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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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In Sports Commentary

Kelly Clarkson knocked it out of the park on the national anthem, backed by a children's choir. (PHOTO: Doug Russell )

In Sports Commentary

All in all, Super Bowl XLVI was an outstanding show. (PHOTO: Doug Russell )

Even without the Packers, it was a Super show


It normally takes me a day or two to reflect on the full impact that the long, long, long Super Bowl day has for me. I'm done reflecting, and here's what I found.

Dancing with the Stars can't be far behind for Aaron Rodgers.

His Super Bowl television performance after his crowning as the MVP was absolutely outstanding. He was at ease. He was funny. He told you things about football that you didn't know.

He shared a spot with Hines Ward, the Steelers wide receiver who once won Dancing With the Stars. Rodgers is just as cute as Ward and as Marlon Brando once said, "he coulda be a contender."

With his good looks and big name, Rodgers seems like a natural for the show. I wish I knew if he could dance. But he's obviously got rhythm so if we give him a good partner, he could grab the famous mirrored ball trophy.

In addition to all of that, he's reached a plateau where he's mentioned in the same breath and on an equal plane as Starr and Favre. He came up empty in the playoff loss to the Giants, but that shouldn't diminish his MVP season or cast any shroud over his budding super stardom. In our own backyard and on his way to big, big things.

Rodgers was an absolute highlight of the Super Bowl coverage which has become an orgasm of talk that wears you out before the game even starts. I wonder if anyone ever considered the idea of making the pregame show two or three hours long instead of the gut wrenching five and half hours we got.

I've been to either six or seven Super Bowls and the rest I've religiously watched on television. I think I've got some cred when I talk about the telecast.

I will give NBC some credit for trying to remember that this is a football game. They spent much of the time before kickoff actually talking about the game and the players and the owners. The piece on Robert Kraft's wife actually brought tears to my eyes.

There is nothing like seeing great big tough men talk with sensitivity and grace. There were exceptions, of course.

Somebody named Nick Cannon was a host in something called the Super Suite and we were besieged by a seemingly never-ending parade of people who had shows coming up on an NBC outlet or were shilling for sponsors. None of it was funny nor informative.

Four words - Jessica Simpson, My God! I'd ax the guy who came up with this one.

The music leading up to the game was pretty good. I love Lenny Kravitz even though that almost all-white crowd of kids in front of him seemed a little bit shell-shocked; and the duet between Blake Shelton and his wife, Miranda Lambert on "America the Beautiful" was a great setup. They didn't mess around with what is a great song and even players were singing along.

Knocking it out of the park was Kelly Clarkson, dressed in a simple black dress and backed by a choir of children. She pulled no punches and didn't try to over sing the song which so many artists do. It got us all set for kickoff. The music continued with Madonna and what was a very, very good halftime show.

Sure it was overdone and overblown. But she's 53 and has an enviable body of work and an enviable body. It beat the hell out of last year's Black Eyed Peas.

Somebody called M. I. A. surprised everyone by giving the camera the finger during a routine and that prompted everybody, including the NFL itself to apologize and talk about how terrible it was. Hey, she didn't throw hand grenades. This is only the finger, and I don't know many people who get upset about either getting or giving the finger.

Why the avalanche of apologies?

I'm waiting for a halftime show with a stage, some lights, a microphone and Tony Bennett or Andrea Bocelli or Adele. Not a half naked, hot oiled dancer or a firework in sight.

Finally, they always make a big deal out of the commercials. They cost a ton of money and agencies work like crazy to create a big deal. Lots of the ads were funny and many will probably win awards.

But that ad with Clint Eastwood talking about America and about Detroit, an ad for Chrysler, shows how much impact simple stuff can have. It was the only spot I remember now, two days after the Super Bowl.

The other spots that stays was the Hyundai spot where the workers sing the theme from Rocky and Danica Patrick in a bikini. Real people beat dogs, aliens or fake babies.

So the football season has ended with a very good game, a pretty good pregame and the unveiling of a brand new superstar in Aaron Rodgers, who we all hope will be in next year's Super Bowl, but wearing a Packers uniform instead of a coat and tie.

Now, on to the Bucks. Full bore.

Talkbacks

sandstorm | Feb. 7, 2012 at 10:01 a.m. (report)

TosaJim: i'm sure Begel had a completely different meaning of the word "bore" in mind when he wrote that. that's why i found his word choice funny.

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sandstorm | Feb. 7, 2012 at 9:58 a.m. (report)

"The influence of American Idol on American singers is complete." how so?

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jfredmuggs | Feb. 7, 2012 at 9:12 a.m. (report)

The influence of American Idol on American singers is complete. But then again, butchering a bad song... is that a crime? Great big who cares for Madonna and her nation-size budget for a pretty bankrupt act. Is she necessary? Final here's to A-Rod and a possible dynasty in the not-so-frozen tundra. Next Year!

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TosaJim | Feb. 7, 2012 at 8:45 a.m. (report)

What?...Sandstorm NOT ripping Dave Begal's article apart?...what's wrong with this picture? (are you mellowing?) :) Madonna would not have been my first choice, but she did a great job...was she really singing? Her back-up dancer were very good and that guy on the wire was unreal! Now...Go Bucks!!!

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sandstorm | Feb. 7, 2012 at 8:06 a.m. (report)

"Now, on to the Bucks. Full bore." excellent choice of words.

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