Super Bowl isn’t so Super anymore

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Super Bowl isn’t so Super anymore
By Ray Hanania — I’ve watched every Super Bowl since 1967. The very first one before they started to use Roman Numerals to set them apart.

But I have to say I am tired of the degradation of this great American institution.

Not that anyone cares, though.

Over the years, I have watched as the focus has steadily shifted from a great American football game to a celebration of Greed. Super Bowl Commercials costing $3 million each that include things like Viagra, Cialis, alcohol and worse. Celebrity entertainers who “accidentally” expose their breasts.

And this year, one entertainer who flips the audience the “bird” and sings lyrics urging murder, killing and death.

I don’t want any “gangsta rap” morons singing on my TV any more. I don’t want any fools who claim to be American who can’t speak English celebrity street gangs, violence and drugs.

In the 1960s when I was growing up, we did sing the mantra “sex, drugs and rock and roll.” And our parents hated it. They hated my long hair. They hated my musical choices and they hated the culture that promoted “sex, drugs and rock and roll” as virtues in the new America.

They’re not virtues. And as I got older, like most of us who lived in the paisley world of hippies, “revolution” and the hero-worship of terrorists like Che Guevara, we all recognized that it was a phase.
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But when a phase becomes the pattern of our society and takes over the core of what we are supposed to be, then there is something wrong. Badly wrong.

The Patriots-Giants football game was great. And I say that as someone who really doesn’t care much about sports. I’m an “Easter Sunday” sports fan, in front of the TV only when the great moments of sports competition occur. Politics is the only sport I respect, and even that is not saying much in Illinois where the “culture of corruption” is an accepted lifestyle.

But the focus on the commercials and the half-time entertainment was so disappointing.

Yes, there were a few good commercials, like the one with Clint Eastwood walking through Detroit giving the public a pep-rally about reviving the American spirit and the auto industry.

But when Rap singer M.I.A. flipped her middle finger during her performance with Madonna and Nicki Minaj, it made me sick.

Is that what great football and Americanism has come down too? Seriously?

Madonna was a great singer. She sang five songs, the first and second old ones I loved, the three sandwiched in the middle were just so-so. But worse was the fact that she wasn’t really singing at all. It was a puppet show and she was lip syncing.

We don’t even get reality from the Masters of the Entertainment World anymore.

Sure, the stage settings were great. But that cost how much? Anything that costs $1 million would look great, or at least we would hope.

Maybe it’s time we should kill the Super Bowl before it gets worse. Because it is getting worse. End it on the memories of great football plays, not disgraceful and disrespectful controversies like flipping the middle finger at the public.

The NFL should be ashamed of itself. But worse, we should be ashamed of ourselves.

The only saving grace was that my son, when he saw what M.I.A. did, remarked in gleeful shock, “Inappropriate.”

This year’s Super Bowl was inappropriate, and not just because the Chicago Bears were not in play.

(Listen to Ray Hanania every Sunday on WSBC AM 1240 Radio from 8 am until 11.

This post has already been read 347 times!

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites and (Illinois News Network at

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post,, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

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