I love that woman. Not in a creepy Brent Musberger/Katherine Webb sort of way. In a marveling, how-could-anyone-possibly-be-this-classy sort of way.
First of all, I never had a problem with the so-called lip-syncing scandal on Inauguration Day. If it had been an absolute, total lip-syncing incident, Beyonce pulled it off so well, who the hell cares. I believe it was CNN’s Anderson Cooper who, echoing these sentiments, mentioned that had he been alive, Francis Scott Key, himself, would have sent her a dozen roses for that incredible rendition.
But in fact- she did sing along with her pre-recorded track- because she’s a perfectionist and between the cold weather and the fact she didn’t get to rehearse with the U.S. Marine band, it was just the prudent thing for a perfectionist to do. We know this without a doubt now because she told us so at her Super Bowl press conference today.
If you missed it, it was an unmitigated master stroke.
Beyonce came for out for the news conference, asked everyone to stand for a moment and then belted out an a cappella version of the National Anthem that left everyone in attendance both stunned and then cheering wildly. Then when she wrapped up the performance, she looked at the roomful of reporters and asked, “Any questions?”
Uh, no, mam.
She confirmed she will not be lip-syncing for the 12-minute Super Bowl performance coming up on Sunday and admitted she’s a little nervous.
She has nothing to worry about.
I have just awakened from my shrimp, buffalo-wing, pizza and guacamole food-coma and it all seems like a blur. Is it true we just fed twenty people? No. We fed six and now have enough leftovers to last until next Super Bowl.
She’s 52, o.k.? She needs a little help with her cart-wheels and doesn’t move around like she used to. She doesn’t even pretend she’s not lip-syncing but overall, I liked the halftime show. “Honey, honey,” I said to my girlfriend, “remember thigh-high stiletto boots and pom-poms.” Breaking News: Some singing sensation named MIA flipped off the camera. That building with the lights on past midnight here in the nation’s capital is the headquarters of the Federal Communications Commission.
Bull Dogs in Sneakers, Fiat, Big Daddy, Clint Eastwood and Mike Bloomberg
I liked the bull dog in sneakers beating out the greyhounds. I also have a new appreciation for Fiat automobiles and the Italian language, in particular. I am officially ashamed that I got my domain name from Big Daddy.com. And as for Clint Eastwood and “halftime in America,” I will never say anything the least bit negative about Chrysler or Detroit ever again. I also have no issues with the Mayors of Boston and New York making an appeal for gun control- but what am I going to use from now on to shoot my TV with?
Wait- I’ve Seen These All Somewhere Before
It’s actually passé now to write about Super Bowl commercials because they’ve all been shown over the past week on You Tube. But there’s solace in the fact it’s once again o.k. to get up and go to the bathroom during the commercials.
Still, every year, the ads get continuously interrupted by men in colorful uniforms chasing an oblong leather ball. I understand a baby-faced gentleman named Eli Manning became one of the greatest comeback quarterbacks in NFL history and more accomplished than his brother Peyton. Giants coach, Tom Coughlan, is now just as good as Bill Parcells. And at 9-7 this season, the New York Giants have somehow managed to become a dynasty winning two of the last four of these things.
All good. Can we all agree to stop using Roman numerals to identify these Super Bowls, though? I get the analogy already. But the Roman empire is gone now, dead and buried under the weight of its own excesses with coliseums, armored gladiators, sex and decadence. We’re better than that.
Retired NFL quarterback, Kurt Warner, an active, devout and prominent Christian, recently advised Bronco quarterback sensation Tim Tebow to cool it with the religious rhetoric he uses quite publicly. I think this is a dangerous piece of advice that threatens Denver’s football season.
Why would you want to anger God when he has clearly climbed aboard your bandwagon and is actively rooting for you to get to the Super Bowl? Oh, there are lots of athletes who, after scoring a touchdown or making an interception, point their fingers toward the sky and thank God. But unless they play for the Denver Broncos, they are all sadly mistaken. Their particular great play was just coincidence.
As everyone knows, God became a fan of the Denver Broncos earlier in the season- in fact, six weeks ago. I have the press release:
Having watched the young man when he played at the University of Florida, God noticed that Tim Tebow wore eye black referencing a passage from the Gospel of John from the New Testament. While God has never been fond of humans wearing religion on their sleeve, he is actually intrigued with the notion of wearing religion as eye black. Heaven is thusly, herewith announcing that the professional football team called the Denver Broncos, which has chosen Mr. Tebow to lead their offense, is God’s favorite football team for the 2011 season.
Kurt Warner argues that religion and faith in God is something you practice in daily life and that public pronouncements about it in connection with success on the football field alienates some fans and is something better kept in private. Please. When God officially endorses your team, I say you flaunt it.
If you were a political candidate and God came out in favor of you, would you not buy full-page ads in even godless publications like the New York Times? Of course you would.
It was Abraham Lincoln who once uttered the famous phrase: “I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.” A fine piece of electoral humor, but seriously misguided. When you pass only 20 times a game and your completion percentage is less than 50%, clearly, God is all that is necessary to go 5-1 in your first six starts.
And if any further proof was necessary, have you checked out the Indianapolis Colts this year? They are 0-11. On their helmets, a horse shoe. That’s right- an advertisement for hooves. I think we know who’s rooting for those guys.
I guess these are three main news stories we’re all talking about this week but try as I might, there’s just no way to connect them all.
I saw the first commentary today stating that Barack Obama will be remembered as the American President who lost Egypt. I never knew we owned them. And if so, he’s had plenty of help from his predecessors. U.S. foreign policy has always been only partly about the protection of human rights and democracy. There’s that pesky thing known as “national security considerations.” Hosni Mubarak is not the first “strongman” we’ve backed in the name of stability.
And while democracy is always a worthwhile goal, the world is more complicated than that. Sometimes nations (or entities) elect leaders who go directly against our national security interests (see Palestine and Lebanon). But in the case of Egypt it does appear that there is a reasonable alternative to Mubarak in the form of pro-democracy activist and Nobel laureate, Mohamed ElBaradei. He told ABC News over the weekend that the U.S. imploring Mubarak to suddenly implement democratic reforms after three decades of dictatorship did not exactly win the U.S. any friends last week.
Nor have the tear-gas canisters marked “Made in the USA.” Who knew the only thing not made in China these days were tear-gas canisters?
I am apparently the only resident of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area last week that did not a) lose power or b) get stuck in a traffic jam. But that’s only because I live a block from the Verizon Center and I think I’m on their electrical grid. And I don’t own a car, which makes me happy each and every day.
I kept track of the craziness though. I clearly remember the tweet some poor woman sent to the Washington Post around 11:35pm the night of the snow/ice storm as she sat helpless on the GW Parkway: “Help. Pregnant and STARVING.”
I have numerous friends who just got their power back this past weekend, leading me to wonder if PEPCO might also be the main power company in Iraq because the parallels are eerie. Except here there’s no active combat and no one’s bombed our infrastructure.
Parking passes for the NFL title game in Dallas this weekend are selling on E-bay for $1,000. They’re contemplating putting in 15,000 new seats to an already new stadium so the NFL can stuff as many humans as possible into the venue. In some of those additional seats, you can’t see the giant scoreboard which is quite an accomplishment since that scoreboard is described as being half the size of North America. From the other extra seats you can see the scoreboard but can’t see the field.
And there’s reportedly a stripper shortage in Dallas right now—the city is short of the preferred 5-1 visitor-to-stripper ratio. Super Bowl veterans point out that the out-of-state strippers don’t usually get into town until Thursday when the rest of the bigwigs arrive so there shouldn’t be any cause for concern.
Grateful for the distraction of football after a tough, intense and sad week in America, apparently I was not alone. Initial ratings estimates find 42 million of us tuned in to watch the Jets’ shocking upset of the New England Patriots Sunday afternoon.
As one commentator noted on a local sports show, Jets coach, Rex Ryan has easily supplanted New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg as the King of Gotham. It’s one thing to be profane and full of bluster and another to back it up on the gridiron. And especially after the Pats had demolished the Jets 45-3 in their last meeting at Foxboro stadium.
That’s why the play the games.
Now the Jets come calling on the Steelers in Pittsburgh this weekend and I’m sure the ratings will be astronomical again. This will be a battle of brutal defenses. What the Jets did to Payton Manning and Tom Brady on the road in successive weeks is insanely impressive. I have no doubt they’ll be equally impressive against Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. But then again, the Jets are going up against an equally impressive Steelers defense. Will anybody score? That said, it’ll probably end up 41 to 38.
Meantime, over in the NFC, the Packers and Aaron Rodgers meet up with the Bears in Chicago. Coming off a career performance in which Rodgers sliced and diced the Falcons in Atlanta, it’ll be a hard performance to match. I’m betting he’ll get the job done.
Though the Steelers are on a roll too, it just seems the Jets and Packers have it all together just at the right time. I’m going for a Packers-Jets Super Bowl in Dallas and I confidently predict the ratings will approach a gazillion- give or take a billion or two.
NFL- thanks much for the distraction.