07 Feb

AND THE WINNER OF SUPER BOWL XLIV IS…

football

Mediocrity.

Yeah, the same old same old. It was a good game, ups and downs, some good larfs during the relatively tame commercials, but…what was new? What was daring? It was the biggest TV audience of the year, and…it was stuff we’ve seen before.Full disclosure: I’m no football fan. In fact the first game I ever saw was while in the marching band in college. It was so dull to me that I smuggled a backgammon game in with me, until the Syracuse Orangemen beat Nebraska, which was the number one team at the time. I got caught in the community and fun, and then again when living in Buffalo during Super Bowl visit and Doug Flutie. So I’ve SEEN some football, and even enjoyed it, but…

When was the last time a player or coach redefined the game, brought out new and exciting never-before-seen elements? Unexpected plays throughout all four quarters, unbelievable feats of superhuman strength, perpetual defiance of gravity, physics and odds? Instead it pretty much feels like a finite combination of similar moves with slightly different outcomes.

During the game The Saints even got some flack from the announcers at the end of the first half when they weren’t able to get a touchdown by playing pretty much the same play that just failed. Yet they won, big. Maybe part of it was because they launched into the second half with an onside kick, which got them a quick touchdown, and maybe even started some kind of “what’s wrong is right” drive. Who knows? But they won.

To me, it’s like “Avatar,” which I believe is the biggest money making movie in the solar system. Yeah, it’s fun and pretty, but…really? Does it deserve the crown? The story is the same old thing, the characters are still pretty two dimensional despite all the computer whiz-bangery. Yeah, they spent so much time making the aliens pretty that no one seemed to notice the script.

This is a widespread malady to me, and tonight’s game was a perfect example. In addition to the football, the anemic ads also showed no real sign of creativity nor originality (unless you think sexism is new). In fact we had two ads with unusual tackles pretty much right out of the gate (Snickers and some anti-choice group, who made a pretty lame ad that said nothing to me), and then two ads with men without pants one after the other (careerbuilder.com and I think Dockers). Vizio had a commercial that seemed quite similar to recent Droid ads, and it also had a woodchuck/beaver/gopher that seemed as if it was stolen from an earlier (kind of cute) monster.com ad. The list goes on…

One might add The Who to the list (or as Pete Townshend calls them, “the world’s greatest Who cover band), but, first of all I love them so I’m biased, they had a great light show on the stage, and they were hired to do the same old thing, and I think they did a good job. Then again, where was the NEW (boob-free) music? Even if The NFL got “Today’s Hottest New Artist” to perform, is he/she/they really anything special?

No, I’m getting worried that it’s getting close to over. Our economy which is supposed to be driven by innovation (that leads to capitalism and consumerism) is getting stale, banal, boring, slow… If more of us don’t start taking chances, don’t become dangerous artists, don’t defy gravity, then we may indeed be in serious trouble, regardless of what Wall Street does next.

More to come on this…