The Only Super Bowl LI Post You’ll Ever Need To Read – Volume One

If you followed me a year ago you know during Super Bowl “coverage” I worked from the middle out. That is to say the theme was which two teams were eventually going to “open” for the band Coldplay because with a billion people watching… well, we know only a handful actually care about football right?

It’s all about that halftime show people.

Lady Gaga is set to perform at this year’s Super Bowl intermission. What I know about Ms. Gaga fits nicely on the head of a pin. I have heard a few of her songs. I know she’s very active in a number of worthwhile causes.

I also know she once wore a dress made of meat.

The suits at the NFL apparently had a talk with Ms. Gaga and her people recently about making sure she keeps her garments on – meat or otherwise – during the halftime show. After learning of this discussion I did a little research and it appears that’s actually a legitimate concern.

Now you might ask yourself – I certainly did – why would the NFL ever sign off on Lady Gaga in the first place since there’s prior precedent for her lady parts being part of her act?

Then again trying to understand the day-to-day activities of the National Football League would drive any of us…gaga.

The largest specialty retailer of health, wellness and performance products in the world, GNC is promising a massive 2017 push to try and reverse momentum from their worst year since going public some five years ago. Their stock dropped over 60 percent in 2016.

It sounds like a lot of inventory is nearing its expiration date.

To avoid nearing their expiration date GNC has decided to buy a commercial for the Super Bowl. Based on last year’s cost of a 30-second spot, that represents 8 percent of their entire advertising budget. It’s a bold move indeed because nothing speaks to the collective state of mind of a gigantic Super Bowl audience like trying to be healthy.

On a day and night full of spirits, sodium, saturated fat and sugar…by all means bring on vitamins GNC.

We may have some clarity now as to why GNC is faltering…

To this weekend’s games…first a reminder three of the four match-ups are rematches from the regular-season. Oakland defeated Houston 27-20 (in Mexico City). Miami won at home against Pittsburgh 30-15. Green Bay won at home against New York 23-16. (I’ve always been partial to favoring the losers of a prior meeting come playoff time…)

Oakland at Houston – If you ever fancied yourself playing quarterback in the NFL I suggest you get to Houston stat. The Raiders are still reeling from recently losing potential MVP Derek Carr to a broken leg and will start a quarterback who has never started in the NFL. The Texans have been reeling with a recently-benched but healthy Brock Osweiler all season long. Whoever wins this game will likely depart from the playoffs the following week. Houston has been winning ugly all season, almost exclusively with a pretty good defense…and should have enough in the run game with Lamar Miller (expected to play) to emerge victorious. The Raiders really looked not just Carr-less but heart-less in Denver on Sunday when they still had a chance to get a first-round pass…but now they can’t pass at all. WINNER – HOUSTON

Detroit at Seattle – With head coach Pete Carroll and quarterback Russell Wilson the Seahawks have never lost a playoff game in Seattle. However running back Marshawn Lynch is retired and defensive back Earl Thomas is broken. The Seahawks running game hasn’t been the same since Marshawn walked away. The Legion of Boom hasn’t been the same since Earl’s leg bent the wrong way. As for Detroit, the Lions last won a postseason road game the year before I was born. (I’m 58) They “roared” into the playoffs by losing their last three games. Management actually had to confirm Jim Caldwell would indeed return as Detroit’s HC next season. Matthew Stafford’s dislocated finger isn’t supposed to be a big deal but he’s thrown five picks in the last four games…he only threw five in the Lions’ first twelve. The Detroit defense gets zero pressure on the opposing signal-caller. Does this sound like a team that’s ready to travel to Seattle and win in front of the Starbucks-infused, decibel-breaking Seahawks “12th Man?” Seattle has struggled to run the ball and also lost a valuable deep threat when Tyler Lockett also found his leg a bit out of position a couple weeks ago. But if Wilson just rolls out and creates some controlled chaos they should be just fine. WINNER – SEATTLE

Miami at Pittsburgh – It doesn’t sound like Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill is going to have his knee healed in time to play. Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi was said by many to have had a breakout season but consider the fact 33 percent of his rushing yards came in their two games against Buffalo. Pittsburgh’s defense has gotten better as their season moved towards its conclusion – 30 sacks since Week 8. The Steelers have running back Le’Veon Bell healthy for the first time entering the postseason. The dual-threat he presents by catching the ball should be quite troublesome for Miami, who have given up a ton of yards to lesser folks. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, wide receiver Antonio Brown and Bell are all healthy and ready to roll. Oh my. Those Terrible Towels will wave in a win. WINNER – PITTSBURGH

New York Giants at Green Bay – Got to be the best game of the weekend. Giants quarterback Eli Manning has won both of his prior postseason starts at Lambeau Field. New York Head Coach Ben McAdoo is supposed to be an offensive genius but their play on that side of the ball has been nothing short of offensive. Speaking of offense…wide receivers Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz were seen partying in a nightclub in Miami with Justin Bieber after their win over Washington Sunday. (Athletes who have partied with Biebs have a fairly spotty record of achievement afterwards) Monday the two were seen hanging out on a boat with WR teammates Sterling Shepard and Roger Lewis. They were all doing it on their “off time” but the optics are really, really bad considering the timing…and the Giants’ offensive woes. (Sidebar – I always thought off time in the NFL meant to get treatment and rest up, especially entering the playoffs) The Giants give up points grudgingly. They score points in the same manner. Green Bay has a wide receiver playing running back but they also have Aaron Rodgers playing quarterback. Ben McAdoo was Rodgers’ QB coach in 2012 and 2013 so this shouldn’t surprise him: Rodgers during the Packers current six-game win streak – 15 touchdowns and no interceptions. New York has given no indication they can hang in a shoot-out so their defense must play lights-out. They just might do that. I still see a Packers victory…barely. WINNER – GREEN BAY

One additional thought on what should be a great game…Gary Myers of the New York Daily News wrote earlier this week about the last time anyone could remember hearing of Eli Manning being nervous. It was actually before one of his high school starts, a rare Thursday night tilt. He called home…which had his mother concerned because that just wasn’t like him. Turned out Eli forgot to set the VCR to tape “Seinfeld” and he needed his mom to make that happen. She did.

Manning has made this happen twice before in the Land of Cheese.

Green Bay…in the immortal words of Three Dog Night…Eli’s Coming.

Enjoy.

About sportsattitudes

I'm Bruce. Born, raised and still outside Philadelphia PA. Managed (so far) to visit a dozen US states (most just one time each) and Canada (twice). 50-plus years - married 30-plus years. Love massive quantities of sports, television and movies (viewed in a movie theater).
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38 Responses to The Only Super Bowl LI Post You’ll Ever Need To Read – Volume One

  1. Laura says:

    I suppose in your next post you will tell us which team is going to win The Super Bowl 🙂 I don’t know what the NFL is thinking these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laura, thanks for stopping by. That pick will get made just before the game starts…that increases my odds of being right to 50-50. As for the NFL it seems each decision they make whether it be on or off the field puzzles me anymore.

      Like

  2. Do you think when the NFL switched back to the Roman numerals for this year’s Super Bowl that they thought about the fact hat one can pronounce “LI” as “lie”? Or maybe they did and stuck with it on purpose?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Paul says:

    This was the best sports preview I’ve read in a long time. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Quirky Girl says:

    As a vegetarian, I can’t help but shudder at the disturbing mental image of Lady Gaga, or anyone else, for that matter, dressed in the innermost parts of a carcass.

    I’m almost afraid to see what kind of outlandish garb she’ll be draped in this year. Perhaps she’ll opt for modesty and dress as a unicorn, for a change. 😛

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We are already sick of Super Bowl hype here in Houston. (and maybe sleet predicted for the Oakland game…but the roof will be closed and the stadium snug and warm…and if the tailgate crews outside bring enough beer as usual, they probably won’t notice…look for more flames in those grills,though?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • We got two inches of snow last night and we’re already sick of winter. Let’s call it even. Houston, you have a problem…a month-long, sponsor-driven, non-stop “celebration” of the National Football League. God Speed.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jennie says:

    GREAT post! Really. Your humor and insight is the best. Lady Gaga? Thank you. I’ll be biting my nails, ready to read your post after this weekend’s wild card games.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sitting here in the UK; it’s true this is all I need to know.
    Can’t help but wonder what might happen if the NFL had opted for ‘Extracts from Gilbert & Sullivan’ instead of Lady Gaga….just a thought

    Liked by 1 person

  8. SportsChump says:

    I’m trying to think of a joke that begins “So Lady Gaga walks into a GNC…” but I’m drawing a blank.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. J-Dub says:

    This weekend’s play-off games are really the shining example of what a crap product the NFL is putting on the field. If you ever wondered what football would look like in the Special Olympics, yesterday’s Texans-Raiders game would be pretty damn close.

    Pitching vitamins and health to a drunken Super Bowl crowd? What else would you expect in a country where McDonald’s keeps trying to sell me a goddamn salad? Dear Mr. Trump…if you want to make America great again, you can start by getting rid of fast-food salads and get us back to loving the fat-dripping, heart-clogging McGutbuster Burger. ‘MURICA!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Saw an ad for Carl’s Jr. grass-fed beef…apparently promoting a cleaner, more responsible and healthier food product…topped in this particular instance with bacon and beer cheese. Trying to cater to all audiences but ultimately to none. (Perhaps in certain states the grass might mean something completely different?)

      Like

  10. Steph McCoy says:

    Oh dear, I’m in a bit of a pickle. I may have mentioned once, twice or a thousand times that I don’t follow sports but this was an enjoyable read. And now that I know GNC is promising to deliver this year methinks I’ll have to pay close attention during the commercials.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Bun Karyudo says:

    I don’t know anything about Lady Gaga beyond her name. The one time I saw her briefly on TV, she was wearing an outfit that made her look like a cross between Princess Leia and Kung Fu Panda. Perhaps it was a preview of her Super Bowl costume.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. George says:

    Congrats on a perfect weekend, Bruce, though I wish you ended up 3 out of four in your picks..:)
    The Gaga choice is interesting but not surprising. Her early career was a little crazy but she has transformed her image after teaming up with Tony Bennett who thinks she’s terrific and he’s right, she really can sing most anything. But what she’ll do at halftime is anyone’s guess and I’m honking that’s exactly what the NFL is hoping for..:)
    Ratings and money, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • George, thanks…but I did say Green Bay would BARELY win. (Tried to throw you an olive branch with that disclaimer…) The NFL…they insist all the players wear the correct shoes, socks have to be a certain height, etc. Rigid. Almost military-like. But they also want as many eyeballs on themselves as possible at all times…and the aura surrounding a potential entertainment gone wild scenario is quite certain to keep many around for halftime.

      Liked by 1 person

      • George says:

        Well, it was BARELY until….we don’t have to talk about that..:)
        I sometimes think if it wasn’t for fantasy football and the various pools, the NFL might not be as popular as it is right now. Too much negativity from too many sources. They can’t even get through a wild card weekend without a coach/ former player being charged with five counts. It’s never ending.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I agree with your assessment regarding the popularity of the NFL. In many ways they did this to themselves…but also in the age of instantaneous and repetitive “news” reports it just hyper-magnifies any issue or incident their employees, players, coaches, officials and owners get themselves into on or off the field. And as you say…always something or someone going sideways. We don’t HAVE to talk about it…but I have to tell you…I didn’t think the Giants were that spooked by the Hail Mary at the end of the first half. That offense just couldn’t get touchdowns early and then sputtered late…always helps to catch balls thrown to you – that would have helped. Weird game indeed.

          Like

          • George says:

            I agree, especially about yesterday’s game. They had opportunities to score and help out the defense but never did. That defense looked tired and two steps slower in the second half.

            Liked by 1 person

  13. Troy says:

    You were spot on with these predictions, Bruce!

    But y’know, I had no about GNC plummeting. It doesn’t surprise me in the least. I do visit GNC for energy drinks*** (VPX BANG and Biotest’s SPIKE) and sometimes protein bars, but that’s about it.

    (***I know, I know, energy drinks get a bad rap, but BANG and SPIKE are the healthiest out there in regards to ‘clean’ energy. The bad reputation comes from irresponsible actions, typically youth drinking multiple sugar filled, caffeine filled commercial energy drinks or by those with underlying heart issues; I probably wrote a post about this a long time ago, but I digress! I like caffeine in just about all forms. The important part about countering caffeine consumption is magnesium consumption! Chelated magnesium is a supplement I swear by.)

    There’s a manager who goes by “Roz” at my local GNC (and by local I mean 45 minutes to an hour away). She is as sweet as can be. That’s about the only GNC employee I can say that about. Outside of her, they all want to push products on you. Their products. Who can blame them? Their employees earn commission per GNC product sold, but that’s hogwash to me.

    The last couple of years, I’ve had a burning desire to start a supplement store that swears by proven supplements with studies from scientific peer reviewed journals backing them… but as of now, I’d need to move to a bigger area and that’s not feasible for the next year or so. Maybe one day.

    GNC feeds people BS, as their personal products aren’t magically better than other supplement companies, and I think people have picked up on that. Nobody likes it when a salesperson shoves things in their face. I’ve never understood that sales mentality! Listening to the customer’s needs should be the number one priority. Sometimes they do that, and most of the time they send them out the door with snake oil (GNC logo slapped on it and all).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Troy, I haven’t been in many GNC’s in my time but when I have I’ve had similar experiences as far as that sales mentality. Which may explain my lack of desire to visit them more often. They used to be known as the only place to get stuff that actually might help a person looking for an alternative solution or assistance before the Internet exploded…and you can now get what they sell from a bunch of other places. Which brings us to their problem. Too much competition now. Speaking of competition…almost time for some football!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. ChgoJohn says:

    Thank you for this, Bruce. I dread the onslaught of Super Bowl posts every year. Not this year. You’veVolume 1 took care of the problem for me — unless there are a dozen more volumes. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome John. The staff (of one) here at sportsattitudes only projects a couple more SB posts. And at that they (me) always try to make as much fun of the whole process as possible and not take the NFL too seriously. They don’t take themselves seriously so why should we? 🙂

      Like

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