Where Are Those Clydesdales? by Patty LaRoche

Dave and I, currently living in Mexico, hosted a Super Bowl party for Americans whose teams had been eliminated, leading up to the contest between the K.C. Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles.          The hype surrounding this event, not just for the game but for the commercials and halftime entertainment, left many anticipating great things.


Perhaps it’s that we are old, but we were disappointed. Some ads asked us to “scan the code” that appeared on the screen.  We had no idea what (if anything) we were buying.  Others were classic non-sequiturs; did Hellman’s mayonnaise really want us to eat the people lounging in the refrigerator?

Advertisers spent $7 million for each 30 second commercial.  Today, I ran into a viewer who made this comment: “Apparently, all that money went into hiring name actors and not into paying writers to come up with anything creative.” David Warschawski from the “Baltimore Business Journal,” agrees: “So many brands are relying on celebrity cache to try and make an impression and win new customers, but that is far from enough. Getting laughs or being silly or simply inserting a celebrity does not a great ad make.”

Please, bring back the Clydesdales.

That being said, there were some commercials I appreciated like the “Jesus Gets Us” ones, even though attacked from the left—who claim that Jesus never would condone spending millions on a Super Bowl ad—and the right who say that showing refugees defends the border crisis.  Still, even our atheist friends appreciated the ingenuity of these ads that were, at least, understandable.

The Jesus Gets Us campaign, which first launched in March 2022, is being run by the “Servant Foundation” — a nonprofit based in Overland Park, Kansas.  Jason Vanderground, the ad’s spokesman, answered the criticism: “The goal is that the two commercials will not only inspire those who may be skeptical of Christianity to ask questions and learn more about Jesus, but also encourage Christians to live out their faith even better and exhibit the same confounding love and forgiveness Jesus modelled.”

They want to reach the most people they can for Christ.

I love that about their commercials.  We all need to be talking more about Jesus. Even if we are criticized.

As for the Super Bowl halftime show, we were left scratching our heads. Again, maybe we can blame our age.  What did the dancers in the puffy, white costumes represent?  Marshmallows?  Zombies? Hazmat suits? Eskimos? Cheap costumes left over from some U.F.O. show?  Give me a marching college band any day.  Better yet, give me an inspiring praise and worship team. At least then I could share that time with my family. Rihanna’s behavior was anything but child-friendly.

This probably sounds strange, but I began wondering what would happen if Jesus appeared during the Super Bowl halftime performance.  Who would garner the most attention?  Would screaming, adoring fans still think Rihanna’s inappropriate grab deserved their adulation and be disappointed that Jesus had interrupted their idol’s performance?  Or would this be the wake-up call everyone needs?

I pray it would be the latter…but I have my doubts.

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