Superbowl XL was freakin' AWESOME.
Nalon and Dan (our Soldier'sAngels hosts) turned out to be our kinda folks, and we enjoyed their company greatly. She is a sweetie, but you'd better not get mad at me, or I'll sic her on you! Seriously, they went the extra "8 miles" /bad detroit reference/ to show us a great time. Carren and I tried to be our low-maintenance selves, but they still drug us around town, took us out, and gave us the red-carpet treatment. Thank you, Nalon and Dan.
The game was thrilling, to say the least, from the "Where the hell is the offense?" first half to the breathtaking final quarter. We met a very nice couple who sat next to us, turns out that they got their tickets from her work and just went to the game--had no favorite team, just figured they'd never get another chance to go!
On my left was a man and his son who literally sat through the game, never spoke, cheered (for either side) or got the least bit excited. Odd. Why bother going if you can't get the least bit excited?
Aaron Neville (WTF is up with his eyebrows?) and Aretha Franklin completely fucked up my National Anthem. Period. I couldn't sing along, because I couldn't follow them through their destruction of the lyrics. The funny thing behind the story was that the NFL decided to have Neville come and crap all over the National Anthem because he's from New Orleans. (Oops. Someone forgot to tell them that Detroit is the home of MOTOWN.) So they stuck Aretha Franklin in with Aaron to butcher my song.
Was (Not Was), Eminem, The Clark Sisters, Kid Rock, Martha Reeves, Smokey Robinson, Bob Seger, Glen Frey, The Miracles, Grand Funk Railroad, George Clinton and Parliament, The Temptations, Diana Ross, The Commodores, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas and Ted Nugent all come from Detroit.
I am certain that they could've found better talent to do the National Anthem, people who can read music, follow a beat, choose the correct time and tempo. Don't get started on "Artistic License" and "arrangement." The song should only be sung one way: so that the crowd can join in. It's MY National Anthem. It's OUR National Anthem.
Don't tread on it.
Halftime: Watching geriatrics gesticulate for 20 minutes, wondering if they were going to actually sing all the lyrics, was interesting. Mick looks about 90, and has a correllating sex appeal. The only ones who sang all the lyrics were the fans. Having a bunch of Brits sing at a game which clearly defines America is ridiculous, especially in this town. Hell, the rest of the world calls football "futbol" (because they're mostly uneducated) and then, when they all get together to play "futbol," they play soccer. Kid Rock would've been awesome; regardless, next time get an American band to play at Halftime, preferably someone who doesn't remember Woodstock.
Just in case you were wondering, the only time a Servicemember was recognized during the entire 6 hours we were there was the guy who patted me down ran the wand over my body. It beeped, I told him it was shrapnel, and he thanked me for my service. Turns out he was a former Marine. Other than that, it seems the NFL would rather we just took up residence in our cardboard boxes and VA homes. Obviously, the players on the field were the ones who would show America the meaning of sacrifice, teamwork, honor, duty, and courage. What would the Armed Forces know about that? They've never played in the conference championships, let alone the hallowed halls of the Superbowl.
Whew. That took a lot of typing. The game was FANTASTIC. Carren and I were constantly on our feet, waving our Terrible Towels, She screamed "Hit Him!" and I usually screamed "Throw the F'ing Ball!" or "Knock his dick in the dirt!" We had a great time, and the whole trip was just what we needed: a short trip that didn't involve surgery. We can't thank Patti Bader enough for this; I know that I will probably never see another Superbowl (from the stands), and seeing Dem Stillers win number Five, seeing Bill Cowher win after 14 years of trying, seeing Jerome Bettis finally Park the Bus, seeing Hines Ward play a Hall of Fame-worthy game, and seeing all of the Black and Gold celebrate after 24 years of trying was truly moving. Without Patti and the other Angels, none of that could've happened. You forever have my gratitude.