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Will the game and ads be ‘super’?

By Chuck Hunt - Editor | Jan 31, 2021

It is true confession time. I have always thought of myself as not being a big TV watcher.

Sure, I have watched TV all of my life, I must confess. I remember when my parents first brought home that new color TV, even though not all of the TV shows were in color. Yes, really. Many were in black and white.

And there were those Saturday morning cartoons, which we were not allowed to watch until our chores were done.

We had our favorites. Mine was Chip and Dale, the two chipmunks.

Our favorite TV shows were ones like Lassie, Walt Disney Wonderful World of Color, Leave it to Beaver, and well, you get the idea. Pretty warm and nice for the whole family.

And the commercials? They were all pretty much plain and simple. And if I remember right, there were not that many of them.

Things are different now.

Television programs are much more graphic and violent. I have to admit that there was some violence in the “Olden Days,” but now it is much more prevalent.

Cartoons have changed as well. They have morphed into SpongeBob, the Simpsons and American Dad. I confess I don’t watch any of them.

I have tried, but I just can’t do it. Again, I confess that cartoons in my day were also pretty dumb, and quite a bit more violent than I once thought. I mean, Tom and Jerry were always beating on each other. And the coyote was always getting blown up or falling off a cliff.

Commercials seem to have changed as well.

No longer are they a spokesperson hawking laundry soap. Now they are real productions. Some are nearly mini-movies they have so much action going on. And many are strange and, well, just plain dumb – in my opinion, anyway.

But then, I do realize I may not be the demographic the advertiser is aiming their message at. I’m at the age where the ones for things like Medicare are aimed at me. But honestly, if I see that one with Joe Namath hawking the Medicare hotline one more time I may throw a brick at my TV.

And it is not just the fact that so many TV commercials (I’m sorry, I think they are actually just called ads now days) are really pretty stupid, it is the fact that there are so many of them.

I once turned on the TV and it had been on for quite a while and my wife asked me what show I was watching. I said I wasn’t sure because so far all I had seen were commercials.

Some shows have five minutes or more of commercials in a row. That is great for having time for a trip to the bathroom or getting a snack, but how many times does one need to do that in a half hour?

Some breaks are so long you can leave and empty the dishwasher or vacuum the house or run to the store and come back and not have missed anything.

There are some TV shows where I swear there are more minutes of commercials than actual program. No wonder people are going to other TV program providers and streaming services – just trying to get rid of all those ads.

And, that is why so many of us back up a show to the beginning on our DVR and then “zap” (fast forward through) the commercials. It works great for watching football games. Instead of spending three hours of your life sitting there, you can see the whole game in an hour and a half. Just by zapping all those ads.

Except the Super Bowl that is. No zapping in that case.

The big NFL title contest is the one game where everyone wants to see the commercials as well as the game itself. Even more so if the game is lopsided and boring. I have been known to put the TV on pause so I can go to the bathroom and not miss the commercials.

Some of the best and most entertaining TV commercials ever were all first shown during the Super Bowl. We all have our favorites and they are too numerous to mention here.

However, the past couple of years have been a little bit disappointing as the “wow factor” of the ads has seemed a bit down.

This year could be even more unimpressive. Some of the perennial big advertisers are taking a break from the Super Bowl. Companies like Budweiser and Coke are donating their money to COVID-19 issues instead of spending it on Super Bowl ads. And, good for them.

This year we might actually have to hope the game is exciting enough to make it worth our while to watch it – because the commercials might not be.

On the other hand, if the commercials are not very exciting, we will have time for that bathroom visit or time to hit the kitchen for a few more snacks without having to hit the pause button.

As far as the game goes, I really don’t care who wins. I just hope it is close all the way and one team wins it in the last few seconds.

That would really be super.