superbowl - FilteringCraig
Posts tagged superbowl

The End of An Over-Reaction

Well, folks, the Janet Jackson / Justin Timberlake nipple-gate-pasty-wardrobe-malfunctioning affair is finally over.  The date Justin Timberlake attempted to but really didn’t make Janet Jackson “naked before the end of this song” was February 1st 2004. Yesterday, a Federal Court of Appeals struck down the fine against CBS stations nationwide that totaled $550,000, levied by the seemingly toothless FCC. It makes me happy that the legal process played out this way, but the effects have already been so sweeping that the $550,000 is really the least of the country’s problems. This Janet Jackson nipple has caused sweeping puritanical change in the last 4+ years since it all went down because the FCC was able to get the maximum penalty raised from $27,500 per incident to $500,000 per incident.

Let’s count the ways:

  1. Television had to institute delays in most live broadcasts
  2. Television producers stopped pushing the envelope on nudity and language in their programming, even after 10 PM
  3. Radio tightened up their rules about language.  It is to the point now where lawyers for CBS have instructed the Opie and Anthony Show that they can’t say “douche bag,” or “scum bag,” but they are allowed to use the word “douche,” and “scum,” individually.  The (over)thinking is that the addition of the word “bag” constitutes a “description of a bodily fluid” and thus potential for FCC fines.
  4. Howard Stern moved to Sirius Satellite Radio at least partially as a result of the climate created by the event.  Within a month of “nipplegate” Clear Channel, a syndicator or Stern’s show, removed Stern from its stations, citing raunchy material.

And who knows how many more examples there are of “standards and practices” departments at networks getting out of control with censorship.  And this all went down as the result of an event that was EVENTUALLY OVERRULED IN A FEDERAL APPEALS COURT!

That’s just awesome.

How many comedians, entertainers, writers, and other artists have been stifled in the last 4 years, unnecessarily.  The people that live on forever generally push the limits of what we are used to seeing.  How much farther have we been set back?

Luckily, I don’t think we have been set back.  While these companies were overreacting to the FCC and all the mock outrage over this incident, it has caused other avenues to thrive.  Today, some of the most popular shows in the country have existed on HBO, Showtime, FX and other cable outlets that don’t censor themselves.  While the networks have spent time nitpicking show creators on their networks, we have had the pleasure of watching the final seasons of The Sopranos, The Wire, Weeds, Dexter, Lucky Louie, Big Love, Rescue Me and what is reportedly the only show that Comedy Central doesn’t censor, South Park.

While the satellite radio companies seem set to merge because of negative economic realities facing the two companies, it isn’t a referendum on the content that the companies tend to put out.  It is more a statement about the delivery method that the companies bought into with satellites.  Still, as the first “cable” networks for radio, XM and Sirius have thrived content-wise with Opie and Anthony, Howard Stern, Ron and Fez, and others who all do uncensored talk.  In addition XM and Sirius have channels that play songs and comedy unaltered for language like terrestrial radio has to play them.

I would like to think that the tightening of rules has actually pushed people to these alternative outlets over the years.  So while I think that the reaction to this event was stupid, maybe we will look back at it one day as the catalyst that the U.S. needed to push the boundaries in different directions to places outside of the ridiculous realm of “indecency” that is created and monitored by a governmental group that has almost no checks and balances.

It may have taken more than 4 years, but there is some sense of justice in seeing these fines overturned.

Emmitt Smith Says ‘Debacled’

Last night in “analysizing” the Superbowl that had just taken place Emmitt Smith decided that it would be a good idea to say that the Patriots strengths had been “Debacled.”

Finished laughing?  I’ll wait.

Done? I’ll wait.

How about now?  I’ll wait a bit longer.

Whew.  That was serious.  Anyway, here’s hoping that the Emmitt Smith experiment is over.  Emmitt Smith might have compiled some of the most impressive running stats in the history of the NFL, but that doesn’t mean he should get to talk into a microphone weekly.  Does anyone remember Eric Dickerson as a sideline reporter?  Emmitt is worse.  That is saying a lot.

Superbowl Live Blog

At least until I get bored…


  • 6:18 Jordin Sparks is singing. HD doesn’t do good things for the complexion of a lot of these guys.
  • 6:21 Is drinking a Magic Hat #9 like rooting for the Patriots?
  • 6:22 I did a good job of not watching pre-game. We didn’t even turn the TV onto football until 6:05 PM. For this, I am proud.
  • 6:23 I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but I HATE the metallic NFL robot that Fox uses for its telecasts.
  • 6:26 I am excited to see referee Mike Carey. He is BY FAR the best ref in the NFL in that he calls an even game and explains everything very well.

First Quarter

  • 6:31 So, I just complimented the hell out of Mike Carey and I think they missed one hell of a facemask on the opening kick.
  • 6:36 Breathe fire Bud Light commercial isn’t all that funny. Audi and the Godfather reference was funny.
  • 6:38 Gay might have just broken a bone in his arm. Looks like he is going to get X-rays. He is a key part of the Pats secondary. Watch this one.
  • 6:43 Pasta break. I made triple threat pasta sauce. Ground turkey, ground turkey sausage, and turkey meatballs. Oh hell yeah.
  • 6:59 Round one of the pasta break is done and so is the first quarter. As the Pats look to be getting into the end zone, the score is 0-3 in favor of the Giants.

Second Quarter

  • 7:00 Can we call this whole Super Bowl commercial thing officially over? I haven’t seen a single good commercial yet. Well, maybe that Audi spot.
  • 7:02 Maroney scores. Pasta break part 2 begins. Woohoo!
  • 7:11 Ugh. I didn’t need round 2 of pasta, but damn was it good. Giants are driving and they derail themselves with a delay of game. I can’t remember how many times I have seen refs miss the delay of game call during these playoffs. It has been a lot.
  • 7:13 And the first turnover of the game, and I don’t think you can blame it on Eli Manning. Steve Smith should have been able to make the catch for sure.
    • I wonder what the reaction will be to this game if Eli fails to bring home the Super Bowl championship. Will they be on him like they have been since he was drafted? Does this appearance in the Super Bowl buy him some time? Judging by the fact that is New York, I doubt it.
  • 7:20 If the Superbowl commercials get so bad that the commercials fail to yield any business benefits, do the rates ever start to go down, or does the blame never fall on the contest because of the numbers of viewers? I really feel like Madison Avenue has lost touch with what is entertaining if these are the best they have to offer.
  • 7:22 A fumble on the handoff and another situation where it wasn’t Eli’s fault. If Eli was looking to stay blame free in this game alone, he has done a good job of that so far, anyway.
  • 7:25 OK, now for some controversy. I just saw the anti-drug commercial and I hate to say this, but is that really the casting you would have done to portray a drug dealer? A somewhat seedy-looking white dude hanging outside what looked like a fast food restaurant? I guess the white male truly is the enemy in this world. I mean, I don’t mean to come off as a racist or anything, but if a Hollywood movie was going to cast an actor in the role of “drug dealer” what actor do you think they would cast?
  • 7:29 Shit. Was Carlos Mencia really so successful last year that we needed this stupid hack to show up in a commercial again this year? What does he know about a bud light executive?
  • 7:38 Dwyane Wade just got the benefit of 4 calls during this 30 second commercial. Man, that dude gets to go to the line a lot.
  • 7:41 The Pepsi / Justin Timberlake commercial goes into the lead. As a man, I can’t possibly resist the comedy of watching JT’s balls get smashed on the support post of a mailbox. That will always be funny. Probably some points off for the unnecessary Tony Romo cameo.
  • 7:51 Tom Brady fumbles. That dude is taking a serious beating today. The Pats may be “perfect” so far this year, but they will need to get some help on their offensive line for next year.
  • 7:54 and it is time for (get ready for this) Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers!!!!
  • 8:19 Tom Petty was OK, but it must have been tough to follow Prince. Last year’s performance by Prince was probably the best Superbowl halftime show I have ever seen, so I guess Petty shouldn’t be too disappointed.

Third Quarter

  • 8:21 The Superbowl just earned HUGE points from me by bringing the telecast back with my pick for song of the year 2007, “No Cars Go,” by The Arcade Fire. Seriously, I love that song so much that Jen is sick of hearing it altogether.
  • 8:26 It was subtle, but Pam Oliver just revealed that Tom Coughlin is a cheesy bastard. She just quoted him as saying that the Giants need to score in the “green zone.” You see, it is known universally as the Red Zone, but Coughlin thinks that it should be called the green zone because green means go and red means stop. It sounds like a motivational poster. Blech.
  • 8:31 Sales Genie just had a commercial with a stereotypical Asian accent. I would be surprised if those Asian groups keep quiet about that. These are the same groups that JV and Elvis fired for doing a bit on the radio about a Chinese restaurant featuring an accent that changes L’s to R’s, etc. Keep in mind that I don’t think anyone should get in trouble for this stuff, but this is the crappy world we live in in the US.
  • 8:35 Is anyone else surprised that the Pats are allowed to challenge the number of players on the field? It seems almost like it would be challenging a penalty. I mean, the result would be that Mike Carey would have to throw a flag, right? Why is that different than challenging a judgment call like holding or pass interference that would result in them picking up a flag?
  • 8:39 OK, we can stop showing the Giant that didn’t get off the field. The booth isn’t talking about it, so the producer should stop showing shots of the dude on the sideline. He isn’t even sulking or anything.
  • 8:45 Is it me, or does that Hyundai Genesis look like a halfway decent car? Hyundai’s are coming up in the world, I think.
  • 8:56 The Giants got HUGE pressure on Brady and he gets the first down to Welker, but I wonder why there wasn’t intentional grounding on the last play. There wasn’t anyone there as far as I could tell.
  • 9:00 With all the false starts on the Pats, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Giants weren’t contributing to that with some illegal simulated snap counts. I am not sure what the chances of the Pats linemen jumping off this many times are, but they aren’t this high.

Fourth Quarter

  • 9:01 It is officially a barn burner. 7-3 Pats lead heading into the 4th quarter. This is not a good game.
  • 9:07 I get annoyed with Frank Caliendo even when he isn’t doing any impressions. There is no bigger hack on the face of the planet. Carlos Mencia thinks Caliendo stinks. We get it, you can do John Madden.
  • 9:08 How weird is it that Jeremy Shockey isn’t on the sidelines?
  • 9:09 They keep showing Peyton Manning in a luxury box. I wonder if the Manning family has to pay for that or whether the NFL puts their first family up for free?
  • 9:11 Giants score and go up 10-7
  • 9:13 Coke did very well with their commercial about James Carville and Bill Frist sight-seeing in Washington together. That was pretty good.
  • 9:15 They just showed the replay of David Tyree’s touchdown and that might have been the laziest route I have seen in a while. He got lucky because his lack of aggression almost got Eli’s ball intercepted by the Pats in the end zone.
  • 9:22 I don’t know if I could possibly care less about a tv show than I do about House. Seriously, I don’t even know anyone who watches this show.
  • 9:24 I wonder how many people will be wondering why they haven’t heard of the college football team that plays at the University of Phoenix stadium in Arizona.
  • 9:34 The Pats have crazy rhythm right now and they are inside the 10. The Giants defensive line looks like they are completely out of gas. The Giants would be better off with backups right now. They can’t get any pressure right now.
  • 9:40 The Pats score to Randy Moss and now the game comes down to Eli Manning and the Giants’ offense. We haven’t seen much out of the ordinary here. What if Belichick onside kicked it?
  • 9:50 I give the Giants about a 35% chance to win this game. Eli and the offense don’t look confident right now.
  • 9:51 How did Asante Samuel not make that play? That would have been a game ender for sure.
  • 9:51 that play by the Giants was the most amazing play I have ever seen, I think. Eli escapes disaster and somehow David Tyree made the catch. Jared Lorenzen is still fat.
  • 9:54 There has been a complete lack of gadget plays in this game. Have we seen misdirection on either side?
  • 9:56 Burress scores on a play almost exactly like Moss’ touchdown where the defender just falls down. Tom Brady is going to have to make history in 35 seconds to save the perfect season. Somewhere those annoying ’72 Dolphins are messing their Depends brand undergarments.
  • 10:02 Tom Brady just tossed the ball about 70 yards at Randy Moss and the Giants stopped it by inches. That stiff wind in pulling toward NY is that collective gasp that went up when Brady unleashed the ball.
  • 10:04 The Patriots have been knocked off.  Who would have thunk it?  The New York Giants by some miracle take down the team that nobody else could take down this season.  It started as a boring game, and finished with a HUGE bang.
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