Hi, I'm Neil. Your usual Weekend Hot Clicks writer, Brett Smiley, has already shotgunned anywhere from 8 to 14 MGDs—depending on when you're reading this—in preparation for tonight's game. When Smiles takes the day off, he takes the day way off. You can follow me on Twitter if you enjoy reflexively following the authors of things you read.
Finally: The Super Bowl
At long last, reprieve. Between the grousing about how New Yorkers didn't care about hosting the game (truth), the strange media fixation on Marshawn Lynch's disinterest in speaking with them (understandable), and the talk about the weather (you'll recall that games are routinely played in Green Bay), the run-up to this year's Super Bowl has been even more insufferable than usual. That's over now. The game is tonight, it should be a good one, and I have 4 (Denver) / 0 (Seattle) in a box pool that pays out on every scoring change. All is well.
In the week since Brett Smiley last DID HIS JOB, the lines on the game have shifted slightly: Denver's now giving three points, and the over/under crawled up to 48. I assume Brett's Ill-Advised Teaser advice still holds, but what do I know about gambling? My first search for updated line info was here … Want to know how likely your box pool numbers are to hit? Here's an abbreviated guide; here's the full guide; here's a suggestion on how to spice up your box pool … If prop bets are more your speed, Reddit provided a nice betting slip.
One last sweep of Super Bowl-related ephemera: EM reader Lenny tipped me off to the Wilson brand's Tumblr, which has been posting sharp illustrations of decisive Super Bowl plays from years past. You can see a few of them above … That scrappy underdog Peyton Manning won MVP and Offensive Player of the year. He got 49 of 50 MVP votes, with the lone non-Manning tally going to
Jack Morris Tom Brady … Seahawks safety Earl Thomas will be wearing athletic tape that's covered in tweets from fans … 10 facts about Super Bowl commercials … Stars are just like you, except when they're going to over-the-top Super Bowl parties … Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will be appearing on New Girl after the game.
However the Super Bowl goes tonight, let's just hope it ends with an on-field interview that unfolds the way Leigh Cowart described.
A New No. 1 In College Hoops?
Anyone who devoted their Saturday to watching college basketball games featuring top-ranked teams was rewarded with a pair of thrillers. The tilt between No. 17 Duke vs. No. 2 Syracuse went into overtime, with Syracuse prevailing 91-89 in large part due to C.J. Fair's 28-point clinic. A few hours later, unranked Cal narrowly avoided a trip to overtime against No. 1 Arizona, instead ending things with a 16-foot fadeaway dagger from Justin Cobbs with .09 seconds remaining.
And at some point during all that great basketball action, ESPN made the decision to post … this.
Cheerleader of the Week
Give a warm Hot Clicks welcome to Kendal, a junior on the University of Michigan dance team. When not willing the Wolverines to victory, she studies psychology up in Ann Arbor. I myself studied psychology in college, so take note, Kendal: If you play your cards questionably, you too may get to one day edit a digest of toasty Internet links on the morning of the Super Bowl.
Here are some facts about Kendal that were previously only known by her closest peers.
Musicians of choice: "Florida Georgia Line, Ingrid Michaelson, Rihanna"
Perfect last meal: "Captain Crunch’s Crunch Berries Cereal"
Worst date: "I had a crush on a boy for a year and he finally asked me out to the movies. Before we even made it into the show, I got a bloody nose."
Celebrity crush: "Hmm … so many. I have to go with Channing Tatum, because he is an extremely talented actor and dancer."
One Onesie to Rule Them All
At some point in the future, perhaps even the near future, we will be able to control our devices with our thoughts. That we can't do so right now is the only reason it took more than a literal instant for me to reply to the pitch sent by a publicist regarding the Zooop It Up Zooopless Fleece Football adult onesie.
Having now worn one, I for the lives of all of humankind can't fathom why the model in the photo looks so annoyed. This thing redefines comfort. I was once told that SCUBA equipment hasn't improved in a number of years, because it has more or less been perfected: You put the breathing apparatus in your mouth, turn some knobs, and then breathe normally. That's it. Can't get better. Between the aesthetics and the softness, this may well be the onesie equivalent of SCUBA.
The company, Zooop It Up (that name could have used more focus grouping), makes the onesies in other sports: Soccer, with its repeating pattern, works. Baseball is the opposite of "works". Golf is a dying sport. But football—with the stitching down the center, the bands on the sleeves, and that texture; oh, that texture—represents the height of sports-themed onesie design.
The thing costs $219, which is expensive for a novelty onesie, but a bargain as wearable fine art.
Odds & Ends
Here are the best Extra Mustard articles from the past week, as determined by you, and also by us ... As ex-TSA agent confirms your fears about perviness during airport screenings ... The US bested South Korea in a friendly … There was minor Linsanity in last night's Cavs-Rockets game, as Jeremy notched his first career triple-double … The NCAA basketball excitement wasn't limited to top-ranked teams … Strange bathroom policies at the Olympic Village in Sochi … A true (albeit dead) boss was buried atop his Harley.
Free Safety Advise Revisited
Speaking of Earl Thomas and his fans, last fall Extra Mustard shot a video with him in Seattle. Titled "Free Safety Advice," it featured Thomas providing tips to passers-by in Seattle. I loved making it, and viewers seemed to enjoy it, and then Todd called it corny and now I'm reevaluating everything.
Worship Time on Super Bowl Sunday
True Detective is the best show on TV right now. That's objective fact. I'm enjoying it with such fervor that given a choice between the Super Bowl and a new episode of TD, I may well choose the latter. But that's not an option—HBO isn't airing an episode this week. To hold me, and you, and the world, over, here's an extended cut of the preacher's sermon from last week's episode. (h/t Uproxx)
The Best Ad You Won't See Tonight …
…and quite possibly a better commercial than the ones you will see tonight. Newcastle is killing it with its "IfWeMadeIt" campaign, and though people're getting all frothy about the Anna Kendrick non-ad ad, for my money the focus group spot is sharper: