Excess is the National Football League's standard mode of operation when it comes to the Super Bowl.
From its long, drawn out, pre-game shows, with no fewer than nine title sponsors, to its presumptuous Roman numerals, the league's championship game is tribute to the bigger-is-better credo. The halftime show, in particular, is prone to garish spectacles. Each year Super Bowl halftime planners try to outdo previous halftimes with fireworks, flags and football folderol.
This year's halftime show had many of the millions of ABC viewers scratching their heads. To the casual viewer at a noisy Super Bowl party the production was an incredible mishmash of images. It started out as if it were some sort of weird religious ceremony with bizarre costumes, over-sized puppets and a solemn narration interspersed with performances by Christina Aguilera, Phil Collins and other pop music stars.
Fortunately, this year's Super Bowl offered a thrilling game that lived up to all the hype and hoopla. The drama provided on the field by the athletes resulted in the most compelling Super Bowl in many years.
As for the halftime production, it would be nice if next year's show would strive for simplicity for a refreshing change of pace. It's unlikely the pro football decision-makers would ever do it, but it would be nice to shift from the wannabe Broadway-type productions to the kind of halftime show that has entertained college football fans for years -- a first-rate college marching band.
Until then, we can look forward to bigger but not better halftime spectacles at the Super Bowl.
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