February 4, 2013

Super Bowl 2013? Meh.

Filed under: Popular Culture, Current Events — jpmahoney49 @ 11:10 am

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If you are not a fan of either team in the Super Bowl (nor of the halftime act), you have a few options to make the show more fun. You can host a party, go to a party, or make bets on the game (or pretty much on any aspect of the broadcast). If you just sit at home and watch the game in the same way you watched 60 or more previous regular-season games, you have a more objective view of the whole event. That was me this year. My hubby is on call this weekend, so we couldn’t do much of anything. I made some snacks, and we watched the game on the same couch, in the same room, in much the same way as I watched nearly every other game since August. Overall, it was okay.

The Game

As I said, I didn’t have strong feelings either way. My hubby did. He hates both teams; they make a lot of dirty tackles. The game was, as Bob Costas euphemistically put it, “chippy,” even early on. The refs kept pretty busy separating players, and one of the officials got shoved for his efforts. The first half was a rout. Things got a little more interesting in the second half, but if you were an objective, experienced observer, you could see that San Francisco had a slim-to-none chance of pulling this off. The 49ers kept making sloppy mistakes that led to costly penalties. Baltimore’s defense was getting away with murder. Kaepernick was a nervous colt. Flacco was having a good night. Over the years, I’ve watched many games in which I had no favorite that got me excited nonetheless. Last night’s game wasn’t one of them.

The Commercials

A friend of mine who is in marketing tweeted, “Creativity is dead.” I agree. This year’s crop of commercials was, overall, safe and predictable. The standouts were either disgusting (Thanks a lot, GoDaddy, for running my son out of the room) or weepy (the Budweiser Clydesdale made me tear up). Many of the ads were out weeks ago on the web, so the punch lines were already stale. I did laugh at the M&M “I Would Do Anything for Love” spot, but that was very early on. Many other ads were just derivatives of previous spots (still with e-Trade baby?) or pop culture trends (I like “Gangnam Style,” but can’t we be done with it now?). With just a couple minor exceptions, I agree with Amber Lee’s evaluations.

Halftime

First, let me announce loud and clear (because some of my friends are already really annoyed with my opinion on halftime) that I like Beyonce. I have a couple of her songs on my iPod. She’s beautiful. She’s a great dancer. She’s got a great voice. But I thought the halftime show was just okay. First, I have long believed that the Super Bowl halftime act should be mainstream, American pop-rock. Prince, Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Tom Petty, Madonna. Good. Country, hip-hop, and non-American acts marginalize your audience. You have a really broad spectrum to appeal to, and very specific musical styles aren’t going to do it. I knew three of the songs Beyonce did, and “Halo,” while a pretty ballad that she performed well, was a low note on which to end the show. She brought out Destiny’s Child, only to make them sing HER songs, which seemed a bit rude. The special effects were cool, but the sound was AWFUL. (My musician hubby was very annoyed.) Overall, I was a bit offended by the peep-show quality of the performance. The whole stage was full of beautiful women. There were some “musicians,” but only a couple were actually playing; most weren’t even holding the instruments properly. All the others were decked in sky-high heels and black leather a la Madonna in the “Open Your Heart” video, dancing and vamping for the men in the crowd. Ew. But at least Beyonce didn’t lip-synch; that seemed to the most important thing about her performance. And she was definitely better than the Black-Eyed Peas.

The Power Outage

Up to that point, the blackout in the Super Dome was the part of the broadcast I found most entertaining. I needed a break from Phil Simms. (Does ANY NFL fan like Phil Simms? What’s he doing broadcasting the championship anyway? All I can say for him is that he’s marginally better than Chris Collinsworth.) Watching the CBS crew scramble was the best play up to that point. I live in Indianapolis, so my Facebook and Twitter instantly lit up with “Well, at least Lucas Oil Stadium pays their light bill,” “Our Super Bowl had electricity. For the whole game.” and “This year’s Indy 500 will be well lit.” “Ray Lewis killed the lights” and variations on that theme popped up quite a bit. The whole situation was an amusing diversion.

The Outcome

I still have a Jim Harbaugh jersey from his time as the QB for the Indianapolis Colts. I guess I would have preferred to see him win. (According to their brother-in-law, my beloved Hoosiers’ coach Tom Crean, the Harbaugh brothers are crazy-competitive, so I worry about their relationship now!) But Baltimore’s team includes a player from my high school, so it was nice to see a hometown kid get a Super Bowl ring.

Unfortunately, Baltimore also includes Ray Lewis. I feel the same about his winning a championship as I would if OJ Simpson had won one after he was found innocent of murder. And Lewis’ Bible-thumping, God-loves-me-best speeches seem to have no effect on his on-field ethics, but I’m sure he’ll feel quite justified now. As one of my minister-friends put it: “Positive outcomes do not validate bad theology. In other words, The fact that the Ravens won doesn’t PROVE anything. Just because Ray Lewis says God is on his side and his side won the game, doesn’t mean that God is on his side.” But he’ll retire now, on top, sure that his “journey” proves he’s been right about all the decisions he’s made. Even though some of those decisions involved a double-murder.

I avoided #52’s tearful farewells (and Joe Flacco’s f-bomb) by flipping the channel the moment the score was final. Then I watched the episode of “Downton Abbey” I had DVR’d. It was the best entertainment of the night.

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