by David Sisler

Well, the Pittsburgh Steelers weren’t in it, weren’t any where close, unless they had a tickets, so once again I watched the Super Bowl to see the commercials. In the meantime, the Patriots and the Panthers put on an excellent show. The advertisers did not.

Budweiser led the how-low-can-you-go night with a dog who bites a man in the crotch so that his master can swill some suds, horse flatulence, and the winner for most disgusting was a monkey who tries to seduce a beautiful woman.

What mind-altering drugs were the people taking who thought these ads up? A better question – what mind-altering drugs were the people taking who approved them for production and airing?

Budweiser tagged all of their spots with the declaration: “Fresh. Smooth. Natural.” The idea that bestiality is funny is not natural. Nor is bestiality natural, but then we’ve been convinced by constant haranguing that other deviant lifestyles are natural, so why not zoo sex? It’s only a matter of time.

The beer guys did their annual candidate for hypocritical ad of the game with Rick Fox and Tim McGraw, promoting designated drivers. If responsibility mattered, the rest of their commercials would not try to make drunken behavior look like the only way to have a good time.

“One out of five kids try a cigarette before they are thirteen. Help make sure your kid’s not the one. Because even one kid smoking is one too many. Talk to your kids about smoking. They’ll listen.”

Responsible? Yes.

But do I have to tell you who made it, or do you recognize it as corporate cover-your-derriere (or the price paid for being found guilty)?

Just so you’re sure – Phillip Morris USA.

The best commercial of the evening hit both Budweiser and Phillip Morris (and all of their kin) right between the CBS Eye. “Shards O Glass Freeze Pops” was offered by the American Legacy Foundation.

“At Shards O Glass Freeze Pops we want you to know where we stand on important Glass Freeze Pop issues. We now agree, there’s no such thing as a safe Glass Freeze Pop. The only proven way to reduce health risks from our Glass Pops is to not eat them. To learn more, visit our website. And remember, Shards O Glass Freeze Pops are for adults only.”

The Glass Pops are innocent looking frozen-ice-on-a-stick confections that are then filled with shards of broken glass. While the company spokesman gives the above warning, the viewer is shown how the Pops are produced and packaged.

The commercial closes with the tag: “What if all companies sold products like tobacco.”

In case you hadn’t seen enough improper behavior, Justin Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson’s breast on the live half-time show. CBS offered its typical corporate, “If you were offended, we apologize” non-apology. If public nudity on broadcast television during prime time isn’t offensive – and it seems that it is not – then why bother?

By the way, Ms. Jackson was wearing a nipple pasty. Any claims that this was an accident is barely believable.

Finally, to top off the bottom behavior of the evening, color commentator Phil Simms gave the worst of a very bad night.

Sidebar: The so-called “cuss box” ties into closed captioning of television programs and movies to eliminate profanity from the presentation. If someone invents a device to cut out the voices of annoying color commentators I will buy the prototype, buy the stock, and appear on their commercials for free. Just imagine it! Football without Phil Simms or Joe Theisman. Baseball without Joe Morgan or Tim McCarver. If the Steelers or the Pirates never won another game, the contests would still be enjoyable!

And while we’re at it, the National Football League penalizes players for excessive celebration or taunting, but the television networks continue to show the disapproved displays live and then feature the replays. Is it just me, or is there a disconnect here? To be sure, the NFL is a financial success because of its television contracts, but the Yummies Up On Carpet Corridor would not pay the mega bucks if they were losing money. So does professional football not have control of its product? Could the commissioner and his rules committee not threaten to remove an offending broadcaster from the bidding war? CBS did not deliberately show the streaker at Sunday night’s game. Why do they show the celebrations? When broadcasters stopped showing the idiots who ran onto the field – clothed and otherwise – the number of incidents of such behavior dropped dramatically. I suggest that not showing the boorish taunts and stupid dances would do the same thing.

But back to the contest.

When New England guard Joe Andruzzi was penalized for holding, Simms said that because Andruzzi was overwhelmed by superior talent, it was “okay for him to cheat.” That he was flagged for it was just the price he paid for getting caught.

Is it any wonder Budweiser thinks we’ll laugh at a monkey trying to seduce a woman? Deviant behavior is okay. Just don’t get caught! Did all of you young football players get the message?

And all of this under the title of “Super.”

Additional (February 3):

Janet Jackson confessed that the incident was planned. With one singer telling another, “I’ll have you naked before this song is finished,” who ever believed otherwise?


Copyright 2004 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.

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