Like everyone else on the planet (of America) I, too, watched the Super Bowl last night. The Super Bowl is the single greatest spectacle of sports entertainment in the world (of America). I wasn’t going to miss it.

Before I really get started, I think I should admit that while I’m a huge football fan, I hate the damn Super Bowl. Football is a beautiful sport that represents power, passion, athleticism, precision, and simplicity. The Super Bowl is a five-hour variety show that happens to take place during a football game.

That being said, let’s get going.

The National Anthem

Call me a traditionalist, but my favorite version of our Nation Anthem is the one played at the opening of every UL baseball game. It’s the solemn military version with a male chorus singing over a drum line. It’s simple, elegant, and respectful. I realize however that I must be in the minority here, because for every major event, we decide to trot out some über-narcissistic pop star who decides to take our national song and "make it his own."

Well, maybe her own. This year, we were treated to the genie in a bottle herself, Christina Aguilera.

I’ll admit it: I didn’t watch the whole thing. Out of respect for my country, I turned the channel and watched something else. It was only when I checked Twitter a few hours later that I found out Christina threw in a few…errr "creative rewrites."

I’ll be honest, I probably couldn’t stand up right now and sing the entire anthem. Then again I wasn’t asked to do it in front of the entire world (of America). Christina’s Star Spangled remix was a complete failure, and no amount of over-singing was going to dig her out of the whole she created for herself.

After Ms. Aguilera gave the terrorists one more reason to hate us, there was a whole lot more B.S. that I, once again, didn’t watch. And then about 45 minutes after the supposed start time, the kicker for the Packers interrupted a perfectly good concert/ceremony/fireworks display, and started a football game.

The Game

As I had watched both these teams play many times this year, the game went about as I had expected. This just in: Aaron Rodgers doesn’t suck. He’s Peyton Manning.

With a beard.

Although the 8 hours of pregame analysis would have you believe otherwise, Big Ben Rothlesbuguerbuer is not the best player on his team. Troy Polomoulouloulou and James Harrison are the real stars of the Steelers. You might even throw guys like UL alumnus Ike “Swaggin' U” Taylor, Ryan Clark, and James Farrior ahead of Rothlesburgujaier. But I’m getting way off subject.

Polomaloulou and Farrior didn’t have big impact games so the Steelers lost. A-Rodge made it rain, and the Packers are now champions of the world (of America). I was hoping that Taylor would make a few big plays and the commentators would throw UL a multi-million dollar bone, but it never happened. It was actually a pretty good game. Unfortunately it will forever be overshadowed by all the shenanigans that surrounded it.

The Commercials

For those who don’t really care about football, the Super Bowl commercials are the main attraction. The Super Bowl is truly the "Super Bowl" of the advertising world (of America) and all the big brands bring out their big guns.

Being an advertising major, I’ll admit that I’m a lot more critical than most when it comes to commercials. I think we can all admit however that this year’s crop of ads were relatively underwhelming. A lot of the big dogs in the advertising world were absent. I don’t remember any Nike, Coors Lite, Pepsi, or Geico ads.

Oh, and Budweiser. What happened to the Dalmatian and the Clydesdales?

What we were left with was a bunch of ads featuring animals and babies doing predictable things. Cute, but not groundbreaking. We didn't get any classics like Bud Light's memorable "Waaaaazzzzzuuuuuupppppp" ad that briefly took over the world, there was nothing controversial like Tim Tebow's abortion ad from last year, and there were no interesting surprises like the original GoDaddy.com ad. The commercials also failed to introduce any “next big thing” type of technology or product. I mean, Volkswagen had its Darth Vader remote start ad, but we’ve had remote start for like 5 years now. Not impressed.

If I had to pick a favorite, I’ll take the Coke ad with the two guys at the border. I don’t know why, but I liked it.

The Halftime Show

In fairness to the Black Eyed Peas I will say this, being a musician myself: I can relate to the helpless feeling of being on stage while the sound guy ruins the show. If you can’t hear yourself or your band mates it’s almost impossible to perform. That being said, even if there were no sound issues at all, it still would have been the Black Eyed Peas. It still would have been weird, and everyone 45 years old and above would still be confused.

For some reason, the Super Bowl halftime show follows a predictable cycle. Old classic bands will perform for about five years in a row. Then, some genius producer decides to shake things up a bit and invite a young pop act. The young pop act then does something ridiculous. Grandpa gets confused, grandma cries, and the NFL releases an apology swearing they will never let it happen again. Although we won't be seeing a pop act taking the stage at the Super Bowl for at least another 4 - 5 years, will we really be surprised when Miley Cyrus licks chocolate syrup off the Jonas Brothers during halftime show 2016?

Look, it’s not that hard to do a Super Bowl halftime show. Call up the band director at Southern University and have them come out and do what they do. They are spectacular. If you want to throw in a surprise twist, have it end with the SU band being joined by The Blind Boys of Alabama singing "America the Beautiful." It’s tasteful, simple, entertaining, and appreciated by all. I think it would be a huge step up from the colossal debacle we witnessed last night, but hey, what do I know? I’m just 22 year old undergrad with a keyboard.

Conclusion

The Super Bowl is more than just a football game. It’s a national holiday that celebrates everything America. A few years ago during the now-famous Olympics introduction ceremony, China put on one of the most amazing displays I’ve ever seen. They showed off the discipline and dedication that makes their country great. It was demonstration of precision and execution.

We couldn’t even get the words right to our own national anthem. Wouldn't you expect a little more from our country? After all, we are the greatest power in the world...

...of America.

Sam Stokes is senior in media Advertising. He was graduated from Carencro High in 2007. He plays guitar with T-Ray & Sam, and attends almost every Cajuns sporting event he can. To read more of his work click on his name at the top of this article.


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