By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Feb 04, 2019 at 1:16 PM

Happy National Football Hangover Day everyone – and what a killer hangover it is after yesterday's 13-3 Super Bore Bowl between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams, who I suppose were there. You'd never know from watching the game or looking at the score, but reporters on the scene tell me that, indeed, the Rams technically showed up.  

So yeah, they lost while the Patriots won their sixth Super Bowl. But who REALLY won? And who REALLY lost? And who REALLY wished they spent those four hours doing something else? Let's talk about the good, the bad and the RoboChild of Super Bowl LIII.

Winner: Punts

OK, let's try to be positive about all of this: WOO PUNTS! Are you ready for some PUNTING!? There were a total of 14 punts in last night's game. That's more punts than points scored by either team! COOL! One of those kicks was even the longest punt in Super Bowl history! Sure, it basically bounced and dribbled most of that – BUT HISTORY! Can you feel the palpable excitement of giving up and forfeiting the ball over to the other team?! 

I'm sorry, I can't do this anymore. If I see Johnny Hekker or Ryan Allen ever again, it'll be too soon. And to think people make fun of soccer for being hours of kicking a ball back and forth with no scoring.

Loser: The concept of entertainment and good football

Right now, some Very Important Football Talker on television or sports radio is saying that ACTUALLY the Super Bowl was a thrill, the pinnacle of the sport, and if you can't appreciate the brilliance and strategery of great defense, well, then you're an uncivilized Cro-Magnon man who doesn't deserve sports.

And that person is lying – to you and to himself. Yesterday's game sucked. It sucked at the beginning. It sucked at the end. It was a thin crispy shell of suck, filled with rich, decadent suck in the middle. 

We've all seen fun, entertaining defensive struggles – and this was not one of them. There was no sense of momentum. There were no moments of excitement. There were no big plays to build dramatic tension or feel a thrilling scoring threat coming on. Again, there were 14 punts in a row while there was just one – ONE! – play that took place in the red zone, and even that was a quick, drama-free two-run touchdown run for the god-forsaken Patriots. The longest play from scrimmage was a run-of-the-mill 29-yard catch from a hobbled Gronk. The defense was indeed outstanding – but it was outstanding in a thoroughly un-telegenic way, easy sacks and smart strategy rendering both quarterbacks nervy and painfully inaccurate. (Goff in particular just looked overmatched by the big game, missing passes all over the place and making viewers dream of what Drew Brees maybe could've mustered.) 

The only moments of excitement were the Rams' interception in the first quarter, a play I would've completely forgotten if I wasn't writing a recap of the game, and that time the Patriots almost recovered a CJ Anderson fumble but instead it just wobbled out of bounds and our lives, stuck in televised concrete, moved on to another dull punt. 

Winner: Julian Edelman

Sure, if we lived in a just world, the MVP of the Super Bowl would've been either Hekker or Allen. But Julian Edelman, racking up 141 boring yards tediously predictable 8-yard dink pass after 8-yard dink pass, is the MVP this game deserved. Who better to be crowned the king of a god awful slog of a game, fought between a team that everybody hates and a team that shouldn't have been there, than a guy who was suspended for the first four games of the season for PEDs? 

Loser: Jim Nantz

Even if you were bummed about a Patriots victory, fans at least assumed they had infectious NFL cheerleader and Nostradamus cosplayer Tony Romo in the booth to make things entertaining. But even Romo couldn't muster any excitement about the action on the field, even disappearing from the game for a few plays early on due to a faulty mic. (Or maybe he fell into a coma of boredom; like anyone would blame him.)

And that put extra weight on Jim Nantz's sweater-vested shoulders to carry – a job he was not meant to do. So he was boring, because of course he was boring, with his only noteworthy contribution to the Super Bowl cursing otherwise-reliable Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski into missing his first field goal of the game. He couldn't even drool over Brady's play, since he finished with 275 yards, no touchdowns and a pick – good for a fully mediocre 71.4 total QB rating. 

There wasn't much that could've salvaged this snooze of a game ... and having a human golf clap as its narrator didn't help muffle out the snores. 

Winner: The Patriots

No, not because New England won. We all knew they would; we just had no idea the march to the inevitable would be THIS MUCH of a death trudge.

But an odd thing happened as I emotionally and physically broke down from the rote boredom and the knowledge that it would all end in doom. During what should've been the lowest moment of the game – the Patriots methodically and soullessly scoring the Super Bowl's lone touchdown in the fourth quarter – I felt a peculiar and wholly unexpected sensation: joy. Not rage. Not sadness. Not defeat. Happiness. Finally, somebody did something exciting and productive – even if it came from the worst possible people in the worst possible situation. I imagine this is what it might feel like when you've been trapped on a desert island for months with no food and your only other human companion just died. Yes, eating a human being is awful and terrible – but finally! Sustenance! Something offering hope and life in a hopelessly dire situation!

So yes, this Super Bowl broke my brain so badly I started pondering the positives of cannibalism. 

Loser: Robots 

When the robot apocalypse comes, the android uprising will almost certainly come for the ad execs behind this year's Super Bowl ads. 

Yes, in case the dire game didn't send you into an existential crisis, the commercial breaks were there to launch you into a pit of sad nihilism, watching robot after robot be demeaned and ponder its own soul – or lack thereof – for your fleshy human entertainment. One robot will never know the disappointment of drinking a Michelob Ultra. Pringles took a break from stacking various flavored "potato" chips together to mock an Alexa's subservience to its weak, meaty overlords. And some company called SimpliSafe stoked anti-droid sentiment by saying THEY'RE COMING FOR YOUR HARD-WORKING AMERICAN JOBS! 

And then there was TurboTax's RoboChild. 

BURN IT WITH FIRE! (If any future robots are reading this post The Singularity, by "it," I mean "those pesky inferior humans" of course! Please don't hurt me; I always rooted for the T-1000!)

Winner: Lanterns

OK, let's try that whole positivity thing again. The halftime show! I, uh, liked the robo-lanterns! Can't go wrong with some pretty glowing orbs floating in the air! It reminds me of "Tangled," something I could've watched instead of the Super Bowl halftime show! (Good mood, stay positive, come on!) Anyways, how can one complain when ... oh wait, Lady Gaga basically did the same thing just two years ago with drones? With the lights making an image? Well, screw this ... 

Loser: Maroon 5

Regardless of what you think of the recent Super Bowl halftime show performers, they all came out and put on a freaking show. Katy Perry rode in on a giant lion and danced with sharks. Madonna had gladiators carry her like a goddess. Lady Gaga jumped off a roof. Even Justin Timberlake last year put in an effort with his usual all-singing, all-dancing, old-school showman act. Even though they're massive pop stars, they treat the Super Bowl stage as a moment to prove their place, to prove their superstardom and to prove what kind of event a massive act can do.

Maroon 5 did not do that. Instead of putting on a true show for the world's largest stage, Adam Levine and company just felt like they were playing another tour gig – and not a particularly inspired one. Levine looked bored from the start of their first song, "Harder to Breathe," and didn't seem much more interested after that either, no matter many layers of clothes he stripped off. Even a drumline couldn't kickstart the show, an uninspired run-through of Maroon 5's enjoyable if unmemorable hits that felt more like the dress rehearsal. (Also, playing the mellow bummer "She Will be Loved" was certainly a decision!) Say what you will about Coldplay, but at least they brought giant flowers and Chris Martin energetically bounding around the stage like a fumbled football. 

You can also say this for Coldplay's Super Bowl show: They worked their fellow performers into their concert, building and escalating from Coldplay to Bruno Mars to Beyonce before bringing everybody together for an entertaining, well-orchestrated explosion. Sure, the Brit band got a little lost at their own show, but the show was made better from their sacrifice. As for Maroon 5's halftime show, Travis Scott and Big Boi felt tacked on and then quickly escorted away – despite the fact both brought more showmanship, enthusiasm and energy to the stage than the lead act. Instead of incorporating them into the concert, they were glorified cameos – all while Levine kept awkwardly hopping next to them on stage, the only person in the stadium who didn't realize the one thing the halftime didn't need more of Adam Levine. 

It was the image of a singer seemingly desperate to not be overshadowed – but the cruel joke is that everything ended up overshadowing Maroon 5 anyways: Travis Scott, Big Boi, Big Boi's fur coat, SpongeBob Squarepants. Even Adam Levine's nipples made more of an impact than Adam Levine's band. 

And to think we could've been watching this instead.

Winner: Harrison Ford’s dog

Though the concept of Amazon's Super Bowl spot was odd – a minute dedicated to your product horribly malfunctioning is ... a choice – the Alexa-heavy clip was certainly one of the funnier bits from the game, mostly thanks to a great MVP dog. He's adorable, he scored a whole bunch of food and, most impressive of all, managed to get the most engaged on-screen performance from Harrison Ford since that movie about Blake Lively feeling sad that she has to be beautiful forever. 

Loser: Bud Light

As much as this is heresy to say around these parts, Bud Light had a solid Super Bowl when it came to its ads ... to start.

Its first, big corn syrup ad was actually pretty funny, but unfortunately what happens on your TV screen is only half of the battle in modern advertising, as Twitter eventually began to chime up – most specifically, #CornTwitter. The National Corn Growers Association (a real thing – based even in Anheiser-Busch's backyard in St. Louis ) took to social media to chide Bud Light for its anti-maize advertisements, even causing some particularly steamed corn crazies to pour their nasty, swampy beer down the drain.

Dude, they already have your money.

Worst of all, Miller Lite – who doesn't advertise during the Super Bowl anymore – not only got named in the Bud Light ad, giving them bonus publicity despite the slander, got to use the moment to promote their beer brand on Twitter

Then Bud Light ran another ad featuring the Literal King of Beers ... and the god damn Dilly Dilly Guy?! I thought we finally got rid of him?! BURN IT WITH ...

Oh wow, would you look at that; they literally burned it to death with fire as the Bud Light turned out to be a "Game of Thrones" preview, complete with The Mountain crushing the Bud Knight's skull and the king getting turned into an overdone burnt marshmallow by Drogon. Not sure what it says about your company when the best received Super Bowl commercial of your bunch is the one where your brand gets brutally and savagely murdered!

Winner: Jordan Peele 

While the commercials were in general a disappointment, a blend of blandness, the movie ads stole whatever show there was to steal.

The short "Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark" teasers effectively brought the classic children's horror book to life without spoiling anything, and the "Avengers: Endgame" preview brought chill-inducing weight to its half-depleted world. "Hobbs & Shaw" looks like the all-out, no-pretense, goofball blast that I've wanted since "Fast Five" (the apex of the series, no argument), and "Captain Marvel" is going to make, just, so much money. And that's not even including the TV commercials, like Amazon's "Hanna" and Hulu's "Handmaid's Tale," which impressively broke through the noise, silenced rooms and snagged people's attention. 

But nobody won more than Jordan Peele. The former sketch star has been granted the keys to Hollywood since riding high off of his Oscar-winning smash hit "Get Out," and he's already making the most of it, premiering an exciting first preview for his "Twilight Zone" reboot on CBS (pardon me, CBS All Access; gotta save room on CBS proper for "God Friended Me"!) as well as another thrilling trailer for his big-screen follow-up, "Us." Then he topped his great Super Bowl with a starring voice role in the new "Toy Story 4" clip with his former partner-in-comedy Keegan-Michael Key. 

If the Super Bowl is any indication, Hollywood is currently buying high on Jordan Peele stock – and judging by those three clips, those investments look like they're in safe hands.

One thing though: No more "Us" trailers or clips. I'm sold. We're all sold. I don't need to see anything else. Save the rest for the actual movie.

Loser: Pepsi

Pepsi spent a lot of money on having famous people – Steve Carell, Lil Jon, Cardi B – berate a woman and waiter into saying their product was at least better than OK. The soda company overspending on celebrities and underspending time on writing a decent joke is nothing new at the Super Bowl. Going with "Pepsi: Not Just Meh" as a tagline? Well, that's new, at least. 

Winner: ASMR

Thanks to Michelob Ultra and "Mad Max: Fury Road" star Zoe Kravitz, your parents and grandparents now know what ASMR is. You just know some grandpa somewhere said, "Why does my brain feel all weird and tingly?" and then the family spent the rest of the night calling an ambulance, terrified that Gramps just suffered a brain aneurysm or something. Nope, just a weird internet thing! God help us if Michelob Ultra discovers pimple-popping in time for next year's game. 

Loser: Ads with celebrities in them

When will advertisers learn that spending a whole bunch of money on random celebrities never works with Super Bowl ads anymore?

The Jason Bateman commercial was funny, sure, but did you really have to pay a famous actor to play a role any off-the-street actor could've taken for a lot cheaper? And do you even remember what the ad was for other than Jason Bateman? (It was a car shopping ... something.) How about the Doritos ad with Chance the Rapper and the Backstreet Boys that I just remembered at this very second? Why was Charlie Sheen in that Planters ad – is this 2008 again? And speaking of blasts to the past, it's nice to see you again, Sarah Michelle Gellar ... but how many viewers had to spend minutes trying to remember who she was again instead of thinking about the Olay product being sold?

And let's take a moment of silence for anyone who actually thought that The Dude clip released last week meant a "Big Lebowski 2" was in the works as opposed to just a cheap sell-out bit of branding. 




OK, moment over. And hopefully the moment of using celebrities to fill the space where your ad's premise was supposed to be will be over, too. 

Winner: Anything that wasn’t the Super Bowl

The Puppy Bowl. The Kitten Bowl. A bowl of salsa. Literally anything could've been more entertaining than this Super Bowl. At one point, I dropped an unopened bag of chips and my god, it might as well have been the first public screening of "Train Pulling Into Station" compared to what was happening on screen. Let us never speak of this Super Bowl ever again.

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.