On Super Bowl commercials, Groundhog Day, Fitness Fever, Pirate hockey postseason, and chasing away the winter blues...

Commercials were good, but a little less sex, please
  Well, the Super Bowl has come and gone, and with it, the premiere of new commercials. With them fresh in our minds, let's discuss their content. Some were funny, were cute...some were downright dirty. GoDaddy.com commercials have been notorious for being suggestive. Even recent M&M ads have been. For the love of everything that is still pure, is it necessary? Sex may 'sell', and men are the main target demographic, but there are still viewers of all ages watching the game. It's not too much to ask for more feel-good commercials next year like the Dodge Pickup Farming commercial or the Budweiser Clydesdale, is it? Amanda Wagner, Times intern   

Celebrating the meaningless
One of the more meaningless events for those who call northwestern Minnesota home took place on Saturday, when that famous groundhog, Punxatawny Phil didn’t see his shadow, which apparently means we’re in for an early spring. If he had seen his shadow, that would have meant spring was at least six more weeks away – which it officially is on the calendar. Of course, we’d love an early spring around here, but around here, having things warm up and getting rid of the snow and starting to see some green again by mid to late March is considered an early spring. When everyone else moans and groans on the Groundhog Days that Phil sees his shadow, around these parts we greet the apparently depressing news with a shrug. So keep on keeping on, Phil, just don’t be bothered if we keep on keeping on no matter what you see or don’t see on Feb. 2.

This is a ‘Fever’ you want to have
Super Bowl Sunday was not just “super” to some hearty Crookston residents, it was downright “perfect.” That’s what a lot of them kept saying as they, some way more gingerly than others, made their way down the Mount St. Benedict trails on cross-country skis Sunday afternoon. It was chilly, but the breeze was light, the sun was shining, and there was fresh powder on the ground for the first Family Fun Sunday event as part of Fitness Fever, which takes place each Sunday in February. The cross-country skiing event has long been a part of the event, but can we dare say that Sunday’s turnout was among the best ever? This Sunday, it’s “Active Play” for the whole family at the Community Family Service Center. That’s formerly Carman School, but you all know that by now.

Hockey post-season: It’s time
Incredibly, the postseason for girls' hockey starts Thursday with all indications pointing to the Pirates as the No. 4 seed, hosting Park Rapids. The winner would take on top seeded Warroad in the semifinals Monday, Feb. 11 in East Grand Forks. The Pirates have been up and down this season, posting dominating performances against some teams but struggling against others. But now is the time to come together and forget about the regular season. The Pirates will have their hands full against Park Rapids but if they should get past them the game against Warroad will be like the 1980 Olympic semifinal between the Soviets and USA. Warroad has dominated the section this season and is the favorite to win the Class A title. There's no reason Crookston can't beat Warroad, though. As Kurt Russell, portraying Herb Brooks in the movie "Miracle," says, "This your time. Now go out there and take it."

Chase away the wintertime blues
For many people the winter doldrums have set in, leaving them just a little stir crazy. If you are not one of the lucky few that get to play 'snowbird' for even a week or two, there are some things you can do to make the remainder of the season just a bit more bearable. Don't stay home hibernating, waiting out the cold and missing out on fun. Make plans with your family, friends or even just for yourself. Everyone deserves a little pampering - the Internet is a great source for creating a home spa day with products found in your pantry. Lounge around in your comfy clothes and read that book you never have time to open. Have friends over for a movie night complete with popcorn, an array of treats and beverage choices. Play those board games that have been collecting dust on the shelf. Take advantage of the chilly weather and hit the hills for a day of sledding, coming home to hot chocolate and a cozy fire.