How The Number 12 Defined The Super Bowl and Other Fascinating News on the Web

February 3, 2014

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  1. This One Goes to Twelve

    This wasn’t what we expected. Bob Dylan tried to sell you a car. Prince promoted his appearance on a sitcom. And Richard Sherman ended up being pretty nice. And the game? Well, that was all about the number twelve. Seattle brought their 12th man. It turned out the game was basically over after 12 seconds when Seattle scored a safety. Marshawn Lynch scored a touchdown with 12 minutes remaining in the first half. And Percy Harvin put the game away with his kickoff return for a touchdown — that was scored exactly 12 seconds into the third quarter. Thanks to legalized weed, none of the celebrations on the streets of Seattle got too out of hand. Instead of overturning burning cars, rioting Seattle fans just overturned a bowl of Doritos.

    + From the cranked-up rap music playing during their practices to a crushing game, the weekend was all about the Seahawks. For a good roundup, here’s Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback.

    + The pre-game social media chatter was dominated by talk of Joe Namath‘s fur coat. It was a redux of the look he rolled out in 1971, but this time he looked so ridiculous in that fur coat that PETA probably sees the display of the pelt as a net positive.

    + Peyton Manning was asked if he was embarrassed: “It’s not embarrassing at all. I would never use that word. The word ’embarrassing’ is an insulting word, to tell you the truth.” In this case, I think that word is putting it pretty gently.

    + Anyone in Denver who needs some cheering up should read the text exchange between defensive end Shaun Phillips and his son.

    + Lose money on your big game bets? Don’t feel bad. Most of the famous animal prognosticators got it wrong too. Although Eli the Ape managed to make it seven straight.

    + Since it’s stuck in your head, here’s the story behind the NFL on Fox theme song: Batman on Steroids.

  2. Commercial Breaks

    “Fewer scantily clad ladies. No chimpanzees at all. Only a single flatulence joke.” Slate’s Seth Stevenson provides a pretty accurate Super Bowl Ad Report Card.

    + Here’s a look at which ads won the social media wars.

    + Radio Shack’s commercial did so well, their stock price went up this morning. The ad was clearly inspired by this 2007 story in The Onion.

    + And finally, you probably didn’t see the best Super Bowl commercial, which only aired in Georgia.

  3. When Harry Met Sally at Barney’s

    In NYC, a Barney’s store is set to replace a Loehmann’s. It’s a metaphor for an economic trend that retailers know all too well. The middle class is steadily eroding.

    + One metric behind the trend: Educated people marrying other educated people. From The Atlantic, How When Harry Met Sally Explains Inequality. Maybe I won’t have what she’s having.

  4. Car Talk

    In order to reduce the number of collisions on the road, the federal government wants to require car manufacturers to install technology that will essentially enable cars to talk to each other.

    + We have a horn (and associated gestures) to let other drivers know when we’re mad. Maybe a lot of road rage incidents could be avoided if cars also offered a way to let others on the road know when we’re sorry.

    + The man for whom they made the three million mile badge.

  5. The Needle and the Damage Done

    From the NYT: “Philip Seymour Hoffman, perhaps the most ambitious and widely admired American actor of his generation, who gave three-dimensional nuance to a wide range of sidekicks, villains and leading men on screen and embraced some of the theater’s most burdensome roles on Broadway, died on Sunday.”

    + When the news of Hoffman’s death first broke, many people exchanged this quote: “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.” That quote is actually from Hoffman’s character in the movie Almost Famous. It makes sense that we’d confuse Hoffman with his one of his characters. As Richard Brody explains in The New Yorker: “For those who didn’t know him personally (I never met him), the horror is inseparable from art — the love of his performances, the acknowledgment that there’s nothing more of them beside what’s in the can, and the sense that the torment and the talent are inseparable.” (It’s a tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman that so many people have delivered such beautiful and well-written obituaries. Art begets art.)

    + Seventy bags of heroin were found in Hoffman’s apartment. The NYPD is now on the hunt for the person who sold the drugs.

    + Esquire: Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final secret.

  6. Family Matters

    “What’s your favorite Woody Allen movie? Before you answer, you should know: when I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house.” An open letter from Dylan Farrow.

    + From Woody Allen’s documentarian: The Woody Allen Allegations: Not So Fast.

  7. Going For The Gold

    “Whatever happens on the ice and snow of Sochi in the next couple of weeks, one thing is certain: this Winter Olympics is the greatest financial boondoggle in the history of the Games.” James Surowiecki on The Sochi Effect.

    + Before the opening ceremonies, Sochi  city authorities are planning to kill a lot of stray dogs .

  8. Fast Times at Bridge Closing High

    Things are getting weirder in New Jersey. After former Port Authority David Wildstein suggested Chris Christie knew more about the bridge lane closings than he said he knew, a leaked email from Christie’s office suggested that folks should be skeptical of Wildstein because “he was publicly accused by his high school social studies teacher of deceptive behavior.”

    + Across the river, NY Mayor Bill de Blasio has his own problem: He’s too tall.

  9. Tweeting Under the Influence

    In Conversation: Saturday Night Live’s Lorne Michaels. “I don’t tweet for a very simple reason, which is that I drink.” Funny, that’s often the reason I do tweet.

  10. The Bottom of the News

    Arthur Chu did really well on Jeopardy. And he sort of irritated a lot of viewers in the process. That’s what happens when you use game-theory to gain an edge. Where did Chu hone his craft? On the Internet, where else?

    + Did you just get a call from a number you don’t recognize? Don’t call back. It could be a scam.

    + Looks like we’re in for another six weeks of Winter. Punxsutawney Phil saw his selfie.