Nathan's column: Big ads and big, well, you know
The Super Bowl is Sunday. Maybe you've heard something about it. It is the most celebrated football game of the year. Second place, obviously, is the Puppy Bowl, which also takes place Sunday.
If the statistics I'm about to make up are to be believed, every single person on the planet watches the Super Bowl. Some watch because they are fans of the teams involved - in this case the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens. Many more watch for the commercials. A rare few are just really big fans of referees.
Commercials get almost as much attention as the football players during the Super Bowl. Mostly this is because ad time during the game is very expensive, a fact we're reminded of each year because, well, news people need things to write about. Also, because most people who don't live in either San Francisco or Baltimore don't much care which Harbaugh brother gets bragging rights at Thanksgiving next year.
Companies will spend tens of millions of dollars for a chance to convince you on Sunday that you need to buy their luxury sedans and snack chips and retirement funds. Increasingly, they do this through the use of attractive women in skimpy clothing. Even Mercedes has been teasing an ad this year that features bikini model Kate Upton washing a car. In slow motion. And while they turn it into kind of a joke, the ad still features Kate Upton. In a bikini. In slow motion.
Clearly, manufacturers of luxury automobiles have discovered what most of us knew a long time ago: No matter how classy they think they are, guys like boobs. As we speak, JP Morgan Chase is probably preparing an ad featuring hot oil wrestling.
Watching Super Bowl ads is an important part of the experience. If you don't, you won't be able to complain the next day about how disappointing all of the Super Bowl ads were. "Can you believe how bad that ad for Bud Light was?" one of your co-workers might say the next day at the office. And if you didn't watch the Super Bowl, you'll feel left out.
If you find yourself in this situation, try saying, "I thought it needed more women in skimpy outfits." Or maybe, "It made some good points, but it could have used some more cleavage."
There is a game to consider too, of course. This year's has a few interesting storylines. As I mentioned earlier, brothers Jim and John Harbaugh are the coaches of this year's teams. It is the first time two brothers have coached against each other in the Super Bowl, and I believe the pair's parents have gone on record as saying whichever of their sons wins the game will be their favorite.
San Francisco's starting quarterback is a guy named Colin Kaepernick, who didn't start his first NFL game until earlier this year when former starting quarterback Alex Smith got hurt. It would be a much more heartwarming story if Kaepernick didn't celebrate each touchdown he scores by kissing his own biceps.
Surprisingly, that doesn't even make him the worst person on the field. That is a difficult title to grab when one of the other players, retiring Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis, once pleaded guilty to obstructing justice after he refused to testify in a pair of murders he is believed to have witnessed.
It's a lot of storylines to keep track of, but it should be an exciting night no matter who you're rooting for.
Me? I'm rooting for boobs.