Monday, February 2, 2004

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My Super Bowl post

Josh Chafetz has castigated me for having "dropped the ball on his usual scantily clad celebrities beat " My sin -- not mentioning Janet Jackson's "technical difficulties" during the Super Bowl.

While this blog has rarely shied away from discussing the important political ramifications of scantily clad celebrities, in this case I felt it inappropriate.

Why? Because what mattered far more was that this year's Super Bowl was a GREAT FRIGGIN' GAME, that's why!!! Punch!! Counterpunch!! Great defense!! Explosive offense!! Clutch plays!! Five changes in the score in the last quarter!! Jake Delhomme getting his butt kicked in the first half and throwing three touchdown passes in the final quarter!! Adam Vinatieri missing two kicks in the first half and then drilling the game-winner!! [Allen Barra says the game sucked!--ed. Then Allen Barra is a very hard man to please. I take his point about the high number of penalties (though most of them were on special teams) but I'm intrigued that Barra thinks that the well-executed defense of the first and third quarters were boring but that the high-octane offense of the second and fourth quarters was an example of incompetent defenses as opoosed to the offenses making adjustments.]

I'm sure some astute sports commentator could observe why three of the best Super Bowls ever played took place in the last five years. Me, I'm just grateful as a sports fan.

One additional fact courtesy of Peter King that's worth mentioning:

The NFL has something called a performance pay scale, in which low-paid players who log significant minutes are compensated an additional amount out of a league pool at the end of the season. This is very good news to [New England Patriots center Dan] Koppen, a rookie and fifth-round draft pick who started the final 15 games of the season at center for the Patriots.... Koppen will get the largest percentage increase from the performance-pay pool, a 40 percent bump from his 2003 base salary of $225,000. According to an NFL Management Council source Koppen will receive a bonus of approximately $90,000 from the pool, which will likely be the most money allocated any player in the league when the system is finalized after the season.

Not bad for the kid -- a hefty bonus, plus the winner's share from the divisional playoff game, AFC title game and Super Bowl, collectively, of $122,500. Koppen almost doubled his salary with money he never expected to make -- $212,500 in performance and postseason bonuses not in his original contract.

For the fallout over Jackson's... er... fallout, see this Washington Post story. However, Scrappleface has the better spin.

Oh, and Beyoncé Knowles has a lovely singing voice.... as well as many other fine qualities:


posted by Dan on 02.02.04 at 05:03 PM


"I'm sure some astute sports commentator could observe why three of the best Super Bowls ever played took place in the last five years."

I don't think you need to be an astute sports commentator. It's called the law of averages. The NFL is repaying us for sitting through (mostly) those awful Super Bowl blowouts in the '80s and '90s.

posted by: Al on 02.02.04 at 05:03 PM [permalink]

Al is probably right in part; however, it probably also has to do with greater parity among teams due to the salary cap. The tradeoff is that we don't really see a truly "dominant" team as often.

posted by: Chris Lawrence on 02.02.04 at 05:03 PM [permalink]

"Janet Damita Jo Jackson was born on May 16, 1966"

Janet Jackson turns thirty eight years old in just a few months. Her career is on the decline. This recent “scandal” helps her to stick around a few more years.

posted by: David Thomson on 02.02.04 at 05:03 PM [permalink]

"Great defense!!"

Please. That was the worst performance the Carolina secondary has had this year. Manning went from having the best to having the worst game of his career in two short weeks.

posted by: Mike M on 02.02.04 at 05:03 PM [permalink]


The oldman used to be a Janet Jackson admirer, and certainly he's never been adverse to skin, but the point is that even with that T&A show frankly the halftime show sucked. Bring back Santanna! My old psychology buddies would undoubtedly note the death-worshipping fixation of the colour schemes (red, white, black), the costumes (S&M or reminiscent of armor), and the stage design. Not mention they put on P.Diddy. Looks like WoT and national security really is gonna be the defining issue for Nov'04.

posted by: Oldman on 02.02.04 at 05:03 PM [permalink]

Go back just two MORE years and you've got a plausible candidate for best Super Bowl ever: Green Bay/Denver. And I say that as someone who lived near Pittsburgh in the 70s and DC in the 80s. So it's been a very good run lately, four great games in seven years.

posted by: Jim Henley on 02.02.04 at 05:03 PM [permalink]

The Atlanta paper said Janet Jackson got more exposure than she'd had since 1989. Hah!

Look, I'm a football fan. I care about the game. I walk the dog during the halftime show, so I didn't see any of this. But honestly, shouldn't CBS and the NFL have expected attempts to be "provocative" from declining pop stars, especially from one who might have been described on Star Trek as a "silicon-based life form?" Wouldn't the better part of exploitation have been to bag the pop tart and go for something safer, like a Punt Pass and Kick exhibition or an Electric Light Orchestra retrospective?

posted by: Zathras on 02.02.04 at 05:03 PM [permalink]

As I don't read any hardcore media blogs, I haven't seen any comments about the high definition commercials. This is the first time I recall seeing high def commercials. I've just scanned through the entire broadcast and all but two of the high def commercials were for movies (not all of the movie commercials were in high def). The two non-movie high def commercials were for Charmin Ultra (the one where the QB fingers some toilet paper coming out of the center's pants until they suffer a delay of game penalty) and the wash-out-the-mouth-with-soap commercial for Chevrolet.

posted by: Sam on 02.02.04 at 05:03 PM [permalink]

This whole boob thing really pissed me off -- not because we saw her boob, but because of how we reacted to it.

This is what I said.

Although I have to say we should all remember what you've written today: that the game was the important thing, not the boob.

posted by: J on 02.02.04 at 05:03 PM [permalink]

Personally I am outraged that children all over America have been subjected to the knowledge that women have boobs. Innocence gone, childhood ruined. I especially feel for the little 12 and 13 year old boys that watch football. The last thing they wanted to see was Janet Jackson's chest. I'm sure they curled up in their beds and cried themselves to sleep. Mtv should pay for their counseling for the next ten years. Its really sad when your family is trying to enjoy the spectical of 100 grown men pummeling each other into submission, interspersed with advertisements hilariously depicting mens groins being bitten by animals, and accented by rappers playfully grasping their crotches as they perform their hit songs dedicated to misogyny, drug use, and violence, that suddenly a human breast can be displayed for an entire 2 seconds. Shame. Hopefully the presidential contenders will come up with a solution for this, perhaps diverting 50 billion dollars from homeland security to protect our children from knowledge of the human anatomy.

posted by: Mark Buehner on 02.02.04 at 05:03 PM [permalink]

On the plus side nothing could have been more damaging to my pysche than being subjected to Aerosmith yet again. I think Bill Murray said it best when he got in a fight with Chevy Chase on the SNL set, pointed his finger at him and yelled 'MEDIUM TALENT!'.

posted by: Mark Buehner on 02.02.04 at 05:03 PM [permalink]

Allen Barra also thinks that baseball is in fine shape. In particular, he thinks that the Yankees spending $160 million on player salaries while other teams spend $40 million or less isn't a problem.

I'm not sure what his malfunction is......unless he's just a 'homer'.

posted by: Matthew Ryan on 02.02.04 at 05:03 PM [permalink]

"Hopefully the presidential contenders will come up with a solution for this, perhaps diverting 50 billion dollars from homeland security to protect our children from knowledge of the human anatomy."

Isn't that the job of the Kansas Board of Education?

posted by: Mike on 02.02.04 at 05:03 PM [permalink]

Um...Commisioner Pagliague? Sir? *your* product involves huge men bashing the stuffing out of each other, while constantly cursing and acting immature. AND you asked MTV to produce your half-time show.

Sir, please...

posted by: Tommy G on 02.02.04 at 05:03 PM [permalink]

Interesting to me (and proves many old saws) that Beyonce was by far the sexier of the two female performers. And it wasn't just because of her being younger.

posted by: Chrees on 02.02.04 at 05:03 PM [permalink]

I propose that they do without the halftime show altogether, and replace it with a lot of good ads.

posted by: Ella on 02.02.04 at 05:03 PM [permalink]

How about just picking up the lingerie bowl? Apparently scantilly clad isnt the issue, after all nobody seems concerned that Jackson's dancers looked like they escaped from some of East German S&M orgy. Riding crops and plenty of leather. But a nipple?! Now thats just obscene. Cant we go back to good old fashion women running around in bras and panties instead of all this perversion ie. nipples.

posted by: Mark Buehner on 02.02.04 at 05:03 PM [permalink]

I think all the objections would have been avoided had it been Jessica Simpson's boob that was exposed.

That I'd like to see. Janet's boob, not so much.

Plus, Simpson wasn't dressed like a Klingon.

posted by: Jon H on 02.02.04 at 05:03 PM [permalink]

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