My Favorite Superbowl XLVI Commercials

It’s Monday morning after Superbowl 46. I agree with those who are calling for a national holiday on the Monday after the game. Everyone’s dead anyway.

You’ve probably seen most of these commercials already, but  thought I would post my top 5 anyway. Well, I guess my top 4. It appears that the NFL has filed an injunction against Chrysler to pull the Clint Eastwood commercial from showing on YouTube due to copyright infringement. It seems they think they own the phrase “halftime.” Good grief.

So, with a bow to Chrysler and Clint Eastwood’s Halftime in America as my #1 favorite commercial, here are the next four (I will post the Eastwood ad, but it may not show). The list of my biggest losers are at the end, where they should be.

Chrysler – It’s Halftime in America

As I said above, this is a very well done commercial. It especially resonated for me during my current unemployed state.

Chevy Silverado 2012: End of the World

This was great. I need to watch this one several times. It appeared there were several reasons for the end of the world, including a giant Mayan robot head. Did you catch that one?

M&M’S Just My Shell

Our house had about 15 people gathered to watch the game. This one had us laughing so loud and long we missed the next commercial entirely. Hilarious.

Hyundai Genesis Coupe: Think Fast

Another good laugh. This was a well written commercial, even though very little was said.

Doritos: Man’s Best Friend

I love the scene where he turns around and the dog is in his face. I heard on ABC this morning that this commercial cost a whopping $20 to produce. Nice.

Notable mention goes to Bridgestone’s Performance Football, Coke’s finger crossing superstitious polar bear, E-Trade’s speed dating baby, Honda CR-V and Matthew’s day off (the full version is better), the Bud Light Rescue Dog, and the strange 2nd alien head on’s Confident You.

Big Losers:

Budweiser: Return of the King – So was the message that the entire country celebrated the end of prohibition, or that after years of no drinking even Budweiser tastes good?

David Beckham Bodywear – I’m a guy. I don’t want to see Beckham’s tattooed body.

Teleflora with Adriana Lima – Another stupid message. Give flowers and get sex in return? Stoopid.

Anything GoDaddy – Enough is enough. I switched to long ago because of commercials like this. And they keep pumping them out. Get a clue.



NFL Red Card

Rant time. The violence in the National Football League is out of control. I like a good hit as much as anyone and I understand the physical nature of the game, but the level of aggressiveness has escalated beyond tolerance.

I watched two games this weekend (with one to go tonight). In both games, I was witness to flagrant helmet to helmet hits… hits which are supposedly against the rules. I squirmed in my seat as I watched Indianapolis Colt Austin Collie lay unmoving on the ground for over 10 minutes and then be carted off on a stretcher (where was the cart?). Later that evening I watched Dallas Cowboy Roy Williams collapse like a rag doll after a helmet shot from a defensive player. Too much.

After an over-abundance of these hits, the NFL has enacted a new policy of fines and possible after-the-fact suspensions for helmet to helmet hits. It appears to have done little to prevent the violence. Such a policy does nothing to address the gravity of the situation at the time of the offense. The punishment needs to be ramped up to match the level of the infraction.

Since I know that most of the top NFL officials read my blog, I suggest they copy a policy from the other “football”. When a flagrant foul is committed in soccer, the offending player can be red carded. The result of a red card is immediate ejection from the game and suspension from the next game. Occasionally, a fine is included from the league. If the NFL would adopt this policy – immediate ejection from the game, suspension from the next and $100,000 fine – I believe it might begin to have an effect on the violence of head to head hits. The punishment is immediate and effects the game where the foul was committed. The financial penalty has teeth. The pressure from the team is heavy because their actions have kept them out of the next game as well.

Will the NFL do this? Probably not, but something more has to be done. The NFL needs to fix this problem before someone gets crippled or, heaven forbid, killed.

Fantasy Football

I have never ventured into the world of fantasy sports. This year, my brother-in-law, Kendall, talked me into joining a family and friends football league. Sherri and I are co-coaching the team. It gives us something to do together, and she’s pretty good. The family that plays fantasy together, stays together… or something like that.

Most of our players did moderately well, as we’d planned. One problem we did not expect, Peyton Manning had an off night. We don’t have Manning on our team, but we do have Marvin Harrison and Dallas Clark. Their numbers were down because Peyton was a little off. And then Dallas Clark went out injured.

The other BIG problem was that our starting QB, Tom Brady, got injured in the 1st quarter. Fantasy coaches all over America are holding their breath at this point. Brady is a big point player.

I think I’m getting too deep into this too quickly.

And I just saw a commercial where Peyton Manning dogged soccer. What is this world coming to?

West Texas Windvitational 2008

This past Memorial Day weekend, Austin’s soccer team participated in the West Texas Invitational Cup 2008 in Lubbock, TX. After all these years of playing, it was Austin’s first tournament. If you don’t want to read the whole post, here’s the short version:

Six games in two days with 95+ degree temperature and constant winds of 30+ mph and gusts over 50 mph.

Austin was the only goalkeeper in his flight of 5 teams to produce a shutout.

Austin made the game winning save in overtime of the finals.

The Icebreakers took 3rd place in their age bracket of 9 teams.

Longer version but still good reading:

Game 1: Saturday 8:00 AM. Icebreakers 4 – Hobbs Santos 4. This was the team that defeated the Icebreakers 8-0 last year. Most of them were small and lightning fast. It was a high paced game (since we now have some pretty quick kids out front) and the game ended in a draw. Everyone was pretty pleased at that.

Game 2: Saturday 11:45 AM. Icebreakers 4 – Lubbock Texas Thunder 0. Austin was in the goal the entire game and this was his shutout. His first clean sheet. That made the weekend pretty sweet.

Game 3: Saturday 3:30 PM. Icebreakers 1 – Lubbock Rowdies 3. The Rowdies went on to eventually win the tournament, although their style of play was very unorthodox. They got a couple of points ahead and then spent the majority of the rest of the game kicking the ball out of bounds. They used the wind for this. They would purposely kick as hard as they could with the wind. Our guys would spend 60 seconds chasing the ball across two other fields just to get it back, throw it in and have them boot it across the park again. Half the game wasn’t played because we were tiring ourselves out chasing balls. We spoke to the 2nd place team at the end and they said the exact same thing happened to them. Shame…

Game 4: Sunday 7:45 AM. Icebreakers 2 – Borger HC Heat 1. Both teams had to win to advance to the finals. It was very hard fought and they scored the leveling goal within the last minute. But the linesman’s flag went up and the goal was disallowed because one of the players was called offside. Afterward, the Heat refused to line up and shake hands with us. It wasn’t very pretty. The referee forced them to line up and shake hands. I’m sure they protested to the tourney commissioner, because they were all over the ref afterwards. But it was a good call and we advanced to the finals.

Game 5: Sunday 11:00AM. Icebreakers 1 – San Antonio Bombers 4. In my opinion, this was the best team in our age bracket. It was hard to tell though, as the wind played a major factor. It was constant and literally 30 mph and harder at times. Any kicks against the wind just died. This was also a hard game for Austin. The coach wasn’t paying attention and forgot to put him in the game. She even called him up to the sub spot and then forgot he was there. She subbed in two others while he was standing there. When she realized what she had done, she said “I’m so sorry!” But she never attempted to put him in again. He sat there 20 minutes waiting for her to do something. She never did. I almost lost it at the end. Her actions were inexcusable. She humiliated my son. We went back to our cousin’s house for a couple of hours and considered our options. In the end, Austin said he would give it one more try, despite the coach’s actions. I’m glad we returned, because…

Game 6: Sunday 3:00 PM. Icebreakers 5 – Midland Chaos 4. This was the consolation final for 3rd place and we were playing our old local rival, Chaos. We’d already played them twice this year and lost by 1 and tied 1. The kids were pumped for this game.

Austin was in the goal for most of the game. We ended the first half down 2-1. We were against the wind in the 2nd half. But the front four came out ready to play and we scored three unanswered points in the first four minutes. Over the next 20 minutes, Chaos scored twice more drawing them even and the coach pulled Austin out of the goal. After the previous game, he was pretty dejected that he had allowed four goals and gotten pulled. It was hard for him to see that he had stopped a lot more than he had allowed. The game ended level at 4-4. Overtime.

Austin sat out the first 10 minute overtime period. We scored pretty quickly into it and were up 5-4. We both assumed his playing time was done for the day. They had 60 seconds to break and prepare for the last 10 minute overtime period and the coach yelled, “Austin, in the goal!” Surprise, surprise. We scramble to get him back into his keeper clothing.

The last period begins and we are against the wind, but up by one point. It goes back and forth several times with shots on goal at both ends. I am timing the game and everyone keeps asking me how much is left. We get down to one minute and it’s a corner kick on Austin’s end. It goes back out. Another corner. 30 seconds left. Kick. Out of bounds. 15 seconds left. Another corner. Out of bounds. Goal kick this time.

At this point, the time has well-expired, but it’s the referees call when the game ends. I know from being a former ref that this can be a tough thing. For one, the ball must be in play for the game to end. Also, refs generally don’t call the game when there is a good chance that a score might be made. It usually ends in a riot. So I’m thinking, “Ok, Austin will make the goal kick, clear the box and get it out into the field and the ref will call the game.”

Austin makes the kick head level and it barely clears the box, landing at the feet of a Chaos player with the wind at his back. Inside I’m screaming “NO!” Chaos plants and kicks a beautiful shot over every one’s head, but basically straight at Austin. He reaches up and pulls the ball down, but looses the grip and it bounces forward. Two Chaos players are on it immediately. In the three longest seconds of the weekend, Austin fights them in front of the goal and gets the ball back in his hands. He runs to the edge of the box and clears it out. And immediately, tweet tweet tweet. Game over. My boy saved the game with his time-expired grab. Thank you Lord.

We came home with a trophy and sun-aged skin. The trip home through the major duststorm in Lamesa and the lightning show north of Midland is another story.

MLS Rant

I’m mad at MLS (Major League Soccer) and the Fox Soccer channel.

I can watch no end of English Premiere League games. They are on all the time and I enjoy them. But when I want to watch MLS, I get very few choices. Today, for instance, there is one game being shown on FSC. Ah, but there are FOUR on the upper tier game net channels. You have to pay extra to see those.

MLS, you say you want to get more folks watching soccer and increase the sport in the USA, but you put the games in a place where no one but die-hard fans with extra money can watch. Who’s running programming anyway? Get a clue.

End of rant.


Short version: Icebreakers 7 – Chili Peppers 0.

Longer version: Austin has not played soccer since we left Corpus Christi. I didn’t want to push him into something he really didn’t want to do. This Spring he told me he was ready to play. I jumped on it quickly (since I bleed green and my cell phone ringtone has the recording of that Spanish guy screaming “goooooooooooooooal!”).

Austin has played 10 seasons or so. He’s never really been on a seriously good team. And he’s always been one of the smallest on the team.

No longer.

Now Austin towers over everyone else on the team. He’s grown 4 inches in the past three months. He was placed on a recreational team that has club level players. I don’t think the league realized who they had put together, but the center striker grew up in Norway. He scored three from the top of the box today, all long shots over the keeper into the top corner. Sweet.

We have a long legged girl on wing that outruns everyone and has a great cross. She served up several great balls into the box today. And then there are the brothers. Have you seen Kicking and Screaming with Will Ferrell? Remember the two Italian brothers who played soccer like it was breathing? They are also on our team. They were juggling, passing and dribbling around people like flowing water. It was truly fun to watch.

Austin sat out the first half and played keeper in the 2nd half. He kept it a shutout. Our team is called the Icebreakers. Today was a good start. I’m glad he’s playing again.

Los Mejores de la Final Four

I know mostly nothing about basketball. For me, soccer is life. But the office staff at GCR did the March Madness bracket competition thing, and so I joined in. The winner at the end would get his or her meal paid for at a restaurant of their choosing.

Again, knowing nothing about basketball, I opted for a little help. I went to and did a little research. They had 10 different journalist give their predictions for the brackets. I spent 30 minutes and averaged out their results. What came out were my picks for the entire bracket of 64.

And today I got to pick the meal because I won, thank you very much. We went to Abuelo’s where I ordered Los Mejores de la Casa… bacon wrapped fillet mignon and honkin’ big shrimp stuffed with cheese and jalapeños and wrapped in bacon. I also had Raspberry tea and chili con queso for everyone at the table. $27 worth of winnings. Thank you Florida State!

The British Are Coming

I usually blog about church, music or family. So here’s something different. How about Beck & Posh?

For those of you who do not follow the world of football (otherwise known as soccer), David Beckham has been one of the best players in the world for the past decade. He is unquestionably the most well known and paparazzi-hounded footballer out there (or so it seems). And it appears he is coming to our shores this summer.

In 1992, Beckham started at age 17 with Manchester United in the FA Premier League. His skill continued to increase, playing a lead role in the clubs Treble Win of 1999 – winning the League Cup, the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League. Beckham captained the English Internationals for six years and spent his most recent time, three years, in Spain with Real Madrid.

He has an absolutely amazing ability to place free kicks where he wants them, usually where the defense think he cannot reach. His style inspired the recent movie “Bend It Like Beckham.”

So why spend so much time talking about David Beckham? It was announced today that he has been signed by the L.A. Galaxy and will start playing with them this coming August. This is huge for American soccer. MLS recently cleared the way for this to happen by allowing each team in the league to recruit one player of international status that would be paid separately from the team’s allotted salary cap. Beckham was the first to be called up.

He came at a high price… $250 million for 5 years. He is now the second highest payed athlete in the U.S., which is amazing considering it’s in a sport that is unknown to the majority of Americans. His presence on the team will undoubtedly sell out stadiums across America. A high-profile player like Beck will make a major difference in how football/soccer is perceived over here.

It will also open up the possibility of others following his lead. I just read that FC Dallas is in talks with Edgar Davids, the Dutch international who came to fame with Ajax and is currently playing for Tottenham Hotspur. The transfer window for MLS is right now. I suspect we will see other player transfers coming to light very soon.

It looks like American soccer is about to ramp it up another notch. Or rather, several notches. Cool by me. Oh, another note of interest… the current trend of international clubs touring America in their off-season could actually mean that Beckham’s first appearance as a Galaxy member might be against Chelsea FC. There’s a bit of irony in that…

UPDATE: Ramon Calderon has said he will not play Beckham again. He will continue to train with Real, but will not play. That means he may put Beckham on loan to another club until August. Is there a chance that he will be here in time to start with LA in April? hmm….