Well, this Super Bowl might very well have been the last National Football League game we get to see for more than a year, as I can’t see the league and its players’ association coming to terms before the collective bargaining agreement runs out.
And if this indeed was the league’s temporary sendoff, well, thank God the game pretty much lived up to the hype, and that the company at the annual private party at the Landmark was great, too. Because the halftime show was godawful.
The Black Eyed Peas were served at Sunday with a heavy cheese sauce. I didn’t know Black Eyed Peas came with cheese.
Seriously, Roger — if you decide to have a 2011 season, can you consider going retro for Supe 46? I mean, can you give us a marching band next year? Maybe one of those classic bands, like the USC Trojans or Ohio State? Or maybe one of those fierce Southern drumline outfits? Anything but a recording act, okay?
Thankfully, I missed much of what Fox, the propaganda wing of the Tea Party, called its Focus on America Rally just before the game.
(You want to truly focus on America? How about going after the Koch brothers? Or the banks and mortgage mills who’ve been stealing people’s houses by any means possible? Or the companies that wave the stars and stripes as they outsource jobs to India? Or pounce on an Obama administration that operates under the same secret cloud of renditions and illegal wiretapping as the Cheney administration? Or by getting us the hell out of Afghanistan, since it’s been nearly 10 years since bin Laden went into hiding and we long ago forgot the reasons we went there in the first place? Don’t get me started …)
But since it was that close to kickoff, we had to endure both one of the kids from “Glee” singing “America the Beautiful” (in a move that was more shameless product placement than patriotism, since Fox was running a special episode after the game) and Skankuilera butchering the national anthem. (Maybe they should’ve dropped the patriotic pretense and had her sing “Dirrty” and been done with it …)
Actually, I’d been looking forward to a halftime show that didn’t involve some nostalgia act. I did think it was cool when the Peas were announced at this year’s entertainment.
Super Bowl halftime shows haven’t been the NFL’s strong suit, since they days they were torturing us with Up With People. We’ve been subjected to Prince in a driving rain, ‘N Sync with Britney Spears with a tube sock on her arm (and the grown-ups, Aerosmith and Mary J. Blige, carrying their sorry young asses), and Diana Ross just being Diana Ross. And even in the moment, the sight of Michael Jackson surrounded by all those kids was just too damn creepy for words.
And, of course, there was a wardrobe malfunction that doomed us to years of oldies acts.
And the only truly great halftime performance — by that great American quartet, U2 — only became so because of a tragic turn of events.
But after years of Tom Petty (who was okay, but the Giants were much better), Bruce Springsteen (who, tried as he might, proved not to be the boss of an event much bigger than him) and finally, last year, the decomposed carcass of The Who (though a Saints victory will cover a multitude of sins), the league decided to come to its senses and bring in an act younger than 50.
So I was looking forward to seeing the Peas. But God, what a disappointment.
There wasn’t much poor Fergie could do about the microphone glitch. (But do you think maybe the organizers could’ve done a little better job with the sound check. Then again, this week in Arlington was a disaster: the snowstorm and the unusual cold snap; six people hurt by ice falling from Cowboys Stadium; the hundreds of people who paid $800 for seats but were SOL because the temporary seating wasn’t assembled in time for the inspectors to do their job.)
But those wardrobe malfunctions! Who got paid for this? Somebody obviously got good money to make everyone look ridiculous. I thought Fergie was Ace Frehley in a blonde wig. And with that dopey plastic wig and that faux-’50s-film space getup, the first thing I was expecting from Will.i.am’s mouth was “People of Earth, we come in peace!” (Second thought: “And don’t forget to buy our book, ‘To Serve Man’!”) And what the hell was up with those legions of alien dancers with cardboard boxes on their heads?
Meanwhile, Slash added absolutely nothing except mild surprise to a performance that seemed oddly flat; Fergie’s take on “Sweet Child O’Mine” was particularly tame. (Kids these days just don’t know how to rock; never thought I’d be nostalgic for Axl Rose.) And Usher added a little bit of excitement, again partially because of the surprise element, but by that point, I had settle on conversing with my friend Jesse and wondering whether the Steelers could carry that momentum from the end of the half into the third quarter.
Well, I guess I’d get dressed in a ridiculous outfit, too, if someone wanted to give me a few hundred thou for 12 minutes’ work. I’m not proud. Or employed …
Well, at least for Packer fans, and other revelers with no specific rooting interest, tonight was gonna be a good, good night. But next year, Commish — if there is a next year — remember: a marching band, okay?