Riptide got invited to the Super Bowl!
We know. We couldn't believe it either. It's amazing what twenty bucks and some extremely compromising Polaroids of Roger Goodell at King of Diamonds will get you. Not that we have anything like that.
Anyway, the point is we are at the muthaflippin Super Bowl. And we're here to bring you a blog about all the ridiculous Super Bowl things that Jim Natz won't tell you. Because he's working for The Man, and we're sneaking out of the Press Box for insanely overpriced Bud Lights at every given opportunity, that's why.
Check out our view! Not too shabby, right?
OK, let's start the countdown blog:
5:50 p.m. -- The stands are filling up, the Colts are done warming up and the Saints are doing a drill that appears to mostly involve screaming "Who Dat?!" and running into each others chests. Hopefully, that's not the extent of their game planning.
Of note: When Riptide sat down at our prestigious Auxiliary Press Table 252, the stadium was blasting "Miami" by Against Me!, for which we must heartily salute the Sunny D Stadium crew. If you haven't heard it, there's great, pro-Miami lyrics like this: "No one can be trusted, everyone is a suspect. The money's all worthless, the talent is trite and exaggerated. The food is turning and the water's fucking poison."
Welcome to Miami!
6:05 p.m. -- The Hurricanes marching band busts out a Michael Jackson medley and then is literally sprinted off the field by the black-clad ninja stage crew that throws together an NFL pre-game ceremony stage in under 3 minutes.
These guys are amazing. Watching the insane coordination on the sidelines during these big ceremony events is easily the coolest part of seeing a game like this live instead of on the telly. That and the complimentary buckets of ice cold Budweiser.
Wait, that's just what I wish they gave us at the press table instead of fifth-grade field trip-esque box lunches, completely with suspiciously wax-looking apple? Oh.
6:15 -- The teams emerge to a ballastics show worth of explosions and the always-cheesy strings of "Right Now."
Early crowd support edge? Saints, no question.
It helps that 75 percent of the fans in gold and black in here have been downing mojitos on Ocean Drive non-stop since Friday afternoon, based on my research on South Beach this weekend.
6:30 -- Hold on, my eyeballs are still vibrating from that fighter jet flyover. OK. Wow, that's a lot louder in a stadium than on TV.
Two highlights from Carrie Underwood's solid National Anthem: The stadium went nuts when the JumboTron cut to a live shot of some troops at Camp Eggers in Afghanistan.
Cool moment, but you had to wonder if it made any sense to the soldiers, who are probably getting a solid two minute delay on the television. Anyway, to our Afghan readership: That ovation was for you, dudes.
Also, it's hard to tell up here in the press box, but we feel confident in guessing that Carrie consulted Michael Jackson's tailor before putting that chain-covered pantsuit together.
6:30 -- What, Warren Sapp and Michael Irvin weren't invited to help out with the pre-game coin toss?
6:31 -- Kickoff! Flashbulbs pop! The crowd roars! Warren Sapp enjoys his afternoon in Dade County jail!
What, too soon?
Anyway, the Colts hold the drive after Drew Brees goes for a deep shot and overthrows a receiver with a open step or two. Who dat pass to, Drew?
6:45 -- News flash! The Saints defense maybe isn't good enough to stop Peyton Manning. If they can't find a way to stuff some short underneath routes, this could turn into a laugher.
In other news, in case you're wondering whether the Super Bowl still has international cache, Riptide is sitting between a Romanian blogger and a couple guys from a Japanese football magazine.
6:55 -- The Internet here at Sunny Deeeelight stadium is shakier than Terry Bradshaw's grip on reality. Woah! Snap!
Seriously, though, how can Superbowl wireless be this shitty? My Romanian blogger friend is inconsolable.
"Why no Twitter?!" he keeps demanding. "This didn't happen in Tampa. WHY NO TWITTER?!"
Meanwhile, Marques Colston watches a perfect spiral bounce directly off his chest. That sir, is why you are no longer employed on Riptide's award-winning fantasy squad, the Janet Reno Dance Party. Yes, I know that hurts, but it's the truth.
7:01 -- Touchdown! The Colts smacked the Saint's D around like Warren Sa... right, too soon. The Colts dominated that drive, going 95+ yards thanks to a huge Joseph Addai run and horrible coverage by the Saints secondary on the TD.
Hey guys: If it's third and long in the Red Zone, you might want to make sure Pierre Garcon doesn't have a straight shot for the end zone.
The "Who Dat" chest-bumping game plan, thus far, has not borne fruit.
7:15 -- Fact: The Saints picked up a whole 32 yards of offense in the first half, including five on the ground.
Fact: That is bad.
Fact: The Saints cheerleaders are currently trying to reverse mojo this situation by dancing to "Final Countdown." Gob would approve
As usual, Europe comes through in the clutch
. Inspired, no doubt, by the adrenaline-producing keyboard rampage, Drew Brees engineers a quick strike drive that ends in a long field goal.
10-3 Colts, 9:34 to go in the second quarter.
For unclear reasons, after the score the JumboTron shows two guys in Jets jerseys in the stands. Shouldn't you guys be telling people to fuck off at an MMA event somewhere?
7:30 -- Why the F is David Caruso on the Jumbotron?
This is wrong on so many levels.
7:42 -- OUCH! The Saints staff, gifted with a two-minute warning that lasted long enough to watch Gob's Final Countdown magic intro seven times, came up with the brilliant plan of going for it on fourth down with the identical running play that just got stuffed.
In a game like this, you don't leave points on the field, boys.
Let's repeat that in our best Caruso-voice. "In a game like this," (Sunglasses off), "you don't leave points on the field."
7:51 -- OK, we'll take whatever Sean Payton is smoking. Somehow that terrible play call worked out when the Colts were forced to punt and Brees marched down for another field goal.
It's 10-6 at half, and the Saints have to be happy to be in this thing after managing a few inches in the first quarter.
The ninja stage crew has taken to the field again and appears to be assembling the set from Escape from Thunderdome. Whatever it takes to spice up this halftime show is fine by us.
You guys couldn't find anyone with some cultural relevance beyond a kiddie porn bust in the last 25 years? Really?
Sigh. Time for Riptide's boooooooze break.
8:05 -- Ladies and Gents, it's Oldy McGee and his Grandpappy String Quartet!
Riptide's going to go out on a limb and guess that's not the original Who drummer, though he gets bonus points for the major-league Euromullet.
That Thunderdome light-disc stage thing is pretty sweet, though. LASERS!
So reserve your sellout judgments for the Who.
8:23 -- Sean Payton, congratulations! You are already the recipient of the biggest balls in the house award, and we're not even into the second half yet!
After ending the first half with that fourth-down play that didn't work out, Payton calls an onsides kick out of half time and it pays off big time.
A few plays later, Pierre Thomas bumbles and stumbles and gratuitously dives into the endzone. WHO DAT?
8:36 -- So Riptide's spies out in the real world beyond Sunny D Stadium tell us this is the year of indie songs distressingly featured in Super Bowl ads.
You've got Arcade Fire doing their charity gig for the NFL, the Strokes in an Air Force spot and now Grizzly Bear schlocking for VW.
In other news, the Colts just stuffed one in. Addai ran one in after Peyton lofted a fairly redonkulous pass over 13 defenders directly into Dallas Clarks arms. Colts 17, Who Dat Nation 13.
Turns out we needn't have worried. Mini-Hartley has been on lockdown today. He just sailed another one through. Colts 17, WHO DAT 16.
8:59 -- Fourth quarter, baby, and we've got a close games on our hands. Not the shootout everyone was expecting, but still a good one.
In other news, celebrity sightings thus far: John Mellencamp, Scottie Pippin, and -- all in one booth -- Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, and Kevin James.
9:05 -- In the first quarter, Matt Stover became the oldest man ever to score in a Super Bowl.
How old is he? Old enough that he would have looked at home on stage with the Who. SNAP.
Anyway, dude is geriatric and he looked the part on the Colt's latest field goal attempt. You just went for it on fourth down from the 45 yard line, why not from the 32?
9:14 -- Touchdown, Saints! Jeremy Shockey!
You cannot possibly convince us that this stadium is anything less than 75 percent New Orleans fans tonight.
The network crew always does its best to make it look like a balanced crowd, but trust us on this point: There is no contest in the battle of the fans here at Sunny D Stadium tonight.
This place exploded after hometown tattoo champion Jeremy Shockey picked up a touchdown. Every section of the place was bouncing. We're going to wake up at 3 a.m. this morning with "Who Dat" ringing in our ears.
9:26 -- There's 3 minutes and 24 seconds left on the clock, Peyton is driving the Colts down to the 30 yards line, and you can feel this stadium bracing for overtime.
Or would the Colts go for two to finish this off? Doesn't seem like an Indy move.
If only the NFL didn't have the worst overtime rules in professional sports, Riptide would be totally behind a little OT. Damn you, NFL!
9:29 -- Holy Shit! Peyton throws the pick six! The stadium goes completely bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.
As my Romanian friend says, grabbing my arm: Peyton the assassin has killed himself.
What an ending.
9:41 -- Peyton is trying to make a little last-second magic happen here, but it's going to take a TD and then an onsides kick. Don't think the 'assassin' has got it in 'em.
Still, you can almost feel this stadium full of Saints fans not quite believing yet that this is going to work out. It's been a looooooong time comin ...
Fourth down and five at the goal line ... and NO GOOD!
Mark it down, folks. Your NFL Champion New Orleans Saints. WHO DAT?