Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Best Two Minutes of the Superbowl

 

The best two minutes of the Superbowl were not on the field — those poor folks in Atlanta paid thousands of dollars for what might as well have been soccer for all the kicking — but the NFL’s commercial to commemorate its centennial.

Now, if you’re like me, you’re so used to seeing these guys from their game days and in uniforms that helpfully tell you who you’re looking at, you might not recognize who is who. But with the help of the internet and frame by frame analysis, allow me to give you the play by play.

It begins at a seemingly boring self-congratulatory dinner, NLF Commissioner Roger Goodell giving a boring, self-congratulatory speech. (He appears to have left the horns, tail, and pitchfork at home.) Cuts back to the audience seated at banquet tables show Bears Linebacker (’65-’73) Dick Butkus, Steelers Defensive Tackle (’69-’81) Joe Green, and Rams Defensive Tackle (’14-present) Aaron Donald at one table, Broncos/Colts Quarterback Payton Manning (’98-’15) and Rams/Bears Offensive Tackle (’97-’09) Orlando Pace at another, with Saints Running Back (’17-present) Alvin Kamara and Chargers/Saints Quarterback (’01-present) Drew Brees at yet another. A cut shows another table with only Giants Defensive End (’93-’07) Michael Strahan in focus. Patriots Tight End (’10-present) Rob Gronkowski and Bears Linebacker (’00-’12) Brian Urlacher sit together, while at another table E-Sports player Tyler “Ninja” Blevins pours champagne for Steelers Wide Receiver (’17-present) JuJu Smith-Schuster, who doesn’t appear to recognize the guy with whom he played Fortnight.

And then we see Bills/Seahawks/Raiders Running Back Marshawn Lynch in his hoodie and skullcap (presumably because he had to be there) eyeing the cake. He’s like a moth to a flame. Closer and closer he leans toward it, until he overreaches. His hand goes into the cake, and the golden football rolls off its topper onto the floor. We get a quick cut back to Goodell, Payton and Pace following the ball with their eyes; Goodell pauses in his speech and Payton says “Oh boy.” The first female NFL play-by-play announcer Beth Mowins and Giants Quarterback (’04-present) Eli Manning looks on in horror, while Lions/Dolphins/Rams Nose Tackle (’10-present) Ndamukong Suh looks like a kid who’s just seen all the presents under Christmas tree. There’s also a gentleman to the right of Suh that I feel like I ought to know, but again, I can’t recognize football players without their jerseys!

Bears Linebacker (’81-’92) and Ravens/49ers/Vikings/Rams/Express Coach (’02-present) Mike Singletary pulls off his glasses and reacts on the instincts honed by a lifetime spent around the game: “Fumble!” And the game is on. Panthers Running Back/Return Specialist (’17-present) Christian McCaffrey lunges up from the table, pulling his way around 49ers/Chiefs Quarterback Joe Montana. Suh leaps for the ball and becomes the first man on the bottom of a massive dogpile. But the ball escapes!

Now Montana has it! He’s looking downfield, er, ballroom, when 49ers/Raiders/Seahawks Wide Receiver (’85-’04) Jerry Rice reaches out to catch! Cowboys Wide Receiver (’88-’99) Michael Irvin reaches out and yells “Joe!” to which Montana replies “No can do, Cowboy!” and launches it (ironically) out to Falcons/49ers/Cowboys/Redskins/Ravens Cornerback and Punt Returner Deion Sanders, who starts running with his iconic high stepping. Urlacher goes in for the tackle, collapsing one of the fully laden banquet tables.

We then cut to three gentlemen in lovely teal jackets representing the undefeated ’72 Dolphins — Chargers/Dolphins Guard (’67-’80) Larry Little, Browns/Dolphins/Southmen/Browns Wide Receiver (’64-’77) Paul Warfield, and Dolphins/Southmen/Giants/Dolphins Fullback (’69-’79) Larry Csonka — drinking their champagne and enjoying the show. Rams Running Back (’15-present) Todd Gurley catches the airborne ball, and with encouragement from Strahan, does a short run and a lateral pass to Lions Running Back (’89-’98) Barry Sanders. Sanders spins around one attempted tackle and dodges a second while Cowboys/Cardinals Running Back (’90-’04) Emmitt Smith looks on and notes to the lovely ladies at his table, “Y’all know I have more yards than they do.”

Somehow, Payton has the ball now, and he drops back for a third and long. It’s caught by Chargers/Jets Running Back (’01-’11) LaDainian Tomlinson. As Payton works his shoulder, Strahan sitting next to him notes that “You still got it” but Payton replies “That hurt.” Tomlinson runs the ball, spinning around a waiter who crashes into his own tray, when Ravens/Texans/Jets safety (’02-’13) Ed Reed prepares for the takedown. Tomlinson squeaks between a pair of tackles while Reed sneaks around a table to flying tackle Tomlinson into the tower of filled champagne glasses. Appropriately named Browns Fullback (’57-’65) Jim Brown watches and says what we’re all thinking: “Boy, this is a great party.”

We cut to a quiet corner where Browns Quarterback (’18-present) Baker Mayfield encourages Patriots Quarterback (’00-end of time) Tom Brady to “Get out there, old man.” The Ugg spokesman slips off his five Superbowl rings and gives them to Mayfield with a “Hold these,” as it is a well-established fact that Brady performs best with the least possible weight in his hand. Sometimes too much air can throw him of his game. Not that we see him actually throw a ball, as our next cut shows us Donald putting the pressure on Steelers Quarterback (’70-’83) Terry Bradshaw. The truly old man launches the ball into the pack of Cardinals Cornerback (’11-present) Patrick Peterson, Giants Wide Receiver (’14-present) Odell Beckham Jr., Cardinals Wide Receiver (’04-present) Larry Fitzgerald, Chargers Safety (’18-present) Derwin James, and Jaguars Cornerback (’16-present) Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey gets a hand on it, but it rebounds to Steelers/Seahawks Fullback (’72-84) Franco Harris in a repeat of the Immaculate Reception. Joe Greene of course approves.

JuJu now has the ball and jumps on a table to demonstrate his foot-placement prowess, to Lynch’s approval. We have a couple of quick cuts, including one to Goodell pointing at someone and noting “He’s open.” The ball is now in the hands of rookie Pro-Bowler, Offensive Player of the Year and NFL MVP, the amazing, the talented, so-fast-he’s-blurry-in-every-shot, Chiefs Quarterback (’18-present) Patrick Mahomes who has time to say hi to Seahawks Quarterback (’12-present) Russell Wilson before throwing a no-look pass. Beckham leaps for the catch, landing beautifully on the center of another banquet table.

Officiate Ronald Torbert gestures for a fair catch, and the first female NFL referee Sarah Thomas agrees and calls a first down. You may decry her presence as the NFL caving into feminist pressure, but I think it’s high time we had female referees. Everyone knows that a woman is much better at identifying a man’s mistakes than he is! And besides, could women really do a worse job than the male refs we have?

And now the ball is being run in by Chiefs/Falcons Tight End (’97-’13) Tony Gonzalez, who rolls over Broncos Outside Linebacker (’11-present) Von Miller into Lynch’s beloved cake, much to the dismay of Butkis, Greene, and Donald. The ball ends up in the hands of 15-year old Sam Gordon, a high school girl who’s become internet famous for a) playing high school football, b) suing schools that don’t have girls tackle football teams, and c) admitting that her preferred sport is soccer, anyway. Seahawks/49ers Cornerback (’11-present) Richard Sherman asks her nicely for the ball instead of tackling her flat like a proper cornerback should, and in reply, she trash talks him, spins around him and laterals the ball to Giants Running Back (’18-present) Saquon Barkley. He hurdles over another man and ends this fantastic spot by running offscreen, followed by a half dozen players.

Aside from the stupid girl power moment near the end, this is an amazing commercial. This is why we watch football. This is what we want to see every Sunday in the fall. This is the game we care about.

Oh, and Avengers: Infinity War? You have officially lost your title as the most impressive crossover event in history.

There are 26 comments.

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  1. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’d say, what a brilliant job of “Let’s go to the videotape!” Except, of course, videotape is virtually extinct. Thanks for the elaborate breakdown, Amy. 

    • #1
    • February 4, 2019, at 7:05 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  2. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Amy,

    Not bad, not bad. I still liked this better.

    Nice girl.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #2
    • February 4, 2019, at 7:07 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  3. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Amy Schley: Everyone knows that a woman is much better at identifying a man’s mistakes than he is! And besides, could women really do a worse job than the male refs we have?

    I’ll give you that. I think it’s more the potential to change player behavior. I’m out on the field and a guy is refereeing, I’m not going to be as worried about crashing into him as if it’s a woman. I’ll grant that only a couple of the ref jobs have them on the field itself, but I think it’s still a valid concern.

    • #3
    • February 4, 2019, at 7:09 PM PST
    • 1 like
  4. Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker Moderator

    I should add, I’ve not had this much fun watching a banquet hall get trashed since Ghostbusters.

    • #4
    • February 4, 2019, at 7:29 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  5. Hoyacon Member

    Great job. You have a future in play-by-play.

    Some more on how this was put together here.

    The best two minutes, however, were the last two minutes leading up to ring #6.

    • #5
    • February 4, 2019, at 7:34 PM PST
    • 1 like
  6. Ed G. Member
    Ed G. Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Great job. You have a future in play-by-play.

    Some more on how this was put together here.

    The best two minutes, however, were the last two minutes leading up to ring #6.

    “The reason we were able to pull it off is because it felt genuine and authentic to the players. The players said, ‘Whoever put this together knows football.’ “

    Indeed, that’s what I was thinking when I saw it. I wanted it to keep going with more football greats feeling those juices flowing again. Great job by the NFL in getting this together.

    • #6
    • February 4, 2019, at 8:23 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  7. MarciN Member

    Great recap!

    I love Ellie’s wedding scene from Chuck:

    • #7
    • February 4, 2019, at 8:26 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  8. Matt Saracen Coolidge

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Great job. You have a future in play-by-play.

    Some more on how this was put together here.

    The best two minutes, however, were the last two minutes leading up to ring #6.

    Steeler fan says…

    Nope.

    • #8
    • February 4, 2019, at 9:05 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  9. Hartmann von Aue Member

    Amy Schley (View Comment):

    I should add, I’ve not had this much fun watching a banquet hall get trashed since Ghostbusters.

    Me neither! Thanks! 

    • #9
    • February 5, 2019, at 3:32 AM PST
    • Like
  10. Bruce Caward Thatcher
    Bruce Caward Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I didn’t know who the girl was, so that joke, such as it was, was lost on me. Brady stripping off his rings was perfect.

    My only complaint was that there weren’t about 50 more old legends out there, and that it wan’t ten minutes instead of two. Best SB commercial in years.

    • #10
    • February 5, 2019, at 4:06 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  11. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Amy Schley: Officiate Ronald Torbert gestures for a fair catch and the first female NFL referee Sarah Thomas agrees and calls a first down. You may decry her presence as the NFL caving into feminist pressure, but I think it’s high time we had female referees. Everyone knows that a woman is much better at identifying a man’s mistakes than he is! And besides, could women really do a worse job than the male refs we have?

    • #11
    • February 5, 2019, at 4:24 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  12. Bruce Caward Thatcher
    Bruce Caward Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Amy Schley: Everyone knows that a woman is much better at identifying a man’s mistakes than he is! And besides, could women really do a worse job than the male refs we have?

    I’ll give you that. I think it’s more the potential to change player behavior. I’m out on the field and a guy is refereeing, I’m not going to be as worried about crashing into him as if it’s a woman. I’ll grant that only a couple of the ref jobs have them on the field itself, but I think it’s still a valid concern.

    I didn’t know that women were actually disallowed from officiating; I always assumed that it ws just something they didn’t, well, do. I’ve never encountered a woman backhoe operator on a construction site, though there’s nothing to it a typical woman couldn’t do. (I’m sure there are female operators out there somewhere, but I hope you get my point.)

    If women DO start officiating, I hope they don’t officiate the way a woman would, or that there is any such thing. Exactly the same as I hope there is no way to interpret a case before the Supreme Court some way differently if you’re a woman. Or Latina, for that matter. Why would a legal principle change if a woman is adjudicating it, or whether or not the ground caused the fumble? What is there about your sex that would cause you to see either a different way?

    But I agree with @mattbalzer about players being a little more self-conscious out there. Also the potential for injury. If a male ref – or any mere mortal for that matter – gets hit by a pro football player, damage will ensue, no doubt. But the first time it’s a woman, that might be the last time. Men are protective of women, that’s nature.

     

    • #12
    • February 5, 2019, at 4:29 AM PST
    • 1 like
  13. Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker Moderator

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    You have a future in play-by-play.

    Thanks, but no. This took three hours of frame by frame advance, the YouTube description that listed each appearance in order, this list of what each player was wearing ( https://www.nj.com/expo/sports/g66l-2019/02/1ccdd7b2951795/nfl-100-commercial-can-you-name-every-football-legend-in-super-bowl-53-ad-heres-our-list.html ), and Wikipedia to figure out team/ position/ year. With a lot of, “Wait, which one is the black guy in the red velvet jacket with the bow tie again?” Thank goodness most of them aren’t wearing traditional tuxes. 

    • #13
    • February 5, 2019, at 5:30 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker Moderator

    Also, while a cardinal rule of the internet is never read the comments, I just want to note how much I’ve loved reading the YouTube comments on this ad. This thing made everyone happy. And this is true wisdom: “Girls, find a man who looks at you the way Marshawn Lynch looks at that cake.”

    • #14
    • February 5, 2019, at 5:55 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  15. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Fun commercial and a great recap. I recognized a lot of the players but not this many you named in this post.

    I did know the Fortnight guy only because he was on the NFL awards show Saturday night and Steve Harvey almost called him the N-word (“Tyler “Ni-“….hold up…oh ok…thought it said something else”). 

    My kids asked who the girl was and I had no idea. This is an NFL ad, not a generic football one. Seeing her standing next to a mere cornerback shows you why women shouldn’t be playing against men.

    Anyway, it looks like Barry Sanders could still leave linebackers grabbing at air.

    • #15
    • February 5, 2019, at 5:58 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  16. Stad Thatcher

    I enjoyed the whole thing, even Sam Gordon, the female teenage football player.

    The commercial made me think of what the Westminister dog show would be like if someone let loose a squirrel during the competition . . .

    • #16
    • February 5, 2019, at 7:31 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  17. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Stad (View Comment):
    The commercial made me think of what the Westminister dog show would be like if someone let loose a squirrel during the competition . . .

    Stad,

    Damn it Stad, have you ever thought of going into the AD game. Let’s pitch this idea to the right client and run it up the flag pole and see who salutes…

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #17
    • February 5, 2019, at 7:34 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker Moderator

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Great job. You have a future in play-by-play.

     Now this commercial, I can do play by play with no reference material: 

    • #18
    • February 5, 2019, at 9:02 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  19. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Didn’t I see Joe Namath in there? I swore I saw Joe Namath…

    • #19
    • February 5, 2019, at 11:03 AM PST
    • Like
  20. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Didn’t I see Joe Namath in there? I swore I saw Joe Namath…

    Joe was in the “walk” of the Lombardi Trophy to the trophy presentation, but not in the 2 minute video.

    • #20
    • February 5, 2019, at 11:18 AM PST
    • Like
  21. Hoyacon Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Didn’t I see Joe Namath in there? I swore I saw Joe Namath…

    Joe was in the “walk” of the Lombardi Trophy to the trophy presentation, but not in the 2 minute video.

    I’m glad he’s still around, and he was on a SB winning team, but I think his status as a Hall of Famer is form over substance.

    Great to see Jim Brown getting a line in the video.

    • #21
    • February 5, 2019, at 12:01 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. Mountie Member

    So, three things: 

    I saw the reception live, I’m that old. 

    I’m a Raider fan and to my dying day I’ll believe it was an incomplete pass

    They have a statue of Harris catching the ball in the lobby of Pittsburg airport. I avoid flying in or out of Pittsburg where I can

    • #22
    • February 5, 2019, at 3:07 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  23. barbara lydick Coolidge

    dnewlander (View Comment):

    Steeler fan says…

    Nope.

    I’m with ya, there!!!

    Tho they did maintain that record for years and years…

    • #23
    • February 5, 2019, at 5:45 PM PST
    • Like
  24. barbara lydick Coolidge

    Mountie (View Comment):

    So, three things:

    I saw the reception live, I’m that old.

    I’m a Raider fan and to my dying day I’ll believe it was an incomplete pass

    WRONG

    I too was a that game. (Tho anyone in the stands that says they knew what happened – on either side – probably was engaging in wishful thinking.) It was later films- from every angle imaginable – that showed #32 did indeed catch that ball and that it didn’t hit the ground.

    Your coach, some years later, tried to convince the studio and viewing audience on some talk show that the reason the refs called it a fair catch was that they looked around at the security that was on duty and decided it wasn’t sufficient to hold back an angry Pgh fan base so decided the decision would stand as originally called.

    • #24
    • February 5, 2019, at 5:45 PM PST
    • 1 like
  25. Woolfolk Inactive

    Stad (View Comment):

    The commercial made me think of what the Westminister dog show would be like if someone let loose a squirrel during the competition . . .

    Funny

     

    • #25
    • February 5, 2019, at 7:16 PM PST
    • 1 like
  26. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Didn’t I see Joe Namath in there? I swore I saw Joe Namath…

    He probably was there for the cocktail hour and then left to attend other matters.

    • #26
    • February 6, 2019, at 4:32 AM PST
    • 1 like

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