Is all publicity good publicity?
It was a strange game, since the NFL’s ratings were resuscitated by the Chiefs and their passing attack, and this contest was fought on the ground, until the Rams realized that going to the air was their only chance of victory and then Brady aired it out and put the stake in the heart of the competition.
Actually, the only heartfelt moment in the contest is when Robert Kraft honored Belichick and Brady after the trophy was awarded. Although I must say I liked it when they booed Goodell before Jim Nantz elbowed him aside.
That’s what Trump has wrought, decorum and respect are out the window, you can say what you want to whenever you want to. Actually, that Republican Congressman yelling out YOU LIE during Obama’s State of the Union address predated Trump, but that’s the America we live in, a divided one. Separated into elites and nincompoops.
Kind of like that laughable talent show after the game was over, “The World’s Best,” what a train-wreck that was. A dog and pony show of those ignored if it weren’t for this program, pitched to the brain dead. Talk about shooting low, it’s as if CBS just decided to throw in the towel, concede to Netflix. But that’s the America we now live in, one of dumb and dumber. Meanwhile, the evening was sans politics and all we care about is politics, which is another reason why Maroon 5’s performance seemed so lame. When given an opportunity to take a stand you punt?
It’s not that Maroon 5 were bad, it’s that they were EH.
A rock band that went pop and followed trends with featured artists that stands for nothing, just like the game of football itself. There was no way in hell Maroon 5 could have succeeded. And they’re being trashed in every publication known to man, never mind the Twitterverse.
You see we’re at the end of the paradigm. Not playing the Super Bowl is more important than playing it. You get more cred for not doing the show. As for reaching potential customers… Adam Levine already reaches them via “The Voice.” Reminds me of my friend Chris Zarou, who manages Logic. Logic did his 1-800 suicide song on the Grammys and there was no bounce. Everybody who cared was already aware.
Used to be football games had marching bands. And Up With People. We made fun of sports. That was part of the sixties ethos, we rebelled against conformity, organization, and dictators, like Belichick. The players are interchangeable, it’s a coach’s game. Otherwise, why would they all need headsets with BOSE painted upon them? Once you yield to the almighty dollar, you’ve lost the plot, like the commercial timeouts.
Then again, if you’re addicted to football, there’s no convincing you the game is not America’s Pastime.
But I implore you to listen to Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast “Burden Of Proof”: https://bit.ly/2s2HY59 How much evidence do we need before we stop watching football because of C.T.E? You will stop, you just don’t know it yet. Kinda like the MTV Video Music Awards. They were cool and exciting, a must-see with memorable moments, and now they’re completely irrelevant. That’s what’s gonna happen with the NFL and its halftime show, it’s just that the commercial industrial complex doesn’t want you to know. Kinda like in the sixties people were for the war until they started showing all the atrocities on the evening news. The “New York Times”‘s latest C.T.E. story, of a guy who barely had any experience in the NFL, will make your skin crawl. “Was C.T.E. Stealing His Mind? A Gunshot Provided the Answer”: https://nyti.ms/2WzBd8i
You remember how MTV used to have its own halftime show during the Super Bowl before the NFL got “hip”? Pretty soon, Netflix will have a C.T.E. documentary that launches on Super Bowl Sunday, it’s coming.
So the game was boring, there was only one broken arm, but we won’t know the true injuries for maybe decades. Kinda like smoking. Which is way down now, people got the message, you’re a pariah if you smoke.
As for tattoos… Did Adam Levine convince you not to have them? I remember cutting my long hair when it was no longer a statement of your beliefs, just a fashion choice. Now that we’re tattooing faces, a real rebel would go clean. As for Adam doffing his shirt and showing us his ink…it seemed like a wannabe rapper from the suburbs trying to be hip, it was laughable.
If you’re sensing a lack of passion in this article, BINGO!
I just don’t care.
I liked hanging with friends. I liked eating all the things I don’t except for special occasions. But I felt like I’ve experienced this ritual too many times, and it’s long in the tooth.
And I’m sitting on the couch thinking…am I just jaded and are kids into this?
And then I realize kids have much better things to do with their time. Why dedicate four plus hours to the ancient games of adults. It’s not like we have the Super Bowl of the Colosseum, what would that be in Roman numerals, Gladiator Bowl MMXIX? These contests die out, the paradigm shifts.
Steve Jobs makes Super Bowl commercials a thing, and everybody tries to imitate Apple’s for thirty five years and no one succeeds…isn’t it time to give up?
Isn’t that the story of today, of this decade, how those who think they know what is going on don’t? Like Trump, like Brexit, like so much in the world today.
There’s been tumultuous change and everybody thinks everything is still the same.
But it’s not.
Like music is so dramatic and fascinating that our eyes will bug out when we see it performed during football halftime. And that we will be impressed with explosions and fire, talk about primeval.
As for the movies advertised… Calorieless fantasies.
It’s like the powers-that-be are convinced everybody in America is dumb and will accept this pabulum. That we will not be able to watch men causing brain damage to each other and we won’t be able to stop watching mediocre pop acts and tertiary sideshow performers on television.
The revolution is happening now, and you just don’t know it yet.
This is the nadir. No one in their right mind will play the Super Bowl again.
Parents are already keeping their children from playing football.
It’s kinda like global warming. People scream about it but you don’t see the changes and then you do and believe too.
Audi trumpets the percentage of electric cars they’ll produce and Trump cuts CAFE rules.
But that’s business.
In a country with no soul.
We need someone to bring the soul back.
And so far Kaepernick’s got more of the right stuff than Gladys Knight.
Today it’s about refusing the check, standing up for what’s right.
Responses from Bob’s readers. Please note, these comments are unedited for grammar or content.
There was a game? Guess I missed it while binging on Deadwood.
Re: The Superbowl
I’m the biggest Rams fan on the face of the earth! My father took me to those early games at The L.A. Colosseum when they didn’t
have chairs.. yep.. you sat on benches.. This game just sucked… In fact, I turned off the volume and continued to watch the Ted Bundy Tapes
on Netflix… Actually, I think Maroon 5 were creepier…
From: Brandi Carlile
Please never stop writing about football.
I couldn’t agree more.
What a boring fucking game. I hope the world remembers Levine with his shirt off. His career will never recover. On another Super Bowl note: I loved Cardi B for refusing the halftime gig because she’s supporting Colin K (her AP history prof came in support of her sometime in the last few days). I’m not crazy about her music, but she’s absolutely her own person.
All I could think of when Maroon 5 was playing was “how much are they paying those people crowding around the stage screaming?”.
Refusing the check? You think Kaepernick isn’t profiting more off his martyrdom than his mediocre football career? Maybe we aren’t as dumb as you think.
Good perspective, Bob.
But I find that you can never under-estimate shallowness.
I have a friend that is my age, still watching and talking about superhero movies. We had the same education, the same success, so I just can’t figure out how he is still talking about this stuff at 47. I watch the movies to keep in the loop with him and all I can think is they are so predictable and so shallow, but so pretty.
I just don’t get it.
I’m 47 and I feel like the old curmudgeon yelling about the good old days. Am I crazy?
You seem to have nailed the word- soul. I’m not seeing the soul of the people, of the culture anymore, at least in the mainstream.
But then I look back at the TV of the 1970s, my childhood- Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Chips, Dynasty, none of these were any
deeper than what we have now. Maybe the soul is in TV now. I don’t know.
Worst Stupour Bowl ever. The game and the halftime show. Brady retire and let the rest of us rest in peace
When r u going to realize. It’s just a silly game. And nobody cares (they don’t)about these social issues because they r all working too many jobs to keep food on the table.
It’s a hustle.
This game gives people pause to recharge their batteries. NOT March in the streets.
Check out HBO’s Bryant Gumbel Real Sports EP 262… The piece by Bernie Goldberg entitled “The changing Face of Football”. It’s clear the game is dangerous and the NFL preys on poor minority kids to keep the game going and the money flowing. The affluent kids, mostly white, aren’t in this anymore. Ask the Donald about Barron. This was a good piece very convincing.
Yes acts and groups not doing the half time show IS the revolution.
So now football is the new boxing…not cool but still very much alive both …College and Pro..cuz of the $$$.
Another good piece Bob.
BTW did you see the Linda Ronstadt piece on CBS Sunday Morning?
Bob Cushner in Baltimore
I am neither in the elites or nincompoops……I read your emails because you provide the right slant. Call me a modified slantist.
On the anniversary of the music dying, seems accurate.
Multiple late-stage capitalist nadirs, concurrent, and in tragic harmony. Like the violins on the aft deck of the Titanic.
All in high definition, yet still not visible to the majority of our fellow human beings. History bears out that this does not end well.
So true. I watched the same game and felt exactly the same way. Everything about it — including sitting on the couch like a force-fed chicken and having those God-bless commercials stuffed down your throat — felt like yesterday, a throwback to a stupider time.
Haters are going to hate, and you are a hater. “Twitterverse” is mostly populated by no life, facts be damned, losers. People who believe that posting idiotic things makes them popular, part of the “in” crowd. The kind of people who tweet out death threats to high school boys whose only “crime” turned out to be their choice of head wear.
It’s people like you who are the threat to our country-tolerant of every opinion-as long as it dovetails with what you think. Perhaps you should take the time to read “1984”, if you are as open minded as you portray yourself to be, you might just see the the actions of “twitterverse” in there. Not going to hold my breath on that though.
This was an awesome summary. Years later, people will read this and think you were clairvoyant! Nice work Bob.
Good piece. Howard just gave you a shout out.
2014, the year my beloved 49ers moved from Candlestick to Levi Stadium-that was the beginning of the end for me. Season ticket holders since Kezar days were priced out in favor of corporate luxury boxes. Then Kaepernick got injured, took a knee, was benched for poor play and the Niners really began to suck, never to rebound.
But CTE was the main thing. Absolutely could no longer watch; it felt like Christians being fed to the lions. Albeit well paid ones. My sons were both terrible at team sports so playing football was never an option. Thank God.
I’ll take Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl.
Everything you said resonated with me 10000%
I love when everyone I know asks what I’m doing or where am I going for “The Super Bowl”
My answer is I Don’t give a
Fuck about it.
Id rather watch Penn State play
Michigan or watch ANY Yankee
Plus, one of those M5 songs was a complete ripoff of Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U.”
Glad you liked the C.T.E Bowl as much as me!!
The only good thing is that the Patriots will visit the White House and we will at least have a few patriots there.
Let’s all boycott next year until the commercials cost $10.6 per minute instead of $10.6 million!!
Native Wayne Jobson
Paul Vincent Nunes
I stopped watching the NFL two seasons ago after following closely my entire life. The product just isn’t that great anymore. Rule changes, politics, owners taking the spotlight, fantasy football, etc… have diminished the appeal for me.
It is hard to stand up and do what is right when so many have too much. The influencers and decision makers have been overrun by affluence, social media and the news outlets marginalized our capacity for deep, rationally-based thought. You know too much Bob, have seen too many things. Time to start carving the analysis by eras as it is a not so brave new world, incomparable to the one in which you’ve come.
Omg my uncle was in an Up With People halftime show.
I tried to find a super bowl stream for about six minutes because I’m in Canada and don’t have cable. Gave up and watched The Punisher on Netflix instead……….
“It’s not that Maroon 5 were bad, it’s that they were EH.”
Really, Bob? Just EH? Unless EH is your abbreviation for Egregiously Horrid, I think you missed the mark by a very long shot.
It is, in fact, that Maroon were bad…very bad and I would have thought you should have been able to recognize it and call bullshit.
Performance, power, talent… “EH” or fucking non existent?
The slow poser crawl to taking off a shirt as a closer?
Absolute proof that real artists can’t be fabricated.
The only person near that stage that wasn’t an embarrassment to the art of live performance…was the pyro tech.
P.S. And if Adam Levine proved anything definitively…it was that no matter how many tattoos he festoons his body with, and how many jackets and shirts he flings at young girls, he wouldn’t even be an acceptable female backup singer for Bruno Mars.
We’re from similar generations — I predate you by a bit but the mindset is similar enough.
There are many of us out here who make reading what you present a daily pharmaceutical and it matters not whether we agree wholly or partially or not at all with what you present —
Years from now when next generations and historians want to know what was ‘real’ in this era in which you’ve been keeping the daily ledger, they/we will turn to your wealth of writing for the broad as well as the min-strokes of this early 21st century doings.
Thank you — you make my day!
Great article, I went to bed at the opening of the Super Bowl, got up this morning, read your article, brilliant !
Justified me going to bed and didn’t waste 4 hours, I must be hip!
You have friends? Just kidding. You’re right, the best and brightest are going to the streaming services and the networks are getting the talentless leftovers. I thought the Nance-Romo match up was good. Learned a few things from Romo. He’s smart and just the right amount smart ass. Halftime show was a #3 with cheese and the commercials sucked thanks to more talentless leftovers.
Good one! I felt a little bad for Adam Levine… He sounded awful and my Facebook feed is full of people ripping on the performance. I do like him on Howard, and he CAN play guitar. But overall, yes he is a pretty-boy tool. The California tattoo is the worst. Straight up dorky on Adam. If I saw it on Anthony Kiedis I don’t think I’d mind because I believe Anthony is who he is.
I too sense an impending shift. A move away from commercialism. It’s happening on the edges already.
Maroon 5 played their best material, that first record was great and here they are 15 or what years later opening their set with Harder to Breathe.
I bet some family members about 7 years ago that the NFL would be gone in 5-10 years…I will lose that bet but hopefully not by much. I have a friend who was special teams and now is in the last fight with ALS and it’s devastating. Maybe what it will take it’s the CTE and ALS to touch peoples lives like cancer has in order for change to come. This is another sad truth about our country, if it’s not affecting you than it’s not your fight.
PS: how eerie was it when the cameras cut to the owners of the teams; holy crony Batman!
Jesus, I was feeling pretty good this morning until this.
I am surprised you didn’t mention Maroon 5’s sad attempts at guitar solos! What the?!? In terms of CBS, their CBSAllAccess app had issues throughout the night and we ended up with our Super Bowl party gathered around a laptop. The CBS app had issues two weeks ago during the playoffs and we had to call in to their tech support line and they said they knew about the issues and assured they’d be resolved by the Super Bowl. They weren’t. The app constantly froze and crashed every 5-10 minutes to the point of being un-watchable.
Wade HinesJesus, I was feeling pretty good this morning until this.
Well done! Thank you~
You article was more believable than the Maroon 5 performance – not to mention the game…
How does someone bring the soul back in this environment?
Also, I agree.
Binta Niambi Brown
Note perfect Bob!
Gladys Knight was Super Bowl 53’s MVP period. She will now start deservedly to sell tickets…
But almost worth watching for Andy Warhol!
My friends who know Adam Levine tell me he is a nice dude but I gotta admit you are right…When he took his shirt off it was super corny.
If he walked down the street in Compton he would still get beat up with or without the tattoos.
Hey Bob –
Funny, I didn’t watch the game for the first time ever this year—more for logistical / travel-related reasons than any kind of personal or political stance—but I found I didn’t miss it.
I grew up in a football family. My dad played through college, my brother in high school. I fell asleep as a kid watching Monday Night Football and still get pangs of nostalgia recalling the theme music. Every Sunday my dad makes a pot of chili and watches the Giants play, bless him.
But this year, I didn’t miss it. You can find the commercials online, and a quick scan through my Twitter feed gave me everything I needed to know about the snoozy offense and Adam Levine’s really bad tank top.
I think you’re onto something about the paradigm shifting. I read that C.T.E. NYT article in Saturday’s paper… as well as the one about all the musical acts performing in Atlanta this weekend that were NOT part of the halftime show, drawing large crowds and boo-ing the NFL, celebrating the history & vibrancy of Atlanta’s homegrown talent.
And still, when I texted my dad yesterday to see if he was watching, his response was…. “Best ever so far. Defense! And Maroon 5 was fab!” …
Brilliant. Fucking brilliant. How is it you can see the future so clearly? I hope we’re all still around to witness it.
Every point in this essay is spot-on and thought-provoking.
Thanks for that.
The soul of America is buried under sickness caused by pollution (light, noise, air), mass-produced food, and instant gratification. Heal America and let the soul shine!
Thanks for your letter.
Exactly! Spot on!!
Sad. We are lost. LA has certainly jumped the shark. Life is changing. It’s going to be a very bumpy ride. Glad I’m not young. And Maroon 5 sounded great. Then we went back to The Kitty Bowl.
While the old guard made it seem like the biggest concert of the weekend was Maroon 5, that is far from the truth. The major event of the weekend was Marshmello’s Forenite concert. Having a 13 year old son, this is truly what the younger generation was talking about! (Mostly what everyone was talking about except for the old tired media and the NFL.)
Enjoy your work,
It seemed like 21 Savage got more attention!
What did you think about the Pepsi commercial. I love Cardi!!
Can’t wait for your Grammy write up:)
One thing I can truly say…, I will never regret the time I have spent reading your blog. I very much appreciate your continued (emphatic ) voice crying out, “Look the Emperor has no clothes. Can’t you see! He has no clothes!”
Chris Stein @chrissteinplays
Who should play the next Superbowl
Suicidal Tendencies 13%
Moe Tucker drum solo 32%
Love this column! You hit the bullseye again!! You identified a paradigm shift that hopefully continues towards something more compassionate, meaningful and real. Thank you for identifying and writing boldly about it!!
Thanks Bob.Another great read.Stay well.Ted Keane
I agree with you 100% Bob regarding Adam Levine‘s tattoos! Nobody is original anymore every guy you look at is tattooed up! I was at the beach last summer in Torrance and I would say 95% of the people had tattoos and a lot of people had tattoos almost entirely everywhere on their body. All of these knuckleheads are going to wake up one day and they’re going to look like smudged comic books when they get old and they are going to regret really regret all the stupid things they wrote on themselves! What a disappointment Adam Levine was when he took his shirt off off and that big stupid California tattoo across his belly it made me think of him so much less. I watched him play purple rain at Howard Stern‘s birthday party years ago and he is a great musician and songwriter but he still is in my opinion after yesterday a big knucklehead!
I’m glad it wasn’t political, and I wish you hadn’t made it so. Sometimes it’s just nice to sit with your friends, enjoy the conversation, not fight, not yell, not scream, not be hateful, and not be hurtful, just enjoy it. Can’t you accept that Gladys Knight did something wonderful for herself and for millions of people instead of going negative on this classic taste maker? Her struggle was very real, and for 50 plus years,,, and you just discounted it. Such a shame.
Maroon 5, whatever,,,
And the commercials? The oh so mighty brilliant ads? That are supposed to unite us all, with their pop culture touchstones?
Who are these “celebs”? Who knows? (Except for an incredibly “hip” millennial with “f.o.m.o.”.)
Most of us are shrugging our shoulders..We don’t recognize the rappers, and the schtick that preceeds them…We don’t get the “Game Of Thrones” shout outs..
The Superbowl is to real fans, what New Year’s Eve is, to real party people..A day for rookies…The bar that had $2 beers the day before, is asking $99 for their “special” celebration…Rookie BS…
you are correct about the CTE issue. I would not want to own a football team 10 years from now.
-Kyle J. Ferraro
Nice shout out from Howard on Stern show this am…
Kaep has nothing to lose. And that’s the best fire to the soul.
RE SUPEBORWL HALFTIME: When I was watching Adam Levine bounce around the stage my mind went back to 1967 or maybe it was 68. Either way I was an 18 year old standing in front of Peter Green and watching one of Fleetwood Macs first hows in America at the Boston T Party and the music was so real and so authentic it blew me away. This happened over and over like I was when I saw one of Led Zeppelins first concerts or Jeff Becks Band or The Who or BB King, Buddy Guy, Howlin’ Wolf, Roland Kirk, Otis Spann and dozens and dozens of other real musicians who were not chasing radio or streams or commercialism or pleasing the masses. I don’t think they gave a fuck about the masses. I was thinking how far we’ve come and how watching the Superbowl half time show with it’s contrived audience wavers and wow look America we are so hip and it was making me want to go back to the old days when on any given night I could drive in to town and hear a legend play. Yep, those days are long gone but at least I feel lucky that I was there to witness it but I feel sorry for all the people who weren’t there. It was what music was all about.
P.S. Is it just me or did Adams levine head look like it was on the wrong body. Like at Coney Island where you stand in front of one of those wooden painted muscle men with no head and put your head on top and take a picture.
Agree 100%. This is the first game I watched all year. Football culture is the reason why we got Trump. Everyone is drunk half the year, glued to the tv 3 days a week. Colossal waste of time.
The first thing I thought when he took off his shirt was, “time to get my tattoos removed”.
The single most shocking part of the day that you didn’t mention is that Dylan allowed “Blowin’ in the Wind” to be used in a Budweiser commercial!
Brilliant! Thanks Bob for the dose and keep the motors running. The one element that I thought was also interesting is the game and halftime show mirrored one another exactly which suggests to me a “higher order” of reality where we are all connected.
There’s more buzz about Marshmello being on Fortnite than Maroon 5 being on the Super Bowl.
…and the three men I admire most…the Father, Son and Holy Ghost…just took the last train for the coast…
What I don’t understand is why all the fuss for musicians to boycott playing the show.
what about the players, staff, workers? should they be pressured to boycott as well?
maybe a lot of folks simply don’t care about Kapernicks position, he exercised his rights, just as Maroon 5 did in taking the gig
Im glad big boi said fuck you to the haters, then showed up in a caddy with a fur coat on. highlight of the telecast.
He knows that when you got 100 million eyeballs on you, you take advantage of it
Great piece, what a bore of a show overall. Speaking to your point about CTE, did you see last weeks HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel? They had a great piece about football and who, if anyone will be playing it in a few years, since only the poor and desperate will be wiling to take the risk.
As for Levine, He seems like a really nice guy whenever he is on Howard, but those tattoos and his new beefy look made it look like he just “Escaped from Danamorra” or some prison yard somewhere! “California” tattoed across his stomach 2pac “Thug Life” style?
He’s the toughest guy to come out of Brentwood since OJ!
Brilliant article. I felt the same way while watching the game last night. We have exhausted ourselves with the same shit. Thanks for writing.
As it started in uk at about 11 pm only watched first couple of minutes
There is a niche support for american football in uk
They sell out wembley
But..in the build up to the match it was constantly claimed by american
commentators that most watched sports event in the world
I understand it claims 110 mill
Well when regular league match between manchester united and liverpool shown
it gets 700 mill
World cup final,european final,champions league final
Real madrid barca
The list goes on
Its probably about 40th in world
And if you look at market outside usa and canada
I would guess not even in top 100
What’s funny is Goodell got what he conspired for – an all time record setting QB under his tenure and an SB win for MAGA.
What’s also funny is the only positive I’ve heard anyone talk about today is how quickly the game was over. NFL needs to get the memo. Stop drawing out the games. We want faster results. Can’t tell you how many times this year I got disinterested with a game in the 3rd quarter and switched to binge streaming.
Would love to see the viewership numbers in NOLA during the Boycott Bowl Party they held in the French quarter.
Bob, the myriad of flashy regional soul bands whose crackerjack showmanship wowed southern and midwestern audiences throughout the 1960s and 70s drew their inspiration from: Pop. Blues. Gospel. AND…college football halftime shows in which mammoth marching bands provided a spectacle to rival the game itself.
Maroon 5? Blech.
Given your past writings regarding the New England area, the chip people have on their shoulders there and the Patriots, I would have thought you would know. Booing Roger Goodell has nothing to do with Trump. Everything doesn’t…It stems from the NE Patriots fanbase belief that he targeted Tom Brady and falsely accused him of cheating in “Deflategate”. You may recall the league spent $12+ million dollars on a report that started out with the league conclusion and worked backwards. That was 4 Super Bowl appearances for the Patriots and 3 Super Bowl wins for the Patriots ago. He has also generally been booed at every NFL event that fans are at like the NFL draft.
As my brother said as we muscled thru halftime …”I’d rather be marooned”…
10 million play Fortnite on Saturday night to watch Marshmello set https://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2019/02/10m-watch-groundbreaking-10-minute-marshmello-fortnite-set-video.html?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzEmail&utm_campaign=0&utm_content=395530
Super Bowl has lowest ratings in 10 years: (44.7) https://deadline.com/2019/02/super-bowl-ratings-patriots-rams-marron-5-worlds-best-cbs-1202548893/
That audience gap is closing fast.
Hi Bob. Love your blog. Re/ Maroon 5, you’re not really the target audience so your opinion here doesn’t matter much. I can tell you that the ladies at our house watching the SB went absolutely crazy when Adam took his shirt off. There you go!
Which one are you, an elite or a nincompoop?
Bob…Everything you said is right on point!
Thanks for articulating everything I’ve been thinking.
All the best,
The Gen Me kids of today aren’t watching and don’t care, much like they don’t care about award shows or regular TV in general. In a few years we will be witnessing the long term effects and these spectacles will become like the Dodo bird, extinct.
Normally your sports rants are half baked, but this one is on point. Worst game ever. Worst halftime ever. A complete disappointment in every way
Get a grip…….good likelihood more football lovers than detractors in this world and it probably won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. On a side note: how much evidence do we need to draw attention to a sport that is truly deadly: skiing. I’d be willing to bet there’s a strong chance it has more collective fatalities to date than pro football. C’mon let’s rally to close the resorts, sell off the lifts, shutter the gear manufacturers and work together to extinguish it immediately because, like smokers, we’re pariah’s if we still ski right?
NFL fans have been booing Goodell at the Super Bowl postgame (and the NFL Draft) long before Trump started his POTUS run. Also, the kids don’t smoke, now, they Juul. That’s probably just as unhealthy as cigarettes. All that nicotine can’t be good for your heart.
So it’s Trump’s fault decorum is gone? Bobbies’ gone delusional, ignoring story after story, day after day, month after month, year after year of negative words against the President. Of course, getting mad at the Fake Americans of whom you seem to be a member, can’t be a good thing because you Socialists say so. I say, go Trump, and I didn’t even vote for him
Adam Levine is just as bland and dull as Bread, Christopher Cross, and Kanye. He was the perfect act for this year. Glad I missed it.
Your analysis of the half-time show. Their analysis of the half-time show. Predictable. Every. Single. Year. The same.
Let’s ask: Exactly what act would everyone watching the Superbowl enjoy? The septuagenarian “Rolling Stones?” Snoop Dog? Beyonce? Carrie Underwood? Elton John? Def Leppard? The cast of “Hamilton?” Ed Sheeran? Bob Dylan? Drake? Who?
The answer is: No act. There is no act that the entire viewing audience is going to enjoy. There is no act that is going to bring the country together. There is no act that will lead Americans to ponder our nation’s great untapped potential, or, whatever. None.
So what is the point of the annual, ritual condemnation of the half-time show? It’s absurd.
Complaining about the half-time show is analogous to complaining about the quality of the balloons at a kid’s birthday party. It overlooks the fact that a balloon serves no purpose outside of making things seem more festive. (Read that again.)
It’s not about “the music.” It’s about the primeval pleasure that comes from watching explosions and fire. Flashing lights. Kids screaming and waving their hands. Lighted drones. That is all. Sit back and enjoy the spectacle, and then forget about it.
It’s a Dorito. It’s a handful of popcorn. It’s a candle in a jack-o-lantern. It’s confetti. It’s “Left Shark.” It’s an LED in your car’s cup-holder. It’s a vuvuzela.
It’s not designed to be meaningful. It’s not designed to have a purpose. It’s not meant to be analyzed. You can enjoy it, or not. Consume it in the moment and then forget about it.
You want to “fix” the half-time show? Easy: Marching bands. There. Nothing to bitch about. There’s a football game, and, at half-time, there’s a marching band…just the way the Baby Jesus said it should be.
Amen , Bob.
Thought the Audi commercial was pretty darn good. Made me laugh out loud. Everything else was just so much AI, robots and social media cancer devices.
Another “on target” piece, Bob.
The Super Bowl halftime show diminishes anyone who appears on it. From Bruce to The Who, they’re just another part of an aural and visual in-your-face spectacle: “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
Last night Maroon 5 was simply one more piece of the shill machine…a mere commodity; no more relevant than the screaming, hand waving pseudo fans in the pit at Adam Levine’s feet.
Maroon 5..and others in past years…are not unlike a dancing bear at the circus: a once proud being reduced to “performing” for the masses who pay.
The difference, of course, is that the bear doesn’t have a choice. Maroon 5 did. And they made the wrong one.
There’s no upside in such art-as-commodity games. You lose whatever cred you had the day before and will never get it back.
Maybe they’ll move a few more units or prompt some additional downloads. It that really worth it?
To trade one’s life work and image (and, I’d argue, soul) for a few coins of the realm? For some fleeting minutes, after which the Super Bowl money people kick you to the culture curb? (Next!)
We once looked to musicians to hear “the word:” to give voice to what we were experiencing and were concerned about. We believed we were part of a cultural revolution for the better good, in conversation with each other through records and radio.
Last night Maroon 5 caught – in the words of Don Mclean – “the last train for the coast.” How ironic that they did so on the 60th anniversary of “the day the music died.”
I’m 31 and had much better things to do like putting the screen protector and matte console wrap on my Model 3.
You’re right about the fallout from C.T.E. Even Texas parents are thinking twice about letting their kids play football.
Regarding “a C.T.E. documentary”, there is already a good one focusing on college football, C.T.E., and other unfortunate results because of the NCAA not protecting college athletes.
The film is “The Business of Amateurs” https://www.amazon.com/Business-Amateurs-Ed-Obannon/dp/B01K90YZD8
The director, Bob DeMars, played football at USC. This was a passion project for him. It’s very powerful.
Keep telling it as you see it,
“It’s like the powers-that-be are convinced everybody in America is dumb, and will accept this pabulum.”
There was a TV spot a couple years ago that showed a Nissan (I think) jumping on top of a commuter train. At the end, the disclaimer read “DO NOT ATTEMPT. CARS DO NOT FLY.”
That’s pretty much all you need to know about what the powers-that-be think of the average American’s intelligence quotient.
Bob, you are on the right track here; the game was boring because of a lack of passing, which we have now become dependent upon for the “high moments”. The problem is the NFL rules on pass interference have become too precise without the desired effect of fairness.
On a higher plan, the Super Bowl event has lost all of its original appeal as exemplified by the swagger of Joe Namath predicting a victory over Baltimore. We have had too many Hollywood producers try to suss out what will stimulate our animal spirits visually, acoustically and pyrotechnically. They now assume that the actual event has to feel like a video game (Madden was always more exciting on the sidelines than on the game box).
Maroon 5 and that other act in the polar vortex coat were in conflict with the actual old school SB viewer. After watching Adam strip, I wasn’t sure whether he was a musician or a promo for Chippendales. Their music was so far removed from the show performed by Prince that I could barely wait for it to end. The arrival of the big “fur bear” didn’t add a thing, other than pander to the black community dominance in Atlanta. I don’t know about you, but I found all the pregame hype of the Commissioner attending black awareness/social justice events during the pre week PR, the most disingenuous nonsense since, Bill Clinton’s “I didn’t have sex with that girl” plea. It corrupts what little authenticity may remain in the game.
At the end of the day, I agree that the whole NFL experience will continue a slow fade. As I have written previously, the price of a ticket and the effort to stay relevant to the current shift in demographics will spell the death of the value of the franchises. In the future, it will just be a video game that a group in LA produces and sells as pay per view, much like what has occurred in boxing and “Ultimate Street Fighting”. The memories of cheering for Joe Namath will die with my generation along with the horror of how our enlightened leaders took our youth to Vietnam and wasted millions of dollars and lives.
I’ve been reading your letters since about 2015 and I’ve got to say thank you. A lot of what you say is true about the times today.
For instance- my friends invited me to a party to watch the Super Bowl but I stayed home and went to bed early to get a good nights sleep. (Being 27 I can remember when the Super Bowl was a big deal and performing the halftime show took your musical career to the next level.)
But those days are gone, and in this age of “influencers” and “selling out for sponsorships” it’s easy to see why the music is becoming the same old drivel. If it sells or becomes a hit there are at least 10 copies. No one can be original anymore.
Used to be only the best musicians got their music made but now, everyone wants to be included, want to be part of the party when they haven’t earned it.
I love music, I have since I can remember. I was raised listening to classic rock. The music was always good and now anyone with a Mac and garage band is suddenly a musician.
I miss when musicians had chops. When musicians were musicians, not musicians & actors, dancers, tv show judges and whatever else. But I understand when you conquer one field you want to conquer more. But cant we all just stay in our lane?
I find the it ridiculous how suddenly everyone is multi/talented. You know that ain’t true except for a lucky few. No one is good at everything. You spend your time perfecting one trait. Not 10. You won’t be good at any of them.
Sending the best,
Leah “Rae” Hight