The Super Bowl: America’s Unofficial National Holiday (Family, Friends, Fun, Entertainment, and Excess)
In the Big Easy they say Laissez les bons temps rouler (Let the good times roll). It is a term most often associated with Mardi Gras but for the past two weeks the locals in the Crescent City played host to the Super Bowl by ushering in post Katrina eyes from all over the world to the big stage. This annual event has become more than just a game where modern day gladiators collide at high speed to decide the World Champion on the gridiron. It is a day of family, friends, parties, entertainment, and excess.
Over 130 million people tuned in yesterday (a record) to participate in the goings-on surrounding the title game, many with little interest in the outcome of the actual contest itself. As it gets bigger and bigger there seems to be something added each year for everyone. Whether you tune in for the game, the gambling, singing of the national anthem (Whitney Houston in Tampa 1991 is a must watch), the commercials, halftime show, or just want an excuse to throw a party it is all right there for the taking.
Yesterday will long be remembered for many reasons. Anyone that wasn’t moved watching the Sandy Hook choir with Jennifer Hudson singing America the Beautiful was in the restroom or concession line. Throw in a little Alicia Keys doing the Star Spangled Banner (hope you took the over on the prop bet---at 2:34 it was the longest rendition in Super Bowl history) and things were rolling right along even before kick-off.
Speaking of prop bets, the Super Bowl allows you to bet on absolutely anything including the post-game hug between the two head coaches (over/under was 7.5 seconds---it lasted only 4). Ray Lewis disappointed by only mentioning God once in the post-game festivities (Vegas had him at 3). If you were lucky enough to bet on the 108 yard second half kick-off return for a touchdown, or the safety by the punter as the Raven ran out the clock you were paid handsomely for such a crazy risk. College funds all over the country were gained and squandered last night.
A Super Bowl is not really a Super Bowl without the commercials and the half-time show. We were left with plenty to discuss as animals, nerds, farmers, military and super models were again well represented. My winners were: Dodge; God Made a Farmer, Budweiser; Clydesdale, NFL Network; Leon Sandcastle featuring Deion Sanders, and Doritios; Goat for Sale. At 4 million dollars per thirty second slot I hope it was worth it for them.
I am always struck by the “Political Correctness Police” that come out of the wood work to weigh in on the Super Sunday. I had good friends on Twitter and Facebook that were off put by annual offender GoDaddy.com and others for their objectification of women but were conspicuously quiet when the male counterparts strutted their stuff on the Calvin Klein commercials. They will be sad to know that despite its unpopularity Go Daddy generated more interest to their product this year than in each of the last eight years they have bought advertising for the game. Much to the chagrin of some look for them to be back, raunchier than ever. To those folks offended (some of whom I like quite a bit) I would echo the immortal words of Sargent Hulka from Stripes “Lighten up Francis”.
If scantily clad women are your thing the half-time show didn’t disappoint. Beyonce and the Destiny’s Child reunion caused quite the buzz (though not with the PC Police) in the social media world garnering over 5 million out of the 24 million tweets of Super Bowl XLVII. The power outage and subsequent “Ray Lewis felony” references didn’t hurt either (Ray Lewis with a candlestick in the Super Dome). One has to love the irony of the old Dome holding the city’s poorest residents in its greatest crisis and going dark on the world’s wealthiest (SB has become a largely a cooperate event full of millionaires) in its finest hour. Only at the Super Bowl.
Now the clean up begins from neighborhood house parties to bars and restaurants to the city of New Orleans. The pooper scoopers are being brought out for the Clydesdales and the Puppy Bowl participants. MVP Joe Flacco is going to go to Disney World before he “sticks it” to billionaire boss Steve Bisciotti for a contract that will likely break a 100 million dollars. Cash registers and stomachs are full and the confetti has fallen. Football season is over.
It marks the annual changing of the seasons from me (and many others) with only seven days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training. It is how I transition from winter to spring. Super Bowl XVLII was the over the top, excessive day we have all grown to know and love. So until next year I say “Laissez les bons temps rouler” and “More of everything sky waitress”.