Game Report: Pittsburgh @ New England

Game Date:  Thursday, September 10, 2015

Teams:  Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots

Network:  NBC

You’re reading what I hope will be the first of many Game Reports in which I document my growth as a novice NFL TV fan.  You can check here if you’d like to learn more about my plans.
I’ve tentatively adopted the New England Patriots as one of my enemy teams, so this evening I was rooting for Pittsburgh Steelers to come out on top.  I thought Pittsburgh did a great job overall and that those cheaters New England had some lucky breaks.  I’m also suspicious that New England was jamming the radio signals so the Pittsburgh Steelers’ coaches couldn’t communicate with one another.

TV Razzle Dazzle

A visually stunning show.  Superb camera work, even during some pretty heavy rain.  I liked the way the players introduced themselves in little headshots on the bottom of the screen when they took possession of the ball.  Was also impressed with the fancy graphic they had ready to summarize all the Brady to Gronkowski passes.  Musical score:  classic jock/gladiator music.  I also liked the split screen with the reaction time stopwatch showing how long the QB held the ball before passing it.

Entertainment value

2/5.  I really tried to get emotionally engaged and to care about what happened, but it was hard.  There were some passes and touchdowns that were impressive — especially the ones New England made.  Those made me a little disappointed, but they also seemed like pretty lucky breaks.

Commercial commentary

This is who’s paying the bills.   During this show they cut away from the stadium about every five minutes in order to advertise.  There were 112 separate commercial messages between the opening credits and the end of the game (a few were repeated throughout the evening).  The first commercial of the NFL regular season was for the KIA Sorento.  Lots of fantasy football ads and NBC ads promoting other NBC programs.  Plenty of car, truck, and cellphone/smartphone ads, too.  Fewer beer commercials than I would have expected.  The full list is at the bottom of this report.

Interesting Extras

The kickoff was preceded by a Superbowl Celebration ceremony where the Patriots trotted out all four of their Superbowl Trophies.  The first three were carried by former players, and last year’s trophy was carried by the team owner.  Lots of loud music, smoke, fireworks.  Then the Patriots ran onto the field to the accompaniment of gladiator music.  There was a PSA for some 50th Superbowl promotion — something about passing a golden football across the US so kids can touch it?  The commentators liked pointing out whenever something was the “first of the season” — the first touchdown, the first interception.  There was also a kerfluffle about the Steelers’ radios not working.  Since I’ve decided to hate the Patriots, I’m going to go ahead and believe they intentionally sabotaged the radio equipment;  don’t try to confuse me with any facts like the NFL saying it was an electrical problem.  As if.

So much to learn

Some specific terms tonight that I didn’t understand:  touchback, nickelback, first & 10.  I recall the cheer from high school — “First and 10, do it again,” but I was just repeating what others said.  Not sure what a conversion is.  Also need to look into special teams and just what that means.

Points to Ponder

How do they decide which commercials to run during timeouts and injury delays?  Which little video clips and commentary topics are planned ahead of time, and which ones are spontaneous?  Do Fantasy Football businesses get a special deal on their advertising? — seems like the network could give them a discount since fantasy ball must increase network viewership.
Here’s the commercial roster for the first NFL game of the 2015-16 season.  I may have missed a few — they came pretty fast and furious.

Quarter Commercials:  Pittsburgh @ New England, Sep 10 2015, NBC Category Ad Number
HT Northrup King Agriculture 56
3 Southwest Airline 69
3 BMW Auto 66
3 BMW Auto 70
1 Bridgestone Tires Auto 20
2 Chevrolet Auto 24
2 Chevrolet Auto 28
2 Chevrolet Auto 35
3 Dodge Ram Auto 89
4 Ford Auto 96
4 Ford Auto 101
2 KIA Auto 41
2 KIA Auto 43
1 KIA Sorrento Auto 1
4 Mercedes Auto 92
4 Mercedes Auto 93
1 Toyota Auto 8
HT Toyota Auto 60
3 Volkswagen Auto 73
3 Volkswagen Auto 80
4 Navy Federal Credit Union Banking 106
2 Bud Light Beer 32
3 Bud Light Beer 75
1 Coors Light Beer 10
3 Coors Light Beer 82
2 Michelob Beer 36
3 Michelob Beer 88
3 Snickers Candy 74
3 ATT Cellphone 78
4 Sprint Cellphone 98
1 Verizon Cellphone 3
1 Verizon Cellphone 12
2 Verizon Cellphone 27
2 Verizon Cellphone 30
3 Verizon Cellphone 67
2 Windows 10 Computer 51
4 Windows 10 Computer 100
1 Draft Kings Fantasy Football 13
2 Draft Kings Fantasy Football 31
2 Draft Kings Fantasy Football 45
3 Draft Kings Fantasy Football 68
1 FanDuel Fantasy Football 2
1 FanDuel Fantasy Football 7
1 FanDuel Fantasy Football 15
2 FanDuel Fantasy Football 50
1 Fantasy Fantasy Football 11
2 Fantasy Fantasy Football 52
HT Fantasy Fantasy Football 59
4 Fantasy Fantasy Football 109
HT Football Is Family Football 64
2 NFL Game Pass Football 39
3 NFL Game Pass Football 85
4 NFL Sunday Night Football Football 112
1 SNFAllAccess Football 5
HT American Family Insurance 55
1 Geico Insurance 6
2 Nationwide Insurance 40
2 USAA Insurance 44
HT Century Link Internet 63
4 Black Mass Movie 90
2 Everest Movie 23
4 Furious 7 Movie 102
3 Scorch Trials Movie 83
2 Sicario Movie 33
1 Steve Jobs Movie 9
HT Jimmy Johns Restaurants 62
2 McDonalds Restaurants 29
4 McDonalds Restaurants 91
HT Papa Murphys Restaurants 57
1 Subway Restaurants 4
2 Subway Restaurants 46
3 Direct TV Satellite TV 71
3 Direct TV Satellite TV 76
3 Direct TV Satellite TV 79
4 Direct TV Satellite TV 107
1 Reebok Shoes 16
1 Samsung Smartphone 17
1 Samsung Smartphone 19
3 Samsung Smartphone 84
4 Samsung Smartphone 94
2 Adidas Sports Apparel 25
4 Puma Sports Apparel 105
2 Under Armour Sports Apparel 48
4 America’s Got Talent TV Show 108
2 Bastard Executioner TV Show 37
1 Best Time Ever TV Show 18
HT Best Time Ever TV Show 61
2 Blindspot TV Show 26
2 Blindspot TV Show 34
2 Blindspot TV Show 42
HT Blindspot TV Show 53
1 Heroes Reborn TV Show 14
3 Heroes Reborn TV Show 81
HT Kare 11 News TV Show 58
4 Law & Order:  SVU TV Show 103
4 Nascar TV Show 104
3 Nascar Live TV Show 77
3 NBC show TV Show 86
HT Sunday Night Football on NBC TV Show 65
2 The Blacklist TV Show 47
1 The Player TV Show 22
4 The Player TV Show 110
3 The Voice TV Show 72
4 Today Show TV Show 111
4 Tonight Show TV Show 99
4 GE Utilities 95
4 GE Utilities 97
2 Natural Gas Utilities 49
HT Xfinity Video 54
3 Xfinity Video 87
1 Destiny Video game 21
2 Xbox Video Game 38