Turns out my plans for Super Bowl coverage on the web were actually delusions of grandeur. I envisioned daily blog entries, and taped bits shot exclusively for their accompaniment. But after daily work shifts of 4 AM - 10 PM, I couldn't write a letter to Santa, let alone witty commentary on the day's events. So I feel it's my obligation now to offer you a recap of my Super Bowl week.
First off, congratulations to Ted Parra. Ted was my cameraman down in Miami, and with the overtime I earned him, he's been able to pay off those delinquent "Girls Gone Wild" bills. 16 - 18 hour workdays didn't afford us much time for entertainment, unless the entertainment occurred while we were working, like on Thursday.
This was the day Prince performed a 3-song set for the media, in lieu of a press conference. Truthfully, I imagine many of the middle-aged newspaper curmudgeons would have preferred asking The Artist about Indy's 2-back offense, rather than hearing him belt out a cover of "Johnny Be Good." The best moment came when Prince told the roughly 600-member audience to get on its feet, and one-by-one they did, moving their bodies to the rhythm as if they were experiencing back spasms. Then, as if they obliged him out of charity, most of the audience members sat back down. The only talk afterwards was about Prince's background dancers- a set of identical twins bronzed to matching perfection, and wearing little more than nightgowns and high heels.
It says a lot that I remember these women in such detail, because as you probably were made aware in every Super Bowl report you read, there is a bounty of beautiful women in Miami. It'd be nice if they smiled, however. They all walk around with this perpetual pout, and interpret questions like, "Excuse me, which way is Lincoln Street?" as "Do you have any Italian in you? Would you like some?"
I suppose I understand them being so guarded, though. The men in South Beach take gawking and cat-calling to levels that New York City construction workers couldn't match. But you can't blame them for thinking they have a chance. Nowhere in America are there more older men with inappropriately younger women on their arms. This is a phenomenon I just don't understand. Sure, he can buy you shoes with all the money he's got, but if his face is that wrinkly, I have to imagine so is everything else. Manolo Blahniks are worth that tradeoff?!?!
It's all posturing, I suppose. Everybody wants to get close to someone who's somebody, and with thousands of celebrities and athletes in town, it reached epidemic levels. They were everywhere. Jim Belushi brushed by me on Ocean Drive, moving at a pace reserved for paramedics and Ricky Henderson, as autograph seekers trailed him. I ran into boxing champ Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a Foot Locker store. It was hard to miss him with platinum boxing gloves hanging from his neck, and a 9-man entourage enveloping him. I stood about 20 feet from Fergie as she belted out "Fergalicious."
Her concert was part of the Ocean Drive Super Bowl Party, a $1500 a ticket slobberfest I managed to score 2 complimentary tickets to. The invitation told us to dress "Beach Chic" (whatever the hell that is), so me and Ted headed down to the party at 8:10, as doors were opening at 8:00. When we arrived, a line had already formed. Apparently, the party was not yet open to the "public." Normally, I only wait in lines under 2 circumstances- if I'm living under a communist regime and it's "bread day," or if I'm at the DMV. I never envisioned waiting in line for the woman who penned "My Humps," but for $1500 a pop, I figured I'd be assigned my own personal servant boy upon entry, so I toughed it out.
We lit up the "imported" cigars we'd bought a day earlier, grabbed some drinks, and headed toward the stage. There, we met 2 nice young ladies from Miami. Turns out, though, one was young, and the other was her mother. Melissa had just turned 18, and was in her senior year of high school, while Mom declined to give her age, only offering that her husband "was around somewhere." It was easy to be confused, though, as it was a 21-and-over event, and Miss Spring Fling was sucking down Vodka cranberries like Kool-Aid.
I kept a good 6 feet away from the Gastineau Girls as we listened to the sounds of DJ AM, whose mixing skills should earn him more acclaim than being Nicole Ritchie's ex-boyfriend. The guy is pretty unbelievable. Then, we were treated to a hype session from Swizz Beats, the mastermind behind various hits from artists like Jay Z and DMX. He debuted his brand new single, a track that's certain to embed itself in the social consciousness: "It's Me B***es!" For a song so new, the audience quickly picked up all 3 words of it, and chanted along with Swizz. Young and old, man and woman, mother and daughter, they all sang along . . "IT'S MEEEEE . . . B****ES!!!!" Soon after, Fergie took the stage for 2 songs, and towered over us like an Amazon Woman. With heels on, she's about 6'2". Hard to believe people forked over $1500 for this mini-concert, mini sliders and Absolut cocktails. I imagine whoever threw this party once hustled timeshares in the Poconos.
Everyone seemed to be dried out by Super Bowl Sunday, only to be drenched by an unrelenting rain storm. My accommodations kept me dry, as I watched the game on a big screen TV, under a tent, OUTSIDE of the stadium. This was the type of setting I envisioned, though I assumed we'd have the advantage of indoor plumbing. Had you have partaken a bit too much of the free buffet, your only outlet for relief would be the Port-A-Johns located just outside the tent, Port-A-Johns that had been sitting there for 9 days. Remember that line in "Shawshank Redemption?"
"Andy crawled to freedom through five-hundred yards of s**t smelling foulness I can't even imagine, or maybe I just don't want to."
The outhouse smelled something like that.
The game itself left me with a feeling similar to the one I felt in that Port-A-John: the biggest football game on the planet reduced to the atmosphere of a Week 5 game at Soldier Field. I can only hope the Bears reach the Super Bowl again next year in Arizona, where the most dangerous weather condition is a dry heat. I'm already mapping out my party strategy, and the best places to harass Glendale's senior citizen population.