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Super Bowl Blunders

By Yong-yi Zhu

SPORTS COLUMNIST

Wasn’t the Super Bowl great? Not only did you have another close game decided by a last-second play, not only did you have the longest play in Super Bowl history, not only did you have the two opposing quarterbacks play their hearts out, but you even got a brief glance at Janet Jackson’s right breast. Wow, the Super Bowl is a real treat.

I used to think that people watched the Super Bowl to see a good game, laugh at witty commercials, and just plain have fun. It’s no longer the case with football anymore. At the beginning of the season, I commented on how Pepsi and Britney Spears dominated opening night of the NFL; now at the end of the season, not only has the marketing not improved, but it’s taken a horrific turn for the worse.

This time, instead of overwhelming the audience with a pop idol and a soft drink, it was animal violence and nudity. When you think about the Super Bowl, you used to think of those funny frogs that “Bud,” “Weis,” and “Er”ed their way into our hearts. You remembered the Super Bowl when the beer bottles played throughout the course of the real game. You also remembered the “Wazzup!!” that made us all laugh; well, it at least made half of us laugh while the other half went “Huh?”

I must agree that the Mastercard commercial was quite clever. Not only did it feature Homer Simpson doing Homer Simpson-like things, but it also amused us without being offensive to anyone. The new Bud commercial on the other hand, featured a dog biting a man’s crotch in order for the man to relinquish his alcohol. Another commercial was highlighted by a horse discharging gas into the face of a woman in order to burn her face. On top of that, there is the halftime show that people won’t be forgetting, or be forgetting to download, for a while. In fact, immediately afterwards, there were postings online everywhere of the “greatest peep show on Earth” with pictures and video footage. MTV apologized saying that this was not planned and not intentional. Janet Jackson said that there was a wardrobe failure. But none of that seems to be plausible to me.

Why did she have jewelry on her nipple? Why did only half of her shirt rip off? Why did Justin Timberlake pull her shirt off in the first place? It seems that the higher quality the football, the more horrible the quality the rest of the entertainment. In the last seven years, the Super Bowl has been decided by a touchdown or less four times. In the seven years before that, it’s been decided by a touchdown or less once: the Scott Norwood disaster. In fact, most Super Bowls are blowouts, although we only remember the close ones.

Before, the commercials were the things that kept the audience tuning in and keeping the ratings high. Around the time of the Tennessee and St. Louis Super Bowl, people began tuning in for the game, instead of just the commercials. The Kevin Dyson one-yard reach captivated everyone watching that day despite the lack of quality in commercials. The Adam Vinatieri field goal capped off another great game that kept us in our seats all the way until the post-game.

Perhaps it’s the fear that people won’t be tuning in to the big game that forces the networks to show the crap that they do. They pull all the stops in order to make as much money as they possibly could. Not only is the Super Bowl important, but CBS wanted to keep the audience for the “Survivor All Star” episode.

But if that’s all that CBS cares about, they can continue showing pornography to children at 8:30 p.m. at night. Maybe they didn’t realize that it’s possible to turn the TV off, and that’s just what people will do if things become too offensive.