At approximately 2:30 on Sunday afternoon, Muri and I were out looking for rugs for our almost-finished kitchen. The radio announcer was saying that Super Bowl Sunday is an unofficial American Holiday, which made us feel, well, pretty unAmerican. We rarely make a big deal of the Super Bowl, although we both admit that’s partly because we aren’t invited to any parties. Still, we finished our chores in time for the kickoff, set out some chips and salsa and settled in to watch the game. And the commercials. And the half time show. And here on Older Eyes, where it’s Top Sites Tuesday #189, I thought I’d give my reflections on the game … and the commercials … and the half time show … from the only perspective I have: an older one.
Let’s start with the entertainment. Was the opening rendition of America the Beautiful (here) by the Sandy Hook Elementary School Choir and Jennifer Hudson (whose family was gunned down in 2008) perhaps exploitative or even political? Maybe. But it was also beautifully done. I admit, I cried but I do every time I see those kids. I very much enjoyed Alicia Keys rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner (here), heartfelt and soulful. Then there was Beyonce. Can I say I’m not a fan without sounding incredibly old? After all, the radio sports talk guys were … well, orgasmic … about her but the prevalent words were hot and performance, not singing. Watching her strut and dance and try to sing over the din, I wondered aloud to Muri, Can she actually sing? According to Diva Devotee, the answer is a definite yes … she has a 3 octave range with amazing control and a stunning vibrato. I’ll have to take their word for it … I used the halftime to make dinner. Then again, Diva Devotee didn’t like Alicia Keys’ national anthem and neither did quite a few people watching on TV, who thought her version was too interpretive and jazzy. So, I’ll own up … I’ve never liked a Super Bowl halftime show … they’re like an Olympic Opening Ceremony on LSD.
The game was a thriller, with Baltimore running out to an early lead and San Francisco staging second half comeback, something they’ve done throughout the playoffs. A power outage in the Superdome at the beginning of the second left the announcers with a half hour of air time to fill … mostly, speculation on how it would effect the teams. Brilliant analysis. I had a hard time deciding who to root for. San Francisco coach, Jim Harbaugh, has seemed like a horse’s-ass ever since his days as Stanford’s head coach, and he proved it by being one when a call didn’t go his way at the end of the game. The Raven’s retiring all-everything defender, Ray Lewis, is an example of what I hate most about sports, how we canonize our athletes regardless of their actions off the field. In case you don’t know, Lewis and two companions were charged with malice murder, felony murder, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a charge he plea bargained down to obstruction of justice by testifying against his companions. He was later sued by the families and paid an undisclosed settlement. No matter how much he talks about his faith, this is not a hero. Ravens quarterback, Joe Flacco, seemed like a regular guy so I ended up rooting for him. WE won the game and he won the MVP. I wonder if he’d share it with me.
Then there were the commercials, which I thought were pretty good this year. I prefer heart to hilarity, so my favorite was the Budwieser commercial, Brotherhood, featuring the reunion of a Clydesdale with the man who raised him. It didn’t hurt that the music was Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide, a favorite of mine.
I thought the Doritos Goat 4 Sale ad, featuring a Doritos munching goat, was hysterical, as was the Best Buy commercial, featuring Amy Poehler asking endless questions about technology to a hapless Best Buy salesman. Like, Is LTE conagious?
Calvin Klein and Go-Daddy did what they always do … push the envelope of good taste and reap the benefits of lots of publicity. Go-Daddy’s hot kissing scene between super-model Bar Refaeli and a super-nerd … complete with wet kissing sounds … almost brought up my tortilla chips.
So, there you go. Super Bowl Sunday. Thought One: Super – Jennifer Hudson and the Sandy Hook Kids; Alicia Keys; an exciting game; Budswieser Clydesdales and Doritos munching goats; and Joe Flacco, MVP. Thought Two: Not Super – Super Bowl Half Time Shows; Ray Lewis, hypocrite; Jim Harbaugh, poor sport; Make out scenes between super-models and nerds; and close-ups of naked men during football games. So. What did you think was Super? And Not? By the way, it would be Super if you would push my button … gently … to make me Number One on Top Sites Tuesday #189.
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