It’s good that everyone watches the Super Bowl, because this game and all of the hoopla around it do a good job of showing us what not to do.
— Don’t live in Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love is the only city I have ever heard of that had to grease its light poles twice in one year. Why do people climb light poles when their teams win big games? This is a weird response to winning. Flipping cars, setting fires, and all of the other mini-riot activities carried out by happy fans of winning teams make no sense to me. You want your team to win, but when they do, you bunker down in your home and simply hope to survive. Don’t even get me started on the inebriated young man who lowered the bar for drunken celebrations by eating manure from police horses. Congratulations on the Super Bowl. If you are reading this, you survived the purge.
— Don’t quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to sell cars during Black History Month. This ad meant well. Someone at the agency heard King’s sermon on service to others being the true definition of greatness and thought, “Hey, people can use their brand new Dodge pickup to serve others.” It’s true. Those of us with pickups know very well that there are often times when our friends need us. But using a dead civil rights leader and twisting his message to sell trucks, when King was actually preaching about the evils of how cars and other products are marketed to people wasn’t the best idea. I hate to bash Dodge too much because they wanted to sell trucks through a positive message instead of just power, looks and flash. I’m just not sure that this one was seen by enough focus groups since they used the words to do exactly what his sermon originally preached against.
— Don’t include a dead pop legend in a tribute when you have gone out of your way to show disrespect to the guy twice when he was alive. Justin Timberlake put on a decent show for the Super Bowl crowd Sunday night. The only collaboration Timberlake employed was a large projection of Prince while butchering one of Prince’s songs. That wasn’t a great idea. Minneapolis was his town, not yours. Timberlake disrespected Prince in a song and at an awards show by making a joke about Prince being short. Other than that, Timberlake was pretty entertaining and watchable. Whether on tour, in a movie or on “Saturday Night Live,” Timberlake is consistently entertaining. Sure, we all hoped he wouldn’t just sing a song from the movie Trolls — although my 10-year-old really enjoyed that — and maybe surprise everyone with an appearance by his old boy band NSync, mother of all wardrobe malfunctions Janet Jackson, or even Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield bringing football and dancing together. Other than a big projector with Prince — or whatever symbol he was using as a name when he died — and a big Prince symbol lighting up the Minneapolis skyline, Timberlake took the safe route and just sang and danced. It wasn’t bad, but without a wardrobe malfunction, a huge storm when the real Prince performed “Purple Rain” in actual rain, or a guy in a shark costume dancing hilariously behind Katy Perry, these halftime shows really become forgettable. Even with the Prince tribute and controversy, this one didn’t leave its mark.
— Don’t get conservative. I’m not saying go to the last page in the playbook like Philadelphia had on fourth down earlier in the game where the quarterback was the last guy to touch a touchdown pass instead of the first, but when you need success late in the game, you can’t select two plays and just rotate them either. In football as in life, you have to stop doing the things that don’t work and continue doing the things that have brought you success. You don’t need to fix the things that aren’t broken.
The Super Bowl is entertaining and fun, but there are a lot of lessons taught each year as well.
— Kent Bush is publisher of Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.