06
Feb
17

Super Bowl 51, Poetry and Disappointment

*****

Some moments in history can be quite poetic, regardless how great or awful they may leave you feeling. The US disaster of 9/11 was one of those moments when numbers started clicking like gears in a clock, turning what seemed like a big shock into a conceivable puzzle, one that could have been orchestrated. Likewise, Super Bowl LI (51) has a few numbers that fell perfectly into place. And, if we look hard enough, we might uncover more.

Consider this.

Tom Brady of the Patriots was looking for his fifth win/ring, and he got it. Now, he’s got himself an infinity gauntlet. He’s half way to becoming a Super Bowl Mandarin. [Those were nerdy Marvel Comics jokes, in case you were wondering.]

The Falcons were apparently denied every previous ring/trophy they ever snatched from the hands of every team that fell one round short in all their previous championship years. This would have been their first win. They were denied, again.

You see? This was Super Bowl 51, and Brady got his fifth while denying the Falcons what was very close to being their 1st. 5 and 1.

And then, consider who scored the much needed touchdown to tie the game. I don’t know if he scored the 2-point conversion, too. But, we’ll say it was #28 who tied the game at 28, sending it into overtime. The first Super Bowl to ever go into overtime? I highly doubt that.

What else have I got to make this more poetic? Actually, that was it. But like I said, there may yet be other numbers that fit into place. And, I would not be surprised.

All poetry aside, let’s not forget the two reasons I really watch these championship games: the commercials and the halftime show.

Sadly, there wasn’t one commercial that I wanted to see multiple times or discuss with friends/family/coworkers the rest of the week/year. The one about the internet being a skinny “wiry” guy who LIKES everything; that was…interesting, I guess. Mr. Clean got a chuckle. Melissa McCarthy, that chubby siren, she was so cute…pitching a car that sounds a lot like a mad Roman emperor who watched his world burn. A metaphor for the oil industry? The traditional favorites seemed missing until, near the end, I saw glimmers of the old advertising magic, including the ghost of Spud the Budweiser dog and one lame Sprite commercial that fell flat faster than the soda does when left uncapped.

But, the biggest disappointment of all might be that no one made a commercial with Chun Li in it to commemorate the number of the game. [I kid.  But, I did make my own ad for that.]

Lady Gaga was a sight to behold with her halftime show, making some sharp costume variations.  Hair and makeup were both fantastic and simple.  Yet, compared to a few previous shows with female contenders, hers was washed out. Some might have questioned her lack of a supporting artist. She didn’t call in Lenny, Bruno, Madonna or the Black Eyed Peas. She held her own. And, she did all right. She kept it clean, nothing too edgy, daring or controversial. But, something was missing…

…And, “social media” was not it! I get it. Everything on television has to be geared toward teens who must eat, sleep and breath the clicking of a keyboard as they get programmed for war in the future. But, seriously? I need to know how many “tweets” or clicks or beeps are happening during a game or right after a performance? That’s like going to see a Broadway show and finding out how many people coughed or sneezed at the end. SHUT THE FRAG UP! I turned the TV off and waited for the madness to stop.

I am so sick of all the tech talk! I’m tired of robot football players flashing signs, drones popping up everywhere you look, boasting camera angles that could zip into a guy’s nose hairs…and, cripes sake, stats about finger clicks and swipes. E-NOUGH! Even if the game was played by robots to eliminate all the painful injuries and losses…only to rack up other losses and repair jobs…it would not interest me to be so robotic or computerized. Without a certain human element in this game, I don’t think I’d have the same interest. It would be like watching a giant, ridiculously expensive video game. And, maybe it already is just that…and I should stop watching before I hate it like NASCAR.

Ehem. Neck roll to relieve pent up stress.

Truth be told, fitting a stellar show into 12 minutes is rather daunting. I’d suggest two alternative strategies next year:

1) The artist picks 2 or 3 songs–not a full album–to spotlight with grand props, special effects…the works. That’s roughly one song per four minutes, slightly longer than the average music video. But, we get to revel in each song in ways that a normal concert might not be able to provide.

2) Make the halftime show at least 30 minutes long. That may seem like a drag to the teams in the locker rooms, but it would give the performers more time to develop a stellar show rather than appear like they’re rushing to get a touchdown before the clock expires.

In conclusion, I went into this game not caring who won. The team(s) I wanted to play were denied entry. And, personally, I’m a little sick of Tom Brady and the Patriots. When one quarterback can score 5 rings/trophies in his career–granted, not as easily as the Dallas Cowboys made it look some years ago–while my favorite team(s) are lucky to see 1 ring/trophy in a decade…and that’s after changing coaches, quarterbacks and/or who knows what…it grinds your gears a bit.

Not to mention, there was the year the Patriots–if I am correct–were accused of photographing an opponent’s playbook. And, just last year, we were grumbling over “Deflategate,” when the Patriots were accused of messing with the air in the balls used in the final game on an exceptionally cold night. Topping that off, Brady wins this one after pretty much sitting back and relaxing for three quarters before shaking off his lion-skin cape and breaking out the bazooka. It’s as if someone told him the last scandal would get wiped from his record if he took a few hits and threw a few rounds in the ring before unleashing the eye of the tiger. And, it wasn’t like the Patriots needed the overtime period. That ended about as fast as their last drive, in under a minute. All the Patriots really needed was another 30 seconds on the clock, maybe 51 seconds.

Anyway, the big spectacle comes and goes, making way for the next season of tycoon arena sports. Thankfully, I care even less about that one. I don’t waste more than a minute looking at the car-nage. But, what an expensive gambling setting, source of pollution and waste of resources. All thanks to our beloved troops who make it possible, right? Whatever. [And, all of the local crimes behind the troops backs really make us feel safe at night.]

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