Petty Thoughts on Super Bowl XLII

Back after a short hiatus from blogging. In fact, I've spent little time on the Web at all. This means I missed opportunities last week to comment on all the Super (Bowl and Tuesday) hype. In advance of the big game, I had planned to blog on Tom Petty's decision to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show.

I've been a fan of Tom and the Heartbreakers for many years now. I always love Petty's songwriting and the band's tightness. One of my favorite concert memories is seeing the band back up Bob Dylan in the mid-80s. But I most admired how Tom could maintain mainstream rock success while not being a pawn to corporate America.

You can see why his decision to play the Super Bowl concerned me. Also, let's face it, the Super Bowl halftime has produced some awful drek. Maybe this list or this list will refresh your memory.

I thought the band's performance was solid, though not great. The song selection was predictable -- I Won't Back Down, Running Down a Dream were obvious choices. I'm sure the NFL suggested them. I found it ironic that a show billed as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers included three songs from Petty's first solo album (Free Falling was the other tune).

Still, my initial thought was: Nice job, Tom. I saw nothing problematic with the performance. The Heartbreakers didn't blow me away, but they were a nice diversion from watching two evil franchises playing the game. I didn't like the now-cliche group of mostly young bouncy women running to the stage at the start of the set, but overall, it was not an embarrassing performance. And that's what I feared.

I was shocked when I searched the Web this morning to find Petty embroiled in a very Ashlee Simpson-like controversy. Apparently, there are some people who think Tom was lip-syncing and that the band's four-song set was recorded earlier in the week.

Come on.


Look, I don't have the time, or desire, to watch the performance again. But I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. Tom wouldn't be the first to lip-sync, though. While Janet Jackson's lip-synch isn't shocking, there are rumors that Paul McCartney and ZZ Top both mailed it in, too. If Tom and the boys did the same, I'd be mighty disappointed.

In case you missed the performances, you can catch them, along with commentary on Stereogum. Let me know whether you think he's lip-syncing. The blog also shares that Tom Petty's age was the sixth most requested search on Google the next morning.

So with little interest in seeing either team win, the only other thing to watch out for was the funny ads. But where were they? Maybe I missed something, but I didn't see one commercial that generated the next day "did you see that" water cooler conversation. There was nothing like these classics. Agree? Disagree?

I liked the eTrade ad with the baby on the Web cam, though it was a little creepy, however not as creepy as some of the ads on this disturbing, yet also hilarious, list.

What I'm thankful for ...
This week, I'm most thankful for family and friends. And for the end of the NFL season. It was a very disappointing one for us Philadelphia Eagles fans. My attention can now go to the off-season -- free agency and the draft.

And while on the E-A-G-L-E-S, I'm thankful for the fan who posted an open letter on Donovan McNabb's blog explaining how he (as well as me and most Eagles fans) appreciate McNabb's commitment and that we're not a bunch of louts booing him and pushing him out of town. McNabb, in his usual classy way, responded to the blog post.

Now, Mr. Reid, go out and get us some playmakers!