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. 123abc987zyx

    When was this superbowl?

    February 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • xcopos

      More like the Tidy Bowl. Booooring....

      February 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mabel

    I thought the game was kind of boring, the crowd was boring, the half time show was okay, but not very exciting. Kelly Clarkson rocked the National Anthem. THe commercials weren't that funny. Loved the Chrysler commercial. THe statement Brady's wife made was for her friend only. NOt her fault it was overheard by all. WE All say s$$@ about people but our comments don't get posted on the internet for all to hear. SHe was just defending him SHe was right though. He made some passes that should have been caught and weren't. But the game was just boring.

    February 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      Boring?? Are you serious Mabel. What game were you watching? One of the closest and most exciting games ever. Both teams played their butts off and it came down to one QB needing to go 90 yards in less than 4 minutes to put his team ahead while the other QB then had to do the same for his team. Boring this was NOT

      February 6, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just do it

      Jerry, yes it was THE most boring superbowl I've seen in years. Not too many exciting plays, longest play was only 38 yards, it was low scoring, i think there were only 2 tunrovers, so yes it was very boring. It did get better at the end but only for the last 4-5 minutes, but that didn't save it from being extremely NON-exciting.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • pete

      I WANT MY MONEY BACK. WORST GAME OF THE YEAR

      February 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      It's sad when the losers who's teams didn't make the cut whine and complain. Maybe someday you losers will have your day, most likely not but you can always hope. GO BLUE!!

      February 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. losingatmonopoly

    You want hype? Look at all the media and fans gushing over Eli Manning after he throws a single TD against a defense and pass rush that wasn't exactly feared throughout the NFL. It's one of the tamest MVP performances in Super Bowl history.

    February 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sick of the hype

      I couldn't have said it better.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • mofo

      I kinda agree...but he made the big pass when he needed to.
      Worst QB performance?? You remember Ben Roethlisberger against the Seahawks???

      February 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Poor you.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • RichardSRussell

      I kind of agree. I know they feel they HAVE to hand out an MVP, but I didn't think any single Giant stood out over all the rest, so they just hand it to the QB by default. But it was really a team victory, just as it was a team loss for the Pats. There wasn't any one person (certainly not Wes Welker) that you could point at and say "you lost it for us" or "you could have won it for us if you'd been just a LITTLE bit better".

      February 6, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ayyub Attari

    Sports in America is all a business scam. You remove the sponsors, ads, camera, girls, arrogance, fake pride etc. people won't give a rats tail about adult men running with football to score some points. What are these people 8 year old kids? Sports should only be played for personal physical development. All of this other garbage is a system designed to suck your money and waste your time. Were you aware that 300 innocent people got mudered the other day in Syria? How much can you run away from the truth of life and death?

    February 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      hahahaha....thats one thing you arabs gotta learn.....life should be fun and exciting with entertainment....not just death, distruction and faith. Get a life.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. footballisdumb

    I despise the Super Bowl. What kind of a sport is this that the final game of the season - the championship game - is more about STUPID commercials and lame half-time acts than about the actual game?! The NFL might want to take a page out of MLB's book on how to host a classy final act.

    February 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      apple! android! ... mac! pc! .....xbox! ps3! .......baseball! football! ugh.. fanboi losers.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • RichardSRussell

      I totally agree with you, and so do my fellow 111,300,000 losers who made SB46 the #1 most watched sporting event of all time. We have no taste and no class, and baseball is not the world's 2nd boringest game, just ahead of soccer. You are absolutely right.

      February 6, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. LJ

    OMG, best football game EVER (I'm a Giants fan of course!)...and I'm not a big football fan, but this one was perfection, including half time!

    February 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. LennyD

    ...yet all you naysayers read this article about – guess what – the Super Bowl? You're all a bunch of Hypocrites. Don't like it, you say? Then don't watch it, or read about it. Pretty easy fix, I'd say.

    February 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joe

    The only bright side to a dull game was the it was relatively short for a Super Bowl which usually seems last 5 hours.

    February 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. CJC

    I am not a Giants fan, or a Patriots fan (although I did enjoy the look on Tom Brady's face when he realized that the game had slipped through his fingertips) and I thought that it was one of the best Super Bowl games since round 1 in '07. Truly a great football game. As for the halftime show, I thought it was going to be pathetic, but it turned out to be not so bad.

    Anyone else not care at all about M.I.A. giving the camera the finger?

    February 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      didn't even notice, probably wasn't paying attention. Only kind of watching the projection on the field. Made it look like a huge digital floor. that was cool. And the game was nail biting exciting, people who said it was boring are just sore losers.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. SHEBEE

    As a football fan, the game was a little dull because lack of offense on both sides. But what a fantastic finish. Half time...ok...I grew up to Madonna so it was nice to see her again, but she did appear to be slower than before. Not as flashy. But aren't we all slowing down with age?? Commericals? Nothing had the Wow factor but a few were entertaining. Part 1 of the best thing about this SuperBowl was hosting it! Hoosiers are awesome and we showed it! A LOT of people came and visted our great city and experienced something new, something different than the image they might have had...cornfields. Everyone I knew went downtown to experience our city under the bright lights. Families spent time together, and actually the whole time the SuperBowl was in town, no murders. WOW,. something to be proud of I guess. People of Indy had a blast putting on this show and walk a little taller and show a little more pride in our city! Part 2 of the best thing about SB 2012 if the Colts can't be in, we cheer for the team playing the Patriots. Plain and Simple. It couldv'e have been any team out there, but how bitter sweet than to cheer for the brother of the guy that helped bring our city to life!

    February 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      You're probably accustomed to watching games where the teams have no defense whatsoever so there's a lot of offensive plays. Champion teams are built around a good defense. that's why the Giants are the best team in the league and two time champs.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. EVA

    GREAT GAME CONGRATULATIONS GIANT

    February 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Fla.Pete

    So nice to see a decent game,few penalties,good sportsmanship.What I also like,no Repubs dirty laundry airing out in million dollar ads.Just old Russ Limbaugh sitting in Patriot owner Krafts skybox pickin his nose in front of God and everybody,REAL CLASSY,know wonder the hairbrain does radio.Otherwise a great game,great game GIANTS,CONGRATULATIONS GUYS....

    February 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Anne

    There were tweets during the game? Thank God I missed that. I was busy watching the game ( and of course I wouldn't be caught dead either tweeting or being tweeted ). Oh, and I skipped the ( trashy ) halftime show also ( it had to be trashy given it was Madonna ). And my team won. A good day.

    February 6, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Davis

    Yawn! Old people may have enjoyed Madonna and cat haters may have enjoyed the Doritos commercial, but with all that is important in the world, what a waste of time and money.

    February 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Young people suck. C lo and the other auto tuned faces are classless crap. Go Madonna!

      February 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mike

    Good Game. And Madonna was the best half time show in a long time. She is still better than all the other copycat "divas". And she's not fat! Go Giants!!

    February 6, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
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