2:34PM: Since I was not invited to any Super Bowl parties this year, I decided to camp out this year at my normal location for reading, eating, and watching sports on Sundays, the Applebee’s at 185th Avenue and Walker Road. Right now I am the only person at the bar and only one television I can see that has the pre-game show is partly obscured by the overhanging bar glasses. This could be an interesting experiment.
2:37PM: I just ordered my entree. I’m going to hold off on the apps until after 3PM, when they are on half-price for happy hour. I have my iced tea and water, though, so I should be well-hydrated for the duration.
2:45PM: Tom Brady is working out on the screen, as are the Rams, but nothing exciting is going on yet. I’m working my way through Timothy Dalrymple’s “The New Vichy Syndrome” while I wait.
3:05PM: The Dalrymple book is looking pretty appealing. I can still only see about half of the screen for the Super Bowl, and we have two screens close to me showing repeats of the Armed Forces Bowl, hardly a compelling effort. We’ll see if that changes soon.
3:08PM: The two televisions closest to me are now showing the pregame show. I have my appetizers. Back to eating and reading :).
3:20PM: I’m working on my apps and just heard about the bartender’s problems with her father randomly appearing at her work and ruining her shift. I was sympathetic, and hopefully she has a better time at home where she will be watching the game with her man, as she says. Time for some more reading. A couple of young women are singing. Gladys Knight is now singing the national anthem, but as Applebee’s music is still playing it is going to be an interesting experience.
3:27PM: It’s hard to be impressed with expensive advertisements when you can’t hear them. I’m not going to have much to say about them this year, which isn’t such a bad thing I suppose.
3:30PM: Alright, the coin toss just happened and we’re about to have the kickoff. The choice of Sick Puppies for music at this point seems particularly inspired.
3:33PM: New England got the ball first and their offence looks to be good so far, as they are already in Rams’s territory after less than a minute of play. Mostly they appear to be content establishing the running game, and as that seems to be working out, we’ll see how long that lasts.
3:36PM: And Brady throws a pick, so we’ll be seeing the Rams offense. That’s a great way for a Patriot’s drive to end. I hope there’s plenty more where that came from.
3:43PM: That Rams drive was unsuccessful, so the Patriots have the ball again. Scoreless after four and a half minutes of gameplay.
3:45PM: More refball with some kind of shadow personal foul. If the game is going to go like this, then the Patriots should be clubbed like baby seals on every play as a matter of principle.
3:51PM: The Patriots are still driving, milking the clock on every down, and a Brady pass to the end zone is incomplete as both players grapple with each other and go for the ball.
3:56PM: The Patriots have missed a field goal, so the game is still scoreless after three drives. This is unexpected, and possibly for the best. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a defensive duel for the Super Bowl on this level, and between these two teams it is particularly surprising.
4:01PM: And that Rams drive is unsuccessful, so it’s time for another punt. But wait, there was some movement on both lines, so someone is getting a penalty. The refs discuss who to penalize, and opt for an illegal shift on the Rams rather than an offsides on the Patriots, so it looks like they will have a bit more room to punt towards the Patriots end zone.
4:08PM: And we have a sack-strip-fumble for Brady, but alas the Patriots recover the loose ball rather than the more favorable alternative.
4:10PM: And the Patriots drive stalls. That’s our fifth unsuccessful drive in a row to start the game, and so the Patriots punter comes out for the first time and the Patriots down it deep in Rams territory.
4:17PM: The first quarter ended, and after that another Rams drive ended with nothing to show for it. The Rams will be punting again, this time from their own end zone.
4:37PM: The Patriots got a field goal while I was in the loo, and the Patriots punted the ball away but there was a holding penalty on the punt, so we’re looking at 3-0 game, hardly the offensive fireworks that were widely expected.
4:41PM: And the next Rams drive has already failed. This game is going pretty abysmally.
4:53PM: The Patriots drove to near field goal range and are going for it on 4th and one. They didn’t get it, so another drive is wasted and the Rams get the ball back. Not that they know what to do with it.
4:56PM: Maybe I spoke too soon. Nope. The Rams punted just before the first half comes to an end to save this from being just slightly more offensive than that one Super Bowl where Pittsburgh was leading Minnesota by a safety in the 70’s. Now that was like clubbing baby seals. Ah, the nostalgia. Sadly, nothing happened and we’re at 3-0 at halftime.
5:08PM: Not all change is for the best. We’ve got a bad mash-up between Maroon 5 on the restaurant radio and on the tv. I was hoping to watch the Halftime show in silence, which would be preferable to the alternative, but no, I have to listen to them play live. At least they are doing some of their early songs with a bit of snarl. And now we’re getting Sicko Mode from Travis Scott, which is pretty fierce as well. They’re bleeping out the profanity too, because this is primetime television. Now we’re back to Maroon 5, with a Gospel backing choir. Now we’ve got Big Boi, I think, reppin’ for Atlanta.
5:17PM: Ah, “I like the way you move” is definitely a crowd pleaser here. And now Adam Levine is going to play for the ladies with a non-falsetto, I hope, version of “Sugar.” As far as Super Bowl performances go, this hasn’t been too bad so far. It’s better than I thought be. And we heard Adam Levine’s falsetto and it wasn’t ear-splittingly horrible. And now we’re on to “Moves Like Jagr.” It is dispatched quickly enough, and ends with a rousing guitar solo that proves Maroon 5 actually has band members. And that’s it, a pretty good halftime show, certainly way better than expected, and way better than the actual game that has been played so far.
5:31PM: The Rams finally have a big play, and it’s a run. Let’s see if we can get a few more of these.
5:32PM: Another moderately successful run ends up with a Patriot defender looking like a clubbed baby seal. So now we have commercials, which I can hear now. That’s a great Michael Buble commercial.
5:35PM: And that clubbed Patriots defender is getting an air cast on his arm, so he’s probably going to be out for the rest of the night. Now we’re back to the football, which isn’t all that exciting. And now that’s another failed drive. Time for punt #7 for the Rams.
5:39PM: It looked like the Rams were going to stop the Patriots but they got a big play to get the fanboys for the Patriots all enthusiastic. We should see more clubbing and fewer big plays.
5:42PM: And that was an unsuccessful third down attempt for the Patriots so now it’s time for more punts. And the Patriots down it inside the 5, so now the Rams will have to drive if we’re going to see any change. And we have a funny commercial for T-Mobile that uses “All By Myself.” Nicely done.
5:51PM: Finally, a Super Bowl record for the longest punt. What a debacle.
5:53PM: After another incompletion on third down it’s time for another punt. Google tries to play for sympathy with an ad about veterans looking for jobs, and then we get one on Colgate about personal space.
5:58PM: A couple of first downs for the Rams counts for some excitement in this otherwise deadly dull Super Bowl. And Goff is making some good throws here, driving the Rams. I want to see more of this.
6:03PM: And of course, a good drive ends with a sack on third down that makes this a long field goal try. 53 yard attempt with about 2 minutes left in the quarter and it is just good, and we’ve got a tie game at 3-3.
6:12PM: It will be another third down play as the fourth quarter begins, and we get to see who wants to win this game.
6:13PM: And that Patriots pass goes nowhere, so it’s time for another punt. Woot.
6:16PM: And now the Rams are trying to drive from the shadow of their own endzone, and there’s a fumble, but it goes out of bounds. These themes are like the Keystone Cops out here. This is more of a comedy routine than two teams that are playing for a Super Bowl championship.
6:21PM: The poems are done and there is another Rams player on the sidelines after having gotten clubbed a bit and another Rams incomplete pass. I thought it was time for yet another punt, but it looks like there could be a flag. Let’s see what is for. Defensive holding, and the Rams get a first down by penalty.
6:23PM: And the Rams immediately get a first down on a good passing play. Let’s see more of this and less ref ball. And there’s a long run for another first down, but there’s a flag, for holding on the Rams.
6:26PM: And after that refball the drive stalls and there is another punt in a game that no one seems to want to win and that doesn’t look legitimate because of the officiating.
6:30PM: The Patriots have the ball and they immediately get a moderately big play from Gronk, who has had a relatively quiet night. The fans are chanting something.
6:33PM: And right on schedule the Patriots score a TD, and now they lead 10-3.
6:37PM: And the Rams have a big play to get some momentum back, with six and a half minutes to go in the game. It’s first and ten near midfield.
6:41PM: After Cooks drops his second TD pass, Goff throws an underthrown pass that gets picked off by the Patriots close to their endzone. Now the Pats have the ball again and a one-TD lead.
6:48PM: The Patriots are driving, and look to milk the time off completely, or as close to it as possible. We’re at 2:30 left to go and the Rams are going to need something miraculous to win the game at this point.
6:57PM: It’s fourth and about an inch or two for the Patriots. Will they go for it or kick a field goal, both of which could put the game out of reach in different ways. Will they go for it or not? It looks like they’re going to kick it, and the field goal attempt is a bit more than forty yards. And the field goal is good; the Pats go up 13-3.
7:04PM: The Rams miss a field goal with five seconds left to bring it within a touchdown and the game will end on a kneeldown. What a disappointing end to a disappointing Super Bowl.