Super … and Not

TSTAt 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,beyonce 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 speed.

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 decidingHarbaugh 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.  And is that a cute little colt, or what?

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: SuperJennifer Hudson and the Sandy Hook Kids; Alicia Keys; an exciting game; Budswieser Clydesdales and Doritos munching goats;  and Joe Flacco, MVP.   Thought Two:  Not SuperSuper Bowl Half Time Shows; Ray Lewis;  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 SuperAnd 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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12 Comments on “Super … and Not”

  1. Just for the sake of filling out the story: Lewis was charged, but there was no evidence against him. He was with the guys who did it, and there have always been questions about certain elements, but everyone who testified in the trial said they didn’t see him involved in the fight, they didn’t see him stab anyone, they didn’t see him with a knife, they didn’t see him do anything wrong. In Georgia, where the fight happened, one can be charged with murder on suspicion of being involved. That’s why he was charged. He did plead to obstruction because he admitted he didn’t do the right thing in the investigation after the fact. He has done a lot for disadvantaged and at-risk youth throughout his career. He’s no saint, for sure, but I don’t think he deserves being branded as a murderer.

    That said: I loved the music before the game. I thought, even though it did seem political, the kids and Jennifer Hudson sang without any hint at a “statement.” As I recall, no one was even reminded aloud about what happened with Hudson’s family, which makes it classy even if it was intended to be a Point. And I thought Alicia Keys did a very nice job. She’s truly talented and I didn’t think she ornamented the anthem too much, as so many others do. But I still don’t think anyone will ever beat Whitney Houston in 1992.

    • oldereyes Says:

      That’s why I said “canonized” … there are so many people who actually deserve to be treated like a hero. I know he wasn’t a murderer.

      And the best America the Beautiful is still Ray Charles, even though it wasn’t a Super Bowl.

  2. cherperz Says:

    Bud, I think your perspectives are on “spot on”. Jim Harbaugh does seem like a horse’s ass. I, too, struggle with the Ray Lewis back story. I don’t know of his total involvement but his current professions of faith don’t ring true to me.

    I am not a huge fan of Beyonce but did think her half time show was entertaining. I like both Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson’s songs as well.

    As for Super Bowl parties…you are officially invited to my house for next years Super Bowl. Yep, you and Muri are welcome to come and have chips and salsa here.

    Oh BTW…You picked the same commercials Wayne and I picked as our faves. I did a post about the Clydesdale breeding farm, Warm Springs, a while ago. I have a love for the place so to see the commercial (in part) made there was fun. Also when the horse ran up to the trainer, I all but cried. Too cute!!!

  3. hawleywood40 Says:

    It was a surprisingly emotional Superbowl for me. I’m a lifelong Steelers fan who lives in Baltimore. I didn’t expect to cheer so hard for my own team’s biggest rival, but it has been such a great experience watching friends and family and my city go on this ride this year. On Ray, I agree with you on the canonization thing, but being in Baltimore I’ve been witness to him doing some great things for this city over the years, and will say I genuinely believe he matured into someone much different than the man he was. As for Jim Harbaugh, I definitely thought his reactions were a show of poor sportsmanship but at the same time I have to admit that watching him during the game made my mom and I bust out laughing more than once.

  4. liggybee Says:

    Funny…I usually like to watch Superbowl for the Halftime show but this year, I really didn’t care for it. I’m not really a fan of Beyonce…though I know a lot of people that are. I enjoyed the game only after the power came back on. To me, the first half was just full of unnecessary roughness. I understand the nature of football as being a rough sport, but these guys looked like they were having anger management problems. I almost didn’t want to finish the game. But I finished it anyway since we had family over at our house watching with us this year. Commercials? Ehhh…I’m still really grossed out by the beauty kissing the nerd guy.

    Have a great week, Bud! Click!

  5. Trina Says:

    I missed the Super Bowl this year, we just couldn’t get good reception on the boat. Thank you for the review though. I missed all the great commercials and I loved the Clydesdales, as always, but this year the commercial brought a tear to my eye – It was perfect. I did get to see the smooching commercial… just gross. The kiss was bad enough, but the smooching noises were awful *shudders*

    I’ve heard that it was a great game… thank you FB game fans LOL Bummed that I missed it, but I did catch the last 3 minutes of the halftime show and I just didn’t enjoy it.


  6. Wolfbernz Says:

    Hi Bud,

    The best part was that the Ravens won! I love it when our home team does well.

    The commercials are way over priced and if a 30 second commercial makes you want to run out and buy a vehicle, then how can we not blame violent TV for adding to our violent society… too much hype and way too much money spent for 30 seconds.


  7. Coming East Says:

    Liked your analysis, Bud, though we didn’t watch the half-time show so don’t have an opinion on it. We really didn’t care who won because our Patriots were not playing. It was a good game, though. I think we watch the Super Bowl just because it gives us an excuse to get heavy -duty snacks or go pick up a gourmet pizza and chopped salad and eat our way into oblivion. Which we did.

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