I simply do not understand how the NFL screws this up so consistently. In December I chronicled the numerous failures that have historically marked this spectacle. I failed to ask why the league flirts with provocation, especially after the famous "Wardrobe Malfunction." It is simply inexcusable for an organization with nearly unlimited resources to be so consistently poor during their single biggest event every year. This year was no different.
I will say upfront that my expectations for Madonna were very, very low. For her to exceed them was almost a given. The best I will say about the performance was it was wildly mediocre. But that's not to say it was without controversy. During the show some performer I don't know used her moment in the spotlight to get attention (pictures and video available here). Now the PTC (who cut their teeth on the wardrobe malfunction incident) is demanding apologies and the NFL and NBC are tripping over themselves to assign blame and issue condolences. Pity really. I wish there was a mechanism to take the offending performer and immediately and irreversibly relegate her to irrelevance. Her behavior is born of the very same desire that causes an infant to throw a temper tantrum -- it is a cry for attention. She is an attention whore willing to do whatever it takes to get more people to acknowledge her. When an infant does this it is expected. When an adult does this it is shameful. So, where is the shame? Allow me to dole it out where it belongs:
5% of shame goes to NBC for their slow trigger-finger. The video above shows the "blur" function was engaged about a half second too late. I suspect the tech assigned to the "blur button" was bored and may have dozed off. I don't blame them, I almost did too. In fact I would have were I not busy trying to comprehend the song that was being performed, which admonished the tortured listeners over and over to "L - U - V MADONNA! YOU KNOW YOU WANNA!"
10% of shame goes to the NFL. You know that millions of fans are watching and this is the single biggest day of your year. Why in the world you would play with fire by giving the camera to provocateurs like these is just incomprehensible. There are numerous safe bets you can make, many of whom would have an even larger appeal. So it's not like you're sacrificing quality for safety. You can in fact have both!
55% of shame goes on the performer, a talentless child if there ever was one.
30% of shame goes to the public that allows performers like this offender to have any money or fame whatsoever. If music fans find her behavior (of which I'm sure this is not an isolated incident) to be disturbing and not worthy of reward or recognition then they should not buy her music, ever. The chances of this happening are smaller than the chances the NFL actually figures out the whole halftime performance thingy. The attention whore made her point and probably has more fans now than she did before. That's the world where we live which is why I am not bothered at all by the thought of leaving it.
Later this week, BBQ!