Sunday, February 07, 2010

TV: The Shangrila Towers Super Bowl XLIV Telecast Awards

The Super Bowl is a strange time for the average NFL junkie. If, like most football fans, you follow a particular team, there's a pretty good chance you won't be rooting for anyone in particular during the game, since only two teams out of the 32 NFL franchises are playing (I've been a Dolphins fan since the heady days of Dan Marino, so I've never been invested in a Super Bowl game). On the plus side, that detachment has allowed me to catalog the highs, lows, and in-betweens of the Super Bowl telecast:

Jury Prize for "Aging Rockers Who Need to Retire" - The Who:

I love The Who ("Tommy" is one of the best rock albums ever made), but they really need to hang it up. It was bad enough that they were playing in this Super Bowl halftime show without legendary drummer Keith Moon and the late John Entwistle; add on to that the fact that Roger Daltrey's voice is only a shadow of what it once was and you have a performance geared more towards nostalgia than rock music bliss (for comparison, check out Zeppelin's amazing one-off show at the O2 in 2007).

"Awwww..." of the night - Drew Brees holding his baby boy after winning the Super Bowl:

Brees was passed up by the penny-pinching management of the Miami Dolphins (I'm not bitter...really!), and New Orleans welcomed him with open arms. The sight of Brees' kid, clad in black and gold Saints colors, along with the backstory of Katrina-struck New Orleans...a Hollywood scribe couldn't churn out a more poignant scene.

"Much Ado About Nothing" moment - Tim Tebow's Pro-Life Ad for Focus on the Family:

There was a lot of ink spilled in the sports media over an ad that is, at least on its face, completely innocuous. Sure, Focus on the Family is a conservative Christian organization, but you don't see the press pitching such a fit over Hollywood celebs doing ads supporting gay marriage. I expect that the floodgates will really open next year, where you'll see a raft of ads pushing one issue or the next.

"Sexy TV Commercials are Sexy" Award -

They've been running suggestive ads during the Super Bowl for several years now, and the latest one is pretty tame. The thing is, if "Go Daddy Girl" Danica Patrick becomes a bona fide NASCAR star, Go Daddy's stock is going to skyrocket. Imagine a Super Bowl ad featuring the winner of the Daytona 500 in the shower.

"Manipulative Reality TV Award" - "Undercover Boss":

Airing in the coveted post-Super Bowl slot, "Undercover Boss" is a reality TV show that takes the CEO of a major company (7-Eleven, Hooters, etc.) and puts them in a series of low-level jobs for a week. In these economic times, the pilot was almost guaranteed to get good ratings, but the whole affair smacked of condescension and faux populism. Every worker the CEO meets, at least in the pilot, is a hard-working saint who just wants to give the company 110%. We all know that's not how things are in real life, and it's pretty insulting that the producers have to cherry pick the company's best employees in order to dignify the average working stiff. "Dirty Jobs" does the whole concept a lot better.


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