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Super Bowl LVI is in the books. If there were ever an overriding theme to a Super Bowl, it was as the LL Cool J song famously says, “Going Back to Cali”.  The event was dripping with California love and vibes from beginning to end. We all know the home team LA Rams raised the Lombardi trophy at games end. But the best part of the event – the drama, half-time show and of course – commercials! Well, allow us to curate some of the highs, lows and highs of The Big Game.


Can You Smell What the Rock Is Cooking?

The game opened in a manner quite deserving of its venue. As the biggest movie star in the world today – Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson walked to center field, biceps bulging and proceeded to open the festivities with a monologue that was a throwback to his days in the WWE.

Was this blatant Hollywood stunt casting – probably, but there was also authenticity with the pick. As a University of Miami football alum, Johnson has the football cred to be there. And, if the purpose of the monologue was build up the hype – he delivered the goods.


The Game

On to the actual game. It was a rather understated affair. As we all know, the Rams jumped out to an early start with first quarter touchdown, but the Bengals quickly narrowed the lead. It was a relatively close affair until the final minutes of the fourth quarter when Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp scored one of his two touchdowns to put the Rams ahead for good with a score of 23-20.  As Super Bowl games go, it likely won’t rank at the top or be compared to games like the Patriots improbable comeback against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI or the Giants David Tyree helmet catch in the final two minutes of Super Bowl XLII, but it did what it had to do.

The Half-Time Show

A topic of discussion on the interwebs during and after. The Pepsi Halftime Show starring L.A. native sons Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog and Kendrick Lamar who were joined by some East Coast flavor courtesy of Mary j. Blige, Fifty Cent and Eminem.  If you are Gen X or a Millennial odds, are you loved it. Some are hailing it as one of the best half-time show in years. However, if you are a Boomer – not so much.  The performers went through a medley of what are now old-school classics, including “The Next Episode”, “California”, “Forgot About Dre”, “In Da Club” and “Lose Yourself”, as well as some current joints like “Alright”.  It was a great homage to West Coast hip hop. Which if you’re counting now has over three decades worth of material and history to its credit.


The Commercials

Ahh, the commercials. If you’re not into sports or music, there’s always Madison Avenue’s latest pitches, which this year also had a California heavy theme.

BMW: Zeus & Hera

First up was the Governator, as Greek God Zeus, accompanied by Goddess Hera in the form of the lovely Salma Hayek. Who retire to Palm Springs, California? The two are invigorated by a brand spankin’ new electric car courtesy BMW. Entertaining – yes. But can’t help but feel JB Smoov’s Caesar and Halle Berry’s Cleopatra just do it better.

Michelob Ultra: Welcome to Superior Bowl

In this homage to The Big Lebowski, Steve Buscemi is the night clerk a bowling alley when none other than NFL superstar Peyton Manning drops into roll some strikes. It’s an ad that has all the ingredients of a superior spot: a beloved actor, a football hero, a beloved retro movie and even a memorable cameo courtesy Serena Williams.

General Motors: Austin Powers

Mike Myers is at it again. By that we mean reviving another classic character. This go around we get Dr. Evil, but Meyers isn’t riding solo as he is joined by the likes of Seth Green, Rob Lowe and Mindy Sterling as they revive their characters from the Austin Powers franchise in this General Motors commercial that zeroes in on climate change. This one is chock full of classic Evil banter.

Planet Fitness: What’s Gotten into Lindsey

Talk about resurrections. Lindsey Lohan makes a return to television. This time schilling for Planet Fitness – in an ad that also features a Dennis Rodman, Danny Trejo and William Shatner. It was a smart move for Lohan, why not show an ability for self deprecating humor. If ya can’t beat em, join em.


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