I watched the game for the first time in a few years last night. In recent years, I’ve sometimes had band practice during the game, and other times I just wasn’t interested in staying up that late. Because my team of choice hasn’t been to the Big One in nearly 30 years, I typically don’t have a rooting interest, and this year was really no exception. So I don’t even really know why I was watching, but I did.
As for the game itself, it was entertaining enough, I guess. One thing I thought was interesting was that a number of folks on my Facebook feed were condemning Atlanta for choking in the final quarter and overtime, as New England rallied from 25 points down. I didn’t see it that way. I wasn’t paying rapt attention, but I didn’t see the Falcons playing badly (beyond some of the defensive penalties that seem to have become de rigeur in the contemporary NFL), even during the New England comeback. New England’s players simply began making really good plays. Sometimes you can play a good game and lose anyway, and that’s what I seemed to see last night. To say Atlanta choked implies that they lost the game, rather than that New England won it. I think the latter was the case last night.
None of the commercials particularly registered with me last night, beyond my sense that more and more companies are making perfunctory bows at the altar of Goodthink. This year’s theme appears to have been the Noble Immigrant. Fine, I reckon — I think it’s possible, indeed admirable, to feel sympathy for people trying to get here, even as one recognizes that there may be good reasons not to let all of those folks in. But really, why the hell should I care what 84 Lumber’s political positions are, or even that they have them at all? How does that affect the quality of a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood? Once more, we see the contemporary urge to Politicize All the Things, which in turn results in the shrinking of the civil/private sphere. And as someone who likes the private sphere, I weary of these encroachments.
And of course, there was the halftime show, featuring Lady Gaga. When I mentioned that to the Spawn before the game, she was amused, and said that the programmers were a few years out of date. I considered telling her about Up With People, but decided not to inflict that upon her. (Note: Up With People still exists! I had no idea…)
So her show was pleasant enough, I guess — it offered inoffensive spectacle, which I suppose will suffice for this sort of thing. I wasn’t shocked, but I wasn’t particularly engaged either; the whole thing seemed rather anodyne, the image of Exciting Entertainment without the actual excitement. Craftsmanship was abundant, but there wasn’t much art, which actually sums up a great deal of contemporary music to me.
So the NFL season comes to an end, freeing me to see if my beloved Kentucky Wildcats can get things back together by the end of basketball season, and to see if the Cincinnati Reds have anything interesting to offer as we move into the Rite of Spring that is baseball season. See you soon.