The Super Bowl

You don’t put the ball in the air and you don’t do your act on someone else’s turf.


The mo changed after the Patriots shut down the Seahawks in the fourth quarter. Seattle did not get the benefit of a pass interference call but then they did get that lucky break with the bounce reception.

When things are going your way, you play it safe. It’s no time for risk. Not if you want to win. I’m not sure why the offensive coordinator called that play.

And I’m not sure why Katy Perry did the Super Bowl.

What did we learn?

There were some good commercials. If she hadn’t inflated her lips, taking away from her natural beauty, Lindsay Lohan would be ready for her comeback. We love those who can poke fun at themselves.

Another winner?

Jeff Bridges. Did you click on that site, From Squarespace? Which I know because they sponsor all the podcasts? You think radio is happening, but the left for dead podcast world is blazing, proving, like in sports, you should never give up.

And not giving up on his lame musical career, Jeff Bridges gets all this free publicity for his album by re-creating his role as the Dude and by leaving money on the table, that’s right, he’s donating all the revenue from his LP to charity, knowing it’s about your image, your career, as opposed to the short term cash. Hell, you can even stream his record on the aforementioned site. What kind of bizarre world do we live in where an actor is hipper than Taylor Swift, the biggest musical performer?

One in which Katy Perry goes for an undeserved victory lap and ends up with egg on her face.

I will say that Missy Elliott was surprisingly good, she fit the mood. The NFL runs on hip-hop and she delivered it.

As for Katy Perry, who was she playing to? Her audience is little girls, the audience for the Super Bowl is oldsters.

Well, maybe everybody. But a great musical act knows that no one appeals to everybody, and that by knowing your audience you maintain your career. Katy Perry up close and personal in HD demonstrated that she coasted to fame on hits written by others and there’s nothing there other than someone hungry to make it.

That’s what’s wrong with America, hunger with no CV. Isn’t anybody willing to do the work?

And the NFL players work hard. But their time is coming to an end.

That’s right, in my lifetime football will jump the shark. You love it because of the colors, it gives you someone to root for, something to believe in, along with real drama. But the story of this Super Bowl is not Deflategate, but Bryant Gumbel’s expose on the ’85 Chicago Bears on HBO’s “Real Sports.” When even Mike Ditka says he wouldn’t let his kid play football, you know it’s over.

But NBC runs these ridiculous NFL image-burnishing ads as if we all believe. But the truth is one of the highlights of the telecast was the Bud Light commercial with human Pac-Man. That’s right, it’s video games that have a stranglehold on young men, not football.

But what we had was endless car commercials, when the truth is the younger demo doesn’t care about cars.

And a Coke ad when the truth is the younger generation has abandoned soda pop.

And a McDonald’s ad wrapping its arms around an America that’s rejected it.

Watching the Super Bowl is like viewing a documentary on how it used to be.

And the commercialism is insane. The University of Phoenix Stadium?

The University of Phoenix should be put out of business. It preys on veterans, getting the government to pay for useless educations that don’t result in degrees but a ton of debt. But can Al Michaels speak to that?


Because he’s paid.

And there you have it. Players and commentators, beholden to the man.

Whereas musicians became famous and got all their power by speaking the truth.

First of all, you couldn’t even hear Katy. You knew she was singing, but the mix was so off her voice was overwhelmed by the crowd noise.

And booking Lenny Kravitz is little better than booking Fabian. A has-been who’s never been able to come back, why did he get this chance? Because he wouldn’t upstage Katy and/or he would appeal to the dads who remember the nineties? Lenny’s being excoriated online, as he should be.

And Katy believes it’s all about production.

That’s how far we’ve come. Knowing how to sing, play and write are irrelevant.

And that works when you’re playing to your fans. But when you put on your empty calorie show to the world we sit there dumbfounded. This is what music is about? This is the best they can come up with?

No wonder music gets no respect, no wonder why most people don’t care. Pop may own the chart, but if you’re not twelve or in the business you don’t care.

I’d say to bring back classic rock, but you’re better off bringing back marching bands, because they embody the mindless rah-rah spirit football is based upon.

Then again, football is a star system. With Bill Belichick the biggest of them all. He’s Steve Jobs before the canonization. Someone most hate who delivers. With a little bit of cheating Bill Gates thrown in. You remember Microsoft, which charged manufacturers for Windows even if they didn’t install it?

And then we have the game. The game was so good no one is even talking about Katy Perry. She was the girl square dancing at the Bon Jovi concert. She was the woman wearing her pajamas on the red carpet. She was so out of place as to be rendered irrelevant.

They call it SHOW business.

And it’s very different from sports.

Show is about performance, about setting the stage and manipulating your audience and taking it for a ride. As for the ride Katy took around the stadium…it was low-rent Disneyland, but at least she didn’t get measles.

But the NFL doesn’t care about music. They just need something high profile to fill the time. But in today’s modern music business no one can say no. Everybody believes all publicity is good. That the road to success is batting everybody on the head to pay attention, even if they don’t care.

As opposed to the classic rockers.

Why did everybody pay attention to Pono? Because Neil Young never sold anything before, he’s got a history of caring about sound, he’s got credibility.

Even better are the Eagles. You may hate them, but they own the biggest selling album of all time, they sell out arenas but they don’t sell out themselves. They’ve never done endorsements, they’ve never played the Super Bowl and they’ve never gotten a Kennedy Center Honor.

Because great musicians play by their own rules.

I saw a lot of great football players on the field.

I didn’t see a single great musician.

And just like Leonard Cohen said, everybody knows.

And that’s why he can sell out arenas at eighty and Vanilla Ice does reality TV. People believe Leonard Cohen has something to say. What does Katy Perry have to say?


But she makes bank and if that’s true in America, no one can criticize her.

Hell, I can.

Everybody knows the Super Bowl is not about music.

Everybody knows Lenny Kravitz is a joke.

And everybody who cares knows that Missy Elliott is toast.

But no one speaks the truth anymore. Otherwise, there’d be no football.

But the networks make too much money. Your soulless, financially-challenged life is only filled by rooting for your local team.

I’m not saying it wasn’t a good game.

I’m not saying there weren’t a few good commercials.

I am saying it’s nowhere for music unless you can own the room, and the only one who’s been able to do this is Prince. And when a smart person witnesses such a triumph, they don’t compete.

We’ll forget the names of the players, everybody but Tom Brady.

But we’ll never forget that Katy Perry took an opportunity to show the world that music is made up of brain dead mercenaries who can’t say no.

Once upon a time, music was the antidote. The response to the status quo.

Now it is the status quo.

How very sad.

“Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: ’85 Bears”

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