The Super Bowl without a Super Bowl….

This year marks the first time that I haven’t sat and watched the Super Bowl in memory.  The earliest one I remember is, of course, the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XX.  Now, 25 years later, I’m skipping one. Why? Not the whole concussion debate that’s given me a slight distaste for a sport I love.  Not the overarching consumerism (and associated brain damage) that each Super Bowl represents.  Not even the fact that this game was so clearly cursed, given the people injured by falling ice from the stadium (ice in Dallas in February?) or the several hundred people who came to Dallas with tickets but weren’t allowed in.

No, no. See, my wife and I unplugged our satellite TV at the beginning of the year, and we haven’t looked back.  We’ve been doing just great on a combination of Netflix, Hulu and antenna… but, for whatever reason, we can’t get Fox through our antenna, which is where the game’s hosted.  Combine that with being too broke to go to a bar (thanks, broken paychecks) and still lingering sickness from last week, and we’re marooned at home with no Super Bowl.
I kind of think a one-time pay-per-view ($19.99 or so?) available through PS3, XBox and Wii would be a good investment for the NFL, given the number of people who are dropping pay television.
So, what to do?  Well, how about a Super Bowl without a Super Bowl.  We watched the butchered national anthem by Christina Aguilera on Youtube — complete with the flyover that no one in the stadium could actually see… can you believe we spent taxpayer money on a flyover for television only?  I checked up on Twitter and Facebook to see what the predictably bad halftime show was like, and it was apparently worse than what anyone could’ve ever imagined.  “The musical equivalent of AIDS” said one friend.  “I would have rather seen a 10 minute closeup of Fergie’s asshole” said someone else.  That sounded about as appetizing as watching an autopsy on a fully conscious person, so I did without.
How else did we fill the void?  The proper Marxist way: watching all of the commercials, streamed free of that unnecessary football distraction, courtesy of Hulu.  I kept a running log of thoughts and questions…
  • Why does the border guard in the Coke commercial have a tennis ball on his head?
  • Where did the monkeys in the commercial dig up an old 1980s Dodge (that was still running)?
  • The Groupon commercial about Tibet was fucking sick. Yay, these people are exploited… but their food is damn good! Get a discount! (how American…)
  • Hyundai… trying really hard to be less-boring by suggesting that its customers use acid.
  • Let others go first with everything, like car buying? So, don’t buy a new car? (
  • Cowboys & Aliens in one movie, with Harrison Ford? Count me in… even if it looks a little like Wild, Wild West.
  • The Chevy Cruze… get your Facebook status read to you, so that if she didn’t have a good date, you can run your shitty Chevy into a tree.
  • Buy back at Best Buy – when will they buy Bieber back for good?
  • Is that Prince John from Robin Hood: Men in Tights wielding a chainsaw? No. That’s some version of Roseanne, though.
  • CarMax makes you feel like… a Marxist at an advertisement viewing?
  • Dragons and gnomes and weird little furry creatures and an ice dragon and… Oh shit! It’s a Coke commercial, and now the dragon’s chasing the bad guys away!
  • The Force is with you, Little Vader. (Who didn’t try to use the Force as a kid? What was that ad for again?)
  • Another Transformers movie? I mean, the first two certainly didn’t explore all of the potential plot-lines…
  • The hammer has the power of Thor and so… let’s call the movie THOR!
  • From what I’ve heard about the halftime show, maybe using Will.I.Am to announce wasn’t the best idea. What does it do? No one really knows.
  • People who don’t look like white people in a place that doesn’t look like America are doing surgery in an unsterile environment… to give a trashcan human thumbs so it can play with a phone.
  • Speilberg and Abrams get together and they come up with… a movie named after a shitty motel, starring the dude from Office Space?
  • Captain America, the last superhero to get a new movie. Does this mean the terrorists have already won?
  • “You hit reply-all.”  DahhhhH!hh1!!  “Oh, I was wrong.”  So, who wants tires?
  • Secret agents drive Kia cars, spies hatch plots to steal Kias, Titan (a mythical sea creature) wants a Kia, and aliens too?  Um, that’s as far-fetched as that dragon drinks a Coke shit.
  • Millionaires love them some Kenny G… and Audis?  Really?  At least Kenny G is finally in prison.
  • Blonde lady gets hit by a Pepsi Max can, everyone wins.  Even that nerd named Werner, who chucks them at his bullies’ crotches.
  • Doritos solve death? Okay, that was pretty fucked up, nightmarish even, when Grandpa came back. Does not make me want to eat chips.
  • Suck your co-worker’s fingers and sniff his pants! It’s okay, they’re Dorito crumbs! Does not make me want to eat chips.
  • Pug takes down the door… yes, pugs would do that for any food.  They’re little torpedos.
  • Claymation Eminem advertising Eminem, er Brisk. What is Brisk?  Like Four Loko?  Sounds like a more reasonable endorsement.
  • And Chrysler?  Well, until that point I had been thinking about trying a Brisk, whatever the fuck that is.  It’s a good ad, but Mr. Mathers, why are you shilling the world’s junkiest cars?
  • Oh no, not a bobblehead bunny!  Really going for the hip folks, eh Hyundai?
  • “Dear Kim, your rack is unreal.”  Dude, that was not your heart talking, that was your dick.
  • Sure, Germans would go build cars in the U.S…. relatively cheap labor, high tech and big market so little transport cost. Guys? BMW is exploiting us…
  • Old diesel cars stink, yeah we know… but they’re fuel efficient.  Volvo wagons are still awesome, and I can’t afford a new BMW.
  • Get it? The white hoodie people are iPad users who are like everyone else.  You can be different if you buy a Motorola XOOM, which is NOTHING like an iPad. NOTHING.
  • Oh, Chevy… using the Americanism again to sell your crappy cars.  Faux Ben Franklin, Faux Hendrix, and Faux Steve Jobs. Why doesn’t Chevy hire innovative people like that instead of ripping off Toyota and Hyundai?
  • Also, Chevy Trucks now come with the Lassie feature.  Is it a monthly fee like OnStar?  Can you turn it off?
  • Oh, it’s fun to make light of old peoples’ inability to hear speech, or think clearly.  Next scene should have been one of those old people driving a Cruze at 11 mph down the interstate. Or moving to Florida. Or complaining about how their kids don’t call often enough.
  • Cowboys singing “Tiny Dancer.”  I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t’ve been okay with anything about Elton John.
  • If we put Bud Light crap in our Three Musketeers rip-off movie, we get lots of shitty beer for FREE!
  • Could “Hack Job” get sued for devaluing a kitchen by putting a bucket of Bud Light there?
  • Another sick Groupon commercial. Whales are endangered, but we can sure spend cash to go watch them!  I don’t think I will ever do anything with Groupon.
  •, the best website for becoming a cross-dresser. Log on now!
  • Still don’t know what is… seems like something sold by peddlers of snake oil. Makes folks skinny, helps them get along with people, gets them jobs, gives them head?
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Who Gives a Fuck Anymore?  (dude, this movie franchise is based on a theme park ride).
  • Hotels hate your guts, so get a home on… and your baby won’t smush his softspot.

And the rest of the night?  I spent it watching Eureka Season 3 with the love of my life, snacking on Giant Eagle cookies and just hanging out. Much better than watching football teams I don’t care about.

The game?  Rumor has it, the Packers won… which like my judgement of the halftime show, is solely according to Facebook and Twitter.

Author: Andrew Shears

Andrew Shears is an Assistant Professor of Geography at Mansfield University in Mansfield, Pennsylvania. His research interests lie at an intersection of the human-environmental nexus, and includes branches of mapping, technological, memorialization and urban geographies. He lives in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania with his wife Amy, a professional photographer.