A different Super Bowl look


Wow. The Rolling Stones have certainly gotten old.

If there was one thing that stood out to me at this year’s Super Bowl, it was that I can no longer get satisfaction from Mick Jagger and company. Keith Richards continues to look like the “Before” picture for a pharmaceutical ad and, though it pains me to say this, the loose skin under Jagger’s arm ebbed and flowed like a lava lamp. I quickly came to the conclusion that Janet Jackson’s performance a few years ago was actually easier to stomach than Jagger wearing a half shirt and gyrating with his famous chicken dance, while some of his lyrics were bleeped out by ABC. It was tough to watch.

But watch I did. Saddled by a particularly nasty sinus infection over the weekend, I was confined to my living room couch, soiled tissue in one hand and a cocktail of medications gripped in the other. It had to be quite a picture — a bald guy with two recent knee surgeries camped out on a sofa all day with red eyes and a runny nose, constantly turning up the volume because his ears wouldn’t pop. Yes, indeed, I am a chick magnet.

But I digress.

Perhaps the most mystifying aspect of the halftime performance was, well, the halftime performance. The Rolling Stones? In Detroit? Wouldn’t Aretha Franklin or The Temptations have made more sense for Motown? Shoot, wouldn’t Kid Rock or Eminem have better personified the rich musical traditions of the city? Or, dare I say, did the NFL choose to accentuate the old, grimy and decrepit state of the city by choosing the Rolling Stones?

Detroit took a bit of a beating throughout the week. In what was supposed to be a tribute to favorite son and Pittsburgh Steeler running back Jerome Bettis, Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick gave Bettis a key to the city. Nice gesture, right? Well, it was until it came up that the city gave a similar key to one Saddam Hussein in 1980 because of his donations to a local church.

You know, sometimes I don’t even have to try too hard on this stuff.

Do we have this much to look forward to in next year’s game in Miami? Will the halftime show neglect the obvious choice of Miami favorite Gloria Estefan and bring in The Who instead? Think about it — there have been two Super Bowls since the Janet Jackson fiasco and they’ve featured Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones.

If you’re real quiet, you can hear countless remotes across the country click at once.

Well, Super Bowl XLI will be telecast on CBS, meaning Al Michaels and John Madden will not be announcing the game. Michaels has long enjoyed a reputation as one of the best in the business, but I’m afraid his reign is soon over. During Sunday’s game, Michaels spent more time serving as an echo for everything Madden offered. Example:

“Faneca put down a great block on that long run,” said Madden.

“Yes, Faneca did put down a good block,” offered Michaels.

I half-expected to see Michaels perched on Madden’s shoulder like a pirate’s parrot the next time the camera focused on the booth.

Do I sound bitter about this game? Well, let me let you in on a little secret. Lean in, I’ll whisper it to you.

I lost a bet on the game. No, wait, I lost the bet of bets on this game.

See, I didn’t even belong in this wager. As a Baltimore Ravens fan, it is nearly biologically impossible for me to like the Steelers. As for the Seattle Seahawks, well, they never really registered any emotion for me at all — kind of like Wyoming, I don’t deny it exists, I just don’t care.

But I managed to get caught up in the yakking in our office one day between John Denny and Shaun Lambert. Denny, an avid Redskins fan, still holds a grudge about the Seahawks beating his team in the playoffs. Lambert, a native Alaskan, has been a Seahawks fan as long as he can remember because they are the closest team to Alaska.

Well, long story short, I took Shaun’s side, the talking escalated and I found myself having lunch with Shaun and John on Tuesday. Oh, yeah. Shaun and I were wearing our undergarments outside our pants — and we paid for John’s lunch.

Yup. Final score: Testosterone 863, Common Sense 0.

So, once again I found myself engaged in the tribal ritualisms of manhood centering on competitive sports, and once again I found myself looking more ridiculous than Mick Jagger dancing around like a purse snatcher hit by a Taser gun. You’d think I’d learn my lesson.

Who else is ready for Miami?