so much.

The real reason I’m writing this is I’m surprised Playboy still exists at all. Times are tough for print and even tougher for porn²! Who exactly is buying this?

With naked pictures taken with cellphone cameras held at the end of outstretched arms, the advent of ‘sexting’³ and an Internet full of flesh what place does Playboy still hold? What part of the market is still available to them?

Playboy was readily available because it was considered ‘classy.’ With the Internet isn’t even the pretense of classy now unnecessary?

I have two business days to think about all this.

¹ – That could be said even if Helaine wasn’t reading this.

² – OK, it’s not porn, but it’s certainly in competition with porn.

³ – Secondhand knowledge. Honest.

If This Is Google’s Super Bowl Ad…

How much of your life is revealed by connecting the dots concerning where you go on your computer?

If this is Google’s rumored Super Bowl ad (and so says the rumor) try and look past the sweetness and poignancy. Think for a moment what the aggregation of your Google searches or website crawls says about you.

How much of your life is revealed by connecting the dots concerning where you go on your computer?

Logs and records are kept. Your life is well documented, but the documentation is outside your grasp.

How much of your life do you want revealed by where you go on your computer?

We need to weigh the cost for everything the Internet brings. Sometimes the costs aren’t immediately obvious.

Super Bowl Sunday With The Foxes

I watched until it looked like Pittsburgh had put it away, then fell asleep. I half heard the 100 yard runback with my eyes closed and head on a pillow on the sofa.

Super Bowl Sunday–I never got out of my pajamas. Didn’t shower until after 10p.

madeline.jpgWe started the day watching the entire “Puppy Bowl V.” OK, I didn’t totally dedicate myself to PB-V but I was in the room. I love Harry Kalas’ voice, but he really isn’t a great v/o reader.

I want the Beagle with lighter brown markings as a family member–Madeline.

We were watching NBC when Matt Lauer interviewed President Obama. Audio problems! Wow. That never used to happen on the network. I’m curious if this was staffed and set-up the same as it would have been 8-years ago?

Was President Obama too casual? No tie. Is it OK for the president to make Inspector Gadget references? Is it OK for a president to be impolitic and take sides in a football game, as he did?

He seemed like the nicest, most engaging and charming president of my lifetime. He makes Bill Clinton seem like Grover Cleveland.

I was uncomfortable President Obama was so relaxed and casual. It’s my problem I suppose. Just not used to it.

Coin toss. Who knew General Patraeus was short?

I didn’t have a lot of interest in the actual game. I watched until it looked like Pittsburgh had put it away, then fell asleep. I half heard the 100 yard runback with my eyes closed and head on a pillow on the sofa.

I did wake up for the exciting conclusion.

One of the best parts of the day was reading Ana Marie Cox (the original Wonkette) on Twitter. Here’s a sample.

A Husky/Beagle mix playing in #puppybowl. That must have been one hell of a blind date.

Will @animalplanet be sued by FCC for showing pussy during halftime of the #puppybowl?

Griffey totally railroaded out of #puppybowl!!! Nipping is the opposite of “un-puppylike behavior”!

Apparently David Patraeus overseeing superbowl coin toss but not the Iraq elections

Are NFL coaches’ headsets the only form of technology that gets *larger* as it improves?

I don’t even really “get” football but even I understand that a 100-yard interception return is bad. Maybe the Cards are McCain after all.

This “Born to Run” song is kind of catchy! I think it could be a hit!

Cheering for the Cards reminds me of how being a Democrat used to feel.

Pitchers and catchers only a few weeks away!

Why Super Bowl Ads Cost So Much

There is rewinding and multiple viewing of the ads on Super Bowl Sunday. It’s one of the few times it happens.

Everyone talks about the ads run during the Super Bowl.

Before the game all you hear is the ridiculous cost – this year around $90,000 per second. After the game (and the money’s been spent) the spots are compared.

Is it all worth it? Probably. From the New York Times TV Decoder blog:

For instance, the commercials “got a higher audience than the game” in homes with the TiVo video recorder service, said Todd Juenger, vice president and general manager for audience research and measurement at the New York office of TiVo. “There is rewinding and multiple viewing of the ads” on Super Bowl Sunday, he added. “It’s one of the few times it happens.”

The phrase is, “Content is king.” Good commercials are good entertainment. People will watch anything, if they’re entertained.

Nobody’s Perfect

Helaine is a really good person to invite to a party, because she loves to bake. And, she’s very good at it. I have, unfortunately, nibbled on her baked goodies much too often. If she baked at home under everyday circumstances, I’d weigh 400 pounds.

the_catch.jpgIn what was one of the best football games I’ve ever seen, the Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl something, something “L.” The Pats quest to be perfect ended.

I don’t want to dwell on the game. There are more eloquent writers who’ll fill the newspapers tomorrow. I do need to acknowledge Eli Manning’s escape from the grasp of the Patriot’s defense and subsequent complete pass to David Tyree. It was a play for the ages.

Normally, Helaine and I would sit and watch from home. This year we joined some friends, and their friends, for a Super Bowl party in New Haven.

Being in a crowd disqualifies me for much discussion of the commercials. Those I did see in the clear seemed like they were trying too hard.

Helaine is a really good person to invite to a party. She loves to bake and she’s very good at it. I have, unfortunately, nibbled on her baked goodies much too often. If she baked at home under everyday circumstances, I’d weigh 400 pounds.

We came with pecan squares, butter cookies with a jam center (these are possibly the finest cookies ever baked), rice pudding, chocolate and chocolate chip cookies and Mexican dip.

This was quite an eclectic group, mainly made of people who used to be in, or were still in, radio.

We watched the game on a big screen TV in the living room. When it got too crowded, there was another set nearby. During big plays, the people watching that auxiliary set would cheer or moan about five seconds before we saw what was going on with the big screen. There’s that much delay!

I’ve never been a huge Tom Petty fan, but they were great. No disappointment there for me.

About two thirds through the evening, one of the other guests came up to me to say he could see the body language between Helaine and me,showing how we felt about each other. That was very nice to hear. I do feel that way about her.

Now my sports world goes quiet for a short while. Pitchers and catchers report in just a few weeks.

Comedian Throw Down – Mencia Versus Rogan

I just watched a video showing a confrontation between Joe Rogan (NewsRadio, Fear Factor) and Carlos Mencia (Mind of Mencia, Bud Lite Super Bowl commercial) at The Comedy Store, a Los Angeles comedy club.

It’s pretty spicy language, and though I wasn’t personally offended by what I heard, I don’t feel comfortable passing the link. Lots of “F” bombs.

On the video, Rogan accused Mencia of being a serial joke thief, and then went into detail about what he meant. After numerous citations, he then accused Mencia of not being Mexican and actually really being named, “Ned.”

You can’t make this stuff up. It’s all pretty amazing to see, and another way portable video and still cameras will change us forever.

Is everything documented? No. But it’s getting to be where everything interesting is!

Let’s see if this story has legs?

In A Super Bowl Pool? Me Too.

A week or so ago, one of our photographers at work came by with a sheet of paper and fistful of cash. It was time to pick boxes for the Super Bowl pool.

In case you’re not a football or pool fan, here’s how it works. A grid of boxes, 10×10, is drawn. You pick a box and hand over your cash. In this pool it’s $5 per square or $500 total.

Once all the boxes are chosen, digits are assigned to each row and column. So, the third row might be “8” and the sixth column… well it could be “8” too, or any other number! Then the rows and columns are assigned to the two teams.

When all was said and done, I was assigned 6 for the Bears and 6 for the Colts. If any quarter ends with both teams scores ending with a “6” (like 16 to 6 or 46 to 26), I win some cash.

The payoffs get progressively bigger as the game goes on. The winner of the 4th quarter (final score) gets $250.

I figured “6” has to be about the least likely number possible. Even worse, since games can’t end tied, 6 and 6 becomes less likely to show in the 4th quarter.

Are there stats for this? Hey – this is the Internet era. Of course there are stats!

Of all the quarters played in all the games this season, 6 and 6 showed up twice.

I thought I made a bet. I actually made a donation.

Super Bowl XL – I Watched All The Ads

How’s this for a shallow life with little purpose – I’ve just watched all the ads from tonight’s Super Bowl!

I wasn’t paying total attention during the game, so I actually went online to find a Super Bowl ad site.

Of course there’s one. There are probably dozens more.

Amazingly, in order to watch the commercials on AOL, you are subjected to additional ‘interstitial’ commercials.

So, here we go with a little summary of what I liked, in no particular order.

FedEx Cavemen – Can an ad be stupid and clever at once? This one was. I especially enjoyed the CG animation at the end where the caveman kicks a prehistoric animal and is then crushed by a giant foot.

Sierra Mist – Kathy Griffin, Michael Ian Black, and some guy I recognize by can’t identify. She’s very funny, and this ad is all about her.

Sprint Crime Deterrent – one guy actually throws his cellphone at the other guy. Priceless. It’s a great payoff to an otherwise ‘laundry list’ spot.

DisneyWorld – If Oscar winners can bring a little piece of paper on-stage listing all the people they want to thank, athletes can practice saying, “I’m going to DisneyWorld.”

Budweiser Clydesdale – I find most beer commercials sophomoric. OK – I don’t drink, so maybe I just don’t get it. The little Clydesdale pushing the wagon, secretly assisted by a larger Clydesdale, was very sweet. A sweet beer commercial!

Poseidon – Does this movie really need to be remade? Where’s Gene Hackman or Shelley Winters? Anyway, as your meteorologist let me be the first to tell you, tidal waves are barely noticeable in open water. They only crest nearshore.

Sprint Ringtones – Is there a more overpriced commodity than cellphone ringtones? Still, this commercial from Sprint took it all with tongue-in-cheek, especially the homage to Benny Hill featuring (what sounded like) Ronnie Aldrich’s original Yakety Sax.

Hummer H3 – I had no idea where this spot was going. When one monster got pregnant, I was really stumped. Giving birth to a Hummer was a reasonably good payoff.

Early this evening, to help fill time, a football game was played between these commercials.

What Kind Of Guy Am I?

I’m writing, sitting at my desk at the TV station with Mick Jagger strutting on the monitor just above my head. It is Super Bowl Sunday and I couldn’t care less.

What kind of guy am I? Where is my testosterone on the primo sports night of the year?

Actually, on my way in, I realized I wasn’t the only one who didn’t care. There’s a certain holiday feel I sometimes notice while driving to work – an elegant emptiness that was missing today.

I didn’t see any cars until I got to the first main road, about a mile from my house. From then on in, it was anything but deserted.

There were three people behind the counter at Dunkin’ Donuts as I went in for my medium coffee, cream and one Splenda. That’s normal for an early Sunday evening.

What you miss by not being ‘into’ the Super Bowl is the shared national experience of the commercials! it’s our sales manager’s dream come true.

I’ve caught a glimpse from time-to-time, but nothing has stood out. The “I’m going to DisneyWorld” is cute. So was Kathy Griffin as an airport security guard (I wish I could remember the name of the drink she was confiscating).

Are there no breakout spots this year? Maybe I’ve just been away at all the operative moments.

Maybe I should have DVR’ed the game for the ads. how weird is that wish?

Eagles – Helaine’s Got The Sound Down By Now

We are die hard Eagles fans, we Foxes. Before we caught on that even non-drinkers could watch the game at a bar, we listened on the computer. Before that we scrounged as best we could.

Being an Eagles fan is an exercise in self flagellation. They have found nearly every way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

After losing last year’s Super Bowl they proceeded to self destruct in the off season.

Superstar Terrell Owens started sniping at superstar quarterback about the same time the ref shot off the gun ending the game. Had the gun contained more than blanks, who knows what would have happened.

Owens also protested his superstar contract. It didn’t pay enough.

Then there were injuries and unhappy talk from other players. No one was well. No one was happy. It was the Eagles as only a true fan knows them.

I started as an Eagles fan through a strange quirk. A friend had tickets. That first game was played in the sun, on a warm late summer’s day. An American flag covered the entire length of the field as I walked in and gazed down at The Vet.

It would be like prejudging airline service based on airline ads. I started attending games anyway.

By the time that first season ended on an amazingly cold December day, the Eagles had managed to go 4 – 10&#185. I was hooked.

Tonight is the first game of the new season and the Eagles are playing in front of a national audience on Monday Night Football. As I type, they are down 7-14. The league’s most accurate kicker has missed two so far.

Hey, the night’s young.

Before the game began a scuffle broke out on the field. Forty five minutes before the game began, a ref threw a flag! Jeremiah Trotter of the Eagles was disqualified.

The Atlanta Falcons drew first blood. They flowed down the field like water into New Orleans. They were a torrent. Before long they did it again.

This is not to say the Eagles aren’t playing too. They scored a touchdown and missed those two aforementioned field goals.

The game is young. There’s still a full half to go. The Eagles could turn it around and win big… or get blown out.

Meanwhile, at home, Helaine has a game plan going. The next few sentences are based on my 20+ years experience with her.

She turned on the set, but kept the volume low. Then, after the Falcons scored, she turned it off entirely. At the moment, it is Helaine in the darkened house, the flickering TV dimly lighting the room – but no sound.

I would call her, but… Well, I value our relationship too much too call now. She is in pre-mourning, if you will. Even if the Eagles win she will have spent the entire evening knowing they would lose.

Hey, that’s what real Eagles fandom is all about.

&#185 – Back then the season was mercifully 14 games.

Another Nice Mention in the Day

I spoke to Rick Koster at the New London Day yesterday. He was writing a story about weathermen and comments their viewers make, and asked me to participate. I’m always scared I might say something I’ll later regret. This one came out very nicely.

I’ve attached the story to the link below

Snow Rage?

Just Blame It On The Weathermen, They’re Used To It

�There will be no school tomorrow. At least I’ll be a hero to kids.� – Geoff Fox, WTNH Channel 8 weatherman

Day Staff Columnist, Arts & Entertainment
Published on 3/1/2005

Something irritating this way comes.

It was Monday afternoon and the clouds were the opaque gray of a killer’s eyes. The Nor’easter was roaring up the Atlantic Coast and forecasters were describing a weather system that would utilize the Connecticut shore as a sort of tightrope between heavy rain and snow, or both.

Among area meteorologists, the mood was a cross between the excitement wrought of any storm and the anxiety that comes with predicting tough and complex systems. After all, at this point in the season, the citizenry can be a bit testy � and need someone to blame the weather on.

�It’s the nature of the game,� said Matt Scott, a meteorologist at WTNH in New Haven who called the impending Nor’easter �a complicated one.�

�This is a troublesome storm,� he said. �This is the first storm of the winter where I think we could see some power outages.�

That would certainly increase the potential for public dissatisfaction.

�Well, we’ve had a lot of snow � more than average � and when we’re a little off the mark some folks get agitated,� Scott said.

Geoff Fox, one of Scott’s meteorological colleagues at WTNH, who has worked in the area for 20 years, is more than familiar with irate weather-followers blaming the messenger. He remembered several years ago when a tourist board in Cape Cod was upset with him because members thought Fox’s long-range forecasts, which in this part of the country usually included a day of rain, were affecting business. They theorized Connecticut residents would not make the trip to the Cape if Fox suggested inclement weather.

Another time: �I was collared by a guy who owned a car wash where I used to take my car,� Fox remembered. �He didn’t like weather forecasts that could hurt his business. I tried to kid around, but he had no sense of humor and I came to believe, in his case, that he had some connections and could actually hurt me. So I get my car washed somewhere else now.�

Fox will presumably not worry about the aesthetics of his car over the next few days. He said Monday afternoon that the Nor’easter was pushing farther and farther to the east. Since snow systems have a relative warm and cold side � the cold is to the west � each turn to the east increases the likelihood that southeastern Connecticut will get more snow.

�There will be no school tomorrow,� Fox said. �At least I’ll be a hero to kids.�

Today’s technology makes it easier for viewers to convey their irritation with meteorologists.

�E-mails are easy to fire off; there are no faces or identities attached,� said Bruce DePrest, chief meteorologist at WFSB in Hartford. �The sender might even be mad at a forecast from another station, but any weatherman will do. Anything can trigger it, too � the timing of a storm, calling for snow and getting rain. … A lot of things make people mad, and sometimes they just want to be annoying because it’s easy to do.�

Michael Thomas, a meteorologist for the Connecticut Weather Center in Danbury, can perhaps understand the concept of what might be called �snow rage� even if he’d never heard the phrase. He said, �I think southeastern Connecticut is looking at five to eight inches of snow with this storm. I was already tired of (snow) last month. Now I hate it.�

Meteorologists say they take their forecasts seriously.

�People should understand that a storm like the one headed our way is my Super Bowl or my Oscars,� Fox said. �It’s really important to us to get it right. There is no upside to making an inaccurate forecast. This is where we make friends or enemies.�

Perhaps it’s possible to do both.

Last week, after several more inches of snow, Fox and his boss received �incredibly irate� e-mails from a viewer in Gales Ferry. The guy was mad because, after the station’s forecast called for snow, his caf� lost business and his son’s wrestling practice was canceled.

�I wrote back and said I didn’t cause the snow,� Fox said. �In the meantime, my boss, who never throws an e-mail away, remembered the guy’s name from an earlier communication and sent a return e-mail: �I’m really surprised to hear from you since you wrote in 2002 and said you’d never watch us again. So it’s good to have you back.’ �

It’s Almost Super Bowl Time

I’ll admit it. For the first time ever, the Super Bowl has really gotten me. It is driving me nuts. I had trouble getting to sleep because I was thinking, and worrying, about it and the Eagles.

It will be a shame to have come this far without getting a win. But nearly everyone says a win for the Eagles is out of the question.

Of course for die hard fans, hope springs eternal. We see all the good, none of the bad.

Six thirty can’t come soon enough. I don’t want any more ‘pre.’ I want it to happen. I want it to be over. I want to be able to celebrate.

Early Super Bowl Post Mortem

Wow – what a game. I thought the Eagles would be able to pull it out, but you know… Hold on. Let me double check. Oops – they haven’t played the game yet.

I am a lot more sensitized to the predictions this time around. After all I am a nearly 30 year Eagles fan. But, c’mon! Everything I read, everyone I watch, all say the same thing… and it isn’t what I want to hear.

The Vegas line puts the Eagles as a one touchdown underdog, but Las Vegas is probably the most charitable place on Earth for the Eagles this week!

This is the best Eagles team I have ever seen. They make very few mistakes. They are focused. There’s no doubt they have top notch players and an excellent coaching staff. People are selling them short.

I can’t guarantee they’ll win. In fact, I won’t be surprised at the outcome no matter which way it goes. I just want people to stop talking as if it were the Patriots versus some walk-on squad for a scrimmage.

There must be some reason they play the game.

Eagles Get To Go To Jacksonville

If I wouldn’t have seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it. The Philadelphia Eagles beat the Atlanta Falcons today, and will play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX. This was a very convincing win.

Helaine and I sat in the family room to watch the game. We were more than a little pleased to be joined by Stefanie. I’m not going to call her a football fan, because she’d deny it on principle, but she’s getting awfully close.

The Eagles looked great from the the first series. On defense, they kept Michael Vick – a quarterback known for his athleticism and mobility, immobile.

I’m not going to write more about the game, because if you’re a football fan you already know. If you’re not a fan, you don’t care.

Two things do need addressing. Earlier last week, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb (who wears his hair tightly braided) showed up with it totally ‘free.’ I commented on the air, it looked like Oscar Gamble’s. Luckily, thanks to the net, Oscar Gamble photos are available.

Then there’s Eagles tight end Chad Lewis. As a Mormon, Lewis performed missionary work in China. So, of course, he learned to speak the Mandarin dialect of Chinese.

Last year when the Super Bowl was broadcast in China, he worked the telecast as the color commentator, in Chinese. This year he’ll be busy on Super Bowl Sunday.