My Vince Lombardi Moment

My Vince Lombardi moment is really more my Mom’s rather than mine. Vince Lombardi was the legendary football coach of the Green Bay Packers. The National Football League’s Super Bowl trophy is named in his honor. In 1969, Lombardi, a devout Catholic moved to the Washington D.C. area to coach the Redskins. He ended up joining our parish.

One Sunday morning, as usual, we were running a little late. Mass was about to start and it was crowded. The only empty seats were in a pew, almost to the front. Sitting on the aisle, in this nearly empty pew was an older couple. This was Lombardi and his wife. I don’t think that my Mom knew who he was, as if that would have mattered, she asked him to move over. He grudgingly slid his butt down the pew, a bit. My Mom insisted again and he move some more and he eventually moved over enough for the five of us to squeeze in there. I knew who he was and was as mortified as a 15 year-old could be. He died a year later. In retrospect, maybe Mom was just trying to help him move on closer to God.

Finally, the day of the big game has arrived, Super Bowl Sunday. For the record, I will be rooting for the Packers. The Packers are the unofficial Yooper team, don’t you know? They will be playing the Pittsburgh Steelers and the game will be held in Arlington, TX, my folk’s home for many years. I explain all of this, because even though the Super Bowl is great spectacle and almost an American holiday, its viewership is “only” about 100 million, which means that most Americans don’t watch the game.

I’ve laid out the basics here, the who, what and where of Super Bowl XLV (that would be 45), so that all my readers will be prepared on Monday morning, during the inevitable postmortem discussions around water cooler. But, now it is time to delve into the details. I’m not speaking about the football, the game hasn’t even been played yet; no, I’m speaking of the commercials, the other part of the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl is annoying in this respect. It is a TV show that you can’t afford to breakaway from during the commercials, because the commercials are part of the show. During the first Super Bowl, it cost advertisers $42,500 for a thirty-second spot. This year the cost is $3 million. Most advertisers secret their ads until their big moment, but more and more advertisers are beginning to socialize their wares before the big game.

This Volkswagen-Darth Vader spot is a choice one. You don’t know the power of the dark side of the Force. The other venue for advertisers is the banned Super Bowl ad route. This approach allows more creative freedom, alleviates the $3 million cost and can garner comparable exposure via YouTube and the web. I’ll not going to share any heavy Peta ads here (sorry guys), but this E-trade baby medley is relatively tame.

So considered yourself educated about this Super Bowl. Go forth and don’t watch the game. I’ve got you covered. Get out, go shopping, do something else. But know this, I will be watching, not you, the game. Try not to forget checking out the Monday morning news to see who wins. Remember it is the Packers versus the Steelers and you’ll do fine.

7 thoughts on “My Vince Lombardi Moment

  1. My favorite commercial was the Doritos with the office people.
    Think orange fingers.
    I was surprised, and it made me LOL.
    Go – PACKERS!

  2. We went to a party that had a TiVo. So that whenever a commercial came on that anyone liked the host would rewind and play it again. By halftime we were ten minutes behind real-time.

  3. OK… I admit to mixed empathies. The Packers because of their Yooper connection; the Steelers, because my mom’s parents were lifelong Pittsburgh fans (living in Greensburg, PA, the entire time I knew them). Arlington, TX, because my dad’s middle brother & his family had settled there decades ago.

    Did I watch the Super Bowl? NOPE! I got the text after it was all over that the Packers won… with the score. If I can access the best of the ads on YouTube, I’m happy.

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