Super Bowl Halftime Show Hits New Low
Tampa, FL February 2, 2009 -- Despite the NFL having announced in 2004 that MTV would never be involved in another Super Bowl Halftime Show, NFL officials allowed MTV "to bear it all" as producer of this year's Super Bowl Halftime Show. And bear it they did! Thereby demonstrating once again that never is not a long time in the the world of sports, entertainment and, least of all, business.
The football game itself, which was a rematch of the 2006 Super Bowl LX as the Pittsburgh Steelers successfully avenged their earlier Super Bowl loss to the Seattle Seahawks 14-3, provided little in the way of interest other than the confusion during the second half when only one goalpost was available and teams make field goals and PATs from the East. Other than that, attendence was to capacity, the commercials didn't live up to expectations and the officiating was adequate. What everyone will be talking about at the office this morning, however, will be the Super Bowl Halftime Show. "Nipplegate" can now be put to bed as it pales in comparison to what approximately 1.7 billion viewers across the world witnessed last night.
The "Nipplegate" incident involved the famous Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake "wardrobe malfunction" during the Super Bowl Halftime Show of Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004 and eventually became the object of a FCC investigation, prompted by individuals who deemed the half-time show indecent. Apparently the safeguards established after the 2004 Super Bowl incident where television networks established regulations requiring time delays were not heeded this year.
"After the last couple of years without incidents we became complacent," said Bob Leonardi, the NFL's Vice President of Entertainment & Special Activities. "It really didn't occur to us that this could, rather, would happen."
That's not a surprising statement considering last year's Super Bowl XLII, which was took place in Glendale, Arizona, had virtually no excitement whatsoever in its Super Bowl Halftime Show. The producers of the event, the National Chess League, staged a best of five speed chess tournament between 2 players on the 50 yardline. Needless to say, it had the lowest viewer rating in the history of Super Bowl Halftime Shows. Due to the low ratings the NFL was forced to refund approximately $3.4 million to FOX and Google Books, last year's broadcaster and halftime show sponsor, respectively. Under pressure from Congress and various advocacy groups representing beer drinking football fans everywhere, the NFL relented and promised to deliver a more, as they put it, "lively" event this year. Lively it was, but NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue summed it up better last night when he described it as "absofrigginlutely outrageousosity".
What had the NFL Commissioner so upset that he was inventing new words to describe his feelings? Perhaps it began when the gang of the MTV hit television show "Dirty Sanchez" lined up at the 30 yard line to have the 8 -11 year old kids who had won this year's NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition throw and kick footballs into their exposed genitalia from 10 yards away. As the Dirty Sanchez guys were being assisted from the field, Mr. Tagliabue may have begun to breath again. It probably didn't last long, however, as America's favorite dysfunctional family, the Osbournes, were introduced. The Osbournes proceeded to unleash such an expletive-laden introduction for the next performer that the NBC censor must have short circuited because nothing more was "bleeped" after the first 15 seconds. As they concluded, Mr. Tagliabue was probably being chained down to his seat as Jessica Simpson soon took to the stage in her extremely skimpy and bafflingly tight one-piece outfit to perform her latest hit song "Step Off My Cameltoe." As Ms. Simpson concluded displaying what it actually was that needed to be stepped off of, Mr. Tagliabue's seizure was probably in full swing.
Finally, a presumed respite for Mr. Tagliabue as the All-American Girls High School Marching Band took to the field playing R. Kelly's song "Heaven I Need a Hug". The band worked its way to a 20 foot high phallic-shaped statue that had been rolled to the center of the field. Finally, out of the top climbed none other than R. Kelly himself singing to the music of the girls in the marching band. If this image weren't bad enough for those familiar with the issues surrounding R. Kelly, it soon became worse as a yellow-colored liquid began to spray the high school band girls from the phallus from which he stood when he got to the lines: And all I really need is a sign or a word from God (Ooh, yeah) So shower down on me (Shower down), wet me with your love (Take me).
The final and crowning blow to Mr. Tagliabue's sanity had to be when Johnny Knoxville from MTV's return hit show "Jackass" and Bam Margera from MTV's cancelled "Viva la Bam" jumped out of Mr. R. Kelly's phallus to announce to the stadium they had the ultimate prank on us all. Then they both ran to the West endzone pulling some tanks behind them. After a couple failed attempts by Mr. Knoxville, Mr. Margera managed to light the acetylene torch and proceeded to cut down the goalpost as the confused football teams began returning from the locker room to a chorus of boos from the capacity crowd.
At the time of print it has not yet been determined what may come of this and who is culpable, but Mr. Tagliabue was quoted as saying, "MTV will never, never, ever, never be involved with the NFL's Super Bowl Halftime Show. Never!"
That sounds like a long time - more than 10 years, at least!
By Raoul Thibodeaux, Avant News Staff Writer
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