9:15AM (all times are in Pacific Standard Time): So, although I tried a liveblogging experiment fairly recently where I discovered that I do not enjoy liveblogging from my phone , I thought it would be worthwhile to attempt the experiment while liveblogging on my laptop, to see if the issue is merely the technology (in that I enjoy typing on my computer a lot more than on my phone), or if it is really hard to string together useful and coherent analysis on an instantaneous basis at all. So, with that said, I have some errands to run before the big game starts, but I hope to at least comment in my typically dry and sardonic matter about various aspects of the Super Bowl, ranging from its human angle interests to the music and commericals, to the narrative of the game itself, and hopefully the result will be an entry that is both long and worthwhile. Before the game starts, I may also talk about the pregame rituals, if I am able to finish the book reviews and other errands before the game starts. I also would like to talk a little bit about the coaching trees to show how the coaches for the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers fit in with the larger coaching trees of football, as I have done before . With that said, I look forward to any comments or questions that would prompt a response as well. Let’s see how this experiment goes; if it goes well, I might repeat it as a usual feature here.
12:38PM: Before I run some errands this afternoon, I thought it would be worthwhile to briefly discuss the coaching tree of the two coaches in this year’s Super Bowl. After all, the success of a coach brings additional glory and credit to the coaches who helped them along and mentored them earlier in their career. The coach for the Denver Broncos, Gary Kubiak , began his coaching career after retiring from the NFL as a running backs coach for Texas A & M head coach R.C. Slocum, the most successful coach in the school’s history, for two years in 1992 and 1993. Then he served as the quarterbacks coach for the Super Bowl-winning 49ers under George Siefert. He then moved to Denver with twice Super Bowl-winning head coach Mike Shanahan and served as the QB coach and offensive coordinator for seven seasons, where the team won two straight Super Bowls with Mike Elway at the helm. For three more years afterwards he served as the offensive coordinator alone for the Broncos and then he coached the Houston Texans for seven seasons, winning two division championships in the AFC South. After that, he served one year as the offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl winning coach John Harbaugh before coaching the Broncos the past two seasons. As far as coaching trees go, his is an illustrious one in terms of titles, but not one that has received a great deal of attention. Perhaps that will change if he wins this Super Bowl. On the other side of the field today will be Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera. After a successful NFL career, Ron Rivera  began his coaching career as a defensive quality control coach for the Bears in 1997-1998 under Dave Wannstedt before coaching the linebakers of the Philidelphia Eagles for three straight seasons under Andy Reid. Then, for three seasons, he served as the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears under Lovie Smith, becoming a perennially unsuccessful candidate for head coach, leading his contract not to be renewed despite the quality of his defensive squads. He then went to the San Diego Chargers where he served as a linebaker’s coach for one year and the defensive coordinator under Norv Turner before having a so-far successful career as head coach of the Carolina Panthers, where he has won three straight division titles in the otherwise unimpressive NFC South. Compared to Kubiak, it is clear that Rivera’s coaching tree is far less prestigious in terms of Super Bowl success, but if Rivera wins, he will be starting his own Super Bowl-winning coaching tree for his present and future ambitious assistants for their own reputations, and he will give credit to a lot of coaches whose careers have not quite reached the pinnacle of their profession.
2:38PM: Why do I go grocery shopping on Super Bowl Sunday? Why?
3:26PM: Time for some music. That’s a good band for America The Beautiful, with Marlee Matlin singing.
3:28PM: More music. A very classy color guard is present to honor America. Singing the national anthem is Lady Gaga. She’s singing the anthem very beautifully, with some vocal flourishes. Now, when is someone going to sing the rest of the verses to the song for an event like this?
3:36PM: Time for the coinflip. Carolina wins the coin toss and elects to receive starting in the second half. Denver will receive the ball first.
3:41PM: First third down of the game. Denver has a 3rd and 4, and converts with a beautiful pass. But there’s a flag. Defensive holding prior to the pass. Penalty is declined, of course.
3:33PM: Denver has driven into the red zone. 1st and 10 at the 14, and Carolina drives Denver back and swatted a pass down. Third down again.
3:45PM: Fourth down. Denver has a 40 yard FG to go up 3-0.
3:48PM: That was a mildly amusing commercial on Mexican avocados, although not as funny about the overprotective father earlier. Carolina gets the ball ball back, and then an amusing Hyundai commercial about vegan grizzly bears. That was a pretty dreadful apartments.com commercial, but at least it had some wit.
3:53PM: After a good defensive possession from Denver, Carolina chooses not to go for 4th and a short 1. Denver has a great punt, fair caught at the 24 or so.
3:56PM: Paypal’s appeal to new money gave me a reason not to like them. Denver starts it second drive and starts off with a seven yard pass on first down, continuing their patient approach. But they can’t get progress on second and third down, so Denver will have to punt it as well. It’ll probably be another half a dozen commercials before we see any more plays. Carolina gets the punt and the punt returner is tackled at the fifteen after a 50-yard punt. This is looking like a field possession game so far.
4:02PM: Carolina looks like it has a good pass from Newton to Cotchery, but was there control? Let’s go to the replay booth. We have our first challenge of the game. That’s a weird funky monkey baby commercial while they look at all the views and judge Carolina’s challenge. And now, after some odd commercials, we are back to the game. After review of the play the ruling on the field stands, even though it looks like a classic Bert Emmanuel rule catch.
4:07PM: Carolina fumbles it on third and ten, sack, strip, fumble, fumble recovery recovered in the end zone by Denver. Denver leads 9-0, pending the extra point. The extra point is good, Denver leads 10-0.
4:09PM: Carolina gets the ball back again, and returns it out to the 21 yard line. Carolina has to be feeling some pressure to score at this point, given that they are already down by double digits. A trick lateral gives Carolina the first down on a nice run. It looks like another fumble, but it is ruled that he recovers his own fumble. And there’s another incomplete pass fairly deep. Third down and eight, and Newton is sacked. Carolina is going to have to punt to give the ball back to Denver again.
4:13PM: Denver gets a taunting penalty and gives Carolina an automatic first down. Classy move, Denver. And it was Aqui Talib, which is not a surprise. There’s an update on Jonathan Stewart with a foot injury, with his return questionable. Carolina has another third down on Denver’s side of the field, but it’s a manageable one. Can they convert? It’s another incomplete pass, and so Carolina will punt this time after failing to convert again. This time Carolina punts it, and it’s a fair catch at the 12. Time for another commercial break. And that’s the Buick commercial I was hearing about, with a woman going all out for the bouquet toss. Ah, that’s competition for you.
4:18PM: Denver has the ball back, gets seven yards on first down yet again. But Denver can’t get the other three yards and punts it off again. Denver punts it and Carolina gets good field position but then ruins it with a penalty. It’s illegal block in the back, and Carolina gets the ball back at the 27 yard line or so. Stewart returns to the game (I thought that return was questionable?) and gets one yard on the run. The first quarter ends with Denver still ahead 10-0.
4:26PM: After some really weak commercials we return for some football. Cam Newton has a great run and barely gets the first first down. That was a good scramble, though. After the first down Carolina gets a false start. Newton runs the option again and gets some yards. Stewart runs again and it’s 3rd and 1. And finally Carolina converts a third down, with some good yards after the catch along the sideline in the redzone. 1st and 10 at the 15. First down, with a penalty for the horse collar tackle to come. It’s called a facemask on Aqi Talib. First and goal at the 1 for Carolina. Stewart leaps over the defensive line for a TD. It’s now a game again. The extra point is good, but there’s a flag on the PAT. It’s offsides on the defensive. The five yard penalty will be assessed on the kickoff, with Carolina back in striking distance, 10-7.
4:33PM: There’s that political advertisement on Bud Light that I saw on You Tube earlier today. *Sighs* CBS advertises more shows that I don’t watch after a really creepy Skittles commercial. Denver gets the ball back. Manning gets sacked but it’s called an incomplete pass, and Rivera uses his second and final challenge on the spot. And now we have a really bad TMNT commercial, a funny Steve Harvey commercial, and Hyundai that would stop my pedestrian hunting. And Carolina wins its challenge, and Denver has a second down at the 13. Carolina almost picks off the resulting pass as Manning throws into double coverage. On 3rd and 17. It’s incomplete after a monster hit, and Denver will punt. Denver has an illegal man downfield. Now it’s time for a retry on the punt out of Denver’s endzone. Carolina is looking for some good field position here. Carolina ball around midfield.
4:45PM: Carolina does a trick play but it doesn’t work. They will lose some yards It’s 3rd and 12 and the pass is knocked down. Carolina will have to punt the ball again, so that field position will be wasted, this time. Denver gets the ball back, Carolina appears to have thought it was a fair catch when there was no signal and Denver gets a really long punt return. It was the longest punt return in Super Bowl history. Denver capitalizes on the field position and has a seven yard completion on first down again. They run for two on 2nd down and can have a third and short at the five. Manning calls a timeout because he doesn’t like the defensive formation. Carolina stops them on third down. Denver is going for it on fourth down. It’s offensive holding, ten yards. No way Denver goes for it on fourth and eleven, so now Denver will try for the field goal. The field goal is good. Denver is up 13-7.
4:56PM: Carolina gets the ball back, and Newton runs on the option read for the first down. The ball comes loose but it is ruled down by contact. After the play there was a personal foul on Denver for another fifteen yards. This one is on Malik Jackson, this time. Carolina drives again. Carolina fumbles and Denver recovers it. Time for some commercials. That was fast. That’s a good Coca Cola Commercial, very inventive with the Marvel superheroes Ant-Man and Hulk. That’s an interesting commercial on Super Bowl Babies.
5:00PM Denver gets a long run from Anderson on the first play after the fumble recovery. After that long run Carolina’s run defense stiffens and Denver gets very little on two runs. It’s now third down and eight. Anderson comes back in. Manning throws a pick and Carolina gets a good return on it. On first down Newton throws a sick duck of a floating pass. At least it was incomplete. No gain on second down either. On third and ten Newton throws a pass into tight coverage but it’s incomplete, and Carolina has to punt it away again, and it’s a touchback. Denver gets the ball back. Thomas gets eight yards on first down, but Denver’s offense stalls on another three and out. Denver punts the ball and Carolina fair catches it at the 19. The field possession game continues, still 13-7 in Denver’s favor.
5:10PM: That’s a great Prius police chase commercial, with some epic music, taking advantage of the Prius’ advantages compared to other cars. Well done. And we’re back to football. After three yards on first down there is a penalty on second down. It’s false start and Carolina will go back five yards. The resulting pass is incomplete. It’s third down and long, and Cam Newton calls a timeout before the play, not liking the defensive formation. After Newton spends forever in the pocket, he throws a laser pass for the first down. The drive continues. Olsen gets seven yards on a reception. Newton gets the first down and then they use their final timeout with eighteen seconds remaining in the half. It’s a long incomplete pass. Newton is sacked and the half will likely end without Carolina being able to attempt the field goal. Denver leads 13-7 at halftime.
5:21PM: My roommates wanted to watch the X-Files bit, but instead it was as Carol Burnett informercial. Disappointing. I guess they’ll watch Coldplay with their Illuminati-confirmed guests: Beyonce and Bruno Mars instead.
5:26PM: The halftime commentary talks about the dominating defenses, the problems the quarterbacks are having, the waste of Carolina’s two challenges early, and the fact that both teams are keeping it close. In short, they are saying the same things that are pretty obvious for anyone watching the game. We’ll see if the second half offers any offensive inventiveness. Jannelle Monae starts the Pepsi halftime ceremony with an amusing, but all too short, mash-up of songs from the past and some clever costumes. Coldplay opens the halftime show with “Viva La Vida” and a lot of screaming children and some talented young orchestra students. After that they do “Paradise” briefly and then “Adventure Of A Lifetime.” It’s obvious they’re singing live, no lipsyncing. Now Bruno Mars comes in for a rendition of “Uptown Funk” which is pretty upbeat. Now Beyonce is singing a song I have never heard before. It might be one of her new singles, and it doesn’t make a strong impression at any rate. It’s certainly more bland than either the Coldplay or Bruno Mars numbers. Bruno Mars and Beyonce sing together in a medley where Beyonce and her backup dancers and Bruno Mars and his backup dancers have a friendly dance-off to the closing of “Uptown Funk.” Then Coldplay reprise with musical intro to “Clocks,” “Fix You,” and part of U2’s “Beautiful Day” with the images of previous Super Bowl halftime shows showing before the television audience. During this medley all of the acts come together for a rendition of “Get It Together” to the rapturous cheering of the audience.
5:51PM: Carolina gets the ball to start the second half and it’s a touchback. Jonathan Stewart gains nothing on first down. On second down there’s a long pass and Ted Ginn gets to the Denver 35. On first down the pass is incomplete. On second down there is a solid run for 9 or 10 but there is a flag out. After the first down there is a fifteen yard penalty on the offense that knocks Carolina back, but still first and ten from the Denver 40. Tolbert gets one yard on a run. Ted Ginn gets another pass on second down and takes it to the 25 yard line for another Carolina first down. There is a loss of one and a ball that comes loose that is ruled down by contact. On second down there is a pass to Cochery on the sidelines but it is ruled incomplete. On third down there is another incomplete pass along the sidelines and a ref has to explain there is no defensive holding, which means that Carolina will attempt a 44-yard field goal. The kick bounces off the upright and is no good. It’s Denver’s ball, still 13-7.
6:03PM: Manning has the ball and throws for a first down, his longest pass of the day so far. There’s a short gain and then another pass with a lot of yards after the catch, and now Denver is in field goal range, just like that. On first down there is a neutral zone infraction that gives five more yards on first down. Anderson is stacked up at the line of scrimmage and has no gain. Manning throws out of the end zone on second down. The pass is batted down on third down, and it will be another field goal try. It’s good, and the score is 16-7 Denver.
6:10PM. Denver kicks it off and it’s a touchback. Newton throws into double coverage but Brown snags a 42-yard catch nevertheless. There’s a run for a few yards afterward. Stewart runs for first down yardage. Newton drops down to pass and it’s incomplete on a play action pass. There’s an interception on second down but Denver fumbles it and recovers it again. That’s a crazy turn of events on the turnover. And now for a commercial break, with a cute commercial featuring Badfinger’s “Without You” . When football continues Denver opens with a conservative run for no gain. On second down Carolina gets the sack. On third down and long, Denver runs for two on the old Tampa Bay third down call and it’s time to punt it back to Carolina from the end zone. Carolina returns the punt for about four yards, after a 54-yard punt but there’s flag on Carolina so it’s going back more yards on the blind side hit for another personal foul
6:22PM. There’s an odd commercial of sheep singing Queen’s “Somebody To Love.” I sang along with the commercial, because. Finally, we see the Clydesdales, for a second at least. When we return to football, Carolina gets another first down catch. The next pass is incomplete into tight coverage. The second down play is whistled dead for delay of game. It’s 2nd and 15. There is a fairly short pass and it will be third and long. Denver sacks Newton back at the 22 and Carolina will have to punt. The defensive struggle continues. The struggle is real. Carolina punts and it’s a fair catch at the 32 after a 46 yard punt. After no gain on first down the third quarter ends and it remains 16-7 Denver.
6:30PM: The Super Bowl Babies return singing “Kiss From A Rose .” Jack In The Box has another whimsical commercial. We return to football and on second and ten Manning throws for a first down. There’s a flag after the catch. It’s on Carolina for unnecessary roughness and that will tack on another fifteen yards. Manning gets sacked on first down for a loss of five. There is a run for minimal gain on second and long. On third down there is another fumble and Carolina recovers.
6:39PM: Carolina gets a good pass on first down, and then a run for another first down. After two short gains in a row it is third and five. There is a flag on the play, and it’s false start on Michael Oher trying to protect the blind side. On third and ten it’s incomplete and Carolina will attempt another field goal. It sneaks inside the uprights and Carolina is now only down 16-10. Now for some cheesy commercials, includine one very intense one with Christopher Walken advertising Kia after encounter in a walk-in closet.
6:45PM: Denver returns the kickoff to the twenty-four before another commercial break. Quite a few of these commercials are going meta with observers trying to control the action. Denver throws for minimal gains on first down, and then there is a short run on second down. A pass on third down is knocked away and Denver will have to punt. And Denver punts it away. Stewart runs for minimal yardage on first down, and there is a false start on second down again. The resulting pass is deflected, and it’s another third and long situation coming up. There is a pass but it only goes for about ten yards and it’s fourth down. Denver fair catches the punt and have the ball back with seven minutes to go in the game.
6:57PM: Denver gets the ball back and runs for a couple of yards on first down. Another couple of plays result in minimal yards and it’s fourth and long and Denver punts it away yet again. Carolina gets the ball back on the 24 yard line. Carolina gets a yard on first down. The pass on second down is incomplete. On third down there is a strip of Newton and Denver recovers in the red zone. A couple of short runs lead to a third down and goal at the four. Denver throws it out of the end zone, but there’s a flag on the defense. Defending holding, and it’s another set of downs. Anderson runs it in for the TD, which is confirmed on review. Denver goes for two, and Manning converts with a pass. It’s 24-10, with Denver up two scores. It’s hard to Carolina coming back from this one based on how they’ve played so far this game. My roommate said that the Panthers just got declawed.
7:09PM: Denver kicks it off and it’s another touchback. Carolina gets the first down pass knocked down and on second down Denver sacks Newton at the five. Newton throws incomplete on third down from the end zone and gets clocked. Carolina punts it and Denver finally downs it at the 35. And now time for some commercials. Denver gets minimal yards on the first two plays and it’s third and seven with less than two minutes to go, Carolina with no timeouts remaining. After five yards Denver calls a timeout with one second on the game clock to punt it back to Carolina. We’ve likely seen Manning go off the field for the last time. Carolina gets the ball back with 54 seconds back and Kubiak gets doused with the gatorade. Carolina throws some laterals on first down to get some yardage. And after an incomplete pass it’s 2nd and 10. Carolina gets some yards on second down but can’t get to the sidelines. There’s a flag, it’s unnecessary roughness on the offense and fifteen yards get rolled back and ten seconds rolled off the clock. It’s over, Denver wins 24-10.