Wednesday, February 10, 2016
An L-shaped reflection
by Bobby Chang
Team loyalty? As was the case with a certain motor racing superstar, the Carolina Panthers came "before my time". I was a college student by the time the team was announced and later the team had played its first game. In my youth, the television primarily aired Washington Redskins games, as the Redskins were the team our region received weekly. The most popular station in our city aired Redskins games on most weeks, not Falcons games, so we had many Redskins games on television. (That motorsport superstar of today is mostly burgundy with his social media discussion, but he was a month from turning 21 when the first Panthers game was played.)
Bad halftime shows. When CBS and the NFL made the decision 25 years ago that XXVI would be Minnesota-themed with a winter carnival, complete with figure skating legends Hamill and Boitano performing to cross-promote the upcoming Winter Games in France, it led to a ratings fiasco when viewers jumped to the adult raunchy late night comedy sketch show airing in prime time as counterprogramming. The NFL changed the game for halftime, and it's been worse. For reference, I found the last five Super Bowl halftime shows before the NFL made the change as a result of the ratings fiasco when the adult sketch show drew enough viewers to concern the NFL:
XXI (Pasadena): A salute to Hollywood's 100th anniversary. Hollywood legends involved
XXII (San Diego): Radio City Music Hall performance, with Chubby Checker and the Rockettes.
XXIII (Miami Gardens): Elvis impersonators and card tricks.
XXIV (New Orleans): A celebration of New Orleans and the Peanuts. Last halftime with marching bands.
XXVI (Minneapolis): A celebration of winter featuring figure skating by Boitano and Hamill, and G. Estefan performing.
Note that I omitted XXV, since that show was not broadcast as a result of Gulf War coverage. (It was Disney's Small World with a popular teen pop group. 25 years later, the kids performing probably will still be angry that their moment in time was broadcast late at night.)
With catcalls from many regarding the artists performing at the Super Bowl halftime, which has become nothing more than a rock concert by the pop star of the time (look at the recent lists of left-wing elite pop divas), is it time the Super Bowl halftime show return to its roots as a family-friendly show with marching bands and localised themes? Think of Houston with a celebration of the Rodeo, or New Orleans with a show celebrating the city's comeback from Katrina, or had it happened in East Rutherford a few years ago, a celebration of Broadway including the music of the Rat Pack and the Metropolitan Opera (that was the year La Belle Renée did the national anthem, remember?). If the NFL would go back to basics, maybe halftime would be a greater celebration of the good with marching bands and themes that would be friendly for families. Imagine in 2004 if there was a tribute in Houston to the Johnson Space Center, on the one-year anniversary of the STS-107 tragedy, of America's travel to space, and a memorial to the Apollo 204 test, STS-51-L, and STS-107 at halftime. It would have been far better than the show that drew outrage.
As for the Electric Football game reference recently: Back in the day, the goalpost issue between the amateur and professional level led to the reason the term "post pattern" was used -- the idea was to put the opponent into the post. The goalposts were on the goal line as a result of the 1932 Championship Game indoors at the Madhouse on Madison. By the mid-1970's, the goalposts were moved back.
New logo, now? CBS Sports debuted a new logo for Super Bowl L, finally retiring the logo that had been used by the network since the early 1980's and had been part of the network's branding.
And cross promotions? For the Friday "go home" episode of The Price Is Right leading to Super Bowl L, CBS pulled off the theme, complete with "Posthumus Zone" (the network's NFL theme) playing during the opening to the show and into commercial breaks, prize themes with the game, NFL legends modeling (including a car modeling skit where the ex=players were waxing the car), and Super Bowl tickets. This is triennial because it is done only in years where CBS has the Super Bowl.
Welcome to the media, Jeff. Fox will give Jeff Gordon his first primetime show on February 20 when he hosts his Daytona 500 eve party show that will air at 9 PM ET. That's something none of the other two Fox motorsport analysts (McReynolds, D. Waltrip) have done, though the latter has posted a publicity photo where he hosted Ralph Emery's television show, which is a byproduct of his friendships he built as a young club racer in the area when he appeared on Emery's radio show. (https://twitter.com/AllWaltrip/status/692842149692313600)
So what's Marc thinking? The leader at a PCA church who is a baritone for choral pieces I've had the opportunity to sing in the past is bringing a 90's female supergroup to perform at his church. Back in the pre-LaRoche Era Bobby, I'd attend their concerts when they came up. But, of course, the LaRoche Era was a new era in how I thought of music, and I am thankful for the LaRoche era.
A good omen for the Socialists? The two Socialist candidates for President have both attacked Wall Street. The markets are likely headed for the shredder as the AFL beats the NFL, which is how the Super Bowl Index works.