“O, she will sing the savageness out of a bear!” -Othello, William Shakespeare

If the NFL was A) really serious about its anti-domestic violence campaign, and B) interested in getting a little highbrow,  it would stage Othello at halftime. Then at the end when Othello strangles Desdemona they could bring out one of their sanctimonious spokespersons to say, “See? That’s what we’re talking about!”

But that would seriously cut into the time allotted for the most important Super bowl performer,  Katy Perry. I don’t think there was any savageness left in that mechanical tiger she was riding. I mean, there were guys in ninja suits pulling its paws along with poles. Did the song she was singing have something to do with animals? We couldn’t tell. Next she sang a song alongside people in shark suits – not sharkskin, but stuffed animal shark suits. Try as we might, nobody in the room, and there were a fair number of sober people, honest, could determine the subject matter of the shark song either. It definitely wasn’t Mack the Knife. We’re not sure what Lenny Kravitz was doing there besides playing the guitar, but those lyrics were pretty much indecipherable too. Finally there was a stirring ballad she sang while flying around the stadium on a little platform amid a great fusillade of fireworks. The national anthem is about bombs and rockets; was this song about them too? We weren’t sure.


If you had a similar halftime experience, we’re here to tell you the reason why: You’re old. And lucky for you, the Idler is here to do the work you were too feeble and/or tipsy to do. The simple explanation for all this confusion is that the NFL is aiming at a younger demographic. Younger than you anyway – your teenage kids and grandkids were probably singing along to all the Katy Perry songs. The first one is called Roar, and it’s about girl power. Then there’s one called Dark Horse and it seems to be about girl power too. Actually they’re all about either girl power or adolescent relationships. There’s one called Teenage Dream which is about the power teenage girls have over teenage boys which, if memory serves, is considerable. The song sung during the fireworks display is entitled Firework. See what they did there?  It seems to be about youthful self-actualization. And girl power. We probably missed some key parts of the halftime act but you can’t expect us to pass up our halftime opportunity to yield to bean-dip power either.

So the other important aspect to last Sunday’s extravaganza was the actual play on the field, right? Wrong. C’mon, people, work with me. It was the quarter, half and final scores which determine who won the pools. Some of the bigger pools have categories of winning numbers which operate on the reversal of the actual winning numbers. This is intended to increase the number of winners and spread the wealth around. Here in order are the first quarter, half and third quarter winning numbers: 0-0, 4-4, 4-4. That didn’t spread anything around, did it?

Finally, the big story emerging from the actual football game is that Seattle head coach Pete Carroll and his coaching staff were total boneheads there at the end when they called a pass play instead of a running play. This play resulted in an interception and sealed the victory for New England. If it had been successful, it would have sealed the victory for Seattle. Would everyone still say it was a bonehead play? Maybe. Have you ever listened to a post-game talk show? The Seattle head coach took full responsibility for the call, but the tragic consequences will likely plague him and the Seahawk ownership with remorse as they vacation in Hawaii and later sail the owner’s mega-yacht around Puget Sound. They won’t feel as bad as Desdemona, though.

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