Super Bowl Sunday.
It is a uniquely American holiday. A day when it is acceptable to watch hours upon hours of people talking about football before a football game is ever played. A day when people actually look forward to commercials. Here is a rambling synopsis of my Super Bowl Sunday.
While most were clinging to the earliest pre-game show that they could find. I began the television-watching porion of SBS in a rather unorthodox manner. That is because while the ESPN gang was clamoring on and hanging out with Deuce Bigalow, I was watching the USF Bulls take on Notre Dame in basketball. There are two reasons for this: 1 – Due to previous events relating to my favorite NFL team, I have an ongoing boycott against “NFL Sunday Countdown” programming until Keyshawn Johnson is no longer on the air. 2 – I simply couldn’t bring myself to watch a days-worth of pre-game for a Super Bowl that I wasn’t particularly excited for.
The fact that I was watching the USF/Notre Dame game is important for one reason. That reason is that on Thursday, I wrote a column about the promising potential of USF basketball. On Sunday they lost. Over the weekend, both Robbie Hilson and myself predicted a big win for the Colts on Sunday evening. The Saints won. A developing Sports Casualties Curse on the rise? If it gets us exposure, I’m all for it. Watch out Juice Hellmans.
The first piece of Super Bowl pre-game that I actually focused on was the “if you watch this and don’t cheer for the Saints, you’re a bad person” Katie Couric-Drew Brees interview. Unfortunately for CBS and Saints PR agents, this sappy interview did little to change my sentiment. I’m a Bucs fan, I don’t like the Saints. I don’t care how close you get Drew Brees to crying on national television, it won’t make me feel sympathy for the Saints…unless maybe it involves Brees and his son (more on that later).
Couric’s closing question was particularly horrendous. “Did you save New Orleans, or did New Orleans save you?” Because Brees’ name is not Keyshawn, he answered with the latter.
About 45 minutes into the actual broadcast of the Super Bowl, two things stood out to me, Carrie Underwood and commercials. Carrie Underwood looked stunning as usual in her white Power Ranger outfit during the national anthem. For a while, I was pretty sure that she would be my favorite part of the game.
For the second straight year, the commercials were disappointing. In my opinion, the best that the show had to offer was the Brett Favre Hyundai commercial. The least eventful commercial of the night ended up being the ad that had been the most talked about. Staunch critics of the Tebow ad must have felt a little embarrassed when the actual commercial aired.
Sure, there was a brief, non-direct reference to pro-life and the traditional family, however, almost all issues were left for the Web site that was advertised at the end. The pre-commercial article that came to mind most was that of “Slate” Magazine’s Jason Fagone who wrote last week that this commercial would be the jumping point for Tebow to go from happy signal caller to renowned converter. Converting to Christianity would be the blatant message of this ad, Fagone said. I’m still waiting for that.
WARNING: Dangerous Propaganda Video
Halftime coordinators made up for their 90-year-old performers with tremendous production value. It is no secret that the Super Bowl has gone for aging (or aged) stars since the Janet Jackson fiasco. However, this was the first year where the entertainment truly seemed out of place. During the show, I received a text message from friend and future [legal] drug salesman Corey Frauenfelder that discussed how bad halftime needs to change.
We came up with an idea. There are plenty of popular musicians that are not controversial and don’t yet qualify for the PGA Champions Tour. We have 2011 and 2012 booked. Kings of Leon and Taylor Swift (whose reputation might never be the same if we’re truly allowed to plan this). You’re welcome, Roger.
Wait, there was a football game going on? Yes, there was, and in the third quarter it began to look like a classic. The onside kick was a thrilling start and it continued from there. The uncertainty lasted until Tracy Porter had his Ronde Barber Moment, a moment that was preceded by me saying “Wow, there really hasn’t been a big, breath-taking play in this game.”
The apparent rise of the Sports Casualties Curse came with the fall of another curse. Before Sunday, no team had ever lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a regular season and gone on to win the Super Bowl. I here by declare the Bucs the best team in the NFL.
As I stated earlier, I dislike the Saints because I dislike every team in the NFC South that doesn’t rhyme with “Yucks.” However, I was able to set my sports hate aside when cameras zoomed in on Brees embracing the winning moment with his baby son, Baylen. The video image of Brees talking to his wide-eyed son with tears in his eyes was touching. The pictures were even cooler. Super Bowl Sunday can do strange things to a man, and suddenly, I was a little happy that the Saints won.
Then I saw Reggie Bush and that brief lust went away pretty quick.
But Super Bowl Sunday did not end with the Super Bowl, of course. If you’re like me, you were too lazy to change the channel and watched the premier of “Undercover Boss.” Now the show was completely scripted, make no mistake about that. Nobody seemed to think twice that a bottom-of-the-food-chain garbage man was walking around with a camera crew for his first day at work. It was also odd that the undercover boss consistently got paired with people who were the most hungry employees ever with that one flaw that had you screaming “Alright, he’s going to fix that in the end.”
In case you missed it, the COO of Waste Management went around to different jobs in the company and worked alongside hard-working individuals. There was something in the company that needed to be tweaked with each one. This led to him basically walking into a meeting at the end of the show and telling other executives, “Hey, we need to soften up, and virtually cut production.” This of course was beautiful television until the cameras were turned off and he was ambushed by an Armani-clad gang.
But as I thought more about it, I kind of started thinking that the fakeness of the show doesn’t matter. It ended with a few inspirational moments, and in an era of tough times, its shining light on the everyday working man could make it a success. All it needs now are some not-so-happy workers. I want delinquents that show up for work drunk and cheat their way through the day. Sign me up for next week’s Hooters episode.