I must say that I am imminently relieved that they gave up on the Roman numerals. Super Bowl XXXVIII just seemed wrong, somehow. And, this year’s moniker under the old system would have been Super Bowl L. Enough said.
My personal (partial) viewing of the event was made considerably more pleasant by my discovery of the CBS app for Amazon’s Kindle Fire television.
All Fall I lamented our decision to forego cable television in favor of a combination of broadcast antenna reception and program bundling services. Rooting for the Alabama Crimson Tide was made considerably more difficult since CBS carried most games, and I would have needed the Space Needle to pick up its nearest relay tower. Attempting to stream games only served to increase my blood pressure, because the inevitable “gaps” in streaming seemed to occur only at times of live action. I was able to watch huddles flawlessly, but glitches seemed to always strike right at the snap and then “catch up” when the play was over.
In all aspects, the Super Bowl is an amalgamation of cultural and societal passions and influences. Here are a few of my takeaways from yesterday’s game:
Halftime Shows are Lame
Generally, the halftime show is a good time to make a snack run. Or visit the dentist. Or do your taxes.
Role Models are Rare
Social media was full of the expressions of “disappointment” with various sports figures following the game, most notably Cam Newton and Peyton Manning.
Newton had, for most of the season, been the ebullient, child-like enthusiast of the game who lifted others’ spirits as he excelled and made opposing teams look foolish. But after Denver’s Orange Crush defense made him look like the court jester, he took on the persona of petulant child upset that he couldn’t have a fourth bowl of ice cream. His demeanor in post-game interviews was deplorable.
Not that this should be surprising to any of us. Not because it is Cam Newton, but because a twenty-something handed millions of dollars, fame, and seeming invincibility is bound to suffer deflation when he is made to take a dose of reality.
Peyton Manning, with plenty of reason to celebrate being in the game at all following normally career-ending neck surgery and a season that was less than stellar, was mobbed by media after he won his second Super Bowl. Manning said, among other things, that he was planning to “drink a lot of Budweiser” and later “thank the Man Upstairs.”
He was criticized for promoting alcohol consumption and for using an unbiblical euphemism for God.
Christians know that all men are sinners, even us Christians. I don’t know Newton’s profession of faith, but his behavior should reinforce to us that we all tend to be fair-weather glory agents, “rejoicing always” but especially when everything is going our way. And, we tend to expect ivory-tower theological prowess and social savvy from Christian celebrities, when, well, we shouldn’t.
Fundamentalist Abortionism is Vacuous
My laugh-out-loud advertising moment came in a commercial from Doritos, which portrayed a baby in utero reaching for his dad’s Doritos during an ultrasound procedure (view it here).
The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) referred to this as an unfair “tactic of humanizing fetuses.” (See the good National Review article here.)
The intellectual and philosophical emptiness of zealous abortionism — which calls truth a “tactic” and considers babies to be in need of “humanizing” — is on display here, brought to the forefront by no less likely a protagonist than a tasty nacho cheese chip.
For me, the Super Bowl, as usual, seemed to have a bit of everything. Except streaming gaps.