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The Second City is in First Place

December 5th, 2010 by Editor

It’s been 24 years since the Bears last hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. They came so close three years ago, but their surprise run to Super Bowl XLI came to crushing end when the Indianapolis Colts outplayed them to the tune of a 29-17 defeat.

Somewhere though, Bill Swerkski and his Super Fans are smiling. Thirteen weeks into this season and “da Bears” are in first place in the NFC North, and hold the second-best record in the NFC. After enduring a rough stretch in the middle of the season — they went 1-3 — the Bears have rebounded with a perfect record, going 4-0 since, including an eye-opening win against the surging Eagles last Monday night.

The team’s recent streak can be linked to the resurgence of their Pro Bowl quarterback, Jay Cutler. In Week 4, Cutler was knocked out of the game with a concussion. He didn’t return until Week 6, but his play was suffering from the effects of the injury. Following their bye week, Cutler started putting it together again, with a solid performance against the Bills in Week 9. Since then, Cutler and the Bears haven’t looked back. After a so-so first year with Chicago, it seems Cutler has finally hit his stride with his new team, and the Bears may once again surprise everyone, and plow their way into another Super Bowl.

The Super Fans always knew they were good. Maybe it’s time for the rest of us to jump on the bandwagon.

Michael Rosenblum
for the Hulu Blog

From the Bench: Jets Flying High

November 22nd, 2010 by Editor

Teams down on their luck — those who have had difficulty over the years — are sometimes referred to as a franchise with a “losing culture.” For years, the New York Jets have been one of those teams (the video below just proves that point). Since their first Super Bowl victory, all the way back in Super Bowl III (!), they’ve seen their New York counterparts, the Giants, win three championships. Their rivals, the New England Patriots, have become a veritable NFL dynasty over the last decade — and that’s a tough pill for the fan base to swallow. Last year looked to be the same old-same old with a rookie QB (Mark Sanchez) and a rookie head coach (Rex Ryan), when suddenly in the last few weeks of the season the pendulum started to swing the other way. Ryan started talking with a little swagger in his voice, and Sanchez matured before our eyes. The team found ways to win games, whereas in the past it felt as if they were constantly snagging defeat from the jaws of victory. This change in attitude propelled the Jets to a surprise appearance in the AFC Championship Game where they held a halftime lead before losing to the more experienced and, admittedly, more talented Indianapolis Colts.

Despite the loss, those final weeks signaled something bigger. The losing culture that for so long plagued the New York Jets franchise was dissipating. To say that the team came in with high hopes this season would be an understatement. After all, the team was proclaiming “Super Bowl or bust!” this time around. Despite a disappointing setback in Week 1, the Jets have been on a serious roll. At 8-2, they now have the best record in the NFL, thanks in part to a miraculous comeback yesterday: After squandering a seemingly comfortable lead in the fourth quarter — a demoralizing turn of events that would have sent most teams packing — the Jets marched down the field with 49 seconds left and no time-outs to score the game-winning touchdown against the Texans with just 10 seconds left on the clock. Had this team been the Jets of old, they would have folded and chalked the loss up to bad luck or an inability to finish, but not this Jets team. The Jets have a new identity, and a new culture.

They win.

Michael Rosenblum for Hulu

Hu-Listic: School of Hard Knocks

February 12th, 2010 by Jocelyn Matsuo Asst Video Editor

Each week, Hulu’s Video Editor, Jocelyn Matsuo, brings to light hidden gems from the Hulu library.

Hulu recently launched its NFL section. I have allowed myself to be swept up in the hubbub. Now I can impress my uncle with my newfound knowledge of football history, or search for a specific team. Basically, Hulu is the closest thing I have to a Bookie. Most appropriate for a novice viewer like myself is the HBO series Hard Knocks. Good: Follow your favorite teams through their training camp. Better: Listen to the narrators who study these athletes like the vicious carnivores of the Serengeti (as seen on National Geographic Channel’s Wild).

Check out this clip of rookie RB Felix Jones of the Dallas Cowboys:

Jocelyn Matsuo
Content Editor

Last comment: about 14 hours ago 1 Comment

And the winners are…

February 10th, 2010 by Rebecca Harper Editor

Your votes are in and have been tallied, so now we can officially announce the winners of our 2010 AdZone faceoff. In the end, five videos stood out among all the rest. We’ve listed the most-liked videos among all our voters below, but you can visit our AdZone to see who got top honors among men and women by age and by state. In order of most “liked” votes, the winners are:

1. Doritos: House Rules
This one had all the makings of a successful Super Bowl campaign: a cute, sassy little kid and a healthy dose of slapstick humor. Jaylen’s mom may have asked him to play nice with her date, but Jaylen is all business when he lays down two ground rules for Kyle: “Keep your hands off my momma; keep your hands off my Doritos.”

2. Mars’ Snickers: You’re Not You When You’re Hungry
We’d heard that Snickers had a top-secret ad in the works, but we had no idea it’d feature the one and only Betty White (who, by the way, has over 142,000 Facebook users clamoring for her to host “SNL”). This one is clever, funny and totally unexpected. And hats off for sneaking in an Abe Vigoda cameo at the end.

3. E*Trade: Girlfriend
The E*Trade babies are old hat when it comes to the Super Bowl, but this year’s campaign was inspired. Like you, we busted up at the li’l trader’s wolf call … and then that “milka-what?” at the end? Genius.

4. Google: Search On
Amid all the slapstick, the men without pants, and the big-name celebrities, Google’s ad went for a more simplistic approach, a natural fit for the company’s aesthetic. Given the response by our users (who have seen similar Google campaigns before, though this was the company’s first TV spot), it was the Super Bowl ad with the most emotional impact, telling the story of falling in love with a little help from the search engine.

5. Doritos: Underdog
This time, Doritos turns the idea of “a man and his dog” on its head and puts the dog in control. With a little help from a shock collar, Fido gets the whole bag of Doritos to himself. Good boy.

Thanks for voting!
Rebecca Harper ()
Editor

Last comment: Feb 10th 2010 1 Comment

Cast Your Votes in the Hulu AdZone

February 8th, 2010 by Rebecca Harper Editor

With the results of the Super Bowl decided — congrats, Saints! — it’s time to focus on the battle taking place off the field: Which ad scored big this year? You get to decide with Hulu’s AdZone, a one-stop gallery for the commercials that aired nationally during Sunday’s game. Now you can cast a vote for all your favorites, whether you swooned over the Google ad, cracked a smile during Coke’s Simpsons commercial or went gaga for the E*Trade babies.

New this year, the Hulu Power Index allows you to see how the ads rank against each other based on our users’ like and dislike votes. The values displayed within the charts are a comparison of “like” (or “dislike”) votes for a particular commercial against the number of “like” or “dislike” votes the most liked/disliked ad received. With a score of 1.0, the Doritos: House Rules commercial is currently the most liked ad, while the score for the Megan Fox Motorola ad is a calculation of its thumbs-up votes vs. the number of positive votes given to the most liked ad (right now, it’s that Doritos commercial).

These values adjust as you apply any of the drop-down filters, which allow you to display results based on gender, age or location. At the time we posted this, for instance, Betty White’s appearance in the Snickers ad really scored big among 35- to 49-year-olds, while the headline-stealing Focus on the Family commercial is neck-and-neck with the Doritos ad among our voters in Florida.

AdZone 2010

As you can see above, we’ve also integrated a Twitter feed that pulls in the latest Tweets containing an ad’s brand name, so you can see what the rest of the world thinks about that commercial, and list of words appearing most frequently in Tweets about the advertiser allows you to gauge the overall sentiment about the ad, as well.

So tell us: Which ad was your favorite this year? Cast your votes in the AdZone now through Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. EST, and we’ll announce the winner on Wednesday.

Rebecca Harper ()
Editor

Last comment: about 17 hours ago 3 Comments