Next year it’s going to be different. I’ve had a policy in place now for a long time that the television remote-control thingy gets put away every year at the Super Bowl, but no more. They’ve turned everything upside down: it used to be that the game sucked and the commercials were good, but not anymore.
That was a damn good game last nite and I was rooting for a tie so we could have had a sudden-death finish. If anything would put some pressure on the NFL’s dumb overtime rule, having somebody win the Super Bowl based on a coin toss would be it.
But a rare Favre-like moment for Peyton Manning shelved that idea as well – for the moment – and now I’m just left with a gala football game that’s come full circle. Started out as a football game 44 years ago, rather quickly devolved into a laughably silly capitalistic orgy and is slowly turning back into a football game once again.
(The Super Bowl has gotten pretty silly in 44 years, but the potential for the truly historic stuff – like Joe Willie’s brash prediction of upset in Super Bowl III – means that the game itself is still important and nearly worthy of the hype.)
Oh, the excess is still there, still silly as ever – old geezer rock bands at halftime? And I’m an old geezer! – but I think all that stuff is just tolerated because the underlying product, the championship game, still matters.
All the sideshow stuff has kind of mutated into wretched self-parody, starting first, last and always with the overpriced commercials. I can’t even say decisively how it happened, but I do suspect that all the genuinely talented people who used to work on Madison Avenue have spied the bigger bucks available by simply waddling a bit further downtown. At least with the intriguing Super Bowl commercials you always had the suspicion that real creativity was being rewarded; I don’t share that fantasy when it comes to what happens in the financial district.
So no longer will I shelve the remote control on Super Sunday. I am going to flit around the airwaves just as I do any other Sunday, hoping to find some billiards on ESPN2 while the NFL behemoths are swatting each other on the butts in the huddle.
Still, I guess it’s an improvement to be disappointed in all the auxiliary foolishness rather than in the game itself.