The Seattle Seahawks will face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend in Super Bowl XL. (“Super Bowl Extra Large” for you hipsters in the audience. “Super Bowl 40” for you non-sporting non-Romans in the audience.) The game will take place at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich. Pittsburgh is favored to win by four points. (Which, in the sporting scheme of things, is a pretty tight football game.)
Football fans have, no doubt, been arguing over this game for the past several weeks, and we here at “Idiot Box” have basically nothing constructive to add to that discussion. Feel free to continue the debate well into this weekend over a steaming plate of hot wings.
Since “Idiot Box” is far more interested in the spectacle of television, we're happy to touch on the more esoteric window dressing surrounding Super Bowl XL.
Kicking things off (before the kickoff, that is) is the ever-popular National Anthem, which gets a timely “New Orleans” treatment thanks to Aaron Neville, Aretha Franklin, Dr. John and a 150-person chorus. Following that and a bunch of football, we get the half-time show. (Or “The Sprint Super Bowl Half-time Show” as the guys at Sprint who shelled out $600 million in NFL deals would like us to call it.)
For the second year in a row, a British performer over 60 will headline the half-time show. Taking over for 2005's Paul McCartney will be The Rolling Stones. That announcement got Detroit residents in a bit of a twist. Seeing as how Detroit is birthplace to the musical legend known as Motown, the locals were rightfully peeved. Organizers quelled some of that anger by adding Motown legend Stevie Wonder to the pre-game show (alongside Joss Stone and John Legend).
Of course, if the game gets dull, or you want to avoid the spectacle of an aging Mick Jagger altogether, you can always tune into some of the day's complementary/
Topping off the complementary camp is “Lingerie Bowl III,” returning this year for its annual, scantily clad pay-per-view outing. Dennis Rodman, Jenny McCarthy and Cindy Margolis (all three of which are likely to be wearing lingerie) host the event, which takes place live during half-time. There are actually four teams competing--the Dallas Desire, the Los Angeles Temptation, the NY Euphoria and the Chicago Bliss. Check out www.lingeriebowl.com for info.
In the contradictory camp is Animal Planet's “Puppy Bowl II.” This brilliantly brain-damaged event earned a spot in the Idiot Box Hall of Fame last year. Stating at 1 p.m., you can tune in to Animal Planet and watch cute puppies run around a tiny stadium--for hours and hours, if you so desire. Just don't be surprised if you spend more time around the watercooler on Monday talking about the beagles and the dacshunds than the Steelers and the Seahawks.