The Monday Morning Quarterback

Feb 08

SuperBowlFootballSuper Bowl Sunday: I can’t believe I watched the whole thing — yet  missed so much . . .

Yes, folks, I was plunked in front of a flat screen TV for 4 hours, but I only found out what really happened in the game by tuning in to the media on Monday.

Even before the kickoff, I was lost.

As soon as Christina Aguilera started to sing, I started to whine about her singing style (melisma), and I was so busy complaining tthat I never realized she was mangling the actual words to our not-all-that–beloved national anthem.

It’s too hard to sing! Nobody can remember the words! The words glorify war! Ya gotta hand it to the girl, though: Christina  hit the notes, if not the lyrics. And God Bless America, she is no Roseanne Barr.

But what, you may ask, is melisma, and why was I so hung up on it when there was a football game to watch?

Melisma is stretching out one syllable into as-many-as-is-humanly-possible syllables. I liked it way back when Stevie Wonder did it, but it’s often used to cover up trite lyrics: remember I-I-I-I-I Will Always Love-Yuooh-Oooh Oooh Oooh, everybody? Besides, it’s been so worked to death at weddings, on American Idol, and even in Broadway plays that you’d have to pay me to go see Wicked. So much for the National Anthem.

But there was the Half Time Show coming AND Darth Vader . . .

Sorry to be a Grinch, but I  thought the show was over-produced. The good news is that since I  tuned out a lot of it, I didn’t focus on the terrible sound quality, which hurt our girl Fergie, the other Peas, Usher and Whoever. Countless commentators picked this up, but this Monday Morning Quarterback missed it.

DarthVaderCommercialI almost missed the best commercial in the show because I was about to sneak a bathroom break when the Darth Vader spot came on. Priceless! And it had better be, since the airtime cost $3 million. Money well spent, I say. It was simple, fun, had no fancy special effects, and best of all, I got it.

Can’t say that for many of them, where my reaction was a resounding “HUH?” or “Which car was that for?” I didn’t know that Eminem was a product, so to speak, of Detroit, so I didn’t get that one until later. But any commercial that begins, “This is not New York” kinda loses me anyway. And is it just me, or is the E-Trade baby we all love and adore getting . . . old? (It’s a different baby, of course. The other one is probably applying for college by now. Especially if he lives in New York.)

In general, the commercials didn’t score. Trying too hard. Too many special effects. A lot of violence. I didn’t like the woman getting knocked off the park bench. The wife shudda smacked the guy, if anybody. And I really would have liked to see her do something more clever than throwing a bottle at a potential rival. Mad Men, where are you when we need you?

The Pepsi spot about the first date was funny, but I didn’t get the deeper implications until some pundit on MSNBC, author of “What It’s Like To Be Single,” explained it all. Short answer: it’s not fun but Don’t Give Up Looking For Love.

And then there was the game itself. Oh, that.

Of course, I missed the finer points because what I know about football is about what Sarah Palin knows about foreign policy, and I can’t even see a stadium from my front window.

SuperBowlActionI did see The View last week, when Elizabeth’s husband What’s-His-Name explained the game to a group of similarly befuddled women. Joy mentioned “penetration in the end zone,” and that got my attention, but to be fair, I did actually learn something: what a Safety is. Although why it’s called a “Safety” when it results in two points for the other team continues to elude me.

I did my best to follow the game, really I did, it being Super Bowl XLV and all, and I learned useful things like what’s a 2-Point Conversion, and why some of those guys are called linebackers. They’re in back of the line. Duh.

But I apparently missed the biggest single factor in the game that secured the victory for Greenbay: the turnovers. While I was having a cupcake, they were having turnovers. Which means, for those of you as ill-informed as I, that The Steelers fumbled the ball and Green Bay recovered it —not once, not twice, but three times—and worse yet, each turnover led to a touchdown. Ouch!

cupcakeI have a confession to make: before the cupcake, I swilled a fair amount of Veuve Cliquot, and yes I know it shudda been Bud Lite but what the hell, and that may have impacted my understanding of this particular game.


I just don’t get football, as you may have guessed, and nothing, not even being injected with truth serum, would have helped. For starters, I’ll never understand how the hell a game where large men maul each other mercilessly can have a penalty called Unnecessary Roughness. And how, when they always seem to be piling on, there’s a rule against that, too. And what’s with the roman numerals?

Be that as it may, cupcake, being a Monday morning quarterback is turning out to be a lot of fun.

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