Dave Paxton

Rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl was a complete bust. As a lifelong Colts fan I cannot cheer for anything Tom Brady post his cheating in the “Deflategate” deal. But I can admit that Brady is the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL.

So I feel fortunate that I started keeping track of Super Bowl commercials as I watched all but the final minute of the game. It was a weird assortment of $5.5 million 30-second commercials because several companies didn’t try to sell you their products and for the first time in like 40 years, there were not Clydesdales to cheer on.

There were a lot of touchy, feely spots, most of which were pretty heart warming.

Without question, hands down, the M&M’s commercial, which was the first one shown as the game began, was the best of the night. My gosh, using M&M’s as a way to apologize was sheer genius.

And the best apologies came from the guy leaving the confessional booth, opening the priest’s door, handing him a bag of M&M’s and saying, “Sorry you had to hear all of that.” Second was the guy apologizing for “mansplaining” and then telling his girlfriend what “mansplaining” was. It was only shown once, but I’m betting it will be all over cable and network television in the weeks and months to come.

I would rank it up there with the Clydesdale colt commercial and the cat herding commercial of by-gone Super Bowls.

Second place goes to the Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade and its raining of lemons as a shoutout to a year of COVID-19. It was brilliant because most Americans are tired of Joe Biden’s “Dark Winter of COVID” and all of the doom and gloom the stupid China Virus has wrought on us. Americans love to laugh and raining lemons made us all laugh.

The Doritos commercial featuring a paper thin Matthew McConaughey was choice, only because of the ending which shows him eating a Dorito inside a vending machine and becoming stuck inside when the Dorito inflates him.

Will Farrell bashing Norway was terrific, mostly because the joke ends up on Farrell winding up in Sweden looking for a new EV (electric vehicle). Will Farrell really never gets old.

The best commercial that didn’t really sell anything was the Toyota commercial featuring the adopted little girl, a double leg amputee, who became a champion para-Olympic swimmer. It was a weirdly filmed commercial with the whole water thing, but using the real parents and the little girl, then the grown-up girl swimming made me teary.

This is the first set of Super Bowl commercials where slogans were made prominent and some were really good. Like the Huggies “We got you baby!” The best was the hologram of Vince Lombardi saying, “It takes all of us.” But Jeep’s “Reunited States of America,” was classy, Weather Tech’s “We never left,” Anheuser Busch’s “It’s never about the beer, it’s about each other,” and Michelob’s “Are you happy because you win or do you win because you’re happy?” were really good. So was the Cheetos commercial featuring Ashtin Kutcher and his wife (girlfriend) saying “Wasn’t me.”

That commercial was memorable because my eight-year-old grandson spent most of the game eating a bag of really horrible Dorito sticks with bright red fingers and thumbs touching stuff in our home.

You really don’t have to convince me to visit Bass Pro or Cabella’s but their “get back to nature” commercial was probably the most visually beautiful.

There were a couple of commercials I liked, but only because I’m ancient and immediately connected the characters, like the Wayne’s World “eat local” commercial, the Samuel L. Jackson 5G commercial where somebody says the vegetable “peeled himself,” the Tide commercial featuring the Jason Alexander hoodie channeling George on Seinfeld, Robert from “Everybody Loves Raymond” doing Jimmy Johns, the Bud Light Legends and Edward Scissorhand driving the hands free all electric Cadillac.

There were a few really bad commercials. Robinhood attempting to rebuild their reputation after the stock market trading fiasco was a dud. The Dr. Squatch soap commercial didn’t really tell me much about the product except that they were channeling their inner Duluth Trading Co. The Turbo Tax traveling desks were stupid.

The wok Oat Milk ad made me want to run to the refrigerator and gulp real cow’s milk. The State Farm stand-ins were sort of funny but didn’t rise to the level of their previous Mahomes, Rogers’s commercials and really didn’t work as Mahomes was getting stomped by Tampa Bay. Perhaps most lame was the Chipotle “how we grow food” green energy commercial.

I can’t tell if the greatest or worst commercials aired in the final minute of the game. I couldn’t bear the final interception thrown by Kansas City.

There were a couple of teachable moments in Tampa Bay’s blowout of Kansas City as I sat and watched the game with three athlete grandchildren. It came late in the game with Tampa Bay way out in front. Patrick Mahomes throws a pass to Tyrek Hill who is tackled short of the first down.

The Tampa Bay defensive back squats down, holds up two fingers and taunts Hill as he gets to his feet, who as the totally classy guy he is, simply walks away. The Tampa Bay player immediately draws an unsportsmanlike penalty. In the first half, a Kansas City defender taunted Tom Brady, who unlike Tyrek Hill went after the guy. Because he is Tom Brady and the officials saw the initial taunting, Brady didn’t get flagged as well.

But I told my grandkids you never, ever taunt an opponent when you have them down. You pick them up, pat them on the back, and compliment them on their effort. That is true sportsmanship. It is Tyrek Hill sportsmanship.

Another teachable moment from the game came from just watching the injured and pummeled Patrick Mahomes deporting himself on the field. He showed total class playing behind a patchwork offensive line that allowed the likes of Domican Suh to smash him unmercifully play after play. He didn’t whine or cry, demean his teammates or refuse to go back on the field when he was clearly playing on one leg.

He lost a game, but won a whole lot of admirers by how he played the game.