Adventures In Self-Imposed Isolation

They are only $15! They will never be printed again, so get ’em while you can.

I posted a new Lo-FiJINKS comic just a few hours before this one went up, so you have have missed it.

True-ish story: I did watch the [Matt Smith] Doctor Who Christmas special instead of the Superest of Bowls and it was fantastic. I really didn’t think I was going to warm up to Smith after experiencing Tennant, but man he has grown on me like giant, crazy floppy hair.

Though I didn’t see the even one second of “The Game,” the commercials or the halftime show, I did enjoy trying to create a mental picture of the whole affair based on what was happening in my Twitter feed. The best I could tell, Rachel from Glee and Christina Aguilera sang a mash up of the national anthem and “Don’t Stop Believin,” The Black Eyed Peas have all been digitized into the Grid and replaced with even less talented robot avatars with cube shaped heads, Groupon did several ads promoting the group savings benefits of genocide, oppression, and other atrocities and apparently the Greenday Packmen outscored the  Philly Cheesesteaks in terms of points. You know the old saying, “he who scores the most points within the allotted time shall be determined the winner.” Truer words, am I right?

I’m not trying to be one of those, “I’m too cool for football because I’m a hip internet type, deeply in touch with my own personal brand of irony, etc, etc, blah, blugh.” On the contrary. I understand the rewards that come with shared experience and how geeking over football stats is the same as geeking over any other sort of geekery. I just don’t understand football at all. I look at it and I see… nothing. For me a football game is like listening to someone speak a language you don’t understand while watching a crowd of people wait in line for a roller coaster. Slowly they advance towards their goal, but often there is no movement for 12 or 20 minutes at a time. I realize that I’m not the “enlightened one.” I’m the one who is missing out. It’s like Josh and vaginas. I just don’t see the appeal and I will never understand it’s mysteries.

Back to that Groupon thing… holy shit. From what I understand about TV advertising, a terrible offensive commercial can’t be shown during the Superbowl by accident. At least a few people have to sign off on it, right? So that means there are multiple individuals in the world that think it’s a good idea to show “the lighter side” of the oppression of the Tibetan people by saying it might save you a few bucks on dinner in Chicago. Stay classy Groupon. Luckily, never do anything with anyone so I can’t use your stupid service. Here’s an ad pitch for them: Hitler might have killed 6 million jews, but using Groupon we were able to get an amazing deal on a recently vacated tenement building in a Jewish neighborhood in Berlin. Thanks, Groupon!

COMMENTERS: Did you watch The One Game? For the football or the commercials? What was your favorite/least favorite commercial? Any excitement for the geek movies that aired trailers during the game (Captain America, Cowboys and Aliens, etc)? If you didn’t watch it, what ever did you do? Was it fun? Can I come next time? Feel free to make up your own Groupon ad campaign as well.

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  1. My friends throw a party every year where everyone talks through the game and then all watch the commercials together. I've had the flu all weekend, so my wife and I stayed home last night and just watched the commercials on Hulu, w/o the game – FTW!

  2. Ah yes, I had heard that the US have their own Sporting Events in which one can cheer for their favourite Game Player to score more touch goal points than the other guy. My favourite is Jonny Sportsguy – have you seen his ratios? Go sports!

  3. I was made to endure almost the entirety of the footballiness last night. Some people comment that the best parts were the commercials, but even then I think the whole occasion came up short. The only commercial that had any sort of impact on me was the Chrysler 200 commercial, and that's only because I'm from the greater Detroit area and my childhood was funded by Chrysler. But that leaves me wondering… How else did everyone respond to the commercial about Eminem driving a new car to the theatre just to silence some opera singers?

  4. My husband and I went to see True Grit rather than watch the game, but I did see the Elizabeth Hurley Groupon commercial, the one about the rainforest. I thought that was shocking, but they srsly did a Tibetan one? Yeesh.

  5. Wait… there was some kind of game or something recently?

    I almost wish I could give a crap about that sort of thing… almost.

    • I went to the Sunday morning and the cashier asked me if I was going to watch "the game" that night. Yeah, took me about 30 seconds of staring at this fellow to realize what the heck he was talking about.

  6. On a side note: enjoying the Superbowl really doesn't require any special enjoyment of Football, though it does help if you get some sort of emotional investment in the game. For example, for the second year in a row I've heard of a gay couple determining their sexual benefits based of the winner of the Superbowl.

  7. As (aparently) one of the few geeks in the world who actually enjoys sports, I have to say that the best part about this superbowl was the tamales I got to eat while I watched it, they were delicious. Other than that, I was only kinda-sorta rooting for the Packers, and the Superbowl is the only American Football game I ever watch (for obvious reasons) so it's not like I was going to riot if my team didn't win (not that I'm brittish or anything).

      • it was more of an issue about general lazzyness, they were supposed to be done for the 2nd (some mexican religious holiday), but we all put it off and instead made them on sunday, it just happened to coincide with the game.

        Also, I wouldn't b surprized if tamales did shoot out of TV's, after all, a mexican inventd the color TV.

  8. I watched the game despite not being a fan of either team. Im more of a college football guy. My boss is a huge steelers fan so i enjoyed watching them lose. Game wasnt that great, commercials were mostly blah, halftime show sucked. Watched the Dr who xmas special on saturday it was great! Cant wait for the new Who episodes!

  9. I'm really glad to see I'm not the only one who posted an anti-superbowl strip this morning. The blog post really nails it thoguh. Joel managed to put into words EXACTLY how i feel every year at this time

  10. A group of my friends throw a party during the super bowl to explicitly watch something else. It's the third year straight of them doing so, and not inviting me. So instead I stayed home alone and watched anime instead of writing the two papers I had due for school today, which I still haven't started even though one is due in 7 minutes, because I'm the best at procrastinating, though perhaps not the best at doing my work.

  11. I was driving home from my moms house at the time, then i did laundry and played video games all night. I will probably spend most of my workday today catching all the comercials that were worth watching.

    • Now you sound like me…I put away my laundry, and played STO and CoX all day, and ate foods I shouldn't have.
      Much like many other Sundays, come to think of it.
      I think I knew the game ended when someone announce it in Zone chat in STO while I was shooting Remans…but I was trying to kill the Remans, not listen to the ESPN SportsZhone, or whatever the fans call it.

  12. I watched the game, and while I may be overly generous, I actually liked the Timothy Hutton Tibet Groupon commercial. I thought it was, if anything, a net positive; firstly, by at least mentioning the oppression of the Tibetan people, which hasn't happened in the US for quite some time, and secondly, by portraying them as a people with a rich cultural history that goes well beyond that oppression.

  13. I wasn't a big fan of either team but I definitely watched the game for the game, in the hopes it would be good. And it wasn't terrible, much to my amazement! Missed most of the commercials on purpose but I did manage to turn my eye to some of the "not terrible" ones. Surprised at how many of the commercials just tried to market themselves to geeks…

  14. I have a group of friends that are all very geeky but also love football. I don't get the mutual exclusiveness that many geeks have. Just as Joel said "geeking over football stats is the same as geeking over any other sort of geekery." Maybe it's that I never had a jock beet me up in school. I never saw anyone in school pick on someone for liking geeky things, socially inept but not just geeky. Maybe its that I live in Wisconsin and football is in our blood here, the state is basically a ghost town during the Packer game. Today I am very happy to be a Packer fan, not because I actually did anything but the social camaraderie that develops between fans just walking down the street. Everyone is a little bit nicer today, if not hung over. Go beer, or Packers.

    • Packers can has Lombardi Trophy? 🙂
      And here I thought I was the only Wisconsinite that posted on this website.

      • There are a few, at leas there used to be. I know during the early part of the podcast there was a girl from Green Bay who usually sent in questions for the gang and was in on the chat room.

  15. These are the Zaghawa people from the Sudanese region of Darfur. The men are being systematically exterminated by their own government while the women are being raped and then murdered. The Zaghawa are trying to flee, but are being hunted without mercy while other nations supply their executioners with money and weapons, quietly condoning that which they vowed to never let happen again.

    But man do they make a great couscous! Available now at low, low prices thanks to GROUPON!

  16. Smith had won me over by about 20 minutes into The Eleventh Hour, but I was never the biggest Tennant fan to begin with, so I understand why some people haven't warmed to him as much.

    His first series, bar the dodgy Dalek and Silurian episodes, has been infinitely better than anything else in the revival to date.

  17. I like your American "Football" despite not being American. Regrettably, the ridiculous time-zone you Americans favour means it's sleepy time here in the UK when the SB is on. I once stayed up to watch it when I had a friend from Boston staying. We took out a large spread-bet on the New England Patriots beating the over-hyped Rams and won cash money. All perfectly legal in the UK, I think you have to fly to Vegas to lay a bet or sumfin.

    Smith is good and whats-her-name has nice legs. My only minor problem with Who is the leftist (or liberalist as you Americans might say) moralising in the script. Moffat isn't as bad as Davies but still. "Leave the systemic bias to BBC News" is what I say.

    • That's totally understandable. I've got a cousin who moved to Germany when she grew up and always has a hell of a time catching our home-team's games over there. There was one time when she was watching a three-minute delayed feed of the Thanksgiving game, while talking to all of us on the phone for Thanksgiving and we had to avoid spoiling it for her.

      So far, only time in my life I've had to avoid spoilers for something that isn't traditionally considered nerdy…

  18. I "watched" most of the second quarter, by which I mean I was in the same room as a TV showing it. It wasn't a glorious, gigantic TV, and I hadn't had dinner, so it was mostly just a food break from homework. I understood that my home team was doing well at that point.

    At the half, I went back to re-watching the first half of Series 5 of New Who and lamenting the short-sightedness that had prompted me to only migrate one season from my big, immobile Hard Drive to my little free-roaming one, and the most recent season at that… Now I'll need to find myself something new to watch by Wednesday, if not tomorrow…

  19. During the Super Bowl, World Series and March Madness games is when the wife and I go to popular restaurants. Just not during major soccer games involving Latin countries because that's when most of the people who do all the actual cooking are taking their time off and the food quality suffers accordingly.

  20. There was a football game on the TV, which my wife was watching intently, as I played WoW on my laptop. I tried to watch the commercials (thought the one for the convertible Camaro, with the talking cars reading their own reviews, was funny – "Hear that, Sheila? I've got a 'smooth ride.'" "Yeah, never gonna happen.").

    "Captain America" and "Thor" are going to get my theater money. I'll probably watch the third Transformers flick on this new TV we just bought with the tax-return money, because it's got a really big screen for the explosions, and that way I'm not giving Michael Bay any of my money directly. Still not sure where I'll watch "Cowboys and Aliens", but I will be watching it somewhere. And what the hell is "Super *" even *about*???

  21. I've been a football fan since I joined the marching band in seventh grade. I miss watching it in person, but I can't stand the idea of going to my college's stadium with over 70,000 people. The game was pretty good, and I watched until the end because it was pretty close for a while.

    The commercials weren't particularly amusing this time, although I did like the Darth Vader kid commercial and the "Black Betty" VW beetle commercial. The Groupon commercials were in bad taste, but I appreciate what they're trying to do. I checked the website ( to learn more about it. The commercials didn't do the best job of getting the message across, but they did stir controversy and managed to get people thinking about the problems. These commercials will probably get more attention than the sad ASPCA and UNICEF ones. Most of us tune out the sad, serious commercials; these commercials, however unintentionally offensive, will get attention for the causes.

  22. OK, whew, so I didn't miss out on a very special/terrible episode of Glee due to the big TV being muted at gay bowling.

  23. Husband and I DVR'd it (I'm sick as a dog and didn't want to go to the party we were invited to) and ordered take out pizza. THAT was entertaining. Papa John's was a mad house and this lady was yelling at the poor guy because her order was wrong and took too long. There were 20 people in there working like a well-tuned machine and they were still swamped beyond belief. It's the super bowl lady, did you miss that?

    DVR is the way to go with all things. We skipped all downtime on the field and all commercials except for trailers. We did however watch the Detroit ad (very good, but not really just for Chrysler)(I'm also somewhat related to the car industry so pay more attention to these things than the average person) and the new VW bug ad (I'm excited about the way retro silhouette they teased with).

  24. We had a our hipster anti-football party, listening to indie bands, drinking imported beer, and talking about how there were people in our city who wouldn't pay a quarter of a cent tax to build a train willingly paying $80 to park a few blocks from the stadium.

  25. I played WoW. Stormwind was rather crowded, but the questing areas were very quiet. Herbs were in good supply for a change, except for the one idiot on a flying something stealing all the Silverleaf.

    Don't know if I'll get to see the commercials. Hulu won't play in Canada, so I'll have to hunt them down on YouTube or the company websites.

  26. I did not watch any of "The Big Game" as I have no interest in it. I instead had lunch on the beach, ran a few errands, setup my new 360, and studied a little.

  27. My strategy for avoiding the game was similar to yours, though I holed myself up in my room with Deep Space Nine, not Doctor Who.

    I did sneak down to the kitchen and avail myself of some of the snacks my more football-inclined friends had prepared for their viewing parties, though.

  28. I watched the game – I usually watch the game. But I had to this year, because this season, even compared every other football seasons, has been weird. Like, Fringe-weird. 23 state snowstorm included.
    I didn't really pay attention to the commercials, because I don't drink beer, I'm not shopping for a car, and GoDaddy was pretty tame.
    Geek movies? Hell yeah! I wanna see them all! Captain America. Cowboys and Aliens. Thor! Thor, muthafuqqas!
    Just think of that 12-20 minutes of "nothing happening" as Inception-esque time-within-time stuff. It makes the 5 minutes on the play clock make more sense.

  29. I wouldn't have watched it even if I could have – first, I live in Germany, and second (get out yer pitchforks and torches, USAnians) I think American "Football" is rugby for wusses, which I have no interest in whatsoever. I'd have joined Joel for the baby giraffe-ness of Mr Smith and the one-shark open sleigh.

  30. i am stealing this for my FB, it so wonderfully describes my thoughts on the matter, thanks……
    (um, if thats ok with you)

    “I’m not trying to be one of those, “I’m too cool for football because I’m a hip internet type, deeply in touch with my own personal brand of irony, etc, etc, blah, blugh.” On the contrary. I understand the rewards that come with shared experience and how geeking over football stats is the same as geeking over any other sort of geekery. I just don’t understand football at all. I look at it and I see… nothing. For me a football game is like listening to someone speak a language you don’t understand while watching a crowd of people wait in line for a roller coaster. Slowly they advance towards their goal, but often there is no movement for 12 or 20 minutes at a time. I realize that I’m not the “enlightened one.” I’m the one who is missing out…..” – Joel Watson of hijinksensue

  31. There isn't a single person in my family who likes sports, so we also watched Doctor Who (not the Christmas special, though; we're still on Series 3, so we watched Human Nature and The Family of Blood.) And we all watched it together, so it was a communal experience, so there.

  32. I played a drinking game with my Facebook feed. Every time somebody updated their status to mention the Super Bowl, I drank. It was a lot more fun than actually watching it on tv. Plus, any night that I get to miss out on a Transformers 3 commercial is a win.

    • OMG how are you still alive? If I had played that drinking game I would have totally died. But then again I do live in WI. On a related topic I came up with a cool idea for a drinking game. Any time any commentator says something about the football game that sounds homoerotic, you drink. If you don't die…you win the game 🙂

      • We do whenever they mention Dom Capers, Favre or "play action" drink, whenever Rogers smiles drink, whenever McCarthy shows emotion finish your drink. Suffice to say we usually finish shit faced.

  33. It's great to know there are Others out there that didn't watch the Superbowl. I feel like I have to keep it a secret that I didn't watch since I live in Wisconsin. Apparently living in Wisconsin means you worship at the feet of Lambeau field. Instead of watching the game, I finished watching season five of "Lost" on Netflix. Joel, as for Doctor Who and Matt Smith, he annoyed the crap out of me the first time I watched him. I've seen some reruns and I appreciate him a bit more now. I still think Tennant is a better Doctor, but Smith is growing on me.

    • There are times when I really want River to just slap that stupid look off his face…but, I agree, he is growing on me. A lot of that, though has to do with Amy, though. Without "come along, Pond" I'm not sure I could like Smith.

  34. I have to say– the WOW coke commercial was pretty epic as well, but I can relate with your experience far more as it was my first thoughts on how I would be spending the evening.

  35. "There is a terrible drug war ragin throughout the northern states of Mexico, people are afraid for their lives and the constant shootouts between the army and the druglords only keep escalating; fortunately the price of accomodations has devalued explosively thanks to the irresponsible news media hyperbolizing the extent of the conflict, and we're here to suck up the dregs like parasites… Groupon."

  36. Whoa whoa whoa. The Groupon commercials were insensitive, sure. I thought Cuba Gooding Jr and Elizabeth Hurley were a little out there but also a little bit funny. Timothy Hutton crossed a line, though, because it seemed to make light of what is happening in Tibet.

    But that's a LONG WAY from saying that their oppression itself is saving you a few bucks, like in your Jewish tenement example. China's oppression has got nothing to do with the price of Tibetan food in the United States.

    It's also worth considering that if you go to the website, there are all sorts of links for how to donate to whales, the rainforest, and yes, Tibet. And we never talk about Tibet because we don't want to piss off China. So maybe it wasn't so bad.

  37. I know I'm a couple days late, but I feel the need to throw in my 2 cents… I'm a geek, but also a football fan. My family is from WI, and my parents live in Green Bay, so I'm a huge Packers fan. To put it in perspective, I was just as excited for a Packers Super Bowl win as I was for Serenity when it came out. Go Pack Go!

    I think the Darth Vader commercial was the best, and I must have missed the Groupon ones. I thought overall the commercials were a bit disappointing this year.

  38. Joel, thank you for coming out and being a reasonable person. Most people pass off anything that they don't enjoy or understand as being "dumb" or "retarded" and in turn, the people who do like as being the same. As a sports fan I do get disappointed with sports fans and nerds equally, as tho I might be able to hold a conversation with a sports fan about football or baseball, if I bring up "BSG" or Whedon, their eyes glass over and instead of saying "eh, not my thing", they pass it off as being dumb, and I find many nerds have the same reaction to the topic of sports. So thank you Joel>

  39. Hubby and I actually had the best of both worlds this year. Normally our superbowl Sundays are a lot like yours in the comic… lonely geeky left out. This year though we bought all the same food and booze and invited all our geekiest friends and instead of watching that odd game thing with a pig skin filled with air being hucked around, we watched MST3K, Dr. Who and NOVA. It was a blast. It quickly devolved into everyone whipping out their laptops to either game or twitter or look up this years possible looks for ren faire.

  40. I watched "Catfish" (the movie) instead of the super bowl. It was quite possibly one of the most non-commercial things I could have been watching.

  41. Despite my abject geekyness I watched the game. I live in Wisconsin where we are raised from a young age to love football and I'm okay with that. I mean what else can you do in Wisconsin besides drink and get really excited about football? The answer, not much. The win did make the next week of -20F days feel more like 20F days. Of course directly following the game I retreated to my home to bask in the Pack's glorious victory and watch NOVA.

  42. forget the American 3 hour yawn fest you call sport.. roll on the rugby world cup.. sporty goodness in bite sized 80 action packed minutes.
    No commercials!
    or if there are any i don't recall, ever in my life being excited to be advertised at.

  43. I'm from Baltimore, we hate the Steelers, the Steelers lost. Woo-dee-hoo.

    But really, football is more interesting if you think of it like a wargame with very specific rules. There are tactics in play.

    Rugby's a fun game to watch, too. Hell if I know what the rules are … not sure there are any rules. It seems like the carrier is beaten down to within an inch of his sweet, sweet life and they pop the ball loose and repeat. Calls it a scrum they do.

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