Sunday, February 05, 2006

Cheers, Ladies!

I just watched the Pittsburgh Steelers win the Superbowl and I must reflect.

The Superbowl and I are peers. Over the years, when people ask my age, I have occasionally given the smart-ass retort: "I'm as old as the SuperBowl." Therefore, I always watch the game with interest, as it is a cultural time capsule of progress/digress that fits precisely within my lifetime. (Indeed, the Janet Jackson half-time incident marked a dark, ridiculous and, indeed, pierced time in my own life.)

This year, with the recent feminst blog debate going 'round, I couldn't help but notice a few less obvious victories that don't end with large jewelry and quickly switched logo-encrusted baseball caps.

First off, they opened the game with a moment of silence for "two fallen heroes of this country,": Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King. Um, can we stop and celebrate that for a moment? Two women! Of color, even! Honored, at the Superbowl! The biggest American celebration of testosterone - other than war - that this country is capable of having and they are honoring these ladies.

Again, when they sang the national anthem, it was Aaron Neville (who seems like he'd had a stroke, bless his heart) and . . . Aretha Franklin, who belted it out in her Detroit hometown. The cameras flashed on various intense players and those who looked heartfelt. At one point, they showed Condi Rice in the crowd, beaming like I never knew she was capable of. I mean, if W. himself had performed a private strip tease on her birthday, she could not have visibly been any happier.

Furthermore, I have to point out that the ABC network had only two reporters down on the field to cover the action - chicks! Both of em! Smart ones too! They knew their shit! Neither one blonde or busty! Real vocabularies and everything!

So, yes, I am drinking champagne (which explains all the !!!) and on this Sunday afternoon, I am celebrating the fact that on the weekend of Betty Fridan's passing, some very subtle strides have been made and goddammit, that makes me proud.

And I'm saving my final toast for the cheerleaders who have been there all along.


1 comment:

Fang Bastardson said...

Wow, great post!


No, seriously – I made my yearly pilgrimage to the land of meat-eating beer-drinkers yesterday. I used to have to drive 100 miles each way on Super Bowl Sunday for my annual attempt at passing myself as a regular bloke. Here on Christmas Island, it was only 40 miles round-trip to my new friend’s house.

Well, it is a small island, after all.

Anyhow, I have a theory regarding the honoring of the late Missuses Parks and King: They’re Mom Figures to the testosterone junkies we assume is drawn to these kinds of events. Every guy has some kind of mother issues – but not with these two! Nope, we can be totally unconflicted about their passing.

The host of the Super Bowl bash I was at, The Last Boy Scout, said immediately after the moment of silence, “Man, if they had said ‘Betty Friedan,’ I woulda freaked!” Now the fact that he’s well-versed enough in his stuff to even know who Ms Friedan was separates him from the pack – plus, I had the same thought.

But black mother figures were well-represented.

I was glad Aretha was there to rescue my beloved National Anthem from Aaron Neville’s warbley multi-octave mugging, and bored to absolute death by the Stones at half-time. Their three biggest hits and a wicked cool stage. BFD.

And who the hell were the pretty, young nobodies Steve Wonder was relegated to play backup for? That pissed me off.

The game? Jocks pounding the crap out of each other. Actually, it’s not so bad when you look at it that way.

In the end, The Last Boy Scout’s much-loved Steelers triumphed over their unworthy adversaries, and I won $20 in a luck-based gambling endeavor and had a genuinely good time with the crowd. There were almost as many kids under 5 there as there were adults. I sat back and reflected on how weird it was to be one of the adults in the room, and not one of the kids. 43 years old and with a Man Cub of my own, and I’m just beginning to accept that I’m not one of the kids any more.