Liveblog XLV / Informational Picket

Yes, friends: it is that time again.  Violence and committee meetings, together with overeating, commercialism, and lowbrow humor.  All the things that make America THE GREATEST NATION ON EARTH, wrapped in a neat four-hour package (which expands to a twelve-hour unholy mess if you count the pregame dreck on Fox).  So welcome to Stinque’s Third Annual Super Bowl Liveblog, reporting on the big game between —

Wait a second.  One of the things that does not make America THE GREATEST NATION ON EARTH is socialism.  And, what’s this?  Organized labor?  Collective bargaining?  Bad faith negotiation tactics?  Work stoppage?

Yes, indeed. We are facing a deadline (3 March) for the League and the NFLPA to ink a new contract.  Under the current deal, the players take 59.6% of league munnie, and the inter-club revenue sharing deal make the haves (Patsies, HOW BOUT DEM COWBOYS, etc.) subsidize the have-nots (for example, Cleveland).  In other words, SOCIALISM!  For this red menace in our midst, the owners have built massive stadia (often with a little help, or total and complete backing, from local taxpayers).  The old deal signed in 2006 just does not fit the modern spirit, then.

Thus you have it that, with this negotiation, the owners want major concessions (to the tune of about $1.4bn by one estimate).  They also want two more games in the regular season (from 16 to 18).  The players, in response, asked the clubs to open up the books and demonstrate claimed economic distress — to which the League said, diplomatically, “no dice.”  Which leads us to conclude that this may be the last professional football game we see for a long, long time.  If the lockout lasts into August, as it might, the NHL Memorial Doomsday Scenario — the cancellation of a whole season — starts to become real.

But enough unhappy talk.  Somebody’s going to get beaten to a pulp tonight — follow along after the jump with this liveblog as we find out who.

1630 (CT) — Incidentally: the weather has played havoc with this game.  Ice falling from the new roof, temporary seating being declared unfit by the fire marshal, etc.  Those talking about moving Super Bowls in future to places which are not reliably warm must be given a moment of pause by all this.

1635 — So then, the game.  Or, to be more accurate, who to hate.  Ben Roethlisberger (QB, Steelers) is fast out of the gate on this score.  He of the somewhat questionable personal behavior (particularly towards the wimmin).  Now Terry Bradshaw (the Steelers’ famed QB from the Steel Curtain days) and Big Ben are in some sort of soft-light, kiss-and-make-up interview.  Which demonstrates, yet again, that Super Bowl pregame shows are TOO DAMN LONG.

1652 — Oh, dear, they’re reading the Declaration of Independence now.  (BTW: The NFL is talking about putting a franchise in London in the next decade or so.  So maybe this FOX tradition of sorts is going to go by the boards soon, for all-too-obvious reasons.  Or maybe not.)

1703 — Noted: an actual, honest-to-God marching band on the field, from TCU.  If they had any stones at all, they’d let the Stanford Band take the field if and when the Super Bowl returns to the Bay Area.  But they wouldn’t do it.  Chickens.

1710 — Sam Elliott introducing the Steelers now.  That man was born with a terminal case of Old.

1713 — And now the Green Bay Packers to the field.  In re the whole owners/players hootenanny, note that they are owned about 100,000 Wisconsinites holding shares in a non-profit corporation.  Amazing, in this day and age of billionaires seeking to show that they are truly of the people.  The Packers are the real deal.

1715 — Time for a pick from me, I suppose.  The line has Green Bay as favorites, by 2.5.  I always bet “don’t” though, for I am a pessimist.  Steelers win the game — it’s Chicago Bureau’s 10,000 STAR LOCK.

1722 — National Anthems now.  Christina Aguilera with the anthem, to “honor America.”  And… it’s overcooked.  As is standard.  Clocks in at 1:55.  Those with prop bets on “over” just won.

1728 — God Almighty: conflating Super Bowls with world history has to stop sometime.

1732 — And Green Bay wins the toss.  Steelers get the ball first as Green Bay defers.


14:54 remaining — Steelers all-pro center is out for this game, so a new guy snapping the ball to Roethlisberger.  That’s never a good thing, being unsure of the snap.

13:24 — Steelers go three-and-out, helped by a tackle-for-loss on 2nd & 6 by Zombo.  BUT THE PUNT IS MUFFED!  And… Green Bay holds onto it.  Almost a disaster for the Pack there.

12:24 — Donald Driver, from Aaron Rodgers, gets the Packers out of jail with a pass for twenty-five yards, to midfield.

11:05 — Packers’ drive stalls.  To the first commercial break, everyone!

And…. Bud Light makes fun of Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Doritos almost goes with animal cruelty, rich people are especially funny when they listen to Kenny G (or not).

9:43 — Mendenhall, for the Steelers, seems to be the go-to guy at the moment.  Steelers building a drive, but are knocked back by a flag for a false start….

8:26 — … and are forced to punt.

More ads: Doritos’s ad geniuses actually manage to make an ad without harming an animal, Chevy props up a car with a horrible name using old, deaf people, and Pepsi (for its Max zero-calorie line) actually comes with a good one in re dieting and looking at wimmin the wrong way, right up to the point where violence against women is alluded to, tangentially.

5:53 — Packers are driving, but forced into a timeout for some reason that passes understanding.

Ad break: Meta on product-placement from Bud Light. Chevy trucks save the world.  And Dwayne Johnson (d/b/a The Rock) and Vin Diesel have an action flick, of course.  Meanwhile — there are your tabloid front pages for the next year… Cameron Diaz FEEDING POPCORN to A-Rod.  Lord, give me patience.

3:44 — Nelson to the house from Rodgers from thirty yards out.  Touchdown, Green Bay opens the accounts for a score of GB 7:0 PIT.

Meanwhile: Pepsi Max goes for the nutshot, Doritos bring dead people to life, and Hyundai continues to fight the uphill battle on compact cars in America. They will fail, because Kia will fix EVERYTHING.  (I’m getting a lot of [BLANK] Saves The Day from these ads.  Zeitgeist, maybe.)

3:20 — WHOA!  Wounded duck from Roethlisberger turns into a PICK SIX for the Packers.  Collins (the pick-sixer) gets flagged for celebrating too much.  Which is stupid, but there it is.  GB 14:0 PIT.

Meanwhile, Eminem gets claymated.  I have nothing to add.

END OF FIRST QUARTER — Pittsburgh is capable, and they are driving now.  But they need to put points on the board now, or else things could get out of hand.

Ads?  Well Bridgestone tires get you out of a jam, Chevy has an electric car, and GoDaddy manages to make me stabby — in an annual tradition.


13:03 remaining — Video evidence may show that Christina Aguilera might have flubbed the words on the National Anthem.  I thought I heard something off… I was going for the more reliable measure of SUCK on Star-Spangled Banner renditions (namely, elasped time).

11:08 — Field goal attempt now as Steelers’ drive stalls.  And…. it’s good.  Just.  Steelers decide to show up on the board, for GB 14:3 PIT.

Now: Peter Stomare has this western / Elton John moment for Bud.  Faith Hill plays along gamely for Teleflora.  And Transformers blow up Chicago REAL GOOD. Meanwhile, BMW is more American than you are, you commie.  And Motorola’s new tablet will get you laid in the dystopia of the future.

9:28 — Packers’ drive stopped.  The Steelers needed to get that done.

Ads: Coke comes up with a rather confusing one with dragons and invading armies and such.  And Volkswagen (in an ad that was telegraphed a few days ago) comes with the cute.

8:08 — Moore with a first down for the Steelers on a good run.  They were in a bad way, with a penalty setting up a 1st & 20 a few moments ago.  Noted.

5:24 — Randle-El with a nice grab for another first down, at midfield.  Signs of life for Pittsburgh?

Ads again.  Richard Lewis in the clear-cutting business?  Monkeys helping with job searches again.  And a movie in which EVERYBODY’S GONNA DIE!

4:28 — As for Steelers’ signs of life?  Nope.  Just a phase.  Interception as Big Ben throws into double coverage.

2:24 — Jennings, for the Packers, takes a massive lick, but lands in the endzone.  That’s two TD completions for Aaron Rodgers, in case viewers in Wisconsin are keeping track of such things.  GB 21:3 PIT. The Steelers need points RIGHT FUCKING NOW.  (Note that the Packers will get the ball to start the second half — the Pittsburgh Steelers may not get the ball back for a full hour, given the extended halftime.)

2:00 — A bomb from Big Ben to Randle-El gets us to the Two Minute Warning.  Which leads to the Chevy Cruze talking to you, Captain America bringing freedom to you, Carmax bringing car salesmanship to you, and motor oil bringing football plays to — hey, isn’t that what the game is for?

1:03 — Big pass to Hines Ward brings up 1st and goal for the Steelers.

0:39 — And on the very next play, Ward in the corner for the catch and the score.  Precisely what was required.  GAME ON.  GB 21:10 PIT.

END OF FIRST HALF — Packers decide to let sleeping dogs lie, run a meaningless play and go to the locker room ahead by eleven.

And now, the Black Eyed Peas with a roundtable discussion.  Topic: whether or not people can “get it started,” as requested, when the game has gone on for the preceding 95 minutes.

1910 (CT) — Query: can it be called lipsynching if everybody is on Autotune?

1913 — Axl Rose would probably sue, but the royalties off this would be the first money he’s seen in quite some time.

1918 — brings the callout to Black Eagle.  I see what he did there.

1920 — And the lighted people have put cubes on their heads.  Down the rabbit hole.

Instaverdict: much better than The Who last year.  But that was no trick, really.


14:10 remaining — Report from the field is that Mike Tomlin, head coach for Pittsburgh, was very upset with his team’s play in the first half.  You.  Don’t.  Say.

12:39 — Steelers dodge a bullet.  Jones has a bit of the dropsies on a pure pass from Rodgers, fouling a sure touchdown.  That and 15 yards of penalties force a punt, along with a phantom facemask call on the punt return.

Ads return with a bland ad, the E*Trade baby (getting fitted for a suit, no less), and Ozzy Osborne getting confused by cell phones.

12:15 — Mendenhall has been a stud for the Steelers, running the ball.  But he may be injured by… a cameraman?  Weird.

10:49 — Redman, for the Steelers, brings up 1st and goal on a tough run to the left.

10:19 — Cameraman? What cameraman?  Mendenhall to the house.  This game is in earnest, now.  A nervy PAT take, but it’s through for  GB 21:17 PIT.

Ads this time prove that there is nothing a British accent can’t make funny — first for Mini and then for

9:00 — Three-and-out for Packers, after a Harrison sack.

Commercials again try to sell small Hyundais and…. oh, sly with the serious Free Tibet plea morphing into a Groupon ad.  Plus Coke crosses borders, sorta.  Then (after a break in the ads for the beginning of a Steelers drive), Adrian Brody singing for Stella Artois, Carmax being old school, and… you thought you were done with Simon Cowell?  You were wrong.

7:00 — Tough second effort for Moore to convert the 3rd & 1.  Steelers still moving.

6:00 — Hines Ward reception inside the Packers’ 30.  They could come all the way back, these Steelers.

4:53 — Not on this drive, though.  Steelers facing fourth down and forever after a Roethlisberger sack.

4:29 — Bizarre decision to go for the 52-yard field goal.  Misses badly, left and short.

Now: Eminem representing Detroit, and Chrysler.  That might be my favorite ad in several Super Bowls.  But note: “Imported From Detroit.”  Clever, but actually incredibly true, now that they have welcomed their new pasta-eating overlords from Fiat.

2:30 — Steelers burn their second timeout in this half.  This is troubling.  For them, anyway.  But it works — the Packers drive stalls, just outside the danger zone.

1:01 — And three-and-out for the Steelers.  They needed some kind of drive there, I think.

0:47 — And Williams for the Packers gets flagged for dopeslapping a Steeler as the kick was rolling dead.  Dumb.

0:31 — A bad sequence for the Packers leaves them facing a punt from the end zone, but there’s a challenge on the called incompletion.  Really close.  I think this could be reversed and called a completion for a first down.  But, no: CALL STANDS.

0:11 — And (after a penalty on the first punt attempt), the Steelers get it at the Packer 41.  This HAS to result in points for Pittsburgh.  Absolute must.

END OF THIRD QUARTER — Pittsburgh was out of it at the half, to be honest.  Now they are smack-dab in the middle.

The NFL freebie ad was OK up until Cartman trying to run with popcorn.  Then it became better-than-average.


14:53 remaining — And that is positively crucial.  Mendenhall, having himself a good game, decides that NOW is the time to cough it up.  Packers’ ball at their own 45.  Pivotal.

13:01 — You gotta like that.  Rodgers pass to Nelson is dropped.  Next play, with 3rd & 10, Rodgers goes right back to him, leading to Packers first down at the 2.  Key moment.

11:57 — Jennings in the corner, on a perfectly-placed pass from Rodgers, with the TD reception.  Three TD passes for Rodgers.  And we are moments away from the non-stop talk about how Rodgers has silenced the talk about Brett Favre.  GB 28:17 PIT.

Ads now prove that is dropping a lot of coin for not much.  Bud Light with dogs being put to work to the benefit of douchebags.  Hyundai, again; note that they’ll have to sell about 500 extra cars to cover.  Probably not going to happen.  Pepsi Max tries the whole battle-of-the-sexes thing and fails.

10:15 — Wallace is having a good drive.  Two catches from Roethlisberger, and the Steelers are rolling.

7:34 — He’s Mike Wallace.  He’s Morley Safer.  He’s Steve Kroft.  All this and Dan Rooney tonight on Play Sixty Minutes.  (Tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick.)  Try for the two-point conversion… is good, on the option play to Randle-El.  That’s a BINGO!  GB 27:24 PIT!

Bridgestone = meh.  GoDaddy = bad as usual.  VW = neat.  Mercedes = who in this economy can buy one, but still passable.

5:24 — HUGE catch by Jennings on 3rd & 10 for Green Bay.  Pittsburgh has gamely come back, but they may run out of time.

3:47 — Jones, from Rodgers, for 1st & goal.  That might be curtains for the Steelers.

2:07 — Well, there’s a stop on the goal line.  A touchdown would have iced it, but as it is, it’s a field goal attempt from close which is…. good!  GB 31:25 PIT.

That pivotal drive is followed by a bitchin’ Camaro and Verizon pimping their network.

1:59 — Poor runback on the kickoff foiled further by needless personal foul against Pittsburgh.  Roethlisberger needs to go 86 or so yards for a touchdown to win.

Glee for Chevy.  And Sketchers goes, well, sketchy.  And thus ends the ads.  Now — the game’s final act.

1:50 — Miller for a first down reception.  Have to hurry.

1:25 — Hines Ward for four yards.  Clock rolling.

1:02 — Roethlisberger throws it away.  Half of their time has gotten them about 20 yards.  Not great.

0:49 — Fourth down play goes begging for Pittsburgh on an incompletion with some contact, but not enough for a flag.  The hill was too big.  Green Bay will take this down.


Standard-issue post-game nonsense, with the Lombardi trophy and confetti flying around.  (The confetti, not the trophy.)  Your MVP is — who else — Aaron Rodgers.

For the losing side: Mendenhall had a great game with the notable exception of that one crucial turnover, leading to the difference-making touchdown.  And that pick-six that Roethlisberger gave up early on was back-breaking.

Of the ads, I think the Chrysler ad propping up Detroit was your clear winner.  And GoDaddy loses, as it shall eternally, with its Danica Patrick ads.  I’m sure somebody has figured out at GoDaddy HQ that Danica has one ONE automobile race in the top flight.  I’m also sure that they don’t care, and never will until her breasts sag.

And now, the best part for cynical bastards like me: partial-information negotiations. See you for more pro football soon.  Eventually.  Perhaps.


Of Terry Bradshaw it was once said that he couldn’t spell “cat” if you spotted him the “c” and the “a”.

Dodgerblue: Not more so than any other footballer, but his mouth was flapping more than others.

I will not turn on the TV! Instead, I will practice Yiddish.

A pish un a fortz iz vi a khasene un a klezmer!

I’m in an airport terminal that is broadcasting CNN on all the teevees, and they are breathless about the “Super Bowl Snafu” – namely, that there are thousands of people who still haven’t gotten through security, and there are at least a thousand people who went to their seats and discovered someone sitting there, as apparently they accidentally double-sold some of the tickets.

/Memories of the 2009 Inaugural clusterfuck with Homofascist…

@SanFranLefty: Part of it was the fact that Jerry Jones (source of all that is evil) got the NFL’s approval for temporary seating. Fire marshal declared the seating unfit. Horribly managed, particularly for those who traveled from distance.

@chicago bureau: Doesn’t matter, their view would have been blocked by the JerryJumboTron.

ADD: Southwest counter person finally changed the channel to the game.

I need brain bleach for that Cameron-Diaz-feeding-Alex-Rodriguez blast just now.

@chicago bureau: I just look at that couple and think “STD Central” given their dating histories.

Alrighty, I gotta get on a plane. Go Spurs!

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Putting aside the fact that it doesn’t really matter, I think it was the reboot of Lipton Brisk soft drinks. I think.

BMW is more American than you are

Of course it is. It’s the official car of assholes everywhere. What could be more American than that?

Gawd, Joe Buck annoys the shit outta me.

@chicago bureau: Oh, the crappy canned tea. From the looks of it, I thought it was some other form of crappy drink.

@SanFranLefty: Hey, now. Herpes is just a cold sore in the wrong place.

OMG, Joe and Troy are color coordinated. Bwah hahahahahahaha!

What kind of fucking nutjob sits outside the stadium to watch a game on TV when they could be in a nice warm bar?

Ooh, interception numero dos. I think I’m gonna like this game.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Tailgating during the game — are they grilling?

@CB: Speaking of socialism, aren’t the Packers owned by the fans or some such?

@JNOV: Yes, yes. There are about 100,000 shareholders in Wisconsin. (No one person can own more than a set amount of shares, and there is no dividend.) From these shareholders, there is a 45-member executive committee. From those, a seven-person board of directors which actually runs the day-to-day. Oh, and if the club is ever sold, all profits go to Green Bay charities.

The NFL has made such ownership structures illegal for any club organized after 1964. It’s called the Green Bay Rule. No club in North American sports has an ownership structure like it.

Well, it’s not a total rout. Time for a burrito run.

@chicago bureau: Ah. TY.

Autotune–why!? Oh, cuz Fergie can’t fucking sang!

Autotune only approved for Antoine Dodson.

@karen marie has her eyes tight shut: Because rich people are, inherently, a safer pair of hands for a professional football club. Where you been all this time, huh?

The Bud Lite ad with the dogs — a friend of mine grew up in that house. It’s in a suburb of L.A. and has maintained a late-50s style. The house has an agent (it’s LA, remember) and is in a lot of movies and TV spots..

Brett who?

My knee is on fire after skiing hard today. Off to bed to read “The Gun,” a history of the AK-47. Nice time tonight with Mrs RML’s cousin and her family.

@mellbell: Oh! LOVE!

@chicago bureau: THOSE GEESE ARE COOKED! Back that shit up!

@Dodgerblue: Until 10 years ago, I’d never heardof such a thing until a friend from NYC told me that he rents out his house for movies and such. I’m still in shock.

@JNOV: When Mr. SFL’s sister lived in the San Fernando Valley, she and her husband learned AFTER buying their house that the previous owners rented it out to people making pornos.

I am so glad Rapenberger lost.

@Dodgerblue: If you’re interested in some extra $income$, there’s the excellent site Home Shoot Home that homeowners in the LA area can use to make their properties available to location scouts for filming.

They recently added the magnificent Freeman Ford House in Pasadena designed by Greene and Greene, featured in Inception, which is like crack to a houseaholic like me.

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