Yesterday marked the thirty-second consecutive Super Bowl that I’ve managed to avoid watching in its entirety, because I am a horrible un-American person who has yet to find anything interesting about large, neckless men in tights moving a brown, lozenge-shaped object back and forth across numbered sections of a field for three hours.
Strangely, however, despite all the hullabaloo (Christ I hate that word) about the Big Completely Inconsequential Game, on the day after the Big Completely Inconsequential Game, none of the news headlines are ever about which group of large, neckless men in tights was more successful in moving the brown, lozenge-shaped object into the appropriately designated areas of the field. No, the “buzz” everyone’s “buzzing” about on Monday morning is always OH MY GOD DID YOU SEE WHAT ________ DID DURING THE SUPER BOWL I CAN’T BELIEVE _________ DID THAT OH NO WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS DID THE KIDS SEE THAT OH GOD NOT THE KIDS!!! You know, as if whatever calculated incident that took place that particular year was any more offensive than the toxic sludge that clogs up the airwaves during the other 364 days of the year. Post-Super Bowl Monday is when we all have to act like we’re pure, delicate little Christian babies who had previously never seen a private part or heard a goshdarn swear word before.
The “controversy” this year was M.I.A. giving the finger while onstage with Madonna at the cultural train wreck that’s commonly referred to as a “halftime special.” I didn’t witness it myself, since as I said, I was honoring a previous commitment to avoiding anything even tenuously related to professional sports, but going by some reactions I’ve seen, you’d think that she defecated into a Bible and then set it on fire while simultaneously having a late-term abortion (not that I personally would find that offensive, but some of the more conservative types out there might bristle a bit). Or worse yet, that she announced that she doesn’t care about football. No, she showed her finger. I think we’ve all seen fingers before. Hell, I probably have damn near ten of them. On the flip side, I will admit that it’s pretty impressive that M.I.A. managed to upstage Madonna’s overblown-as-all-get-out act with one gesture. Note to Madonna: You’re already obscenely famous. You don’t need to try so hard.
Honestly, I’d rather my (mercifully, hypothetical) children stare at Janet Jackson’s nipples for an hour than watch five minutes of anything MTV considers entertainment.