There it was, the big Budweiser commercial for Super Bowl Sunday. There was just one little problem.

It was being shown on NBC's Today show on Tuesday morning, only about 130 hours before the kickoff in Houston.

Thanks for ruining the surprise.

Watching the commercials, on which advertisers spend millions and millions of dollars, has always been one of the highlights of the Super Bowl (5:30 p.m. Sunday on Fox). It is what drew those who wouldn't know what a first down is into the broadcast. 

Even hard-core football fans wanted to see the new ads. More toilets were flushed after Super Bowl commercials than at any other time of the year.

Or was it after the halftime show?

For many years, the game itself was actually quite boring with one rout after another. Fans continued to watch only to make sure they didn't miss a hot commercial everyone would be talking about at work the next day (or the Justin Timberlake/Janet Jackson halftime fiasco).

The social media explosion has changed all that.

Everyone has to know right away what is going to happen five days from now. Once one company decided to release its ad early to get some buzz on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., others soon followed.

A quick look on Tuesday afternoon after seeing the Budweiser commercial (which is quite good and quite timely) in the morning revealed 10 other commercials for Super Bowl Sunday nicely put together on one Internet site.

Sure there were other Super Bowl ads easily to view out there.

Thank goodness Snickers is going with the Super Bowl's first live advertisement on Sunday. Some suspense is better than none. It will happen during the first commercial break of the third quarter.

By then, if the New England Patriots are well ahead, might be time to watch an "Everybody Loves Raymond" rerun on TV Land. Don't really want to see Tom Brady hoist another Super Bowl trophy. 

Like the commercials, seen that already.

College BB: Illinois State at Wichita State (ESPN2, 7 p.m. Saturday): Round one went to the Redbirds three weeks ago in Normal. The Shockers' loyal fans don't take kindly to being out of MVC lead and will be out for big-time revenge.

NHL: Blackhawks at Wild (NBCSN, 7 p.m. Wednesday): Minnesota is now the team to beat in the Central Division. Of course, all that matters to Chicago is making the Stanley Cup Playoffs and going from there.

NBA: Bulls at Warriors (ESPN, 9:30 p.m. Wednesday): The most dysfunctional team in the league facing off against the most cohesive unit around. Curry and Durant figure to get plenty of rest in the second half.

Contact Jim Benson at jbenson@pantagraph.com.

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Sports Writer

Sports Writer for The Pantagraph.

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