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Saturday, February 6, 2016


February 9 is Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras, while February 8 is Chinese New Year.  The 50th Super Bowl comes tomorrow, Sunday.  I covered the Mardi Gras in detail two years ago and earlier this week reprised my Chinese New Year posting.  I annually say something about the Super Bowl, but, as I this year did not watch even one National Football League game on TV, I can best report on the commercials. 
To begin, the reality is that the NFL is nowhere near the top internationally:
  • Total attendance
    • #1  Major League Baseball  74 million
    • #2  Nippon Professional Baseball:  23 million (Japan)
    • #3  National Hockey League:  21 million
    • #4  National Basketball Association:  21 million
    • #5  NFL:  18 million
    • #6  Premier League (UK-soccer):  14 million
    • #7  Bundesliga (Germany-soccer):  13 million
  • Highest attendance for one game:
    • #1  Australian rules football:  98,632
    • #2  World Cup:  89,283
    • #7  All-Ireland Hurling:  82,274
    • #22  Super Bowl:  70,288
With regards to TV draw, how does the Super Bowl compare with the FIFA World (Soccer) Cup final?  These world statistics are suspect at best, but FIFA did report that in 2010 nearly a billion watched at least one minute and there were 531 million average viewers.  The official figure for the World Cup of 2014 was 700 million, although I've seen a billion reported here and there..  Worldwide, Super Bowl 2015 had 160 million viewers.

To many, the Super Bowl game itself is secondary to the commercials.  CBS showed the 50 most popular, (you can watch all 1 hr 26 minutes without commercials) with #1 being Budweiser's Lost Dog.  Here is USA Today's AD Meter compilation of the top ten, with  #1 being that same lost dog.  Here is another top ten, with #3 being Apple's 1984 Macintosh, directed by Ridley Scott, #2 Volkswagen's The Force of 2011 and #1 Old Spice's The Man Your Man Could Smell Like of 2010.

For those who won't have time to watch the Super Bowl 2016 commercials, click on THIS.  Cost?  $5 million for 30 seconds.  By the way, Ridley Scott's son Jake was responsible for Lost Dog, and this year is directing LG's organic light-emitting diodes.  

Liam Neeson returns, also for LG, with his son Michael, again for OLED TV.  Pokemon (pocket monsters), now twenty years old, makes a first appearance.

Yes, there will also be a game, at  Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, with kickoff at 6:30PM ET, and the passing of the torch ceremony is likely to occur, with Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers prevailing over Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos.

The Panthers are favored by 5 points or so, but those prop bets are what make this game unique:
  • Over/under of Lady Gaga's national anthem:  2 min 20 sec (average of most recent 10--1 min 57 sec)
  • Will there be an earthquake during the game:  yes at 10 to 1.
  • Peyton Manning to announce retirement:  5 to 1 yes.
  • What jersey will Steph Curry (best NBA player this year-- who grew up in Charlotte) wear:  5 to 1 a non Cam Newton Carolina jersey.
  • What will be the color of the liquid poured over the winning coach:  orange at 5 to 4.
  • What song will Coldplay (a British group) play first during halftime:  Adventure of a Lifetime at 2 to 1.
  • Bruno Mars will reprise an Elvis impersonation for which he was once famous as a child in Honolulu.  Click on that...something you just go to see on this Super Sunday:  nah, just kidding, no prop.
  • Color of Beyonce's footwear at halftime:  black at 3 to 2.
  • Super Bowl viewers:  over or under 117 million.
  • How many wings will Buffalo Wings sell on Super Bowl Day:  over or under 12 million.
  • Carolina will win by more than 43 points:  50 to 1.
  • Denver will win by more than 43 points:  100 to 1.
  • Donald Trump will get more % points in Hampshire than winning team score:  1 to 2.
  • Both Denver and Sanders win:  10 to 1.

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