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. Truth

    Eli Manning is better than Tom Brady hands down

    February 6, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anderson Cooper


      February 6, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Scott Glenn

    mediocre all around. the teams are a little expected. the game was close and came down to the final hail mary, which was a good thing, generally, but there was only one truly big play. Madonna looked professional, but also a bit unsure of herself at her age and last year's half-time show was better even though I'm not a big fan of Black Eyed Peas. The commercials were a hair better overall than the last few years, but there weren't many that stood out enough to become iconic.

    February 6, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. tomas

    A pretty average football game if you ask me. There's a hail mary that isn't caught on the last play of half the games in the season. Yay.

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

    Hey, it was a terrific game! Back, forth, back, forth. EIther team COULD have won, one of them DID. The only sad part was that neither of them were the Packers.

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

      Sorry Russel but except for other cheeseheads the rest of the country goes "Thank God' the 'Most' overrated team in football never made it! If they had it would have deserved a 20 yawn rating on a 1-5 scale. The worst possible game I could think of? Packers vs Cowboys, game to see who is the biggest LOSERS!

      February 6, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. micook

    Super Bowl would have been much better if it didn't market itself to the cliche crowd who watch for the commercials only, and played outside in colder/domeless markets! NFC and AFC Championship games are always more "thrilling" than the Super Bowl! How about that Giants 49ers game in the rain? That was smashmouth at it's best, the essence of the NFL!

    February 6, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Robert M Kraus

    at the end of the first half I turned the TV off and went to bed


    February 6, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. RW

    The Giants are a team of desstiny! BTW, how many days til the first Yankees-Red Sox game??

    February 6, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bill

    Great game, great ending. Overall A performance by all, although "bird" wasn't necessary mia (proves once again that just because you make a lot of money, maturity isn't always going to follow). Happy for Manning who appears to be a genuinely nice guy who'd help you change you car's oil (vs Brady who appears to really think his $hit don't stink). But who knows? Will watch it again when NFL channel shows it. Now comes the depressing no football months. Got to find some Prozac.....

    February 6, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JT

    Brady is overrated, 0 for 2 with the Giants. The Rams were overconfident & Carolina iisn't much of a power house football team, what Have they done since, finially Philly they alway choke in the playoffs and twice in the Superbowl.

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

    The game was mediocre at best, Madonna is an old has been and needs to just retire, sexy performer, good performer, nediocre performer, she is NONE of the above. Commercials except for one or two are even worse than Madonna, in other words the Super Bowl was ALL hype and a very poor show. Advertisers deserve a severe cut in fees for ads during what has become "Just One More Mediocre Football Game". I saw much better games during the regular season. If this is what the Super Bowl has become I will find something a lot more interesting and time consuming next year. I do not know what it is, but it seems each year it just gets worse and worse. Now it is not about the game but all about the ad dollars. I give the Super Bowl 10 Big Yawns on a scale of 1-5 with 5 yawns being pathetic.

    February 6, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Get At Me

    Football is a losers sport, soccer is for men!

    February 6, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shokanman

      Please, Soccer is what punters play to learn how to fake injuries and whine to officials.

      February 6, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jim

    The word "hype" is a truncated version of the word "hyperbole" which means an exaggeration. Therefore, by definition, it is impossible for anything to live up to the way it is being exaggerated. People use the word hype as though it were synonymous with "marketing" or "hoopla" but it is not. I wish someone somewhere would get this right.

    February 6, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Van the man

    Boring, boring, boring! They could use some rules overhaul, make it more exciting, to many stoppages!

    February 6, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Anderson Cooper

    Eli Manning on the show?

    February 6, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • yes


      February 6, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • PLLZZZ

      PLZ ANDERSON I LOVE YOU <3 <3 Forever Mwah Mwah YoU mE dO tOm BrAdY <3 <3

      February 6, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • hannah

      YES do him he dereves it

      February 6, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anderson Cooper

      Thanks any more feedback?

      February 6, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • elihater

      Do Peyton!

      February 6, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohntheUNICORN

      You should have Aaron Rodgers on the show.

      February 6, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. josh rogen

    another over hyped New York, Boston rivalry game that east coast sports writers think the whole country cares about

    February 6, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Big Show

      Too bad for you that the best in sports are weighed heavily on the east coast

      February 6, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
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