Super Bowl is starting to show its age

By Mike Murphy

Ah, yes, I remember the precise moment that it dawned on me that I had reached 50 years old and that, maybe, I was not quite the guy I used to be. I was reading a book when suddenly the words became blurry. I figured that there must have been an earthquake tremor and everything would come back into focus in a moment, but I was wrong.

Over time, I eventually gave in and bought some of those reading glasses. You know, the magnifying glasses that come in about a dozen styles for women but only one style for men, neo-nerd.

Since then, I have developed quite a collection of glasses. I never throw any of them away even though I break a pair about once a week. They really are not made very sturdy. I’ll be sitting in a restaurant wearing a pair and looking over the menu while the waitress patiently waits, when suddenly I sneeze resulting in a lens popping out and landing in my glass of ice-cold beer. Naturally, I play it cool and act like nothing happened. But now the menu words are blurred so I just tell the girl, “Whatever you think is good. And give me another beer.”

I’ve tried gluing the lens to the frame, but that always results in a big gooey blob obstructing my view. Now I’ve developed a pretty smooth system where I use my intact glasses when I go out in public and keep the ones with duct tape holding them together for home use only.

I thought about all this while watching the Super Bowl last Sunday. Instead of Super Bowl L, the game promoters opted to call this one Super Bowl 50. Personally when I was that age I would have preferred to tell people that I am “L years old” instead of 50. ‘L’ just sounds younger. Besides, most people are confused when Roman numerals get past III, so they most likely would have just nodded and responded, “Oh, that’s cool.”

The promoters said that they made the change this year because a single letter did not look good on the game’s logo. However, if I recall, they went with V and X for past Super Bowls, so, no, I suspect they were clearly dissing football fans’ intelligence and inadvertently adding to  the dumbing down of our culture.

Despite the sponsors’ efforts to build up interest with the usual barrage of pre-game advertising, the big game itself just does not seem to be that big anymore. The entire show this year felt a bit creaky in its middle age. Sure, when I was at the grocery store Sunday morning, there were the usual people filling up their carts with soda, beer, chips, etc. All the stuff that hardcore fans drink and nibble on between commercials.

But even the commercials are showing their age. During the Bowl’s teenage years, many of the commercials were funny. I guess it was a lot like when I was a young guy and laughed at every stupid thing my buddies said and did. Now that I have matured a bit and am more critical when it comes to humor, I have to say that this year’s commercials were flat-out dumb. I couldn’t even figure out what product they were peddling most of the time. I still have no idea what the singing sheep were selling.

As far as the game itself, very little of it was memorable. I do recall that the Denver defense had more sacks than Chris Christie when he goes grocery shopping. In fact, by the end of the game Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was calling the Broncos’ defensive ends “Paper” and “Plastic.”

Cam Newton was having such a bad game that I believe he was even sacked by Beyoncé at halftime.

Of course the big show was highlighted by lots of wildly entertaining dancing choke-full of gyrating, funky moves. I’m not talking about the halftime show, I’m talking about the football players after every tackle or one-yard run.

Speaking of the halftime show, if I was sitting in a stadium seat that cost me $4,000 watching a bunch of people dressed up like flowers, cavorting crazily on the field like they had overdosed on weed killer, and I had to plug my ears to avoid being forced to listen to music so loud that it caused my $7 bottle of water to boil, I would certainly be wishing that, instead, I was home taking a nice nap during a halftime break so long that Peyton Manning became eligible for Social Security by the start of the third quarter. 

Finally, as far as the quality of the halftime musical talent is concerned, all I can say is that it’s really a shame that The Rolling Stones performed back in 2006. They should have saved that halftime show for Super Bowl C, or 100 for all us football fans.

Mike Murphy of Pocatello is an award-winning columnist with accolades including an Associated Press first-place award in column writing and a first place award in a national writing contest sponsored by Nissan Corp. His articles are syndicated by Senior Wire.