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The weird halftime juxtaposition of classy looking pompadour-adorned Bruno Mars (who I had never seen before) and his backup band in their matching ’50s-era gold lamé jackets and black skinny ties, and the filthy, bare-chested tattooed AARP-age members of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, along with lead singer’s Anthony Kiedis’ obscene “stroke me”-style hand gestures seemed to sum up yesterday’s Super Bowl. Which seemed doubly odd as the pregame show seemed to send a message that perhaps the grownups were being welcomed back to the NFL between the beautiful operatic rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by formally-attired Renée Fleming, and Joe Namath dusting off his 1969-era fur coat and symbolically flipping a huge well-deserved bird to PETA.
Only to be followed by the dreadful game itself. For last year’s postgame roundup of the Super Bowl, I dusted off the headline from a 1976 edition of Sport magazine: “Let’s a Have a Super Bowl the Pre-Game Show Can Be Proud Of.” Yesterday’s actual game was massive step back for the NFL, when Super Bowls of the 1970s and ’80s, with rare exceptions of the Cowboys-Steelers shootouts, tended to be narcoleptic blowouts. Peyton Manning’s muff of his opening shotgun snap will live on forever on cable TV sports channels, along with Cowboys tight end Jackie Smith fumbling his end zone catch, they’ll both be shown in near loops come Super Bowl time, and it certainly set the tone for yesterday game. But “Every battle is won before it is ever fought,” a Sun-tzu-quoting Gordon Gekko told Bud Fox early in Wall Street. Even if the Broncos’ safety didn’t happen, Seattle seemed so much better prepared, and so much more physical, in retrospect, I doubt the Broncos ever had a chance.
Sort of like how Bill O’Reilly prepared for his pregame interview with Barack Obama, who was simply unprepared for real questions from an actual non-subservient member of the MSM.
One minor consolation: The NFL Films highlight real of this year’s Super Bowl should be spectacular: They had lots of practice in the 1970s and ’80s pulling out all of the stops to turn four hours of lopsided Super Bowl football into a highly watchable 30 minutes, explaining why the game was one-sided along the way, as I once wrote at Videomaker magazine. Their Super Bowl highlight reels of the 1978 Cowboys blowout over the Broncos, the 1981 Raiders crushing of the Eagles, and the 1986 beating Mike Ditka’s “Grabowski-era” Chicago Bears applied to the pre-Parcells and Belichick Patriots are among their most watchable episodes, between all of the animation, players and coaches mic’ed up, postgame interviews, and other well-executed documentary techniques. If only they could program John Facenda’s legendarily deep basso profundo voice into a speech synthesizer to record the narration.
So what did you think of the pregame festivities, the usual zillion dollar massively overproduced postmodern ironic commercials, and the actual game — if you could call it that — itself? Let me know in the comments below.
Related: Dispatches from the Gleichschaltung Football League: “White House Writes NFL Players’ Pro-Obamacare Tweets.”
Plus in her own effort to add leftwing politics into the Animal Planet’s annual “Puppy Bowl” counter-programming, Michelle Obama suggested that kids be more like their dogs to be healthier.
I’m not sure if that’s a winning analogy for the spouse of Mr. Obama…