Super Bowl

The Kings and I
March 17, 2010

Like a lot of writers, I have a Facebook page where I post articles that I’ve published. Over the past year or two, I’ve accumulated a few hundred followers--that is, Facebook friends--and, based upon the comments they leave, they tend to see the world the same way that I do. They’re left of center, by and large, and they believe fervently in health care reform. If they have something negative to say, it’s typically that President Obama and his allies in Congress aren’t being ambitious enough.

The Who on ‘The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour’
February 12, 2010

 Of all the complaints hurled since Super Bowl Sunday at Pete Townshend and Roger Daltry for calling themselves The Who, doing a scary-uncle karaoke act to the music of their youth, and walking away with a hefty contribution to their overdue retirements, the one that baffles me most is the charge that they didn't belong there, that they are too old and irrelevant to deserve the most coveted slot on the most popular entertainment show in America.

I Pledge Allegiance to the What?
February 09, 2010

If you watched the Super Bowl on Sunday, you may have noticed a welcome interruption to the endless string of Bud Light and Doritos ads. Wedged between these paeans to beer and chips was a seemingly harmless commercial featuring cute elementary schoolers with their hands on the chests, pledging allegiance. But the ad soon turned a little darker: Instead of reciting the words that were drilled into all young children’s minds, they pledged their allegiance to the national debt and to China.

An Encore for New Orleans?
February 09, 2010

 The Saints’ victory celebration continues today as Coach Sean Payton, Drew Brees, and his teammates get feted at the Saints Super Bowl parade in New Orleans. The Saints’ remarkable win Sunday has literally served as New Orleanians’ proud cry to the nation: We are back! But, did you know that last Saturday they also elected a new mayor? Lost in all of the euphoria is another pivotal moment for the city.

Super Bowl Commercial Blogging
February 07, 2010

Just saw an ad where these astronomers notice an asteroid that's going to destroy the earth, so they pull out some packs of Bud Light and start having a wild party. I get the idea of a bacchanalia when your demise seems imminent. But if you were going to do that, and you were going to drink a cheap beer, wouldn't you go with a regular beer at that point? It doesn't seem like the time to worry about calories. Update: Wow, now two straight ads thematically centered around men who wear only underparts.

Advertorial Malfunction
February 01, 2010

God, I miss the good old days of the Super Bowl, when the hottest controversy was the post-game hand-wringing over how to spank CBS for subjecting America to Janet Jackson’s right boob. This year, the game-related hullabaloo centers not on the halftime spectacle but on the ads—specifically, a pro-life spot featuring the curious case of 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow. As the story goes, Pam and Bob Tebow were serving as Baptist missionaries in the Philippines when Pam was pregnant with Tim, their fifth child.

Get Your Super Bowl Week Health Care Metaphors Here
February 01, 2010

Where's health care reform? "Inside the five yard line," says Robert Gibbs. On the two yard-line, says President Obama. If the administration isn't sure what this tells them about how to proceed, I suggest they read this paper by the husband of the head of their Council of Economic Advisors.

Tim Tebow’s Only Super Bowl Appearance?
January 19, 2010

We are witnessing a major escalation of right-to-life opinion-mongering--and backlash against it--in the sporting world, thanks to an ad starring football idol Tim Tebow for James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. It will air during the Super Bowl. According to an AP sports article: The former Florida quarterback and his mother will appear in a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl next month.

Small Ball
January 19, 2010

In early December, the White House announced four finalists for the president’s Securing Americans Value and Efficiency (SAVE) Award--a competition that plumbed the depths of the federal bureaucracy for ideas on how the government could save money. One finalist proposed streamlining the way the Forest Service forwards campground fees to the government. Another suggested that the Social Security Administration allow people to book appointments online rather than only by phone.

The Disaster Pool
January 19, 2010

Anderson Cooper was one of the first reporters to arrive in Haiti after last week’s massive earthquake. According to a Los Angeles Times account, the CNN personality raced to the airport upon hearing the news and caught the last flight out of New York. Unfortunately, the flight he caught deposited him in the Dominican Republic, not Haiti. That forced him to catch a lift the following morning on a government helicopter, which nearly collided with a plane in the congested skies above Port-au-Prince. As it happens, though, Cooper’s epic journey to Haiti was fairly typical among journalists.