Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Super Bowl XLV: Packers v Steelers — live

Follow all the action at Super Bowl XLV with our live blog, featuring expert commentary and analysis, instant score updates and the best pix you’ll find on the internet.

Super Bowl will showcase QBs who can move

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NFL/Given the nature of American football, Super Bowls inevitably get billed as a battle of two quarterbacks and this year’s finale features two of the most entertaining in the game – Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers.

It is, of course, a gross over-simplification to view the complexities of the game as simply a contest between the two men who take the snaps.

from Shop Talk:

Check Out Line: PepsiCo offers up to $5 million for amateur Super Bowl ads

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Check out how you can earn $1 million by wearing an electric dog collar.

Okay, not exactly. That was the punch line of a successful amateur ad this year created for PepsiCo's Super Bowl commercial contest, which the food and beverage company is running again for the 2011 Super Bowl with a prize pool of up to $5 million.

Makers of the best ads for zero-calorie Pepsi Max soda and Doritos chips can win $1 million for an ad that scores No. 1 on a USA Today ad poll, $600,000 for No. 2 and $400,000 for the third spot. A sweep of all three spots earns a $1 million bonus for each winner.

from Shop Talk:

World Cup is no March Madness in sapping productivity

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cup1It may be the World Cup, but when it comes to sapping productivity in the United States the global soccer tournament still has a thing or two to learn from March Madness and the National Football League.

Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which often measures lost workplace productivity, said many U.S. fans will tune in for the quadrennial soccer tournament, which kicks off Friday in South Africa, but the event still trails the NCAA men's basketball tournament, dubbed March Madness, and other events.

from FaithWorld:

Super bowl abortion ad: what do you think of the hype?

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Much of the hype around this year's Super Bowl pro football championship game focused on an ad by the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family that featured college football superstar Tim Tebow and his mother Pam.

Several abortion rights and women's groups had complained in advance about the reported content of the ad, which they said would have a strong anti-abortion rights message.  Reports suggested that the ad would focus on Pam Tebow's decision to carry Tim to term despite a recommendation from her doctors that she have an abortion. The Tebow family is deeply evangelical and he was born in the Philippines where his parents were doing missionary work.

Superbowl is not the greatest show on earth

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North Americans call it “the greatest show on earth” but in reality not much of the world is really paying attention to the Super Bowl.

Sunday’s game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints will be broadcast in 230 countries and territories but the evidence indicates that in most parts of the world few people will be organizing their days around the game.

from MediaFile:

Saints over Colts, says EA’s “Madden”

maddenIf Electronic Arts’ recent track record on Super Bowl predictions is any guide, it looks like New Orleans may well bring home the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday.

EA ran a simulation of the Super Bowl XLIV matchup through its popular “Madden NFL 10” game on the Xbox 360, and the Saints edged the Indianapolis Colts 35-31.

Pro Bowl Bust?

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NFL cheerleaders perform at the AFC-NFC NFL Pro Bowl football game at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii February 8, 2009. REUTERS/Hugh Gentry(UNITED STATES)

The NFL Pro Bowl is supposed to showcase the game’s biggest stars on the same field, but this weekend’s annual event is just going to interfere with the momentum of the playoffs and ultimately fall short of delivering the star-studded lineup it is intended to do.

Instead of having the best players from the league’s AFC and NFC conferences play each other in Hawaii the week after the Super Bowl, the league decided to schedule the uninspired exhibition game in Miami a week before the Super Bowl. So the teams that take the field will be without some of the game’s best players.  It may be a tough sell for the NFL.

from MediaFile:

No Super Bowl blues; expect big TV ratings

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colts1The U.S. economy might be weak, but the Super Bowl still scores with consumers.

The CBS broadcast of the National Football League's championship game on Feb. 7 between the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints should draw strong TV ratings, possibly challenging viewer levels not seen since the late 1990s.

"We're looking at a big rating," said Neal Pilson, former CBS Sports president and head of his own sports consulting firm. "The fact that the two conference championships got better than usual ratings usually indicates that there's a lot of public interest."

from Shop Talk:

Auto show-Super Bowl TV ads don’t score for Mazda

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nfl1Advertising during the Super Bowl doesn't score for Mazda.

While the Japanese automaker plans to boost its marketing budget this year as it launches the Mazda 2 small car, running TV ads during the National Football League's championship game in February won't happen.

"You're never going to see us on Super Bowl," Mazda North American chief Jim O'Sullivan said at the Detroit auto show. "We're not going to spend that kind of money on that kind of property because, yeah, you get a lot of impressions and stuff out there, but the fact of the matter is, do you really get to the target you really wanted? That's more of a feel-good ad for a lot of people."

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