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Why Super Bowl XLV Sucked

Kate Rooney |
February 8, 2011 | 2:11 p.m. PST

Staff Writer

Closed stadiums don't make for the best flyovers. (Creative Commons/Steve Carlton)
Closed stadiums don't make for the best flyovers. (Creative Commons/Steve Carlton)
From a pure football perspective, Super Bowl XLV was one for the ages.

Two dominant defenses, two elite quarterbacks. The first ever Super Bowl winner going up against the winningest Super Bowl team ever. A tight game to the last, with a close score and dramatic plays along the way.

From every other perspective, it was the worst Super Bowl in ages.

It started two days before the big game, when Dallas was hit with a snowstorm and falling ice injured six workers at Cowboys Stadium. Perhaps that was an omen.

Fast forward to Super Bowl Sunday. After waiting in security lines that exceeded two hours, some 1,250 fans found the seats they had tickets for simply didn’t exist.

Yes, amid Jerry Jones’ excitement about breaking the all-time attendance record set at the Rose Bowl during Super Bowl XIV in 1980, the NFL sold tickets for seats that were still under construction.

The league managed to upgrade 850 of those ticket-holders to other areas (where they were showered with free food, drink, and paraphernalia), but 400 fans were turned away with just the promise of a triple refund and a ticket to next year’s game (if, of course, there is a game).

As for the attendance record, despite conning fans into paying $200 a pop to sit in the frigid parking lot and watch the game on a projector, Jones came up 766 attendees short.

Once fans finally got to their seats and displaced NFL execs stopped pouting, everyone settled back to watch five Navy F-18 fighter jets fly over the stadium. Except, the retractable roof had to stay closed due to weather conditions. For the nearly $500,000 it spent on the jets, the NFL got a five-second television shot.

Yet, it’s easy to forgive when you’ve got one of the top recording artists of our day singing the National Anthem.

Christina Aguilera was expected to be the musical highlight of Super Bowl XLV.

And she was...if you don’t care about the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner. After all, “the twilight’s last reaming” does have a certain ring to it.

Flubs and all, Aguilera can sure sing a song, especially when compared with the halftime act: the Black Eyed Peas. 

Fergie, will.i.am and those two other guys no one recognizes yelled at the audience for 15 minutes, stopping only to watch Usher’s surprise Michael Jackson impersonation. The real wonder of the evening wasn’t Aaron Rodgers 111.5 quarterback rating, but the fact that Slash actually agreed to accompany Fergie as she massacred “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”

When a halftime show makes you reminisce fondly about The Who’s 2010 Super Bowl performance, you know you’ve got problems.

No doubt, the NFL will take some solace in breaking the record for the most watched television program of all time, with 111 million viewers.

But if this is the best Super Bowl the NFL can produce at the league’s newest, shiniest, $1 billion stadium, what’s going to happen next year in Indianapolis? Or even worse, in 2014 when the game is played at the open-air New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey. For those charged with planning the future championship games, it’s sure to be a long, anxious year before Super Bowl XLVI rolls around.


To reach Kate Rooney by email, click here. Follow her on Twitter, @TheKateRooney.



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