Thank you to The Well, the Sunday evening service at Neighborhood Church of Redding, for putting on such a great Super Bowl party today. The surroundings not only enabled us to watch the Big Game on a movie-theater-sized screen, but it also gave me an opportunity to gauge reactions from the 20-somethings who populate The Well to various pop-culture fixtures of our annual national ritual.
So here are a few quick, random thoughts.
1) The better team won tonight, but 49er fans should feel nothing but pride at how the team's young quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, overcame what looked like some early jitters to have an absolutely monstrous second half. Keep in mind that this was only his 10th professional start, so he'll do nothing but continue to improve, as will his team. I suspect we'll watch Kaepernick on a few afternoons in February before it's all over.
2) My wife and I walked outside during halftime festivities, as did a great number of the 150-ish other attendees of the party. The organizers set up a field where kids could act out a few of their own gridiron dreams, and the rest of us watched. We didn't see Beyonce's mini-concert, so I couldn't tell you if it looked like she lip-synced or not.
3) I know the NFL likes to hold the Super Bowl in New Orleans because it's one big party. But today's 35-minute power outage ought to make a few top league officials wonder about the wisdom of holding their biggest spectacle in a 40-year-old building.
4) The commercials were, well, the commercials. Not much to say about most of them. Among the young people around us, some of them watched, a few of them laughed at the slapstick and most of them just took the opportunity to talk. For all the money spent by companies to buy the spots, it's not as if members of their most coveted demographic were riveted on the screen.
There was one incredible exception, though -- the Ram Trucks commercial. OK, I may be biased because I work for an ag publication, but that was the best Super Bowl ad I've seen in at least a decade. It was the only commercial that drew applause from people at our party. I'd say it won the day hands down.
5) Good riddance, Ray Lewis.