I’ve given a lot of thought to the term “wardrobe malfunction,” being as I have had a few of my own over the years. Nothing approaching “nipple-gate” of that long-ago Super Bowl with Janet Jackson, but definitely your garden-variety toilet paper on the shoe problem, skirt tucked into underwear issue, blouse gaping open to display my amble bosom to everyone on the Communion line at Holy Name of Mary church, including our lovely pastor.
I was watching the Super Bowl when Justin Timberlake “accidentally” pulled at the front of Janet Jackson’s leather bustier only to expose a middle-aged breast and its accompanying parts. She didn’t look very shocked and neither did he, raising the question of whether or not this event had been planned. Frankly, our family didn’t even realize what had happened until the next day because that’s what happens when four people are fighting for a shot at the guacamole, stooping so low as to push the six-year-old out of the way because he weighs the least.
There was a great hew and cry after “nipple-gate.” But the NFL persists in having over-the-top, pyrotechnic extravaganzas whereby Tom Petty, Prince, the Stones, or some other over-the-hill, yet still somewhat relevant band performs for the massive crowds at whatever mega-stadium the teams are playing in that year. I honestly believe that most of the people in the stands are out in the hallways, waiting on line to go to the bathroom (particularly, the women), buying hot dogs, or milling about. Only the suckers who couldn’t afford the $5000.00 Super Bowl package who are stuck at home eating cold pizza and drinking warm beer are subjected to these musical spectacles.
I have a plan, though. It will be entertaining, keep people in the stands, and have relevance, particularly for some parents who have spent thousands on private music lessons. I have tried, without success, to figure out a way to communicate this plan to Roger Goodell, the general manager of the NFL, so I’m hoping he’s a faithful Stiletto Gang reader and will take this suggestion under advisement: the half-time show should consist of marching bands. Hear me out: I think that the Super Bowl halftime show should be dedicated to the best of the college marching bands in the country. Having gone to a college with no marching band, I have always felt left out, maybe because I play a mean glockenspiel and had nowhere to ply my trade. I’m a huge fan of the USC Trojans, and a host of other marching bands. I have watched the movie "Drumline" more times than I can count. It’s good, clean, wholesome fun. And it would spotlight some of the most talented kids in this country. What could be better?
The Northern half of Evelyn David and I discussed this over lunch the other day: what is it about the NFL that makes it cleave to this idea of presenting “cool” bands to the general viewing population on one Sunday a year? We decided that it was purely demographical: apparently, their thinking is that people (read: men) in the 25-49 year old demographic watch the Super Bowl. And what they want to see (besides naked women) are bands of waning popularity who either resemble their parents or them themselves. But how about appealing to a broader demographic? How about lighting the fuel of the marching band fire in some kid who’s in the 7-17 year old demographic? Because if my experience is any indication, just seeing a marching band perform in all of their synchronistic glory will definitely stoke the inner percussionist fire of more than one kid out there.
But, Evelyn and I decided, it all comes down to money. So, if you put up the band whose previously cool song now is the centerpiece of a 4x4 commercial, Joe America out there will feel that he is seeing exactly what he wants to see and getting exactly what he wants to get from his Super Bowl. Or, he doesn’t think that at all, and just resumes cutting the six-foot hero while the show is in session. The rest of us, apparently, can just stick it. Good, clean fun has gone by the wayside and the almighty dollar wins yet again.