I don’t know about the rest of you, but it seems Super Bowl 50 was a bust, and I’m not even referring to the play of the Carolina Panthers in this case, though that certainly didn’t help much as far as viewability is concerned. It just seemed, well, flat all around.
Certainly the sluggish, ugly, sloppy offensive play on both sides of the ball made the game almost unwatchable and was what I consider a true reflection of the state of the league in general.
Cam Newton, a man who should never be a role model in spite of the headlines he has generated with his on the field antics all season long, went the distance in proving his mettle as an individual following the game with his behavior.
Truly no one should be shocked by this because his MO has always been to sport the glowing smile when winning and show an even uglier side when things don’t go his way, but I suppose when you win the way the Panthers have all season there was no real opportunity for the true colors to show.
The commercials for the game, which have become one of the big sells in driving viewer ratings, were ruined this year in a sports related type of marketing campaign similar to the trend in holiday shopping here in the United States.
Each year retailers are rushing to see who can open the doors first for the big Black Friday sales, and in a move which I think could only be related to this, many of the commercials were released ahead of time, making tuning in unnecessary if that’s what kept bringing you back.
And even the tone of the ads had changed, and I’m not saying they didn’t belong, because the messages were certainly important, but issues were addressed that seem to plague society.
For example, one bringing a focus on criminal domestic violence was especially poignant, but I have to ask if anyone else might have seen the irony of its presence during the biggest game of the year for the league. It was clever and made a solid point, but wouldn’t the video involving Ray Rice have been more effective?
It appears the landscape of the ads have changed and like letting the genie out of the bottle, it’s almost impossible to put it back. And whether they were a part of the national ad campaigns or shown only on the regional broadcast schedule for ads, I saw far too many sponsored by PACs (Political Action Committees) whose sole purpose was to denigrate the reputation of particular presidential hopefuls.
Do these things really work? Don’t you really want to know who paid for them and what their agenda is? When was the last time you bought anything when all the ad had to tell you was how bad the competition was? And do they really need to run during this event?
Halftime for this most historic of games was/has become controversial as Beyonce’s performance was designed around recognition of The Black Panthers, the Black Lives Matter movement, and even, in some way, related to Malcolm X.
So how do you address this, as a white writer, without being castigated as a racist? Like this I suppose: I am not a racist, but I have to say I don’t think the Super Bowl halftime show is the place to either launch nor push an agenda no matter what it is — but that’s just me.
I just happen to prefer my sports entertainment to be just that, entertainment, and don’t like being considered just another opportunity for someone to push their agenda on me. I turned it off until the second half began.
I though the lackluster welcome given to the Super Bowl MVP’s of the past somewhat sad. Yes, it is just a game, but these are the men who made much of what happened, or didn’t happen, in the game possible.
It seemed the legacies some players have left behind have been lost and replaced by the grabbing of headlines and a need to run to the middle of the field almost every play to shout “hey, look at me” when, honestly, all the players in question may have done was what they get paid to do. If all you did was catch a 20-yard pass, remember, you did your job, you didn’t cure cancer.
It just seems the league has gone downhill and is satisfied in selling jerseys to continue to boost revenue, with attention seeking players who are beginning to lose the concept of team in lieu of themselves, and an idea if enough public service announcements are run the public will ignore the NFL’s lack of action against problem players. It is a sad day if this is true.
In the end, the entire product, from the quality of play through the quality of its presentation, was a disappointment. But then again, it is only a game and I may be making too much of it.
D. C. Moody is a staff writer for The Easley Progress, The Pickens Sentinel and Powdersville Post and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.