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Ask Wessel: What would you do with a $5 million budget for a Super Bowl ad?

Anna Kendrick might be involved in one idea.
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Every Friday on Dana Wessel answers your questions. Music, sports, pop culture, whatever you want. Have a question? You can tweet them to @DanaWessel or email him at

Q: An unknown investor gifts you $5 million with the stipulation that you have to use the money on a 30-second Super Bowl ad. What do you do? - Michael

Well, given the current political climate I feel like it would probably be best to use this platform to stand up for human rights, but knowing the No Fun League they probably have a rule against getting too political in their ads. So the next best thing would be to do something ridiculously stupid. Here are a few ideas.

  • 30 seconds of me pleading with the Rock to be best friends with me.
  • Nothing but my Venmo username blinking on the screen to see how much money I can get people to give me for no reason.
  • Me just reenacting my favorite scenes from Rocky IV.
  • A closed-circuit message to Vin Diesel laying out my ideas for Fast and Furious 9-25
  • A 30-second tutorial on how to properly order at Chipotle. I have seen way too many unacceptable breaches in ‘potle etiquette lately. This needs to stop.
  • Spend five seconds saying hey to Anna Kendrick and winking at the camera before spending the rest of the ad apologizing to my wife.
  • Use the time as a 30-second Shark Tank-like pitch for my idea of a Nap Mobile -- an RV that drives around like a food truck and you can take a nap inside.
  • Make a really corny '80s-sitcom style PSA. You know the kind of episode that would end with the cast breaking the fourth wall to give a serious message about drugs or something? Those are hilarious to me.
  • Waste the time just to give a simple message to one single friend that could easily be accomplished by a text. “Ohhhhh what up, Dylan? Remember that time you cracked your head open in a Vegas pool? That was hilarious. Anyway, my flight lands in Denver Thursday at 4. I say we head straight to the arcade then that BBQ joint. Tell Gunni I said whaaaaaaaat up! Peeeeeeeeeeeace!”

Q: What makes a good Super Bowl party? How much of it should be about the game? Or food, snacks, booze, commercials? What's best you've attended? (I'm sick of bars on SBS.) - Phil

I don’t know if it is because I am getting older or because my interest in the NFL has diminished greatly over the years, but I think the party should be all about the snacks and booze with an eye on the game to see if it's close in the fourth quarter.

I think one thing we can all agree on is that the commercials don’t really matter anymore. Anybody that shushes me and yells “the commercials are on!” on Sunday is getting a bowl of queso to the face. They are all available online before the game even kicks off and they will be all over your social media feeds for the next week. This isn’t like the old days where you went to school and were like “Oh my god, how funny was Terry Tate Office Linebacker?! I wish there was some website that puts YOU in charge of the TUBE and let you watch that hilarity over and over again!” Everybody needs to chill about the commercials.

Another thing I will say about Super Bowl parties is that you should never go to a casual party if you are emotionally invested in the game itself. If you are a hardcore Patriots fan then go watch at some bar with your other TAHHHMY BRADY pals and listen to Dropkick Murphys at halftime. If you love the Falcons than go Dirty Bird somewhere until your arms fall off.

Don’t bring your angst and obnoxiousness to a casual get-together where the rest of us just want to consume 5,000 calories and pretend tomorrow isn’t Monday in peace.

Q: Who ya got in the big game? - John

Ohhh, I dunno. The Patriots, I suppose. I guess I don’t really care. I am also rooting for Lady Gaga to do well so my wife is happy. I am a little concerned about her doing that stunt on the roof. Lady Gaga breaking her neck would be bad news for the Wessel household. Hopefully the big winner will be me because I eat some bomb wings and drink some cold beers.

Q: Will you run for President in four years? - Woody

Oh, Woody, bless your sweet little heart for being so glass-half-full and thinking the world will still exist in four years.

But in all seriousness, even if there is an election in four years, there is no way Putin will let me run because of my well-established love of Rocky IV.

Q: Matched with a girl on Bumble. Turns out she is a big Brewers fan. Is it possible to date a Wisconsin fan if I am a Minnesota fan? - Andy

Is she just a Brewers fan? Or does she run the entire annoying gambit of Wisconsin fandom? Because if she is just a Brewers fan I can’t imagine you guys getting into a screaming match over a 5-3 Twins win over the Brewers in mid-June. If you do, you two would have bigger issues that need sorting out.

I don’t think it is that big of a deal as long as you guys are mature about it. At least you guys both have sports in common. Better that than trying to find common ground with someone who detests sports.

Q: What do you think would be an underrated perk of being famous? Obviously the money and fancy things would be great. But I would love to be famous just to have my own personal driver at all times. - Amber

That would be nice. Although I feel like we already have that a bit with Uber. I can’t remember the last time I operated a car on a weekend. But definitely, having your own driver at your beckoning at all times would be great.

One underrated perk I think would be never having to buy a drink again in your life. Have you ever been in a bar when an athlete or someone famous walks in? Everyone wants to buy them a drink. It is the strangest phenomenon. The poorest people in the bar ALL want to buy the richest person in the bar a shot or a round of beers just for the story. They don’t even have to be all that famous. I once geeked out and bought shots for a guy who was on Survivor once.

Either the free drinks or never having to wear the same pair of socks twice. Fresh socks are the real key to happiness.

Q: How convincing would a treasure map need to look to get you to drop everything and go hunting for the treasure? - Ryan

Is that a question? It could be written in crayon on the back of a Burger King bag and I’d want to go looking. It’s always been my dream to go on some sort of Goonies adventure. I don’t even think people who know me would even be all that surprised.

*My wife gets home, sees a note that I’ve gone searching for One Eyed Willie's gold* “Oh, Dana. I hope he at least he emptied the dishwasher before he left.”

Also, why are you asking, Ryan? Do you have a treasure map? Or at least a Burger King bag and some crayons? Either way, let’s go treasure hunting.

Q: I am bad at thinking of gift ideas. Will my girlfriend dump me if I give her a gift card for Valentine's Day? - Jared

My initial thought was yes, of course. But I guess it all depends. I am sure she would be OK with a massive gift card to Tiffany & Co or even a sweet gesture like one to the restaurant you went for your first date.

But if you are gonna get her a Walgreens gift card or whatever is left on an iTunes card after you bought some Chainsmokers songs, then yeah, you may as well just break up with her before she has the chance to dump you.

In all seriousness, just find something cute on Etsy. I’ve found that women love Etsy.

Q: I see Up Down is doing heart-shaped pizzas for Valentine’s Day. What are your thoughts on non-traditional pizza shapes? - John

Ehhh, pizza is pizza. Obviously a circle would be more ideal, but If the pizza being in a fun new shape is enough of an excuse to get some pizza on a day you otherwise wouldn’t have pizza, then that’ll work. I am just confused on how you cut a heart-shaped pizza. If it were up to me I would just fold it in half and eat it like a taco.

Q: I saw a bro taking pulls from a flask in a bar bathroom last weekend. Is he a genius? - Matt

Naw. That is a weak move. There is a time and a place for flasks. Well, actually there are a lot of times and places for them. Off the top of my head, flasks are cool at sporting events, tailgates, concerts, certain kinds of wedding receptions, the beach, the boat, camping, firework displays, bonfires, and whenever you check Twitter in 2017.

But the bar? Nah. If you can’t afford a rail whiskey diet than you probably shouldn’t be going out.

Q: Hi, Dana? - Brian

Hey, Brian. What’s up?

Q: Hot take question: who was more influential to the [Mighty Ducks]? Charlie Conway or Adam Banks? - Batchers

This isn’t even a contest. Adam Banks is by far a more influential Duck by every metric possible. It isn't even close.

Adam Banks scored a total of eight goals throughout the movies to Charlie Conway’s three.

Before Adam Banks joined the Ducks in the original movie, they didn’t even manage to score a single goal. After Banks joined? 14 goals.

How many times did Banks quit on the Ducks? Never. Charlie bailed on the team in the third film before whining his way back on.

Which Duck was talented enough to have scouts in the stands in the 1995 Junior Goodwill Games? Banks. Which Duck was talented enough to get moved up to the varsity at Eden Hall Academy? Banks.

Even Conway knew Banks was the cat’s ass of the Ducks. That’s why he gave up his roster spot for him in the final against Iceland. Also, did you ever notice how not a SINGLE player or Gordon Bombay tried to talk Conway out of giving up his jersey? They all knew.

Conway’s only claim to fame was the game-winner against the Hawks in the Minnesota State Tournament final. The only reason he got to take that shot? Because Banks got carted off and taken to the hospital. Plus, Bombay was trying to hook up with Conway’s mom in the first movie and letting her kid play the hero probably didn’t hurt his chances.

Conway is by far the most overrated Duck in the entire series. If it weren’t for Banks then the series wouldn’t even be called The Mighty Ducks. It would have been called The Fighting Hawks.

Q: Which do you think you could do in faster time? Rollerblade 100 meters on ice or run 100 meters on dry land wearing hockey skates? - Adam

For some reason I feel like this question or a similar version has been asked before. What are the odds? But I am the wrong guy for this question. Despite living in Minnesota my entire life I have probably worn hockey skates a grand total of 24 minutes in my entire life. Also, despite being good buddies with the upper midwest’s biggest rollerblade enthusiast Michael Rand of the Star Tribune, I have never attempted to rollerblade on a sheet of ice.

I almost want to try this. If nothing else, the video would be hilarious. But the odds of me hurting myself are just too high. I think the biggest question would be how clean of a sheet of ice are we talking? I feel like you might be OK if you tried to rollerblade on a freshly zambonied rink. If nothing else, when you inevitably fell on the ice at least you’d slide and continue forward progress. Might be a different story if the ice is choppy and uneven.

As far as dry land goes, I don’t think I could run 10 feet in hockey skates without simultaneously suffering the two worst high ankle sprains in the history of high ankle sprains.

Alright, that’ll do it for this week. Let’s all raise a tall glass of orange juice and toast to the weekend. February is here which means we are that much closer to rooftop bars and tank tops. Do your part to keep the dream alive this weekend.

Keep your questions coming to @DanaWessel on Twitter, in the comments section below or email them to

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