Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Eximius Scaphium XLIV

An awe-inspiring clash it was! The scrappy Sanctus of Nova Aurelianeum were pitted against the seeming unstoppable Equii Juvenii of Civitas Indium. Janus himself could not have forseen the outcome.

The Super Bowl allegedly surpassed the finale of "M*A*S*H*" as the most-watched broadcast in American history. I watched it. I didn't watch the final episode of "M*A*S*H*"-- it was broadcast during a particularly nasty storm, and most of Santa Cruz County was blacked out.

A few thoughts:

• Very good game. I lost a buck or two on it-- I went with the prevailing odds, Colts by 7.

• CBS and the NFL were pushing the post-Katrina narrative hard. Apparently, New Orleans HAD to win, to achieve "closure" after the devastating 2005 hurricane. Psychologically, I can see the point. But realistically, a lot of bars and T-shirt sellers got richer, an already rich team owner got a nice trophy for his enormous mantelpiece, but the neighborhoods that were ruined by Katrina will still be ruined after the victory parade. Maybe everyone thought the Super Bowl was played under special Late Roman Empire rules, which allows the residents of New Orleans to sack and pillage Indianapolis at will.

• Way too much hype for the "NFL Scouting Combine." This is an "American Idol" sort of affair where inarticulate college athletes do workouts and answer questions in front of NFL coaches and scouts. This happens in a few weeks, and will be followed by the NFL draft, which happens in April and will be broadcast from (honest to God) Radio City Music Hall. Year-round football has arrived.

• The commercials were underwhelming. My favorites were the ones for Kia (with the sock monkey) and Snickers (Betty White and Abe Vigoda being tackled). The Super Bowl is supposed to be a Roman Spectacle of our age, Displaying the awe-inspiring might of the NFL and the power and glory of American consumer society. The NFL got it down cold (I have never seen so many completed passes in any game, period) but the consumer part was looking a bit tired. Following the Roman analogy, the commercials were the last legion in the triumph, fresh from a savage beating from the Visigoths in Illyria.

• The sexagenarian survivors fronting The Who didn't look winded at all. Then again, there were a LOT of long shots of that enormous luminous flying saucer deal that surrounded the stage on all sides, which left the guys a moment to catch their breath. What was that thing? The ultimate crowd control barrier?

• The "Late Show" promo was the highlight of the evening. It was so surprising to see Jay Leno sharing a couch with David Letterman and Oprah Winfrey I had to back up the DVR and watch it again. I can see why NBC and CBS went along with this, which was apparently all Letterman's idea: It makes both of them look collegial and good-humored, above the contentious late-night fray.

See you at the NFL Scouting Combine pre-show!

1 comment:

  1. RE: The Who - I hope I die before I get a halftime show.

    I like this idea of sports as Roman circus. We need to pursue it.