49th Parallel

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Preview More Super Than Bowl

Michael Mooradian Lupro
Portland State University (USA)

Many Super-viewers (non-football fans who watch the Super Bowl only because the next wave of McCarthy-ism might adopt a little more liberal interpretation of un-american activities) mistakenly feel that the pre-game show is non-essential Super-Sunday viewing. This year, more than ever, proves them wrong.

The Super Bowl not only determines the annual champion of American Football, it showcases the best in American advertising as well. Therefore, Super Bowl Party preparations must adjust for the fact that the business generally taken care of during commercial breaks, such as visits to the restroom and the refilling of snacks and beverages, will entail either missing a portion of the televised proceedings or the creation of innovative solutions. Of the many strategies developed to handle this contingency, I must recommend universal adoption of the placement of extra televisions in the restroom and at the snack table so that at no time shall the Super-fan be required to miss a single blip of FOX’s Super Sunday Coverage.

Speaking of the snack table, the attentive Super-host or Super-hostess will provide their guests with greedy American size portions of all the snack products advertised during the collegiate championships earlier in the month, especially those produced by corporations that actually sponsored one of the College Bowl games.

Beyond the standard stories detailing the minutia of the two teams’ community service and football prowess, this year’s pre-game Super-coverage was made extra titilating by repeated references to the potential "distraction" caused by the previous night’s arrest of Atlanta Falcon Eugene Robinson for solicitation of prostitution. By far the most significant feature of the pre-game show, however, was KISS performing "Rock and Roll All Night" in the end zone with 100 KISS costumed cheerleaders. KISS and their cheerleaders were more than a rocking multi-media extravaganza, they were a marketing ploy, an homage, and an intertextual reference to the Anarchy cheerleaders of Nirvana’s "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video, the first song to unite jocks and punks on a mass level. The NFL, ever searching for new markets, was very clever to try to edify the previously weak connection between modern hard-rockers and modern hard-hitters for as the alternative becomes the mainstream, the violent energy once released in mosh pits needs somewhere to go.

After snacking and drinking, the most significant Super pre-game activity is gambling, not on the game itself but on game related trivial pursuits. This years hottest betting action concerned what Cher would wear while singing the national anthem. Though most smart money was on a leather and lace unitard, "the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air" were reflected in a relatively modest silver sequined top tucked into understated faded jeans.

The Super Bowl is less about football than football is about imperialistic territorialism. The Super Bowl is watched by more people in the world than any other single broadcast. Those who watch it in an attempt to understand American culture would be better off focussing their attention on the pre-game coverage rather than the game itself for it is not our territorial advances the world must be wary of but our Super-culture industry.