Monday, February 10, 2014

Week of 02/10/2014

Why, Superbowl, Why?
– by David Matthews 2

(This is an “open letter” to the various entities – both individuals and corporations – that made up the 2014 Superbowl event, otherwise referred to here as simply “Superbowl”.  While not entirely serious, it certainly expresses the frustration this commentator and others experienced.)

Why, Superbowl?

Why did you have to suck this year?

I mean, you had the largest audience to date this year!  One-hundred-eleven and a half million people, and that’s not counting the addition four million that joined in for the halftime show!

You set plenty of firsts, including the first open stadium played on Astroturf, and the first Super Bowl event hosted by multiple jurisdictions.  You had celebrities and politicians in attendance.  And you charged four million dollars per commercial spot!  Four million dollars!!

And yet… the Superbowl… sucked!

Why, Superbowl?  Why did you have to suck?  You really had no reason to!

It’s not how the game itself turned out that made it suck.  The ego that is the Denver Broncos needed to be popped, and it got popped in the best way possible.  Besides, it’s not like it was the worst lopsided game.  Remember Superbowl XX?  I do.  That game sucked (yeah, I’m a New Englander all right), but that Superbowl was still one to talk about.

This one?  No.

Why, Superbowl?  Why?

I think a part of it had to do with the halftime show.  Bruno Mars and the Red Hot (pre-recorded) Chili Peppers with their Guitar Hero props made sure the show was cleaner than detergent.  Okay, cleaner than detergent if that detergent was in a gas station bathroom.  Granted it wasn’t the first time the performers pretended to perform, but it didn’t even look like they were trying here!

I’m sorry, but if I wanted to see a bunch of shirtless dudes playing Guitar Hero on TV next to some pretty-boy pretending to be Fabian, I’d change my gender and orientation.

Hey, whatever happened to showing the cheerleaders?  They get paid to put on a show too.

There was always the pre-game chest-beating and faux-patriotism indoctrination.  After 9/11 and going into the Iraq War, I can sort of understand the Orwellian desire of people to chest-beat and prove just how much they “love” their country.  As a true freedom-lover, I can’t condone it, but I can understand why they do it.  But now we’re over ten years into this and it has become yet another boring routine.  It’s like the singers that over-soul “America the Beautiful” and the National Anthem until it becomes this acoustical mush that nobody can understand.

Seriously, Fox executives and the National Football League; when George Orwell wrote “Nineteen Eighty-Four” in 1948, he did so as a cautionary tale, not as a to-do list!

I can also point to the failed “controversies” that were manufactured for the sake of trying to build the Superbowl up into something it wasn’t.  The whole “Richard Sherman controversy” was just a load of crap!  That is all that it was.  A player trash-talked another player immediately after the game over what was said by the other guy during the game!  It is contrived crap coming from the sports world and from the media, and the people behind it should be looking for something else to do with their lives.

But, you know what I really thing caused you to lose it, Superbowl?  The real reason why people watch you in the first place… the commercials!

Fox and NFL charged advertisers four million dollars per spot!  Four million!  For that much money, you would expect something epic.  Something exciting.  Something that the viewers would remember for the rest of the year.

And you didn’t deliver that, did you, Superbowl?

No, you didn’t.

No devastating previews of future movies.  Only bland ones.  No truly comedic promotions for Doritos.  Only bland ones.  Sure Budweiser had a couple of touching spots.  The “Dober-wawa” commercial was funny, but it was really the lone stand-out in comedy.  Scarlett Johansson and SodaStream were nothing like the “Go Daddy” commercials of the past, so their “controversy” was again nothing more than contrived BS.  Coca-Cola’s commercial was only “controversial” to the same rednecks that get upset when you show them a globe to prove that the Earth is round.

And it’s not like you were blindsided by this, Superbowl!  You had the final say as to whether these four-million dollar spots would air, so you knew what the viewers would see before they did. 

So let’s get brutally honest here… if there is anyone to blame why you sucked this year, Superbowl, it’s you.

You’ve become too complacent.  You’ve gotten too comfortable having the only real event going on that week.  You’ve had no reason to validate the attention you get.  You simply assume people will watch whatever you put on because you’re the Superbowl!  You assume advertisers will pay any fee you demand and bend over backwards to accommodate your standards because you’re the Superbowl!

And maybe we need to find something else to watch, Superbowl, because clearly you’re letting us down.

Understand this, Superbowl: while I cheered for the Seattle Seahawks to trounce the Denver Broncos, they weren’t really my team.  And you’ll find a vast number of people who tuned in or paid for your overpriced tickets to watch in the stadium really weren’t rooting for their own teams either.  It’s up to you to give us a reason to root for the teams that do make it, and to give us a reason to keep paying the money you demand.

You need us, Superbowl.  You wouldn’t be this media monstrosity without us. 

So stop letting us down.

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