Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl Hype....and the Halftime show.

I found this article online and copied bits and pieces of's fantastic! Read on.

Nothing comes even close to the media attention it generates -- not the Iraq War, not the Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama feud, not actor Tom Cruise's latest tirade.

Two weeks of intense TV, radio and print hype climax in Arizona tonight, when the undefeated New England Patriots face the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII, otherwise known as "the football game played between really expensive commercials."

If you somehow missed it amid coverage of quarterback Tom Brady eluding marriage proposals or coach Bill Belichick discussing his favorite salty snacks (I'm not kidding), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will perform at halftime.

On the surface, a likable guy with scads of swell rock hits seems a safe and wholesomely American choice for "the most watched television event in history."

Then again, this is America, where celebrity stalking, TV sports banter and 24-hour talk-radio babble generate more advertising revenue than the gross national product of several eastern European nations.

What if Tom Petty got scrutinized incessantly, the way ESPN, sportswriters, former players and ex-coaches have probed every move, sniffle and burp of the Patriots and Giants? I imagine the final week of media hype might have gone something like this:

After rehearsal, Petty is spotted limping to his dressing room with a "walking boot" on his right leg. Video clips of a hobbled Petty pop up on YouTube, leading to rampant speculation about whether the rocker is healthy enough to lead his team, er, group through the rigors of a big-game performance. Petty's father scoffs on radio that his son just "tweaked his ankle a little bit" during a lively guitar solo. Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, providing commentary for "Entertainment Tonight," wonders if Petty is faking it or whether he'll need a walker to avoid "Free Fallin.'" Congress orders a full investigation into Anklegate.

Media Day frenzy. After playing 18 concerts in a row without a missed note, an inebriated band member or a misplaced set list, hordes of eager reporters focus on one question: "Can Petty and the Heartbreakers go 19-0 at the Super Bowl?" Petty seems cocky, dissing previous acts such as Janet Jackson, who, uh, unraveled at halftime. "Hey, I'm 'Runnin' Down a Dream,'" Petty chirps in greatest-hits fashion into a sea of reporters' microphones.

Petty vehemently denies a report from a former trainer/roadie that he's ever used performance-enhancing substances, except for some skintight Spandex slacks in the late '80s. He is subpoenaed to testify before Congress, which goes on record as opposing Spandex.

A celebrity gossip Web site posts covert footage of a closed band rehearsal that catches Petty lip-synching to Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music, White Boy" with secret guest Justin Timberlake, who specializes in overblown, genre-crossing Super Bowl halftime spectacles while pretending he has "street cred." Timberlake vows not to expose his or anyone else's breasts on national TV. Petty again gets subpoenaed to testify before members of Congress, mostly because no one is paying any attention to them during "Super" week.

Irate that Paula Abdul has bypassed him for fellow "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson to sing a pregame duet, Simon Cowell threatens to sign "Idol" castoff William Hung to a recording contract. He also declares during a press conference that Abdul is "a bit pitchy" and that Jackson is "truly pathetic." Ryan Seacrest gets subpoenaed to testify before Congress, "just because."

Head groundhog Punxsatawney Phil sees his shadow, signaling six more weeks of Super Bowl-related blathering. On the eve of the big game, paparazzi spot Petty, sans walking boot, sneaking into a Phoenix nightclub with the Green Bay Packers' "Bikini Girls," who boldly bared their navels in subzero weather during a recent playoff game. The Bikini Girls are called to testify before Congress because, after all, navel-gazing is its specialty.

Of course, as far as I -- and the National Enquirer -- know, none of this actually happened. But you might want to scan YouTube just in case ... .

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