How much does it cost? Nah, that can't be
"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles CEO, sportsnetwork.com
Hatboro, PA (Sports Network) --
It will all come to a conclusion on Sunday as a world-wide audience watches
Pittsburgh and Green Bay battle it out for the Lombardi Trophy, new hats and
shirts emblazoned with championship verbiage, coupled with more fingers raised
skyward than you would see at a revival tent meeting in the South. Fox gets
the television rights and a huge share of the commercial dollars.
So, here it comes, from someone who finished in last place in the company's
"Picks for the NFL" weekly and just a hair above a coin toss when it was
listed. How's that for outstanding credentials? You gotta be kidding me,
right? Point made.
The Vince Lombardi
Trophy given to the winner of the Super Bowl.
It was not the early Super Bowl that many anticipated when New England was
supposed to play Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship. Pittsburgh had
something to say about that when they bested the Jets, the quick "darlings" of
many fans and most of the media. You saw it, so did I and the rest of the
fans watching or attending. Steelers out of the box early and New York unable
to stage a comeback. The Packers go on the road to win three and here they
are. It could actually turn into one of the better games in Super Bowl
But, back to the commercial aspects of it, no pun intended. How does $86,000
or so a second for an ad sound? Impossible and outrageous, right? Guess
again. Super Bowl advertisers Audi AG and General Motors Co. think they are
getting a bargain for 30-second spots costing a record $3 million or more, if
the audience for the telecast reaches new highs as forecast, and how will
anyone really know? It will be big, but the ultimate measure is a guess and
estimate ... a truly expensive one.
This Super Bowl may top the record 106.5 million viewers who watched last
year's on CBS, according to some New York advertising executives whose
reputations are given more weight than the basis for the numbers spewed forth
in rather cavalier fashion. The catch and game away from the game that is
played is that, by buying up all the ads from News Corp.'s Fox in October,
advertisers avoided paying higher prices closer to the game, when the cost can
soar for the few spots that typically remain. Advertisers didn't want to risk
waiting because recent Super Bowls surpassed forecasts for viewers, so it
Consequently, the "potty break" might have to come during the game itself
when you determine that there will not be a 75-yard pass down the sidelines
and, if there is, thank goodness for replay over and over. The commercials
and halftime show - Black Eyed Peas - are pointed, respectively, for buyers
who the advertisers have determined are potentially theirs and will be
watching and to garner a younger generation that will be drawn to performance
of a group to whom they relate and wait out the first half to see them, then
stay for the second as long as they are already there. Will anyone really
know if this happens? Not really. Cynical? Nope, just honest.
The food, soda, beer and chips will be out and within reach. Catering wives,
daughters and girlfriends will happily get more, even when the quarterback is
being chased around the backfield because they are "involved" out of necessity
and courtesy but do have the time to reload the food tray.
Aaron Rodgers and
the Packers advanced to the Super Bowl after three straight wins on the road.
As for the game itself, teams to which all fans can relate for NFL history,
prestige, legends of the past, some in the making and neither team running
away from the other. Instead, they will come out sparring in the first
quarter, looking for openings in the other's defense and giving the announcers
the opportunity to talk about "establishing the running game," something I
have never understood unless you do so and are then able to make up 5-7 yards
on every carry. But, oh well, so it goes. That said, both Ben Roethlisberger
and Aaron Rodgers will hand off and then watch the secondary to decide upon
the long pass both will suddenly undertake before the quarter ends. At that
point, the over will start to look good.
When play turns to the run, look for the Steelers' Rashard Mendenhall and
Packers' James Starks and Brandon Jackson to take turns picking up yardage. As
the aerial shows of each unfold, the people to watch are Mike Wallace and
Hines Ward for Pittsburgh, Donald Driver, Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson for
Green Bay. Not to be forgotten are some very talented tight ends ... Heath
Miller for the white clad "visiting" Steelers, and Andrew Quarless for the
more colorful Packers.
While not turning into a directory of sorts, other names you are likely to
hear often are those of the linebackers, the folks who relish the crunch of
helmets and shoulder pads against bodies challenging their ability to stop
them from advancing the ball ... LaMarr Woodley/James Farrior/Lawrence
Timmons/James Harrison for Pittsburgh and Clay Matthews/A.J. Hawk for Green
Packers stop the Pittsburgh ground game led by Rashard Mendenhall?
What about the cornerbacks? Funny you should ask. The folks who hover, that
point at one another a great deal and then shout out the names of their
opponents before they turn into heat seeking missiles ... Ryan Clark, Bryant
McFadden for Pittsburgh and Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Sam Shields for
the other guys.
Can we possibly forget Troy Palamalu, and do I have to tell you which team is
his? What about Nick Collins? If it moves, they hit it.
Might the game turn on the talents of Shaun Suisham for Pittsburgh or Mason
Crosby for Green Bay, turning in those necessary three points? However, there
is Tim Masthay, capable of pushing the Pittsburgh receiving team as far back
as the stands from any distance. OK, a bit of an exaggeration but he is good,
very good. Nice weapon to have.
We know the players, the fact that Green Bay has been made a small favorite by
odds-makers here and there, and that these same folks think it will be a high-
scoring game. So do I, but not really until the second half. This is the big
one, Super Bowl XLV, and it will be cat and mouse for a bit, no matter how
much game film players and coaches have watched, how many weak points they
feel might be out there.
Saddle up, buckle up and get out the predictable team attire to wear this
weekend. It is Midwest versus East Coast and the West Coast is there to
watch for a bit and then head out to dinner. Morning shows will state the
winner, a few words about the game and then focus on the commercials. Night
time talk shows, like Jay Leno and David Letterman, will line up the
quarterback of the winning team, MVP if it is not him, and/or person who made
that much-talked-about play that turned the tide ... pass, catch, kick,
runback, whatever it might be.
The world is still facing financial crisis, Egypt and the entire Middle East
are in political upheaval, and there will not be any Sony or Panasonic big
screen in Liberation Square so that the combatants can take a break to watch
the game and commercials. Besides, they are seeking a much bigger score and
are not potential buyers for any product being advertised ... unless it is a
new democratic political faction, at a bargain price. In the midst of
everyone worrying about the next dollar over here, think of it, $86,000-plus a
second to tell you about a product that you cannot afford to buy.
You gotta be kidding!
Oh, yes, for what it is worth, and that is not much based upon this season's
record and that it really needed more attention and study than I gave it ...
Pittsburgh and the over.