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. K.T.

    Seriously, if you don't think Eli is elite after winning two Superbowls and being the MVP in both not to mention defying the odds and beating teams with better records on away games, you don't even know what elite means.

    February 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • atee

      If this Super Bowl win is an example of the NFL elite, then the NFL sucks donkey balls.

      February 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. abuss1980

    Well thank god this Super Bowl set the one record everyone cares about......The tweets per second record. So we can all tell our children one day that we were there and saw the tweets per second record shattered.

    February 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bud

    Game was okay. Commercials were so-so. Skipped the half-time show (Madonna? Really??? She's, what, a hundred and six???). The important thing is America got a free pass to eat ridiculous amounts of Buffalo wings, chili-cheese dip, bratwurst, sauerkraut, onion rings, and a host of other crud ready to clog up them arteries in about two weeks. And THAT is what the Super Bowl is all about, y'all. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have leftovers to attend to...

    February 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wow

      "Game was okay."

      Maybe if you pulled yourself away from the food trough and actually watched the game you would have thought it was more than ok. What are you looking for? Game winning drive in the last 3 minutes and a potential game winning catch on a hail Mary pass with no time left isn't exciting enough for you? Go back and watch your reality TV and have some more chicken wings.

      February 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • BoredUtahn

      I agree the game was just okay the only thing that saved itfrom being totally boring was the last 5 mins. Compare this game to AFC and the NFC championship this game was a total dud. It was a forgettable super bowl.

      February 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      is that L on your head written in buffalo sauce or were you born with it?

      February 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bud

      The AFC/NFC championship games were much more entertaining with more genuine nail-biting moments, and the previous SB meeting between these two blew this one out of the water. Apart from Manningham's clutch catch, there weren't any holy-crud-did-you-see-that moments. Once NYG scored in the fourth, the outcome was a foregone conclusion; Brady spent too much of the 4th running for his life and his receivers were too busy dropping footballs. It was an okay game - nothing to call home about, but not a 72-3 blowout. Now, I have to get back to my food trough, provided you left me with anything...

      February 6, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • BoredUtahn

      Giant fans crack me up half way through the season they were calling for Coughlin to be fired and Eli benched. It doesn't get more fair weather/bandwagon than this people. Even the tool that is just spouting insults at others that offer insite into a game where they had intrest in either team but just wanted to watch an entertaining game shows how sad the NYC fan base is

      February 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • BoredUtahn

      didn't have intrest in either team*

      February 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. MJ

    I thought the game was ok. I'm a 49er's fan. Maybe a little pessimistic. But I have to say, there was another football (soccer)game on Fox earlier and it was far more entertaining!!

    February 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • comeon

      Very true. The ManU v Chelsea game was far more entertaining. And there wasn't a 60 cheerleader lip syncing at halftime.
      EPL > NFL.

      February 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      how much more exciting do you want a game? and to call this call "ok" then say a soccer game was more exciting you're obviously just a sore LOSER. Soccer is second most boring game in the world after cricket. Don't rain on our parade because your team isn't good enough to make it to super bowl.

      February 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Papashome

      Dude, that futbol was entertaining... but I cringe every time I see somebody get 'nicked' by the other team, and then collapse to the field (already covering their face like they're crying before they hit the ground) writhing in pain. Just to get up 15 seconds later when they realize nobody's buying it. I know they're trying to get a call, but leave the dramatic BS out of it. I'd be embarassed to win a game that way. It makes the sport look like its full of b!tches

      February 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. all pro sports are HYPE

    HYPE. No real "champions" like the teams of Joe Montana, Elway, etc. Nowadays, it's just a battle of attrition: which team screw up the least. Except for the Manningham pass and catch at the last moments, Eli wasn't particularly great. And the Giants was just fortunate to recover a couple of their fumbles. The Giants won because the Pats were worse and Brady lacks heart.

    February 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • BC

      No....The Giants won because they are a better team.

      February 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • ewghegew

      No... the better "crappy" team.

      February 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • ialsoagree

      Totally agree. I mean Eli only threw 30/40 with nearly 300 yards passing, and 2 TD with no interceptions. He only started the game 9 for 9. Not very good at all.

      And Brady only set a Super Bowl Record when he completed 16 passes consecutively. All those "champions" who never did that before are clearly far better, that's why they did that instead of Brady and Eli.

      February 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • bspurloc


      GO GIANTS...... wah wah wah.....

      February 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      well the Giants are the best team in football and if you guys don't think the Giants are so great the other teams must be completely pathetic.

      February 6, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • atee

      "All those "champions" who never did that before are clearly far better, that's why they did that instead of Brady and Eli."

      All those "champions" never did that before because the competition was much better back then. Not like these undisciplined error-prone underachievers of today.

      February 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • atee

      If the Giants is the best team in football, then the NFL REALLY sucks!

      February 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      We were all younger when Montana played.....we saw it differently. Not much has changed except another 25 super bowls.....we are used to it.....things get old and boring fast nowadays.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |

    GO Falcons!

    February 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • all pro sports are HYPE

      Who are the Falcons??? 😉

      February 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Burbank

    So sick of this waaaaaay overhyped Festival of the Holy Ball. I hope the whole thing implodes on itself and we can go back to having normal lives again. Went to a resaurant last night and the place was empty. They said it's always the slowest night of the year. Now that the stupid thing is over until the next season, can we move on to other things now??

    February 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      And you're here because..... ? are you waiting for figure skating to start?

      February 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Please

      "Waaah, I wish they'd stop doing this thing that 100 million + people like just because I don't. Waaaah."

      Grow up. It got you into the restaurant more quickly and you're STILL complaining?

      February 6, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Moto199

    The game was a waste of a good sunday. They should call it the Toliet Bowl, 2 crappy teams that got in by luck. The playoff came against the Saints and Niners that is a game to remember for this season. All this hype about Brady and nothing sounds like another story we have heard and seen. I give Eli credit because he won. Glad to see the Pats get smoked checked by a team they can't beat. Mybe I will tweet on how Brady is going to rehab to start a rumor of his addiction to losing to the Drug Eli.

    February 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • ialsoagree

      Giants won 6 consecutive games, 4 on the road, to win the Super Bowl, including a road game against the 15-1 Packers, which the referees doing EVERYTHING in their power to help the Packers win.

      That ain't luck bub.

      February 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • ialsoagree

      And by the way, the Giants had over a 63 AGL (average games lost) this season. That's the worst AGL in the league since 2000. They still went on to win the super bowl. If it was luck that carried them, they wouldn't have had half the injuries they had.

      The Giants won because backups who didn't think they had a chance to play were all we had left. They stepped up the plate, made plays, and beat every one and every thing the league could throw at them.

      February 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • atee

      Right. Another mediocre Super Bowl played by two mediocre teams posing as champions.

      February 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. iceload9

    It was a great game. The back and forth of momentum was fabulous. I liked the half time show as well. Not a big fan of lip syncing for "live" entertainment but good dancing.

    February 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Travis

      Alright, so I cant hold it back, "the back and forth momentum was fabulous".....such back and forth at 9-0 and then 9-17 and then 21-17....so many momentum swings I cant take it, I guess you could count 3 lead changes if you counted the 0-0 tie to start the game.

      February 6, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Travis

    Interesting all the people who called this game the best super bowl ever (probably giants or patriots fans only). I for one, did not think this was the case. Yes, the end of the game was very good and on the edge of your seat, but the other 55 minutes of it left something to be desired. Often times a game starts out slow as teams are getting a feel for each other, but this mentality stayed active for basically the whole game. It kind of felt that both teams were playing not to lose by playing deep coverage, no blitzes, etc. There was just too much defensive and offensive conservatism in the game to make it a good game, unless you are a Pats or Giants fan which it probably wouldnt have mattered how they game played out it would have been the "greatest SB ever". Just my opinion, but our SB party got more enterainment out of cheering for a certain type of play so they could get a measly 15 dollars out of the SB pool (which by the way, made the last 2 minutes of the game even more entertaining).

    February 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • ialsoagree

      I'm a Giants fan, this was not the best super bowl ever. The 2008 super bowl was better and that wasn't the best either.

      But I would certainly put both in the top 10. And the 2008 in the top 3.

      What made the game great (and kept people watching, even if you didn't care who won) was how close the game stayed. Too often one team just comes out dominating, and unless you're a fan of that team, you immidiately lose interest in the game.

      Both both this super bowl, and 2008, the score remained close throughout, there were plenty of momentum shifts, and any mistake by either team could be huge (where, in a game where one team has a decent lead, even a turn over could have little effect on the fate of the game – at that point you're waiting to see if the other team can even get back in it, talk about a snooze fest!).

      The biggest lead in the game was 8 points. That's exciting! 1 turn over and suddenly it's a tie game (or a team with an actual lead). That keeps you planted in your seat and watching the game more then anything else.

      February 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Papashome

      Very well put. To use a widely overused cliche, the offenses took what the defenses gave them. Hardly any pressure on either QB except for 3-4 plays/ea.. one 'great' catch.. very few big hits.. one great 4th down conversion.. NO long runs.... It was dink and dunk for 4-5 yards at a time (there's your records by both QB's, sorry but thats the only reason).. long drives (the last two saved the game from being totally boring).. Very well played game by both teams, trying to force the issue would've lost the game. It was mildly entertaining. Halftime was ok.. Commercials were below average. I laughed hysterically at the buried cat Doritos spot, my girlfriend's family wasn't so amused.. Indy (NFL Experience & SB Village) was awesome!! Overall A-

      February 6, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. rowdy112

    What is truly scary is that everything in this country is over-hyped now. Music hasn’t been good for decades. Television is full of no –talent “artist” that give themselves awards for having no talent. Reality TV shows are dumbing down anyone who touches a remote control. Books read to you now and phones dictate your emails – so we can’t read or spell. Why would the “Super Bowl be any different. The game is full of multi-millionaires only loyal to their bank accounts. The game reflected a real no talent lip-singing “artist”, a pretty quarterback and just for good measures – the bird to over a billion people, that the technologically savvy television industry couldn’t catch before it happened. Was it over-hyped??? Are you kidding me – IT WAS TOTALLY AWESOME -–NOT!

    February 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dean

    some one is counting Tweets per second??????????? No wonder the world hates us.

    February 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jack

    Madonna did great....at 50 plus years, she is still the BOMB..missing a step or not..she beats the liberal and sarcastic M.I.A... MIA should stay across the ocean where she belongs with those weird folks she hangs with...MIA, stay over there!!!

    February 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      Good job Jack...very well versed.

      February 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Food

    Tom Brady's wife calls TOM BRADY loser. NO WAY. She owns Mansion and kick him out bed. NO WAY....

    You can't be that serious.

    February 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Alan Toney

    I'd like to see a superbowl where the teams actually play to win. not play to not lose.

    February 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      Nabbing a TD in last 3 minutes of game not playing to win? i guess losers don't know what winning looks like.

      February 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • ewghegew

      DeeNYC is just one of those blind mindless fans that doesn't get it. The Giants didn't win because they're good. The Giants won because they were just a little better than a mediocre Pats team.

      February 6, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      I don't understand the whole "the Giants didn't win, but a mediocre Pats team lost," thing comes from.

      Who was the amazing team from this season that would have "won." Green Bay and New Orleans turned out to be offenses that spent too much time resting and their defenses were as bad as we thought they were. Baltimore and Pittsburgh couldn't find the endzone, even if their defense were holding teams to under 20 points. The 49ers were an average offensive team that couldn't have scored more than the Giants. So who was it? Who was the amazing team this year?

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