Post Mortem

The Patriots were unceremoniously removed from the playoff “tournament” tonight. In retrospect, it’s clear that the bye week did them no favors. They were slow, lethargic, out of sync, emotionally flat and pretty much all around soft. The situation was made worse by the fact that they also outsmarted themselves a few times, and each time it lead to being in a deeper hole. Oh well, that’s how football goes. Anyway, my purpose here is not to tediously break down everything the Pats did wrong. I’m here to talk about the important part of NFL football: the commercials.

Having consumed hundreds of hours of football this year, I have observed many patterns in the commercials. The most annoying one is how the major television networks insist on filling the ad time for their football games with promos for shows that have a high body count. These shows tend to be shown in the later parts of prime time, when kids are in bed. But, football games are shown in the afternoon, which is supposed to be the “general audiences” part of the day. And yet here we are bombarded by ads for crime lab shows that show a great obsession with people who are dead or in the process of becoming dead. I say the league should fine these shows at least as much as they have fined, say, the defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I mean come on.

The more humorous side of the commercial landscape is that there are really only six commercials that are ever shown during a football game. These fall into three main groups:

Group 1: Ads that play on the psychosexual insecurities of middle aged men. Here we have those Miller Lite ads where men are metaphorically undressed for being vaguely feminine, or maybe even homosexual. Or we have the soft focus slow motion ads where men use the power of diamonds to completely melt the hearts of women who would otherwise think they were douchebags. Finally, there are the Viagra and Cialis ads, where older men (all of whom look like Brett Favre!) are shown the magical powers of modern pharmaceuticals to transform their front yards into a tropical landscape where for some reason there are white porcelain tubs on every beach.

Group 2: Ads that play to the psyche of men who are too masculine to be insecure. These are either car ads (usually muscle cars), truck ads (usually American trucks), and all the other beer ads where beer can instantly make everyone young, in shape, and good looking.

Group 3: Ads for rich people, dorks, or rich dorks. These are for investments, insurance, luxury cars (usually German), and Apple products (usually the iPad).

So, if you were keeping score, besides local ads and the above mentioned TV promos, here are all the ads you ever see during a football game:

1. Miller Lite. 2. Viagra. 3. Jewelry for your girlfriend. 4. Cars and trucks. 5. iPad. 6. Insurance or other financial services.

That’s it. Well, OK, there were also four ads for movies and two or three video games. But those do not count because they were not played more than 150 times. Hmmm, I also forgot McDonalds. But that’s not really worth talking about.

Maybe the Super Bowl will be better this year. But I doubt it.