The Monday Morning Quarterback

Feb 08

The Monday Morning Quarterback

I can’t believe I watched the whole thing! But apparently I missed most of what everybody’s talking about today.

It was Super Bowl Sunday and I  plunked down in front of a flat screen TV for 4 hours, but I only found out what really happened by listening to the media on Monday.

Even before the kickoff, I was lost. As soon as Christina Aguilera started to sing, I started to complain about the singing style called melisma, so I never realized that she mangled the words to our not-all-that–beloved national anthem. It’s hard to sing! Nobody can remember the words! The words glorify war! A much, much better song is America The Beautiful, don’t you think?

Ya gotta hand it to the girl, though: Ms. A hit the notes. 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 in a song into as-many-as-is-humanly-possible syllables. I liked it when Stevie Wonder did it, but it’s often used to cover up trite lyrics: I-I-I-I-I Will Always Love-Yuooh-Oooh Oooh Oooh, anyone? Besides, it’s so been worked to death on American Idol, weddings and Broadway plays that you’d have to pay me to go see Wicked. So much for the National Anthem.

At the half time show, I was too busy grousing about how over-produced it was to notice the sound quality was really bad, especially with Fergie, who I think is beyond gorgeous. Countless commentators picked this up, but this Monday Morning Quarterback missed it.

I 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?

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 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 MSBCN, 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.

I 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, it being Super Bowl XLV and all, and I learned about the 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 factor in 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!

I have a confession to make: before the cupcake, I swilled a fair amount of Veuve Cliquot, and yes I know it shudda been beer 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, being a Monday morning quarterback is turning out to be fun.

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