Monday, February 07, 2011

Pigskin and politics

Anyone watching last night's Super Bowl got a healthy dose of more than just football and commercials. We think last night seemed to be a lot more about politics and patriotism than usual.

Of course, political luminaries like former President George W. Bush and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were in attendance, while President Obama feted a cast of about one hundred at a White House Super Bowl party.

But it's interesting that everything started off with what is becoming a tradition on Super Bowl Sunday – the reading of the Declaration of Independence by football greats. This year's reading included a dramatic introduction by not just the NFL Commissioner, but also retired General and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

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Then came the National Anthem, sung by pop mega star Christina Aguilera. While commonplace before any sporting event, this year's National Anthem rendition drew more attention than usual because Aguilera messed up the lyrics:

And in the half-time show, where the Black Eyed Peas coached President Obama on economic stimulus:

Then, there is Eminem's much-discussed ad for Chrysler. This was more than just your run of the mill 'Made in America' ad. It was a full-on dose of patriotism and a sense that the success of our nation's economy and urban revitalization are tied together by a car that's 'Imported from Detroit' (a city that has gotten its fair share of negative press coverage for being a shell of its former self with crumbling buildings and a decimated economy):

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There were even controversies about the company Groupon exploiting references to political issues in Tibet and Brazilian rain forests to market good deals on food and bikini waxing:

With all of the political messages it was sometimes hard to remember that there was actually a football game going on. We wonder if it was a deliberate attempt by advertisers to capitalize on political fervor to capture the mood of the country in an effort to sell products, or if it was an attempt by the NFL to reposition football as the new official American pastime (displacing baseball), or both.

What do you think about all of this? Do you think it was more political than usual, or is it just standard fare?


  1. It really played like a comedy allowing all the world to laugh at America. Christina who can't sing the national anthem on key as it was written ...forgot the words...UGLY. And then she sings it like gospel....what is this USA world coming to. Do you think the countries of Russia, China, Iran, etc. would allow their national anthems to be disgraced like this? NO. Time to stop subsidizing these jerks by buying their products. This is one way to "take out the trash"....STOP buying their stuff! Shame on the NFL as well.........

  2. Wow. Donovan McNabb didn't throw up.


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