Football the way it was meant to be

The Super Bowl is more than a football game. It's the most-watched television show of the year, and that doesn't happen solely because it's the last NFL game of the season.

It's an event. I get that.

But aside from football, it was a pretty weak event, wasn't it?

If you were watching mainly for the halftime show, you must've been really unhappy with the night. I admit the best Black Eyed Peas concert in history probably wouldn't move my music meter much, but that thing... eww. Fergie? No. The inexplicable group choreography with oddly illuminated beings? Useless. Slash? Please. Sure, Super Bowl halftime really isn't conducive to great moments in music history, but for all the hype shouldn't the show be something more than a musical comedy remake of Tron?

If you watched the game primarily for the commercials, I have one question for you: Do you work on Madison Avenue? If not, why are you watching for the commercials? They're commercials.

The most uncomfortable part of the Super event for me was Fox's heavy-duty pregame patriotism. If there was an explanation for it, I missed it. I had trouble making the NFL-patriotism connection. Patriotism is good. Football is good. But patriotism = football... how?

And if you're gonna go to all that nationalistic trouble pregame, you might want to make sure the celebrity of the month memorizes the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner." Messing up the words doesn't bother me, but quite a few people take that song pretty personally, and there's no point in angering them.

"I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through," Christina Aguilera said in a statement released after her Anthem rewording. Yeah, you can hope....

I guess it's my fault for tuning in before the game started.

Here's the non-football part I enjoyed the most: Goofy hair. Troy Polamalu is a given, and we all know about Clay Matthews' flowing locks. But the Packers had a bunch of pseudo-hippies, and speaking as a person who's never been really good at getting his hair to conform to social norms, let me just say I thought it was emboldening. I won't even talk about the nasty beards those guys can grow, except to say: Doesn't that itch?

The actual football game was pretty darned entertaining. One team built a big lead. The other team battled back gamely before one last turnover sealed its fate. The Kansas kid was great. And the evil villain Roethlisberger got his comeuppance. You couldn't ask for much more.

Unless you're from Pittsburgh.