I was watching the Super Bowl last night and for the first time in a number of years, it was a pretty decent game. Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints on a great come-from-behind victory, you have to admire head coach Sean Payton’s gutsy play calls, like going for it on a 4th down in the first half, and an on-side kick to start the second half! I was cheering for Indianapolis because I like Peyton Manning and the team in general, but I had no problem with New Orleans winning. These were the best two teams all season.
While watching the game, however, I heard what were arguably two of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard in the world of sports broadcasting. The first was after the game during the trophy presentation, and the Saints were up on the platform, and there was a shot of Drew Brees holding his son, who was wearing big headphones since it was so loud. It was a very poignant image, as Brees whispered to his young son with tears in his eyes, giving him a kiss as his son looked around in amazement. (By the way, how could the kid hear him with the headphones on?!)
But then, one of the announcers, and I don’t know who it was, because there was a half -dozen talking heads in the postgame show, made the following statement, “That’s what it’s all about right there. There is no greater moment that a father can share with his son.” Really? That’s it? That’s the pinnacle? I guess I’m a failure as a father because I haven’t been able to provide that for my son. So, to my son…Lucas, I’m sorry that I was never able to win a Super Bowl and take you up on the platform with me as the confetti fell all around us. I hope all those times playing and fishing and going to movies and hockey games and basketball games and decorating the Christmas tree, and stuff like that…I hope that’ll do. I’m not sure I’ll be able to squeeze in a Super Bowl win.
Then, on the way home, as my non-confetti-covered son (again, sorry Lucas) was sleeping in the back seat, I was listening to the radio coverage of the post-game show which was anchored my Marv Albert with Jim Gray on the sidelines. Jim Gray conducted an interview with Drew Brees, and then after, gave us a Dick Enberg-like essay reading where he waxed poetic about Brees, the Saints, and the city of New Orleans. In this monologue, Gray said “How ironic that in a city ravaged by wind, New Orleans now looks…to a Brees.”
No…that’s not it, I’m just setting up the Jim Gray tone for what he said next.
He then went on to say that “To the City of New Orleans, Drew Brees is a saviour…their own personal ‘Brees-us.”
I’m not making that up. I wish I was.
Now, first of all, I have a pre-disposition to acknowledge that Jim Gray is perhaps the biggest douchebag in the history of sports broadcasting (Sorry, Bud Collins.) Ever since his idiotic badgering of Pete Rose, he has made it clear that he is a moronic dimwit who wants nothing other than the big soundbite or classic clip, and could care less about the actual story. It’s about HIM, not the sport, or the athlete, or the moment.
Aside from that, the fact that he looks like that uncle that always wants to give you a hug, but you don’t want to because he’s cold and clammy and smells like Ben-Gay. And he always has that lecherous look in his eye like someone who would be hanging out in the bushes in a park at night. But now he’s comparing a Super Bowl-winning quarterback to Jesus…very very weak.
And since I’m talking about the Super Bowl, let’s talk about the halftime show, shall we? Ever since Nipple-gate with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, the halftime shows have been a tad on the ‘safe’ side. And by ‘safe’, I mean OLD. Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and now The Who? It’s like a classic-rock radio station’s noontime request hour. Remember 2001 with Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Aerosmith, 'N Sync, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly?
I wasn’t really expecting much from The Who, but I have to say that I thought they were pretty good. I loved the fact that they didn’t parade out the screaming ‘fake’ fans to cheer and dance on the field like in previous years. And for a couple of old guys, I thought they sounded pretty decent, although I felt like an episode of CSI was starting. I liked the circular stage, with the graphics that came up around the band, and the painted cymbals that looked like the drummer was banging on Captain America’s shield. Old guys need gimmicky gadgets and stuff since they don’t have the physical energy they used to. I mean, it looked like Pete Townshend’s token windmill riffs were knocking the wind out of him.
I was talking about the Who’s performance at work today with a friend, and he noted that for a band that used to be so ‘explosive and dangerous’, they were pretty tame and subdued. I pointed out that at their age, explosive and dangerous are reserved for the pyrotechnics in the show, and not the band members anymore. For a band that once stated ‘Hope I die before I get old…well, not so much.
But the only real issue I have with the halftime show was that it was billed as ‘The Who’. With 50% of the members of the band still alive, can you still use the band name? Think about it…if Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr performed the halftime show, would you be ok with them billing themselves as The Beatles? Is it exclusive to which members of the band are still alive? Does it matter if it’s the frontman or primary songwriters?
Here’s an idea…how about we just merge The Who WITH the Beatles. Seeing as the band members who have passed away (John Lennon, George Harrison, Keith Moon, and John Entwistle) have been considerate enough to die by instrument, the surviving four members could form a band with the complete 4 parts. Seriously, think about it.
That would be the definition of a Super-group.
And to those of you that missed the best Super Bowl Commercial of the night, you can watch it below.