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.

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

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, Hanania 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. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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Ray Hanania