In honor of the NFL Super Bowl players, I just took the past two weeks off, as well. But unlike them, I didn’t practice. So please forgive me if my writing skills in this first article I’ve written in that fortnight are a tad rusty.

This was towards the end of the already-won game, but look how serious Tom Brady still is! Photo by Karen Salkin, as is the big one at the top of this page.

This was towards the end of the already-won game, but look how serious Tom Brady still is! Photo by Karen Salkin, as is the big one at the top of this page.

Now to the all-day Super Bowl coverage. (Oh yeah, the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs. Really badly. But all that will be discussed as we go along.)

First of all, I have to say that even though I’m a huge sports fan, I feel that sports still being played during the pandemic sends the wrong message to the masses. So while I watch the games, meets, matches, part of me is cringing the entire time. The world is experiencing far from normal times now, and when we see sports still being played, we tend to feel that we can go out and do normal activities, as well, which is the opposite of how we all need to be living our lives these days.

But I couldn’t help myself, and of course had to watch the Super Bowl. But this year, I didn’t start watching until noon, as opposed to the three-hours earlier when I usually begin.

The turf on Patrick Mahomes' helmet, not to mention the intense look on his face, tells you just how down and dirty he was willing to get through the entire game. Photo by Karen Salkin.

The turf on Patrick Mahomes’ helmet, (from being sacked,) not to mention the intense look on his face, tells you just how down and dirty he was willing to get through the entire game. Photo by Karen Salkin.

Even though I believe that there should be no spectators at sporting events until it’s all 100% safe again, I was thrilled for the front-line workers who had the fun of attending the big game.

But no fooling, the highlight of my day was the half-price pizzas from an upscale Beverly Hills eatery that we had delivered to our house right before the game began.

On Friday, when I heard the horrible news about Andy Reid‘s son’s car accident, (more on that in a minute,) plus knowing that Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes‘ fiancee was about to give birth, I told Mr. X that the Bucs would win. I was hoping I was wrong, but apparently, I was correct. At least we saw history.

So let’s get to my many thoughts on all the proceedings. I couldn’t share every single one of them, of course, but here are the highlights:


Karen Salkin with Warren Moon, the tenth black quarterback in NFL history.  Photo by Alice Farinas.

Karen Salkin with Warren Moon, the tenth black quarterback in NFL history. Photo by Alice Farinas.

I started crying early on because CBS did a feature on Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, perhaps the most wonderful NFL player ever. As I told you last year, he’s the Kansas City Chief who’s also a doctor in Canada. He chose to give-up playing football this year to help out in a hospital in Montreal. He’s what every human should aspire to be.

I appreciated the feature on the history of black quarterbacks, especially learning about Marlon Briscoe, the first black starting quarterback in NFL history. This is the year and month (Black History Month) to fill in our history like that.

I remember liking the Bucs’ Jason Pierre-Paul when he was a Super-Bowl-winning New York Giant.  But I had forgotten that he lost some fingers a few years ago in a fireworks accident, so his pre-game interview was very interesting, especially because he admitted that he also did something else stupid, not wearing a seatbelt, which caused him to break his neck in a car accident two years ago. I’m glad that he came through all that to be able to play, and win again!

What were Jim Rome’s pants doing???

Jim Rome and his very ill-fitting pants! Photo by Karen Salkin.

Jim Rome and his very ill-fitting pants! Photo by Karen Salkin.

I’m so glad that I made the time to watch the feature on Whitney Houston’s old Super Bowl National Anthem, especially because I learned that she agreed with me about what was the best rendition ever—Marvin Gaye at an NBA All-Star Game.

I got a kick out of being made aware of the Bucs’ Scottie Miller before the game.  Looking at him, I couldn’t help but think, “How is this guy an NFL player???”

I wish they hadn’t done that final pre-game feature, about the players’ real-life heroes, (with Dr. Duvernay-Tardif being one again,) when I was in the middle of eating my game day pizza. It’s hard to chew and cry at the same time!


Dr. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, featuring both his occupations--graduating from med school while holding his beloved Chiefs football! Photo by Karen Salkin.

Dr. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, featuring both his occupations–graduating from med school while holding his beloved Chiefs football! Photo by Karen Salkin.

This was the worst Super Bowl I’ve ever seen! Not just because my team lost, (and really badly at that,) but just because it was far from a competitive game.

I hated the whole thing, but I was especially disgusted with the officiating in the first half; it was painful to me. I wanted to really throw-up by the end of it. How many flags did the Chiefs get in it? I’ve never seen anything like it. Either the team lost their collective composure, or the refs were against them. Or, most likely, they lost their composure because the refs were against them!

I, of course, wasn’t the only one who felt that way. At halftime, CBS analyst Boomer Esiason said, “I kind of feel that the referees are way too involved here,” and they were “throwing too many flags that are leading to points for Tampa Bay.” Fellow panelist Nate Burleson added, “When it comes to these flags, it is heavily imbalanced.” And, “You have to let these guys play a little bit.” And admonished the officials to “stop throwing the laundry out on the field.” The penalties in the first half were eight for the Chiefs to just one for the Bucs! How unfair was that?!

Bruce Arians' nonagenarian mother, cheering on her son's team. Photo by Karen Salkin.

Bruce Arians’ nonagenarian mother, cheering on her son’s team. Photo by Karen Salkin.

On a happier note, this was the oldest coaching match-up ever in a Super Bowl. So I have to be happy for for winning coach, Bruce Arians, and especially because his ninety-five-year-old mother was in attendance, in a wheelchair, to boot! Let a senior have some happiness.

And let’s spare a thought here for the Reid family, (and the other injured family, as well.) In case you don’t know the story, this is what happened: Just three days before the game, Britt Reid, the son of the Chiefs’ head coach, Andy Reid, (Britt is also the team’s outside linebackers coach,) drank and drove and got into a bad car accident that not only landed himself in the hospital, but left a five-year-old girl in critical condition. Andy Reid said his heart is bleeding for the family of the girl, as all of ours are. I’m sure he was still trying to win the game, but no matter how long you’ve been in sports, we all know that his attention was very divided on the field. How could it not be?

Even though I really wanted the Chiefs to win, I do have to say that Tom Brady’s accomplishments are astonishing. You can read all about them elsewhere, so let’s get to the shallow sections of the day.

Look at Tom Brady's yellow bottom teeth! Photo by Karen Salkin.

Look at Tom Brady’s yellow bottom teeth! Photo by Karen Salkin.

But first I must ask, why would Tom Brady have yellow bottom teeth? He has enough money to fix that situation!

And thank goodness, in the post-game podium festivities, he finally handed the Championship trophy to his teammates after his spoiled kids had pawed-over it!

And lastly in this section, I hate that the MVP voting begins at the start of the fourth quarter. In this case, it really didn’t matter much, but voters really need to see the entire game to make an informed decision!  It’s insane.


Let’s go in order.

I saw a second of Miley Cyrus’ “tailgate” concert, but I couldn’t take more than that, even though she was joined by Billy Idol, who once bought me dinner. (You’re going to have for my book for that crazy story.)

Mr. X said of the six minute-long, self-indulgent, super-slow pre-game on-field performances, “That wasn’t fair to do to the players.” He said that H.E.R., whom we usually like, made America The Beautiful about her. (But I guess that’s fitting since that’s her moniker!)

I had never heard of National Anthem singer Jazmine Sullivan, but that didn’t mean that others also had not. So I researched her later and discovered that she has several albums. But still, the Super Bowl should have had someone much more famous do that iconic song. She sang it with country singer Eric Church, but it was like they were singing two different songs.

The best part of all the pre-game music was Warren Snipe, a deaf rapper and actor, who performed both songs along with the singers, but in ASL. I could have watched him all day! He performs with such beauty and enthusiasm.

Warren Snipe.

Warren Snipe.

I watched the halftime show by the Weeknd, only because it’s the thing to do. I’m not a fan, nor a non-fan; even though I like some of his songs, I just wasn’t the least bit interested. And I sort-of wanted the whole day to just be over already—I wasn’t really having any fun. (Outside of the aforementioned pizza, of course.)

But I felt his performance was like a mediocre one we’d see on any music awards show, and a lesser one, at that, like the Billboard Awards. Or MTV ones. Just the Weeknd alone, singing his songs that most viewers don’t know, was such a non-special presentation. Mr. X, who’s a fan, even fell asleep during it! I hate to say it, but the Weeknd just may have Little Man Syndrome. Why else would he have spent his own seven mill to produce this one segment???

His performance was okay, and would have been fun at a little club. But these days, at the prestigious Super Bowl Halftime Show, we need dancing, surprises, costume changes, and collaborations. Unless you’re Bruce Springsteen, of course.

It was actually sort-of obnoxious of him to not have “guests” join him, as just about every halftime artist does. It makes it fun.  Apparently, the Weeknd thought that having a bunch of dancers in his own inane facial surgery mask is entertaining.  But you can see that every day in Beverly Hills! At least the masks made them covid-safe.

The Weeknd and his bandaged posse.

The Weeknd and his bandaged posse.

And I was happy that every dancer in Tampa Bay was employed for the day. And that they were actually being socially-distanced. So there was that.


Now to the part that most casual viewers care about the most—the commercials. The many, many, many commercials. The Super Bowl is the only time all year that Mr. X and I watch them all, just to be in the know. Here are my thoughts on some, in order that they were shown, (after I give you the two groups, below.)

Stupid ones: Bud Light (where the cans spills so old characters can clean it all up,) Chipotle (which claims a burrito can change the world,) Mountain Dew with John Cena, and Dr. Squatch soap.

Clever: Miracle-Gro which points-out that we’re all spending more times in our gardens, and the Bud Light one with a plethora of lemons highlighting what a bad year 2020 was.

The M&Ms “apology” one is cute. I especially liked the “Karen” part; one woman apologizes to another for calling her “Karen,” and the second one says, “My name is Karen,” so the first woman apologizes for that! You know that I feel that pain!

The Doritos one with a super-skinny Matthew McConaughey actually made Mr. X laugh out loud, several times! I guess Doritos was trying to make-up for their previous evil ads. In 2016, they did a disgusting one with a baby popping-out prematurely. And before that, in 2012, they did a couple of offensive ones. A dog killing a cat and then bribing his owner with the chips to keep it a secret was dreadful enough, but one with a baby being shot out of a slingshot was the most offensive and irresponsible commercial I had ever seen on network television. They had to a long way to redeem themselves, and Matthew’s is a giant step in that direction.

Part of the Matthew McConaughey ad.

Part of the Matthew McConaughey ad.

The GM EV one with Will Ferrell is trying way too hard! What a waste of Keenan Thompson.

Any amputation, even on puppets, is sooo far from amusing, so I must slam the upcoming Paramount+ new streaming channel for that one.

The Nick Jonas diabetes one was very important.

State Farm, with Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Drake, and Paul Rudd is perfect—short, sweet, and amusing.

Toyota’s story of the adoption of Special Olympian Jessica Long really got to me. That one should be a whole movie!

Part of the Jessica Long ad. (That's her arm swimming in front of her adoption story tableau.)

Part of the Jessica Long ad. (That’s her arm swimming in front of her adoption story tableau.)

I really got a kick out of the E-Trade one with the little kid trying to get in shape. He’s adorbs and perfect for it.  He doesn’t overdo it at all, which I have a feeling most kid actors would have.

The Shaggy-Cheetos commercial was kind of cute, especially his last line.

It was a good surprise for many that Springsteen did an ad. I really had no inkling of him doing one when I wrote the note about him in the music section above. It really got to me at the end when “The ReUnited States of America” came up on the screen at the end, which Bruce was the perfect spokesperson for. But then I found it a tad weird that it was a Jeep spot!

And that’s it for Super Bowl LV. I’d just as soon forget the whole thing. Except for the delish pizza, of course!


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