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Super Bowl was fun, but could have been better
I’ve been watching Super Bowl games since the very first one and I’d like to say they haven’t changed, but they have. The half-time show has become a major attraction but the music just isn’t up to par for the audience. And worse is the growing incidence of former football player know-it-alls who serve as announcers get in the way of a good game. Something needs to be done
By Ray Hanania
Super Bowl LII (52) was a great game. The Philadelphia Eagles, which had never won a Super Bowl finally took the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Sunday night, Feb. 4, 2018, defeating the five-time Super Bowl Champs the New England Patriots.
The half-time show with Justin Timberlake was just OK, far from the controversy from some 14 years ago when he “accidentally” ripped off the breast plate on the blouse of Janet Jackson exposing her nipple. “Nipplegate” dominated the news that week in 2014.
It’s hard to enjoy the game when the entertainment is just so-so, and the news headlines are about a body part. But it’s gotten worse with a new trend which honestly really crosses the line and destroys the Super Bowl experience. That trend is the growing tendency of sports announcers to dominate the games with their personal preferences and favoritism, making their own calls and pumping up their favored teams instead of offering knowledgable insight.
It was also nice that fans didn’t have to deal with political exploitation by some players refusing to stand for the National Anthem.
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Sunday’s game was clearly exciting. The Eagles came off strong and dominated most of the game while the Patriots, led by controversial quarterback Tom Brady, stumbled and performed poorly. But, it’s fair to argue that although Brady remains under the shadow of the 2015 “deflategate” — in which Brady used footballs that were under inflated making it easier to control and throw — and he often performs poorly at the start of games, he just as often comes back strong in the 4th quarter.
We didn’t get any of that, though. What we got was the stupid biases of former sports reporters and now NBC announcer Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth. Michaels and Collinsworth are idiots. Instead of offering their insight into the game, they offered partisan prejudices in favor of Brady and the Patriots. Clearly, Michaels and Collinsworth just couldn’t accept the phenomenal performance of the Eagles and its quarterback Carson Wentz. The Eagles trounced the Patriots 41 to 33.
Everyone was predicting a Patriots sweep with Brady, mainly because the Patriots have already won five Super Bowl games and they wanted to rise to the record of 7 wins. But Brady couldn’t do it, and that must smart for a know-it-all like Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth.
The odds-makers had given the Patriots a five point edge and everyone expected the Eagles to lose. But that didn’t happen. And at every turn in the game, as the Eagles pulled off amazing football after amazing football, Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth were there to piss all over the Eagle’s performance in nauseating commentary.
Play after play, Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth contradicted the obvious including the calls of the field of seven “judges” who observe every aspect of the game as fairly as possible. With television, it’s easy to review a controversial score. They had it right every time. But not for Al Michaels or Cris Collinsworth.
The worst was at the end of the game with 13 seconds left to play and the Eagles leading by 8 Points, Al Michaels was warning that Brady and the Patriots could pull it off and upturn the game.
Are you stupid Al Michaels? Are you a moron Cris Collinsworth? Their commentary was consistently biased, inaccurate and nauseating.
As a Chicago Cubs fan I especially enjoyed the Eagles come-from-behind win. They hadn’t won a Super Bowl championship and they deserved the shot. And they came through with consistent passing and football performance. They were great. They deserved far better than the sour grapes from Al Michaels, who should be fired by NBC Sports.
It was like that for the Cubs as they fought to win a second World Series. Joe Buck at FOX News announcing the Cubs game was despicable. He was desperately biased. Every observation he made denigrated the Cubs players and emphasized their rivals.
It destroyed the game.
Maybe that’s what FOX wants to do, destroy the enjoyment of a sports competition. Maybe NBC wants to do the same thing. But FOX should fire Joe Buck and NBC should fire Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth. They are ignorant and instead of adding “color” to the game simply get in front of the enjoyment of the fans.
And, for next year’s Super Bowl, how about getting an entertainer who can perform music that most of American can enjoy? This rap-crap, boy-band drivel is so annoying.
Combined with the clap-trap of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth, the play-by-play calls and the less than great half-time entertainment did everything to ruin a great football game. Fortunately, the Philadelphia Eagles overshadowed all of the garbage by playing great football on the field.
Isn’t “great football” what a football game really should be about?
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"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 www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, 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 www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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