This is no longer a football game. It stopped being that years ago.
It's a wham-jam-buffalo wing-Budweiser sodden-overblown exercise that happens to surround 60 minutes of football. Leave it to America to take a sporting event and inflate it with bombast, gimmickry, commercialism—in short, ugliness—until it no longer resembles what it started out to be.
Caligula would be poppin' a toga-riser right now.
It's for adults that will spend $128.50 on a replica jersey while their kids have no music or arts programs in their schools.
Face it, the actual game is only but a dim porch light compared to the zillion-watt Kliegs that illuminate it.
Look at people who spend hard-earned money just to go to the city where the game is played--and not go to the event. To wit, from one dullard (via KTLA):
About half the people we met on the street, don't have tickets for the game. Ashley Payne doesn't have one, but says just being in the host city with her 49ers is enough. "We got to watch the boys leave their hotel and get on the bus," said Payne. "Jim Harbaugh tipped his hat to everybody. Some of the players waived to us. They heard us cheer and send them off and chant," she said. "It's amazing to be here. It's a once in a lifetime experience, truly."
Gee, what a thrill. I'd rather take that money, and, I dunno, buy the entire Ron Popeil collection. And have enough left over for a decent above-ground pool. And some Styrofoam Wacky Noodles to float in it.
I mean, it's the one time a year when people applaud commercials. Do they realize that the Brobdingnagian amounts spent on these ads drive prices up? What new, intriguing tidbits will we learn about, say, Coca-Cola?
Face it, if every score in football counted one point, this would obviate the point spread. You could play the game at Podunk High School Memorial Stadium. Yes, I know you can place proposition bets that predict with which hand Ray Lewis scratches his package.
No, the inked-up, drug-addled, hair-extended "athletes" are the smallest part of the equation. Never mind that they subsist on slave wages. You've all heard of Haloti Ngata, haven't you? No, this is not a lyric from The Lion King. Mr. Ngata plays for the Baltimore Ravens. Defensive Tackle. He was paid a mere $662,000 this past season. Per game. On the 'Niners' side, benched QB Alex Smith was forced to live on a paltry $593K per game. I feel his pain. And he probably won't even soil his Underarmour today.
The NFL nabobs have even mined the salability of our anthem. This is now an event unto itself. Who's singing it this year? Beyoncemacykei$ha Fussbudget? Live? What's the over/under on how many players will sing along? I'm saying two, and they will be placekickers from Herzobosnistan. Note to NFL: Just have Aretha do it every year, live. Now that Lou Rawls has passed, she is the obvious choice, a slight edge over Kiri Te Kanawa.
And then there's halftime. Enter another lipsynching shrieker with prerecorded bed tracks. The budget for this bombast this year is estimated at $4 million. Heck, that might pay for almost half of Mr. Ngata's salary.
Just hire, say, the Blue Devils drum corps and have them blow the roof off the joint. I'll bet you can get them for twenty grand.
Other halftime show ideas:
- A Jim Nabors tribute, with computer-generated visuals of Rock Hudson.
- A Kardashian spelling bee.
- The NRA marksman team. With live ammo.
- Elton John doing Billy Joel. Literally.
- A Janet Jackson tribute to Velcro.
- Act II of Carmina Burana.
Just trying to help out here.
Oh, by the way, enjoy the game.