- Jay Busbee and Kevin Kaduk at Shutdown Corner25 mins ago
It's Super Bowl time, and you know what that means: an ad extravaganza punctuated by brief forays into actual football. As we've done for the last few years (you can find 2014 here, and 2015 here), we've graded the best and worst of this year's Super Bowl ads. As always, our criteria for judgment remain rigidly unscientific and completely biased. Herewith, our grades for Super Bowl 50's ads: Amazon Echo Another of those “throw everyone we can find into an ad” ads, this one features Alec Baldwin and Dan Marino trash-talking each other as Missy Elliott and Jason Schwartzmann look on. Still not quite sure how Echo’s going to function, but that’s not the point here. Grade: B WeatherTech: Made In America Going straight for the heart there with the patriotism angle, eh, WeatherTech? Smart move. Nobody’s going to pay much attention to a truck bed liner commercial on its own, but wrap it in the flag? Boom, attention and love. Grade: B Prius: Getaway Car Surely someone somewhere is going to complain that Prius is advocating illegality and bank robbery with this particular ad. We look forward to the first bank robbers caught using this car who claim they were inspired by the ad. The Prius Defense will set new legal precedent. (Bonus: having the Sobotka family from The Wire pull off the heist was inspired casting.) Grade: B Coca-Cola: Little Marvels Oh, this could have been so good. Getting licensed to use both Ant-Man and the Hulk? (Though clearly not with Paul Rudd’s voice.) But the ad is surprisingly bland, a by-the-numbers opposites-work-together Super Bowl ad. Where’s Thanos when you need him? Grade: D Don’t Struggle With OIC Constipation ad as black-and-white art film. Another one of those ads with a surprisingly narrow focus for the Super Bowl, but hey, if it works ... Grade: B Women in Hyundai do a good job of masking their disappointment that Ryan Reynolds and not Ryan Gosling was cast in this ad. Grade: C Maybe one day we’ll learn why the Illuminati continues to push Amy and Seth on us despite the fact that neither are particularly funny. But Sunday was not that day. Grade: D Sure, this is some high-level strangeness, but it’s Skittles and it’s Steven Tyler, so you gotta figure they just multiply one another. Of course, it’s entirely possible that Steven Tyler thought that Skittles portrait was a mirror. Grade: C Quicken: What Were We Thinking? Push Button. Get Mortgage. Come to think of it, that’s a pretty great title for the inevitable sequel to “The Big Short.” Grade: D Yeah, it looks like Acura’s ad agency just learned of the isolated David Lee Roth vocals that have been floating around the Internet for years. But that track is still awesome. As is Diamond Dave. As is this ad. Grade: A Dollar Shave Club Clever little ad from Dollar Shave Club, which might have to go to Five Dollar Shave Club after paying for
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner36 mins ago
Like many Americans, President Obama and the First Lady are hosting a Super Bowl party to watch the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, but they're enjoying a pretty extensive menu – and unlike most of us, they won't have to clean up afterward.
Via this tweet from CBS This Morning social media manager Kevin Prince (the Obamas recorded an interview for the network that aired during the pregame show), here is the menu for the night:
It includes foods representing both teams involved: Carolina pulled pork sliders and Southern fried chicken wings for the Panthers, and "Mile High Blitz" burger bites and German beer brats for the Broncos.
Hopefully the prep cooks got the garlic peeled in time. The biggest question, though, is right at the bottom: the POTUS beer. Is that just Obama's favorite available-to-anyone label or a special brew crafted just for him?LiveCarolina7 - 13DenverFollow Game
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner45 mins ago
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The Denver Broncos got a ton of big plays in the first half of Super Bowl 50.
Von Miller made a Superman-esque play to strip Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and the Broncos recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. They got the longest punt return in Super Bowl historyon a weird play in which the Panthers thought the play was dead. The Broncos got a huge fumble recovery after Darian Stewart hit Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert in Denver territory. They did a great job containing Newton, the NFL's MVP.
And all those breaks resulted in just a 13-7 lead at halftime. Ho hum.
It should have been more. The most damaging play of the first half came when defensive end Kony Ealy made a one-handed interception with the Broncos threatening to score. Peyton Manning made a bad mistake, seemingly not seeing Ealy drop into coverage, and Ealy made a spectacular play.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
We have a Super Bowl record set early in SB50.
Denver Broncos punt returner Jordan Norwood did what no one has done in the first 49 Super Bowl: return a punt longer than 45 yards.
On his first return attempt of the game, Norwood caught Brad Nortman's punt at his own 25-yard line in traffic, and the Carolina Panthers stood around after as if he had called for a fair catch. Norwood didn't, and he sidestepped two Panthers — Colin Jones and Teddy Williams — and turned up the right side of the field, sprung by a nice block from teammate Lerentee McCray on tight end Ed Dickson.
Sixty-one yards later, the Broncos were in business — yet another momentum shift in a wild first half — after the Panthers appeared to have seized control after falling behind 10-0.
Although the Broncos' offense stalled in the red zone, Norwood's Super Bowl-record return of 61 led to a Brandon McManus field goal and a 13-7 lead.
- Yahoo Sports Staff at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
The visual appeal of Super Bowl 50 got turned up a notch once people took notice of referee Clete Blakeman, the game's 51-year-old lead official. Aside from the usual complaints by fans who've followed Blakeman's controversial career, other Twitter users focused in on his physique.
But who, exactly, is Clete Blakeman? Long before he was officiating the Panthers-Broncos showdown, Blakeman was a backup quarterback at Nebraska from 1984 to 1987. He got his start as a field judge in the NFL in 2008 before transitioning to referee two years later.
Sorry though, ladies, by the looks of his Twitter profile, he's happily married.
Here's a sampling of some women who found Mr. Blakeman easy on the eyes.
Ok, I'm just going to say it. Clete Blakeman, the Head Referee looked really sexy in the California Sunset light. #SB50
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Mike Carey jinxed Jerricho Cotchery and the Carolina Panthers.
With the Panthers backed up at their own 15-yard line, Cam Newton dropped back to pass midway through the first quarter of Super Bowl 50 and drilled a pretty pass to Cotchery, who bobbled the pass but appeared to haul it in after getting tackled by the Denver Broncos' Darian Stewart.
But the call on the field was incomplete, which Panthers coach Ron Rivera quickly challenged. During a short look at the replay, Carey — the former NFL ref and current CBS analyst, who has a notoriously horrific batting average on live-broadcast first guesses — immediately praised Rivera and said there was no evidence of the ball coming loose and hitting the turf.
So naturally, as he has been so often this season, Carey was wrong. The replay confirmed the call on the field.
What did they see? The tip of the ball hit the field, but it looked to be in control by the receiver. The referees disagreed.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Of course the Denver Broncos' top-ranked defense got the first touchdown of Super Bowl 50.
The first touchdown came thanks to Von Miller and an amazing play to strip Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
On a third down (after the Panthers' challenge of what looked like a catch by Jerricho Cotcherywasn't successful) Newton dropped back to pass. Miller was rushing from Newton's right, and blew past right Panthers tackle Mike Remmers. Miller got to Newton, hit him, and just took the ball from him.
Newton fumbled, the ball rolled toward the end zone and Broncos defensive lineman Malik Jackson fell on it in the end zone for the first touchdown of Super Bowl 50.
Imagine the odds you could have gotten betting "Malik Jackson will score the first touchdown of Super Bowl 50" in Las Vegas.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
What a rousing start!
Lady Gaga was viewed as a bizarre choice to sing the national anthem at Super Bowl 50, although no more bizarre than Coldplay as the halftime entertainment.
Is it too late to add her to performance, too?
Gaga turned in a hair-raising rendition of the anthem, dressed in a red suit with red eye shadow — both glittering in the gorgeous Santa Clara afternoon before the kickoff of the Carolina Panthers facing the Denver Broncos.
What a version, and one of the best in recent memory. No one touches Whitney Houston's version, and no one likely ever will. But Gaga's was right up there with Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys and Beyoncé as some of the finer ones in the past generation of talented singers we've had.
It shouldn't have been a shock. Despite her odd wardrobe, she's an incredible talent. Sounds like a certain quarterback we know.
And for those keeping score at home (aka, betting), we clocked her in at just over 2:29 — the over-under total was 2:20 in Vegas, so we assumed the over wins. But then we saw this:
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady seems to be the most unpopular of all the great NFL players, past and present. At the very least, he the Super Bowl MVP who was booed the loudest on Sunday.
The Super Bowl MVPs were introduced before Super Bowl 50. Everyone who was able showed up. Bart Starr and Chuck Howley were shown waving on video from their houses. Peyton Manning was shown back in the locker room before the game. Dallas Cowboys defensive end Harvey Martin, co-MVP of Super Bowl XII, is the only Super Bowl MVP who has died.
So fans had a lot of great players to react to. And Brady was booed.