Another Rant from the Couch
by Bill Ribas
With the big game finally behind us, what can we say? You could talk about the game, how Indy gave it up, how those pesky Saints persevered and won, but what about the rest of the dog and pony show? Let’s start with the pre game hype and go from there.
The game is more than a game, at least in media terms, and it’s become this big, bloated, assault on the senses that must be endured. For example, you can’t just get a six pack and relax and flip it on right? In the old days you could (and we did), but now you have to orchestrate your snacks, decide who to invite or where to go, purchase an all inclusive package at a local watering hole, or shelter yourself away from all the madness and wait until Monday.
In the week or so prior to the game, there were two commercials that were drawing a lot of buzz. One was for the gay dating site ManCrunch.com, where the hands of two men meet, and then they go into a liplock. Not my cup of tea, but not offensive to me either, but CBS apparently had other ideas. On the flip side of that was Tim Tebow’s commercial, and the buzz was all about the pro-life angle it was going to take. When the commercial did air, it was substantially less than the buzz about it. The one thing everyone seemed to miss was that although the hype was pro-life, and the underlying current being abortion is a no-no, there was a very slim chance that Tebow would have ever been aborted. He was born the Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country, and abortion there is illegal. So it’s a pretty disingenuous ad – stating that something could have happened which was outlawed, well, you can figure it out.
I must state at this point that I’ve been dealing with a nagging cold that won’t go away for the past week or so, and I think that helped me immensely when it came to watching the game and everything around it. For starters, I don’t quite understand why “God Bless America” and the “Star Spangled Banner” both have to be sung; yet it’s not something I am losing sleep over (it does drive me nuts during baseball games though). And when Queen Latifah decided to jazz up the ending, well, I say you go girl, let it rip. However, though Carrie Underwood was dressed all in white to sing the National Anthem, she faltered on one note in the middle, and fell flat on the last note, just before the jets blew overhead. Maybe you didn’t notice it, but I listened several times, and she did. Ouch. I suppose it was a portent of things to come.
And then they introduced the future Hall of Fame Inductees. Woo Hoo! But it would have been nice to list who they played for or what they did, instead of simply putting “2010 Football Hall of Fame Inductee” under each person’s face as they panned. I mean, no disrespect, I know who Emmitt Smith is, and he played for Dallas, but my knowledge of the game doesn’t go that deep, and a few of the guys, well, I felt bad for them. Here’s the big show, and they get a generic tag line. Smith was fortunate enough to launch the coin for the toss, and he hooked it so hard to the right I felt like he took lessons from me at the driving range.
But the biggest ballyhoo surrounding the game is the commercials, and usually there are some gems, but this year was an exception. They all stunk, period. Oh sure, I got a chuckle here and there, but the majority were so misguided and failed to deliver a message. You can check this site for the bulk of them, but I wouldn’t bother. Like Google’s ad promoting itself as a search engine. Uhm, yeah, we all kind of know what it is and what it does. Or those Go Daddy commercials, which have nothing to do with their business (web hosting), and aren’t even enticing at all. Sure Danica Patrick is hot, but she was dressed in the Johnny Cash line of clothing, and that was it. You have to head off to the website to see more, but my guess is most people can find women without clothes on the internet, and they’re not looking for storage space for their blog.
But the real one two punch to the groin came at halftime, where a bunch of hoarse-throated jocks gave their views on the game, followed by Grandpa Simpson singing snippets of Who songs. Nothing like having an announcer losing his voice trying to describe something that you’ve already seen, and there’s certainly nothing like 5 of them. Oh the pain. And by the way, Jim Brown, you need to lose some weight. I mean, I have a 42″ tee vee, and he took up more than half of the screen, and this is in HD. And then there was the Who. Yes, I know they are rock icons, and I like their stuff, but when was the last time they charted? And sure, they sounded fine, despite one mistake by Pete, but who chooses the halftime entertainment? Because I can’t wait 15 years for Bryan Adams to take the stage.
As much as this rant is all over the road, at least the game itself was exciting. But nowadays, that doesn’t really matter because the Super Bowl isn’t about the game being played on the field. Oh, you can argue that it is, but I’d say it’s more about everything but. The week or two media onslaught before, the odds, the players, who’s hurt, who isn’t. The commercials, and who is paying how much for 30 seconds? To a crowd of bloated drunks who won’t remember? Nice return on investment. Over the hill rock bands? Sure, get them onstage for 13 minutes or so. Or wait, did they do that “I’m going to Disney” thing last night? As sports championship games go, the Super Bowl is pretty low on my list. Baseball, basketball, hockey, to name a few, have a series of games before a series of games before a series of games determines who wins. And that seems a good way to do it. But the NFL continues to force feed us all like a french goose, ramming everything possible down our throats on one day. To me, the day after the Super Bowl always feels somewhat ugly, like New Year’s Day, after you indulged too much for no reason. This year was no different.