You know the Super Bowl was bad when Bruno Mars steals the night

Whenever I discuss sports — which is surprisingly seldom considering I’m a giant sports fan — I always worry that I am polarizing half of my readers. Which means about three of the six people who actually read this. But that’s because not everyone follows sports closely.

Super Bowl XLVIIIBut I needn’t worry about that with the Super Bowl. Because everybody watches it. Everybody.

People like to emphasize the large-scale significance of the Super Bowl by saying something like, “Even girls watch it.” I refuse to do that, though.

Call me a progressive thinker if you will, but it never surprises me when I meet a girl and find out that she’s a big sports fan. I know too many girls who follow sports to feel comfortable stereotyping them all as non-sports fans. So, by saying that “even girls watch the Super Bowl,” I don’t think you’re doing the big game justice.

Here’s how I choose to describe it instead: the Super Bowl has become such a giant spectacle that even guys who don’t watch sports watch it. Because there are three type of male sports fans in this world  — guys who watch religiously, guys who watch casually, and guy who just flat-out do not give a shit about anything sports related. But that all changes come the Super Bowl, and that’s how you know it’s such a big event.

I heard some guys talking about the Super Bowl today who — until that moment — I had no idea could even distinguish the difference between a football and hockey puck.

And that’s what makes it a nice event. The Super Bowl unifies guy sports fans, girls, and the guys who couldn’t point out Peyton Manning if he stood in a lineup of beet farmers.

Unfortunately, however, all of those people who tuned into Super Bowl XLVIII to watch the Denver Broncos battle the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium in New York New Jersey were exposed to quite an unremarkable game.

It started out like this … and the Denver Broncos never recovered.

Fortunately the Super Bowl has a little something for everyone, regardless of the game’s outcome.

Aside from the unwritten social codes that allow us to pig out as much as humanly possible, we’re also entertained by dozens of commercials that all try to one-up one another, a kitty bowl and a puppy bowl, and a halftime show that has come to be the most anticipated musical performance since Woodstock ’69. I’d link to it, but whatever video I post will shortly be removed for copyright infringement, so look it up yourself if you made the mistake of running out to get food during halftime.

24 hours later, I’ve heard some criticism of the Super Bowl commercials, but honestly, although I wasn’t overly impressed by one commercial, I wasn’t overly disappointed by any, either. The only thing worse than a bad Super Bowl is a bad Super Kitten BowlBowl commercial, and there was none of that. Instead, we were exposed to a palate of mostly safe, wholesome ads highlighted by a veteran’s homecoming and a puppy-horse friendship, as well as some humorous cameos by familiar ’90s television characters and Stephen Colbert.

But the talk of the night, by far, revolved around Bruno Mars.

There was a whole lot of hubbub surrounding last September’s selection of Bruno Mars to perform the halftime show, and I never understood why. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen him perform many times during national awards shows, but the guy is an entertainer through and through, who can also sing.

His style evokes a nostalgic blend of James Brown and a younger Michael Jackson, and his vocals mix contemporary R&B with a classic rock sound akin to bands like The Police. You can never go wrong with airing messages from troops overseas, and the addition of the Red Hot Chili Peppers was enough to allow the most self-conscious of music fans to admit they enjoyed the performance without fearfully approving of Bruno Mars.

Bruno Mars Super BowlThe stadium pyrotechnics were pretty “dope” too, and after 2012 and 2013 performances by Madonna and Beyoncé, respectively, it was nice to see a male hold down the fort.

That being said, even Bruno Mars would probably agree that if he was the best thing that happened on the night, it means the Super Bowl sucked. But you have to give credit where credit is due, and the Seahawks could not have performed better in every facet of the game than they did on Sunday, and Peyton Manning is going to hear about this for a long, long time.

And as usual, there were some stories that emerged after the game ended, like an embarrassing security breach that resulted in a 9/11 Truther disclosing his radical political views during Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith’s post game press conference, and a commercial that aired in Georgia featuring a local attorney that probably would have been the most talked-about advertisement had it played nationally.

All in all, even an uneventful Super Bowl makes for an eventful evening, and now, die-hard sports fans can gear up for baseball season, girls can return to their regularly scheduled programming of Real Housewives and New Girl, and indifferent male sports fans go back to … whatever it is you guys do.

Seriously … what the hell is life like without sports?

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