Tag Archives: super bowl

Lame Adventure 276: Super Gripes

I was pleased that Super Bowl XLVI between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants was a very competitive game that could have gone either way down to the very last play. Yet, I have no intention to invest $99.99 in the Trophy Collection Bundle even though my team, the New York Giants, won 21-17.

Who needs this crap?

I must confess that had the Giants lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game two weeks ago, “my” team would have still won.  This is because I was born and raised in San Francisco where my father and brother taught me how the game was played when I was a very tender age — around four or five.  Considering how complicated the rules are to football, one might say that the main men in my family bestowed me with quite a gift.  I suppose it is a pity that the gift I was bestowed was not something more useful in the game of life such as learning a second language, playing an instrument or negotiating a raise that results in being paid a living wage.

Without the patient tutelage of my dad and brother, I would probably be another clueless type declaring the game boring instead of what I am, an out of my mind maniac screaming my lungs out at the TV whenever my team fails to make a play, receives a penalty, or I disagree with the officiating.

Although I am not very sentimental, when I moved to New York in 1982 to earn my BFA in Film at NYU(seless), one of the mementos I packed that I have saved through the years is this ticket stub from January 10, 1982 when I was in Candlestick Park watching the 1981 NFC Championship Game between the 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys.

Cue Barbra Streisand singing "The Way We Were".

This was the most exciting and memorable football game I have ever seen in my life – coincidentally this is not the sort of factoid I reveal about myself on a first date unless I’m dating someone I hope to never see again.  This same ticket for that same seat would have cost $154 for this year’s NFC Championship Game when the Giants beat the Niners.

Sentimental sap aside, there is so much that I utterly loathe about football, especially the pretension leading to the Super Bowl.  What gets on my nerves is the pompous  battle music, the frenzy concocted by the NFL that infects the media, the ridiculous hoopla, the endless hype, and the solemn Voice of God narrators recounting highlights from previous games with a degree of reverence one would expect for the career of an illustrious head of state.  Do not get me started on the use of the Roman numerals.  What the hell is that about?  Is there supposed to be some Ben-Hur connection?  It’s just a game and if viewers are lucky it won’t be a lopsided blowout.  On the other hand, I suppose this sport is good for the economy, but it baffles me who could afford the price of tickets in this economy, but somehow the stadiums are always packed.

On Saturday I relented and tuned into what I refer to as Day Before the Big Game Bullshit.  One of the segments was about the Super Bowl ads that would run during the game.  This year a thirty-second spot cost $3.5 million.  I wonder how many more bags of Doritos Frito-Lay expects to sell by running their Super Bowl ads, but I will admit that their spot, Man’s Best Friend, was my favorite – not that this will motivate me to eat Doritos.

As for Madonna strutting what’s left of her stuff during the half-time show, I did wince when she seemed to lose her footing climbing up a step and made a few other awkward dance moves.  Ever the trooper, Madge continued to hoof and I popped an Aleve in sympathy.  My back was aching just from watching her, but fortunately I made a recovery in time for the second half of nail-biting and screaming.

Lame Adventure 158: The Super Bowl and China

Along with more than 100 million other viewers I watched Super Bowl XLV, and was surprised that the game was uncharacteristically more entertaining than the commercials.  Usually, I tune in solely for the ads since this bloated spectacle wrapped tightly in the American flag has often gone in the direction of a painfully dull rout.  Even though this game was competitive and fairly exciting, I will probably no longer recall that it was the Green Bay Packers that defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 by week’s end.  It is likely that I will remember that Christina Aguilera mangled the National Anthem for the long haul.  Cue cards should have been allowed or she should have thought to print a cheat sheet on her palm.

Cheat sheet-free right palm. Big mistake.

What I remember most about the Super Bowls played in the last ten years was the inflated brouhaha surrounding the Janet Jackson-Justin Timberlake wardrobe malfunction.  Had he accidentally knocked her out with his elbow performing an exuberant dance move that would not have caused one-tenth the stir of that ridiculously fast flash of nipple.  Cynic that I am, I think that that malfunction was planned to ignite controversy.  It certainly roused me out of my stupor.

Overall, I tend to best recall the mediocrity of the half-time entertainment featuring established acts that are years and often decades past their prime.  Now, the Black Eyed Peas, clad in electric suits from the Tron wardrobe collection, can join the pantheon of Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Sheryl Crowe, Paul McCartney, Aerosmith and The Rolling Stones, in singing a watered down medley of their greatest hits.  Odd that I can rattle off the names of so many of these half-time acts, but if under gunpoint I were ordered to name what teams played, I’d be as dead as any furry creature on a country road in the path of a motorist that failed to use Bridgestone tires.

In the second half of Sunday’s Super Bowl, play-by-play announcer, Joe Buck, explained to the home viewer that the ten-year-old string bean of a girl sprinting merrily across the field clutching a football was Ava Childs.  Ava, from Wheaton, Illinois, is a fifth grader that won a national essay writing contest that is part of the NFL’s Play 60 campaign, an effort to motivate children to be active for 60 minutes a day.  The NFL judges selected Ava’s essay out of 17,000 submissions.  Ava hopes to one day be the league’s first female place kicker.

Ava training in Uggs.

According to a chart depicting the age of the population recently published in The New York Times, in 2010 there were approximately 44 million children between the ages of 5 – 14.

Surely there were more than 17,000 ten-year-olds in that group.  Therefore, 17,000 submissions to this essay writing contest strikes me as low, indicating that most kids in America are indeed apathetic little couch potatoes that don’t even have the energy to write an essay.  No wonder China is kicking our butts – and those Chinese kids are also learning English and could have probably written a better essay than our very own Ava.

Back to Ava … Kiddo, I have bad news for you, you playing in the NFL will never happen unless the rules are revised permitting murder and suicide.  Please observe the size of the average NFL football player; Shrek on steroids would barely reach their waist.  You on that field would be pulverized in an instant.  Therefore you might want to rethink your dream.  A good start might be to learn how to speak and write Mandarin.