Monday, February 08, 2010

Monday Afternoon Quarterbacking

Yes, I did watch the Superbowl last night; a friend of mine had some people over so we gathered round for one of the only remaining communal activities left in a fragmented media culture. I should point out that his fiancée's dog was a bit more entertaining.

Anyway, some random thoughts.

It was actually a fairly good game, which the Superbowl usually isn't. It was nice to see an onside kick actually work, which it usually doesn't. I wasn't particularly for or against either the Colts or the Saints, but given that the Saints have never been to a Superbowl before, much less won one, it was nice to see the underdog win. And Peyton Manning does seem like a bit of a dink.

Am I the only one who sees that floating overhead camera above the field and thinks of Nomad, the killer probe from "The Changeling" episode of Star Trek? (Don't answer that.) And am I the only one who wished that Nomad would eliminate Phil Simms?

Sports announcers are almost always insufferable (hint: TV is by definition a visual medium; we don't need their constant nattering every nanosecond), but Simms seemed to have been even more so, with comments that ranged from the blindingly obvious ("This team wants to win this game!") to the overly self-important ("I told the coach of the Saints not to do that and he did it anyway!" Gasp!) Still, he's not as bad as John Maddening. Seen live, sporting events have the barest minimum of announcing and it's still really easy to figure out what is happening (more so, since no one is talking about a bus trip they went on with some coach 30 years ago, while failing to explain why a play is under review). Why do we need these people? I think some organ music like they have at baseball or hockey games would be far preferable. Or, barring that, the constant scraping of nails on a blackboard. (Whenever I am forced, Clockwork Orange-like, to listen to Bill Raftery call a college basketball game I react like that woman back in the 90s who had seizures whenever she heard Mary Hart's voice on Entertainment Tonight. And don't get me started on Dick "For the love of God, don't call a 3-point shot a trifecta!" Vitale.)

But I digress.

Oh, and we couldn't help wonder who dressed all the on-air people? Purple striped shirts with pink paisley ties? And other even more garish combinations? Their mothers let them go out dressed like that? I'm surprised HD sets across the country didn't explode like popcorn. It kind of reminded me of the green and purple make up they needed to use back in the 1940s to get people to show up properly in the very earliest days of TV broadcasting. Maybe they thought that everyone still had black-and-white sets. Maybe CBS Sports hired color blind people as wardrobe supervisors. Maybe next year they'll all get clown suits.

Speaking of HD, The Who in HD is not a pretty sight. And they were, um, disappointing, but then Entwistle was always my favorite. I guess I liked the CSI theme medley. Anyway, 'nuff said.

As for the commercials, they were loathsome, of course, but not as obnoxious as they usually are. There may be something good about the recession, if it meant that many companies took a pass on the Superbowl this year. What always annoys me about Superbowl commercials is that they are all basically the same, and always seem to revolve around really stupid people doing really stupid things to obtain really bad products. I guess I wonder if companies really do think that their target customer has a sub-moronic IQ. Kind of makes me want to run right out, wallet in hand.

The Doritos commercials that all seemed to have the common theme of violent revenge also were colossally unappealing. But then, so are Doritos.

And what was with the misogyny? It was even worse this year than ever. It was rather amusing, and ironic in a way, that CBS refused to run a commercial from a gay dating site but all the commercials they did allow seemed to be about how men really hate women (unless they have beer--and bad beer at that, but I kid Bud Lite...). It just seemed more upsetting than it usually does. It kind of makes you wish that PBS would carry the Superbowl. At least then we could get some nifty totebags. As for the Tim Tebow commercial, well, not everyone grows up to become a football star, you know. But the obvious joke of course is to combine the two "controversial spots" and have Tebow's mom say, "So please, give birth to your child, so he can grow up to be a man...and find love at"

Though, that is a rather unappealing name for a Web site, isn't it?

Anyway, thank the great maker that it's over for another year and we can get back to real sports: college basketball--after yesterday's win over Cincinnati, Syracuse is now 23-1 and ranked #2!). We have our SU-Villanova tickets for February 27...I think...I hope...

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