By: Thaddeus Moriarty

I’m Thaddeus Moriarty, and you are wrong. Why?
Because you thought that this year’s Super Bowl was as un-competitive as pile of soggy newspaper and that it was worth absolutely nothing to society at large.
Well, I’m here to tell you that this Super Bowl was worth a lot. Yes, I agree; the final score of 43-8, the play of the Denver Broncos, and the boring commercials made the game about as riveting to watch as soup being eaten by your aunt. But this year, I actually learned a whole lot by watching three hours of mostly nothing. Here’s my list of ten things I learned from Super Bowl XLVIII:

10) Domino’s wings really aren’t that good.
This is a lesson well learned by the author: the wings you get when you get wings from Domino’s are among the worst wings you can get. I mean, okay, I’m being mean; they aren’t terrible. But I’ve had the same quality wings out of the freezer section at Hannaford and I didn’t have to tip anyone to eat them. Pass.

9) Peyton Manning really isn’t not that good.
This is for all you Manning-haters out there (Yes, you!): Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks in the history of history. I have him number 8 or 9 on my all-time list, and that’s nothing to sneeze at. Still, he had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day––which is why he’s not number 5 or 6 on my list. But don’t bash the guy. You don’t perform to your best every Sunday night either.

8) Obama and O’Reilly plain don’t like each other.
This was technically before the Super Bowl, but I’m the writer so I get to cheat. Traditionally, the President of the United States sits down and has an interview with the channel that broadcasts the Super Bowl before the game; this year, that privilege fell to Fox News and Bill O’Reilly. If you thought that this was going to be a civil conversation, then you are wrong yet again. They interrupted each other, talked over each other, and President Obama blasted Fox News for perpetuating fake scandals after O’Reilly brought up Benghazi for the third time. So much for good sportsmanship.

7) Children who want Doritos plain don’t like anyone.
This year’s batch of the Greatest Commercials on Earth were lackluster at best. The funny ones just weren’t funny, and the inspirational ones just made no sense (Bob Dylan selling Chrysler?!) There were some gems, of course, and some of them taught me some things that ended up on this list. The first one is this: kids like Doritos, and will be hellions to people who have them. In the two commercials that aired during the game, one hungry kid tricks an adult into a fake time machine and then another kid literally hogties his brother to get the chips. Jerks.

6) I might like Bruno Mars.
Let me get this out of the way first: “Grenade” is an annoying song that needs to go the way of the dodo. That said, Bruno Mars impressed the hell out of me. You have to be a bad dude to come out killing it on the drums before your own set, but he crushed it. His songs were fun, his moves were tight, his voice was stellar, and when the Red Hot Chili Peppers came out you had music that sounded like the 50s with guys playing music in their 50s. Neat-o.

5) I might not have liked the halftime show.
All that being said, this was a great, impressive, forgettable halftime show. It seemed too short to me, too obvious. Bruno Mars sang some stuff, danced a bit, then RHCP came out and sang one song, then Bruno Mars made some saps cry, then we all went back to bad wings and a worse game. There was no nipple, no old-guitarist cameo, no acrobats, no … nothing really. Snore.

4) Coca-Cola made the best commercial of the night.
If you haven’t seen it yet, look it up. It consists of children singing “America, the Beautiful” in English, Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, Tagalog, and various other languages, all while showing how diverse Americans look and are today — including a gay couple and their daughter. It was simply perfect, and almost made me tear up This is the sort of humanistic message that there isn’t enough of in American media today. Of course, not many people were pleased with the ad, which brings me to my next item:

3) Twitter is a terrible, terrible place.
I love Twitter. I’m on it constantly (@MrThaddeusM). Still, you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. As you can imagine, the more socially conservative members of American society took offense to a commercial that showed that same-sex couples were normal and that America isn’t all white English speakers, and they took to Twitter to announce it. “Nice to see that coke likes to sing an AMERICAN song in the terrorist’s language. Way to go coke. You can leave America,” tweeted one person. The backlash is not surprising, but no less sickeningly sad.

2) Marky-Mark Wahlberg has stooped so low that he actually accepted a role in “Transformers 4.”
No, that’s pretty much it. First “The Happening,” now this. Yikes.

1) People will watch anything on TV.
The numbers are in: Super Bowl XLVIII was the most watched television program in United States history, with 111.5 million people tuning in to watch a bad football game and a boring bunch of commercials. 111.5 million people. That’s almost 84 times the population of the state of Maine. And now, days later, all people can talk about (including this person) is how boring the game was and how not-funny the commercials were. And yet we didn’t turn it off. Do we ever turn it off?
That’s my list, sports fans. Still don’t believe that the Super Bowl was educational?
Well, you are wrong.

Thaddeus is a senior history major, and he is right.


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