Super Bowl Spoiled By
Blackout, Deer Spray
The Beyonce Holograms Might Have Been Cool, But With Performance Enhancing Drama And An Extended Delay Might Be The Signs Of An Event On The Downswing
The Vince Lombardi trophy. Image by RMTip21 and used under the terms of a Creative Commons license.
By Adam Piontkowski
Modern Times Magazine
Feb. 6, 2013 — Is it possible any more in this day and age to have a sporting event not spoiled by something or other? After Sunday’s Super Bowl, most would say that answer is a convincing no. First we had the media attention on Ray Lewis regarding “deer antler spray,” then the lights dimming down the game and the Raven’s momentum, and finally the blown pass interference call at the end of the game, it seemed as if nothing could go right for the NFL.
It didn’t help that the commercials sucked, but that is another article altogether.
With a crew of 100 individuals working directly for a football team — all of whom have a “win at all costs attitude” — one would be hard-pressed to find a team where someone does not cheat or bend the rules a little bit to stay in competition for their own job or to help the team out in some way. Usually, fans don’t hear a lot about this rule breaking going on behind the scenes, but with the national spotlight of the Super Bowl, things change. Especially so when you are a player who is retiring at the end of the season and you are the team’s star player.
Ray Lewis is a hard man to read, as he is used to facing unwanted attention in a rule breaking sense, but what the hell is deer antler spray, and what shaman did Ray Lewis go to who prescribed this as a remedy?
Ray chose to avoid media attention regarding the subject leading up to the Super Bowl, but I imagine this is the same as it is with most performance enhancing-drug cases: More evidence will come out to show some rule breaking had occurred. So not only was the media attention leading up to the Super Bowl spoiled by this news, but also the Ravens’ victory will someday be considered insignificant, because of all the hoopla surrounding Lewis on many different levels.
I guess that is the way Lewis’ career should have ended: As a guilty champion.
If the Lewis brouhaha was not enough of a distraction for a Super Bowl, there is more! I will not argue that Beyonce holograms were not awesome, and that I did not need millions of lightbulbs and cameras at halftime of the Super Bowl for my undivided attention, because clearly that was ridiculously awesome. Do not tell me everyone at your Super Bowl party was not fixated on the screen like some brainwashing experiment, because I saw it. Everyone is guilty!
Perhaps karma struck back a bit for the adoration of Beyonce when the lights went out in the Superdome just after the second half began — and Jacoby Jones tied a Super Bowl Record with a 108-yard kickoff return. For a city that is 20 feet below sea level, and is still slowly recovering from Hurricane Katrina seven years ago, its not inconceivable that the people of New Orleans were bracing each other, preparing for a disaster to occur.
A minute and a half after play resumed, darkness covered the stadium. Just like Katrina, recovery time was slow, people were frustrated, and neighboring states had to pitch in just to get everything working again. They blamed one of the sources of energy coming into the stadium, which had allegedly shut off, but maybe they should figure out these energy load problems before they go all out in one of the most vulnerable cities to such a problem. After an hour, the lights finally came back on. At this point, the Ravens lost all of their momentum from their kickoff return touchdown to start the half, which allowed San Francisco to come back. Despite San Francisco’s two third-quarter touchdowns, no matter how close it got, the game still felt meaningless as the Ravens were clearly on their way to victory.
This feeling of meaninglessness carried over into the fourth quarter, when the 49ers were driving and had a chance to take over the lead of the game on their final drive. They made their way down to the five-yard line down by five points with a minute left and one time out. They had one last play to win the game as Colin Kaepernick threw into the end zone for a blanketed Michael Crabtree, who could barely get his arms up in time to reach for the football. Incomplete, game over, Ravens win. Now either this was a make-up call for the lighting disaster, or this was the worst missed pass interference call of all time. Take your pick it, doesn't really matter, the game is over and the NFL had already put it in the books (probably when the lights went out). This is the football mentality and perhaps it will change, perhaps it will not, but we still pay to see it.
The question is how long will we pay to see it? Are we going to start caring about an honest game or do we just want the excitement at all costs? Football is a full contact game where playing dirty is the name of the game, and the more we try to fix that the more we spoil it. The more we take away from the grit with light shows, the more we take away from the game and spoil it. The more we make up new rules and penalties, the more referees miss the obvious calls and spoil it. It is hard to foresee a perfect game without something spoiling it, so we have to enjoy what we can I guess, but it can be tough to play the guessing game when fans pay thousands of dollars for an event that is supposed to be the biggest and best in the country. A time will come when the game will turn out to be a huge bummer. Maybe that is why the commercials were terrible once again, as advertisers choose not to play the guessing game of whether or not it will be a good game or not. I mean who really wants to advertise to millions of fans aggravated by blown calls, blackouts, and inconsistencies?
There’s always the beer companies, they specialize in such things.
Adam Piontkowski is a pretentious hippie and a freelance writer from Arizona.
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