Did record-setting Super Bowl live up to the hype?
Giants quarterback Eli Manning celebrates winning his second Super Bowl against the Patriots.
February 6th, 2012
11:39 AM ET

Did record-setting Super Bowl live up to the hype?

The Super Bowl set a new record for total viewers and simultaneous tweeting, with 12,233 tweets a second during the final three minutes of the game, that saw the Giants score and Tom Brady fail to hit the Hail Mary pass for the win.

The Super Bowl was watched by 111.3 million people, according to Nielsen, topping last year's game to secure the slot at the top for the most watched show in U.S. history.

And when you've got that many people watching and a virtual water cooler like Twitter, you don't have to wait until the next day to play Monday morning quarterback. It's more like the-second-after quarterback.

[tweet https://twitter.com/twitter/status/166378382660079618%5D

The total social media traffic for the Super Bowl and the hoopla surrounding it, taking into account Twitter mentions, public Facebook posts, GetGlue check-ins, and Miso check-ins, topped out at more than 17 million interactions, according to social media engagement company Trendrr. (67% of those tweets and posts were positive, a good sign for the league, and NBC.)

See the best tweets from the game

And what drove that? Perhaps a mix of the culture behind the Super Bowl itself, or maybe the clashing of two teams from places that couldn't despise each other more? Maybe it was the rematch of the last Super Bowl that Tom Brady admits he wishes he could forget? Or was it another unbelievable, just-barely-kept-it-inbounds catch by the Giants Mario Manningham to keep Big Blue alive in the waning minutes of the game?

[tweet https://twitter.com/twitter/status/166366481926455297%5D

Or, well, maybe it was Madonna.  We knew there'd be jokes about her age, there were the required "I hope she doesn't break a hip" tweets before she went on. And there were some flimsy parts were Madge looked as though she might have to eke out the rest of her performance.

Madonna's halftime: What's the verdict?

But there was also the expected will there be another "wardrobe malfunction?" I don't think there was an expectation that America would be flipped the bird by rapper M.I.A..

Whether you loved Madonna's mash-up heavy performance or absolutely deplored it, viewers said everything you thought about it, again sending Twitter into a frenzy.

[tweet https://twitter.com/twitter/status/166366322295443456%5D

And what about the ads? While many were met with lackluster response, and jokes in comparison to past games, there was one ad that really caught the attention of everyone.

CNNMoney.com: Watch a 2012 Super Bowl ad mash-up

And it made America's day thanks to Clint Eastwood, who, after the big, splashy halftime performance quieted living rooms across the country as he declared it was also halftime in America.
And dammit, it was time for America's second half, he declared with a patriotic spirit that almost rivaled the big game itself.

[tweet https://twitter.com/brandydotclark/status/166330168066048000%5D

You can count on three things each year: There will be a play that will make people lose their minds, a halftime show performance that will divide the country and a slew of ads that make people either love or hate your company for a few days for the low, low price of millions of dollars for 30 seconds.

How about starting the game with a safety for starters? The godlike Tom Brady, making a key error inside the end zone on his first play of the game set the Patriots on a rough course. And nobody saw that coming, though if you did, as Twitter was kind to point out, you'd be a wealthy person this morning.

[tweet https://twitter.com/FootballPost/status/166382881235668992%5D

And then there was the final drive for Big Blue. As the jokes began flying that Giants were applying the "David Tyree" Velcro to their helmets, an ode to the unbelievable catch in the past match-up, Eli Manning connected with Mario Manningham for another brilliant last-drive play. Manningham seemingly pulled in a ball thrown high to the sideline and was able to keep both feet in bounds as he was pummeled by two Patriots players. The play sent people into a frenzy. Could the Giants actually pull off another win over the Patriots?

They could, and they did, with one of the strangest touchdowns ever seen.

Yes, I'm talking about the moment when the Patriots defensive line parted for Ahmad Bradshaw as the seconds ticked down and the Giants were driving for a go ahead score.

In the animated gif, courtesy of SB Nation, who called the play "probably the best moment of the game," you see Bradshaw pummeling towards the end zone when he realizes before he could stop, that maybe he should try to sit on the one-yard line so they could run out the clock, kick a field goal, and end the game.

Whoops. Too late.

Sure, you can blame Bradshaw for not thinking about it quickly, but it is kind of strange to be thinking: We should try not to score in the Super Bowl. Apparently Manning tried to pass on the advice, but it got to Bradshaw too late.

[tweet https://twitter.com/TheBlueScreen/status/166524409488752640%5D

SI.com: Bradshaw's reluctant touchdown puts to rest unusual Super Bowl

So now, Brady had time for a comeback win.

But after the star quarterback marched his team down the field, he let one fly - and his team couldn't haul it in.

[tweet https://twitter.com/espn/status/166364169510191104%5D

With the Hail Mary a failure, the Giants claimed victory with a score of 21-17 . Manning gets the role of hero, and Brady, well, let's just say that despite his record completions in a row, and a stellar game, losing is losing. And the Boston Globe skewered him for it.

One article reads:

"The legend is dead, the prince has turned back into a frog, and ... well, use whatever other cliché you want.

A performance as bad as Tom Brady's tonight in Super Bowl XLVI deserves a lead just as lame. Sorry, Tommy Boy, this one's on you. Your hideous performance led to the Giants' 21-17 Super Bowl title win. How embarrassing for your coach, your teammates, and your fans."

Apparently, that sentiment was something that Brady's wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, expected. But she seemingly wanted to make clear that even though New England ended with a loss, it wasn't because of her husband's lack of trying.

A video by TheInsider.com, posted on Boston.com, shows her making her voice heard to Giants fans that maybe were giving her a bit of a hard time.

“You [have] to catch the ball when you’re supposed to catch the ball,” she said in the video. “My husband cannot f–king throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. I can’t believe they dropped the ball so many times.”

So, there you have it. Cheers, anger, parades, tirades, and everything we expected and didn't. So did the Super Bowl live up to the super hype? And what was your favorite part of the whole day? Which proved to be the biggest success in your mind? The game, the ads, or the halftime show? Let us known in the comments below.

soundoff (265 Responses)
  1. Plug1

    Kind of boring for the Superbowl.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:49 am | Report abuse |
  2. slippery

    Waste of natural resources. Look at how many home could be lighted for more than the 5 hours or so stadium lights.

    February 7, 2012 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
    • nikki

      Ha! the stadium lights... You must have missed the 8 giant search lights outside the stadium, or the billion heat lamps set up in super bowl village... yes, the entire thing was a waste of natural resources.

      February 7, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • usa john

      or all the jobs created by the fact that the teams play, restaurants, parking attendants, consession stands, hotel rooms , i could go on, truth is you just dont like the game. natural resources? C'mon.... why do you think the cities want that game in their city, the people made millions not just the players

      February 7, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. D Gannon

    Just line up the sheep and move them on down the line.

    February 7, 2012 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. johnf

    MADONNA was the highlight of the night. What a performance!
    Far superior to any elite quarterback.

    February 7, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • OregonTom

      I really did not care for the madona. Not one bit. What the hell does she have to do with football?

      February 7, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Damian

      I like her for the most part........but that was a hot mess. And the whole thing was lip synced.

      February 7, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  5. Glades2

    Unlike the early Super Bowls that were the one last big game of the season that determined the champion team, today's Super Bowl and the enormous amount of money made by many is a media showcase of America's capitalism, and little to do with the game itself. I'm sure if Vince Lombardi were with us today he'd be discoraged at how things have changed...

    February 7, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mordrud

    It reminded me of watching a basketball game. Boring until the last 5 minutes (our time – not game time).

    February 7, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  7. snc735

    Game was absolutely boring. I fell asleep through most of it.

    February 7, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  8. Sandy

    Were you people watching the same game???? NOT boring.

    February 7, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Yes Sandy we did watch the same game. The difference is that the rest of us don't get jacked simply by watching the inbred Eli in his tight pants like you do.
      I mean really, doesn't he look like he belongs in the movie Deliverance, sitting on a bridge playing a banjo?

      February 7, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. Sean

    Of course it didn't, it’s a football game and people hype it as the second coming of Christ. Fanatics are fail regardless of the venue.

    February 7, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • usa john

      did you even play in a sport or are you t smart for that also?

      February 7, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. Paul.

    The endless march of commercials destroys the tempo of the game. It's tough to stay excited when there is a totally unrelated commercial coming at you almost continuously. The half time show was boring!

    February 7, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    Just two sub-par teams going at it. Of course it was going to be close at the end, both teams suck. One vanilla offense (Giants) against a crap defense (Pats).
    With the exception of maybe the one pass by Eli on their last drive the entire game was a bore.
    I watched of course and was one of the 111+million viewers but I certainly thought the game stunk.
    Poll all the viewers and I'd bet they'd overwhelming put this SB near the bottom of all SB's as far as entertainment value.

    February 7, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. usa john

    Something Tells me Mike is a Dallas fan, or maybe Eagles? the truth is it was a great game. Did it lead up to the hype, you will have to ask the media that, they make the Hype, the teams just play... the Pats did come to play and when ever its a close game its exciting for both team's fans, weather you enjoyed it or not well that was up to you, I did becauseim a Giants fan but if they had lost, it was a good football game... mike sorry your team wasn't in it... and yo uwish Eli was on your team admitt it,,, only 5 months untill next season, i can't wait!

    February 7, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. Slightly bored

    Slightly boring. The teams played so carefully, tentatively. Yes, they avoided mistakes but they didn't take any great risks either, except for the Pats in the last minutes when it was too late. Good teams, decent game, but it surely didn't get me off my chair yelling and cheering and celebrating.
    Mad Onna Who? That kind of meaningless half time noise pollution will be forgotten in 10-15 years. Who cares. Let a military band or a marching band play. Focus on the music and less on showing off. Disgusting.

    February 7, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Damian

      ...........forgotten in 10-15 years? didn't you mean 10-15 minutes?

      February 7, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  14. Sakura2000

    I had fun, hung out with family and friends, laughed a lot, and ate good food. I enjoyed the spectacle of the event even though my teams weren't playing. I suspect all the belly achers here watched the superbowl alone because no one wanted such downers at their super bowl parties.

    February 7, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  15. DeeNYC

    Are people jealous of new york still posting about how boring the game was? hhahahaa.. sad bunch. Ticker tape parade today! woooooo GO BLUE!!

    February 7, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
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