Monday, February 06, 2012

Superbowl XLVI

The New York Giants beat the New England Patriots 21-17. The experts on sports talk radio assured us that the Pats did not deserve to be two-point favorites with the strength of the Giants' defense, and they were right.

The game was a textbook study in the importance of field position. Tom Brady of the Patriots had his back against his own end zone much of the game, and was sacked in the end zone once for a safety. The Giants on the other hand started only two drives on less than their own 20-yard line, and started one drive on the 48. Congratulations to the Giants' kicking, punting and special teams for keeping New England in bad field position.

It was an exciting game, only the second NFL game I watched all the way through this year. I find the NBA immensely more entertaining. I'm more interested in watching my Lakers play the revitalized 76ers tonight than I ever was about the Superbowl.

Oh, and then there was the rest of the spectacle. Madonna was good. I don't know why anyone would sit around listening to her bubblegum/disco music and her chipmunk voice, but her live show is kitchy, campy fun. She entered like Cleopatra on a float pulled by slaves, wearing some headpiece that looked like it was stolen from the Asgaard set of Thor. Come on, who couldn't love that? It's better than some geriatric rock band singing songs of young lust from 1969.

The commercials were okay, but they have become too belabored and self-conscious for me to pay more attention to them than the ranch dip on the table. Their purpose is to make everyone talk about the commercial, which seems like a postmodern distortion of the purpose of advertising.

Like everything in American pop culture, the Superbowl spectacle long ago ossified into self-parody. It is important because we want important values in our lives and we return to such rituals in some nostalgic quest to find thrills that once meant something. Perhaps to the young Superbowl XLVI had real meaning.

I'm overthinking this, huh? Yeah, I'm no fun at parties.

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