- The Washington Times - Monday, February 5, 2007

Once again, the Super Bowl failed to live up to all the hype, thus further cementing its reputation as one of the most overrated sporting events on the planet.

But I must say I was even more disappointed with this year’s crop of Super Bowl commercials. Years from now, when people ask Rex Grossman about his pitiful performance, he will be able to save some face by saying “yeah, well the commercials stunk even more.”

I watched the game with some family members, and my brother-n-law decided to rate the commercials with a simple thumb up or thumb down. He gave maybe three thumbs up during the entire game, and even those were accompanied by a cautious, “Eh, I guess.”

Most of Budweiser’s commercials weren’t bad. I laughed mildly at the “rock-paper-scissors” ad, and I got a kick out of the new “slap in the face” greeting bit. But there was a little too much of the slapstick violence throughout the whole evening. It was as if someone said, “Hey, we can’t think of anything funny, so let’s just have people hitting one another with stuff.” (And it’s not particularly original, either. Last year, Sprint had an ad featuring a guy throwing a cell phone at someone.)

We saw Kevin Federline make his appearance in an ad for Nationwide Insurance, and we were unimpressed. OK, K-Fed, you have a sense of humor. Now get lost for good.

Blockbuster’s commercial featuring the talking mouse? Cute, but ultimately forgettable.

General Motors’ commercial with the lonely robot? We wondered whether the assembly-line workers the robot replaced - and the thousands of others laid off by the company - are the ones feeling lonely and suicidal.

There were some commercials that looked like they had a budget of about $4, which is ironic, given that they cost $2.6 million to air. Godaddy.com needs to go away, and salesgenie.com needs to go back into its lamp.

Frito-Lay and Coca-Cola had some nice, if overwrought, spots to honor Black History Month. Normally, they’d seem a bit out of context, but they made sense given the two black coaches appearing in the Super Bowl.

My personal favorite was the commercial featuring David Letterman and Oprah Winfrey, snuggling on the couch in their respective teams’ jerseys. That one was clever, especially when you recall the brouhaha over Oprah finally appearing on Letterman’s show last year.

But for every ad like that, there were five others featuring weird combinations. Like Don Shula and Jay-Z, or the Orange County Chopper guy advertising for Hewlett-Packard.

Overall, a weak effort from just about everybody except the Colts last night. Maybe next year, I’ll make an ad featuring myself, K-Fed and a talking mouse. We’ll all drive Chevy cars, drink a Bud Light and then throw things at one another. Gold, I tell you. Gold.

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