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On Friday, February 3, 2017, I wrote about the Anheuser-Busch virtue signalling advert for Superbowl LI.

Another advert on immigration came from 84 Lumber, a family-owned chain of building materials supplies.

Incidentally, the company is so named because the headquarters is in Eighty Four, Pennsylvania. It is unclear how the town Smithville, near Pittsburgh, was renamed in 1884.

84 Lumber’s advert was about a mother and daughter who make the perilous trip from Central America to the US/Mexico border only to see a huge wall.

In an attempt to make President Donald Trump the villain of the piece, the company’s executives forget that Democrats have acknowledged that the immigration system has been broken for decades. Socio-political commentator Mark Dice has a helpful — and short — video which intersperses 84’s advert with speeches from President Bill Clinton, Senator Chuck Schumer, then-Senator Barack Obama, Michelle Obama and candidate Hillary Clinton — all of whom say something must be done to fix immigration:

Another short video — subtitled — describes how dangerous immigration from Latin America is for those who undertake the journey. It starts with statistics from counties along the border in Texas and Arizona. Altogether, they see hundreds of corpses of men, women and children who were unsuccessful in crossing the border. The cost of gathering these bodies and trying to find family members to identify them eats up a substantial amount of the local budgets intended to maintain services for legal residents living in those counties. Bottom line: border towns spend a lot of money dealing with the fallout from illegal immigration, thereby depriving Americans and legal immigrants from obtaining the services they have paid for in tax.

The video also mentions the very real problem of people trafficking. Criminals involved in drugs have found that moving into prostitution by using illegal immigrants is more profitable: a person can be sold again and again, thereby offering an indefinite supply of income.

Readers should be aware that Maggie Hardy Magerko, president and owner of 84 Lumber — as well as being daughter of the founder — has been in the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans for years. She lives in a quiet, rural community, several hundreds of miles away from the ravages and realities of border towns.

Companies should stop virtue signalling.

The past 12 months could be termed the Year of the Underdog.

Several major ‘can’t wins’ won.

UK voters opted for Brexit last July. It’s just passed the House of Commons.

The Cubs won the World Series after 108 years in early November.

Donald Trump was elected president on November 8. The Electoral College affirmed that on December 19.

On Sunday, February 5, 2017 the New England Patriots won their fifth Superbowl. Tom Brady emerged as the top quarterback of all time. The team beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in the first Superbowl ever to go into overtime.

Pre-game predictions

Earlier on Sunday, Fox’s Bill O’Reilly talked to Trump about his relationship with the Patriots, who supported his candidacy. Trump is also close friends with the team’s owner Bob Kraft. The discussion starts at 8:42 in the video below. Pressed by O’Reilly, Trump predicted the Patriots would win by eight points (8:50). In the end, they won by six!

Weirdly, this is what Trump predicted in 2015:

Predictions as the game progressed

In the third quarter, the Falcons were up by three touchdowns. No Superbowl contender has ever won by coming from behind more than 10 points.

Hence this ESPN tweet:

Trump tweeted:

Someone crudely responded (see the Twitter feed) that he shouldn’t compare the Superbowl to the 216 election. Oh really?

The Wall Street Journal pronounced:

Donald J Trump Jr, who enjoyed a pre-game repast at home with his family, responded:

Victory for the Patriots

Once more, the usual pontificating pundits were proven wrong.

The Daily Mail has a good overall roundup of not only the game but also the drama surrounding it — as well as a lot of great photos. Emphases mine below:

Tom Brady held the Vince Lombardi trophy high above his head and told New England Patriots fans he was ‘taking this sucker home’ after the team defeated the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night 34 – 28 in the first Super Bowl to ever go into overtime.

The quarterback broke down in tears after the game, in which the team managed to comeback from a 25 point deficit in the third quarter of the game to even the score and keep their hopes of yet another victory alive.

The Patriots then clinched the victory minutes into overtime when James White plunged past the goal line on the team’s opening drive in extra time.

It was a historic win for Brady and head coach Bell Belichick, who with the victory now each have five Super Bowl rings, the most of any player or coach in the history of the NFL.

Brady made history by also winning the Super Bowl MVP honor for the fourth time in history, more than any other player.

And he did it all in front of his mother Galynn Brady, who is suffering through an undisclosed illness and wore a bandanna over her head as she greeted her son after his victory.

Afterwards

Trump tweeted his congratulations:

The pundits had to walk back their words and predictions. Here’s FiveThirtyEight‘s Walt Hickey:

25 points

It was really one for the record books: No team has come back from a Super Bowl deficit of more than 10 points, and Tom Brady proved — to my chagrin — that he’s the best quarterback ever. He had more completions, pass attempts and passing yards in a Super Bowl than anyone else, ever. His team ran the most-ever offensive plays in the championship. The Pats put together the biggest comeback — 25 points! — in a Super Bowl ever. It’s the most ridiculous achievement — ever. [ESPN]

ESPN produced a series of memorable tweets:

The journey was not easy. The Patriots were hit by a series of penalties from the 2015 season which saw Brady benched at the beginning of the 2016 season. ESPN reports:

As owner Robert Kraft said in the days leading up to Super Bowl LI, Deflategate penalties levied by the NFL against Brady and the team had a deeply rooted impact on the 2016 Patriots. Brady was hit with a four-game suspension for the January 2015 incident that months of court battles couldn’t overturn. Meanwhile, the Patriots were fined $1 million and docked a first-round pick in 2016 and a fourth-round pick in 2017.

However, the Patriots, thanks to Belichick, won without Brady, so by the time he returned to the field:

on Oct. 9 in Cleveland, it felt like a home game, many fans taking advantage of Columbus Day weekend to make the trip to be there for that moment when Brady first took the field.

It had a Super Bowl-like feel to it, and what manifested itself the rest of the season was a region showering Brady with its appreciation and love on a daily basis. While Brady had his offensive line protecting him on the field, New England fans, as passionate as ever, were protective of his legacy.

ESPN also has a good play-by-play rundown — ‘Anatomy of a miracle’ — about a Superbowl that will be studied for years to come. There is also a video at the link. The article begins as follows:

Zero-point-two percent. Two in a thousand. The New England Patriots stunned the St. Louis Rams to win the first Super Bowl of the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era during the 2001 playoffs, but even that upset can’t compare to the comeback New England pulled to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 on Sunday night in Super Bowl LI. The Pats pieced together incredible play with fortuitous bounces and impeccable timing to overcome a Falcons team that had a 99.8 percent shot of claiming its first Super Bowl with 21 minutes to go.

What happened from then on was nothing short of a miracle. The Patriots needed just about everything to go right and had the vast majority of those moments swing their way.

As with so many other wins, ESPN concludes it’s not what the losing team does, it’s what they don’t do that determines the outcome. Worth noting!

The Anheuser-Busch commercial for the Superbowl this year, scheduled to air on February 5, has kicked up a storm and is viewed by a number of Americans as pro-immigration advertising.

It comes a week after President Donald Trump initiated a 90-day immigration ban on seven countries which have majority Muslim populations. These selected countries lack the means for sufficient background checks on their own citizens. (More about this in a future post.)

See if you think this is political commentary:

I have two problems with it. First, by the time Adolphus Busch arrived in the United States in 1857, Germans had been emigrating there for a century, at least. They were well established in society. Secondly, it was unclear to me that the final scene was the famous ‘when Anheuser met Busch’ moment. I thought he was a random guy in a bar until I saw a YouTube from Mark Dice explaining it in the first minute or so:

Budweiser, owned by InBev — a Belgian corporation — denies it is commenting on Trump policy or an anti-immigration climate.

However, I cannot help but wonder if Adolphus Busch would have wanted to be portrayed in that way. Most immigrants wanted to assimilate straightaway. They were not going to dwell on the voyage over, their processing time at Ellis Island or their early years getting established. Everything was about becoming an American.

If you doubt this, then, please be aware that his Wikipedia entry states (emphases mine):

His wealthy family ran a wholesale business of winery and brewery supplies. Busch and his brothers all received quality educations, and he graduated from the notable Collegiate Institute of Belgium in Brussels.[2]

Another German immigrant came to America in the 19th century. His name was Friedrich Trump, pictured at left (courtesy of Wikipedia). He was a Lutheran and came from Kallstadt in Bavaria. He managed to make a fortune within three years. He went everywhere, from New York to the Yukon. Nary a complaint. Even the most recent Channel 4 documentary by anti-Trump Matt Frei on his grandson — shown in late January 2017 — painted Friedrich as a clever, enterprising businessman. That makes me think Adolphus Busch was of the same entrepreneurial mindset.

You didn’t go to the US as a victim then, that’s for sure.

Incidentally, Friedrich returned to Kallstadt after three years only to go through a series of legal hurdles regarding his German nationality! He found out it had been revoked, possibly because he went to the US around the time he was to do his military service. So, back to America he went and the rest is history. According to Matt Frei’s documentary, Friedrich quietly enjoyed his life a lot but died in the Influenza Epidemic of 1918. His widow, Elizabeth — also from Kallstadt — set up a real estate company for her middle son Fred, the president’s father. It was called Elizabeth Trump & Son. Fred was still a minor at the time, even though he was precocious enough to follow in his father’s footsteps and get small houses built.

I recommend that we need to watch these adverts with a gimlet eye and research the immigrant mindset of the 19th and early 20th centuries, very much oriented to assimilating into American society — as future Americans.

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