The New England Patriots won the game, but the NFL won the night.
The National Football League finished first in USA TODAY’s Ad Meter, a ranking of Super Bowl ads by consumer rating.
That’s a first for the NFL, which finished second in last year’s Ad Meter for a Dirty Dancing parody starring Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. Amazon, which won last year’s crown, finished second this time, in both cases for ads featuring Alexa and a bevy of celebrities.
The league’s two-minute ode to itself on Sunday’s telecast was a tour de force starring an assemblage of many of the greats of NFL history, including Eli’s brother Peyton.
The ad begins at a black-tie dinner to celebrate the league’s upcoming 100th season and quickly devolves into a banquet-hall brawl when a golden football from atop a many-tiered cake falls off and hits the floor. Soon the all-pro cast --- connecting six generations of NFL players past and present — is throwing and catching and intercepting and recovering the hot-potato football.