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. Tubbs

    It was the usual: An over-hyped NFL marketing extravaganza tailored to fat Americans who want an excuse to indulge in food, beer and laziness. As ever, the actual Superbowl game is never the attraction..few really care about football. Rather, the idea of having a 'reason' to sit around and eat and get hammered while wearing a $150 jersey is the main goal of the day. The NFL knows this and exploits some of our worst qualities. Football is merely the vehicle.

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

      Nah, it really *is* about the football, but the beer and and the food is just icing on the cake.

      February 6, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      I take it your an ice skating fan.

      February 6, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Odds

      Lighten up, Francis.

      While what you say is factually accurate, you're casting a very cynical eye on this tradition and I feel you may be missing the point. For many of us, what makes the SuperBowl such a big deal really isn't the game itself, but the tradition surrounding it. Since we were kids, SuperBowl was always a celebration where friends and family have a great time watching the game together. And so what if we eat junkfood and have a little more beer than we should in the process? It's all about having fun with friends and family.

      I'm sure you won't understand this as clearly this is not a tradition that you have any fond memories of.

      February 6, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. hannah

    No not tom do ELI!!

    February 6, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. leeintulsa

    then you'd be happy?

    February 6, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Robert Holt

    I would have much rather seen Madonna up on stage with several musicians who were actually playing instruments and a few backup singers and her actually singing and performing live, than that overblown, lip synced, gaudy, extravaganza they call a show. How much did it cost to put on that circus?

    February 6, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. The Wizard

    Welcome to the Patriot land of loser Oz, featuring:

    Tom Brady: Dorothy
    Bill Belichek: Wicked Witch of the West
    Wes Welker: Mayor of Munchkinland
    Danny Woodhead: Toto
    Rob Gronkowski: The Cowardly Lion

    No going back to Kansas in this version. The Big G tornado sweeps them up and they end up in Loserville.

    February 6, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • nsaidi

      That is quite a comment.

      February 6, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Anderson Cooper


    February 6, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron Paul or an oily rag

      Nice what, Andy?

      February 6, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Anderson Cooper is real on here


    February 6, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. gfjyetrtjtytyjtrjtr


    February 6, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. gfjyetrtjtytyjtrjtr


    February 6, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. gfjyetrtjtytyjtrjtr


    February 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Overhyped

    If you live in NYC or Boston it was Deja Deu !! For the other 95% of us it was please Deja don't . :-ppppppppppppppp

    February 6, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Greek American

    These hypocrites crack me up!"Oh the super bowl is so hyped" & "my kids and I don't give in to hype." Yeah but you don't mind using Facebook (useless) all day long to update everyone when you are on the toilet and let your kids do the same. Or how about let's watch garbage like American Idol because that's not hyped at all is it??
    Get over it! The game was good and it is still and always will be the most popular and most watched sport. All you whiners go to Facebook now and update that you just read a CNN blog.

    February 6, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      It's very easy to understand. Their team was sitting at home watching it on the TV with everyone else. So of course since their team isn't there it's over hyped

      February 6, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bugbreath

    The Giants have been the Great Spoilers for at least 30 years. I enjoyed watching the Pats get beat, because I love to see them get beat. I dont even remember why anymore. Everyone was so sure the Pats would win- I loved it. The Giants are the true America's Team. It was especially gratifying to see Giselle lose her composure and lash out at her husband's team mates- you know, the ones he relies on day in and day out to stay safe and looking like a good football talent. Way to go Giselle. Way to show your true classless colors. What is the matter? Couldn't you buy this football game? Ha Ha Ha

    February 6, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jamesnyc

    Not that I'm a Patriots fan but don't think for one second that Big Blue dared to underestimate the damage that Brady could inflict if they gave him the opening. It's not that Brady played poorly it was that New York defense was AWESOME.

    February 6, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. PRS2Cube

    Not a fan of either team. That being said, it was a great game, down to the last second. Good, solid, well -balanced teams (I'm glad the score wasn't something like 49-45, killer offenses against flaccid defences). Madonna at halftime provided us with ample snack time and bathroom breaks.

    February 6, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
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