Monday, February 7, 2011

The Super Bowl Revisited

The 2011 Dallas Super Bowl had 111 million viewers, a record that broke the previous cap of 106.5 viewers last year. Over 90% of all advertising slots had been filled by Fox come mid-September. A 30 second commercial for the Super Bowl cost an estimated $3,000,000. The game itself aired on networks in over 26 major countries around the world. Super Bowl XLV is now in the record books for the most watched program of any kind in the history of viewed programs.


The Fox pregame went from 1-5 pm CST, and consisted of a cavalcade of ex-players and current coaches/players in their respective off-seasons patting each other on the back and telling America that football is bigger than it is. Terry Bradshaw, near the culmination of an interview with Bart Starr to celebrate the old-fashioned black-and-white delights of playing under Vince Lombardi, looked like he was going to give the ex-Packers quarterback an open-mouthed kiss, and then promptly piss himself.

Curt Menefee, Howie Long, Michael Strahan and Jimmy Johnson sat in comfortable chairs above the freezing masses and laughed about Pizza Hut, Ford rally cars, the size of their "rings" and the majesty of the game. Howie Long interviewed veteran Green Bay players about how important the game was to them, and dazzled at Charles Woodson's response to the question "What sort of pep-talk did you give your team mates, your brothers in arms who look up to you and respect you?"

"Let's go play, focus on the game." Brilliant.

Christina Aguilera came out to sing the National Anthem (after a nondescript character from the pop show "Glee" sang the "America the Beautiful") and botched the words, straining like an amateur through most of the song but holding the word "brave" at the climax of the song for 11 seconds. She stated in a press release later, "I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through."

I would assume the spirit of our country comes through much better when you sing the song correctly.

The Black Eyed Peas, in a 12 minute moment of "what the fuck is happening", were lowered onto the center of the field in robot costumes and delighted the 103,219 Dallas fans with a bad karaoke version of all their greatest hits. They screamed over each other, mentioned President Obama mid-song (the message of which was ruined due to an "auto-tuned" microphone), and grinded on an obviously-bored Slash during a painfully rigid version of "Sweet Child of Mine".

Oh, and Usher was there to do the splits.

All in all, it was a very bright, very colorful display of lights and sounds surrounding the last game of the NFL season. Ex-players laughed and hugged on elevated stages. Michael Douglas and Martin Sheen did voice-overs comparing football to Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy's achievements. A-Rod was fed popcorn by Cameron Diaz.

Oh, and 850 fans were denied access to their seats that they had paid between $1,700-$3,000 dollars for. Roughly 15,000 temporary "party pass" seats were put up in order to break the attendance record for a Super Bowl game, but they were put up so late that the Fire Marshall couldn't inspect the area, and the fans who purchased the tickets weren't allowed to use them. They were either moved to different sections, put outside the stadium near "party monitors", or offered reimbursement of triple the cost of their tickets.

Ticket reimbursement sounds like a great idea for an adult. I'd just hate to tell the 7 year old boy from Green Bay who travelled with his dad in one of the worst snowstorms in American History to see his favorite team play for the highest achievement in the sport that he can either watch the game outside or go home.

Six fans were injured by falling ice and debris from the cold, since they had to watch a football game outside at 9 pm. Michael Irvin sat in an expensive suit amidst ex-football players and reflected on the "good old days".

Perspective is a bit of a bitch, isn't it?

The Black Eyed Peas, Terry Bradshaw, Christina Aguilera, A-Rod, Jimmy Johnson... Wanna know why these people are better than the kid who's dad paid $5,000 for seats they couldn't use?

Yeah, me too...

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