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Just about everyone has piled on Cam Newton for his pathetic non-performance in sulking away his disgust in the press room after the Super Bowl. Even those who qualify their criticism with irrelevancies like “he’s only 26,” as if he’d automatically act differently… more mature and sportsmanlike at 27, 28, or 31, are disappointed in his behavior. One thing that we all can agree on though, is that Cam Newton did not plan to act the way he did…. that his few minutes of petulance and truculence (my favorite Howard Cosell-ism!) were totally spontaneous…. surely Cam didn’t have those kind of non-answers rehearsed and ready to go…. (here’s a more entertaining version of the moment)
Which brings us to Peyton Manning, winning Super Bowl Quarterback for the second time… the King of Preparation, who set the bar for Inexcusable, Premeditated Shilling at the highest level ever seen, by twice specifically mentioning the brand name Budweiser in post-game interview situations, against league rules and common decency. Fox Business: Manning twice said he planned to drink Budweiser during postgame festivities – first during an on-field interview with CBS reporter Tracy Wolfson, and again while onstage for the presentation of the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Those two mentions of the Budweiser name generated an estimated $3.2 million in advertising value for Anheuser-Busch, according to Apex Analytics, a sponsorship metrics firm. Companies paid $5 million for 30 seconds of commercial time. UPDATE from the Denver Post: By Monday morning, the value of Peyton Manning’s two mentions of Budweiser after the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 had zoomed to $13.9 million, according to a firm that analyzes the value of brands. By Friday those mentions may be worth $100 million! “I’ll take some time to reflect. I’ve got a couple of priorities first,” he told CBS’s Tracy Wolfson. “I want to go kiss my wife and my kids. I want to go hug my family. I’m going to drink a lot of Budweiser tonight, Tracy, I promise you that.”
As always, irrelevancies must be put forth to deflect and justify. The Washington Post headlined it like this:
Peyton Manning kept mentioning Budweiser and apparently wasn’t being paid for it
So, should we be led to believe this was just a happy accident that he mentioned Budweiser? That a guy who actually owns a stake in two Budweiser distributorships merely casually spit out the name twice as he did? That because he wasn’t specifically being paid to do it that he wasn’t shilling for his own financial self-interest? That it doesn’t violate NFL rules. Fox Business: The NFL forbids its active players from promoting alcohol brands. “Even if Manning has no current connection to Budweiser, it’s quite possible that he’s got a deal in the works— as a spokesperson, distributor or brand ambassador – that because of the NFL’s restrictions on promoting alcoholic beverages, he can’t officially announce until retirement,” said Bob Dorfman, an expert on sports sponsorships and executive creative director at Baker Street Advertising in San Francisco. “So the mentions yesterday were a calculated ‘teaser.’” That the NFL itself can have alcoholic league-wide sponsorship worth tens of millions and individual players can’t is a subject for another day. But the rules be the rules, Peyton.
Do I personally care that Manning did what he did? No, of course not. But he’s been doing it for years and getting away with it…. because he’s Peyton Manning. Here he is doing it two years ago a few weeks before the Broncos got swamped in the Super Bowl by Seattle:
Maybe the next A-B spinoff product to follow Peyton’s retirement will be Bud Light HGH…. as in human growth hormone. Sorry to be so truculent about the subject. But before we do a full pile-on to Cam Newton for 3 minutes of self-defeating behavior, let us remember the Double Standard of Outrage and Hypocrisy that knows no boundaries.
I thought Trump was going to march out on the field during the coin toss, push Joe Montana aside, whip out his own coin with his face on one side and Putin’s on the other. Instead, the Republican front-runner, acting like a know-nothing football idiot, believing he is somehow entitled to a Super Bowl game specifically tailored to his liking (Too much of that damned defense, eh Donald? You likey more when they score lotsa touchdowneys? So do six-year olds.) vomited up only one uncontrollable, pointless tweet during the game. Only a simpleton continually forgets that most Super Bowls are not sixty minutes of exciting, scintillating football…. and this week and next week and the week after that Saturday Night Live will mostly suck, as it did 3,5, 15, 25, and 40 years ago….. except for the highlight reel.
But Trump’s influence on changing America back to more winning than we’ll ever be able to stand was on full display Sunday night. Just one night after a debate where he completely misconstrued Marco Rubio’s repetitive of course Barack Obama knows exactly what he’s doing (in his mission to change America) drone (Chris Christie was the one who nailed Rubio)… Trump either stupidly, or on purpose stupidly said this:
“Marco said earlier on that President Obama knows exactly what he’s doing, like we have this president that really knows. I disagree, respectfully, with Marco. I think we have a president who, as a president, is totally incompetent, and he doesn’t know what he’s doing.”
It’s pretty important that a president have reading and listening comprehension skills or we could be in a heap of trouble. Just saying.
Trump’s quickening influence in making America Politically Incorrect Forever was on display during the Super Bowl, when finally, in its fiftieth year, we got some commercials that addressed the most common outcomes of each contest whose names are seldom spoken in polite company:
Constipation vs Diarrhea
Tens of millions of Americans sick to their stomachs crapping their pants off or unable to crap their pants off. The Great Super Bowl Matchup that’s always been there. Not Denver vs Carolina. Not New England vs Somebody again. Not offense vs defense. Not Manning vs CAM. Diarrhea was favored by 6 and covered the spread easily. Oops.
A very smart man, Coach Vince Lombardi was undoubtedly more concerned with winning football titles than when we would be putting men on the moon. He may have personally cared about the US space program, but I couldn’t find any on-the-record remarks from him about the subject. I bring it up only as an excuse to knock out a myth about the first Super Bowl and the false narrative that all Americans were gung-ho about beating the Ruskies to the moon as soon as possible, no matter the cost. Are the two things really connected? Hell no, but when you run through a NY Times archive of that day’s paper to read about the first Super Bowl….. you get a bonus! You are reminded that Republicans are ALWAYS against progress, they ALWAYS have an excuse that involves spending, and they have been and continue to be against the New Deal, the Great Society, and of course, today, Obamacare. Oppose it, derail it, defund it, kill it. It’s all the same to them if it helps people and a Democratic president suggested it.
I hear Joe McCarthy has already been put on retainer to return from the dead to lead a possible presidential campaign against self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist (a redundant term to Joe, of course) Bernie Sanders should he get the nomination. But let’s start with football……
I’ve always heard that “you know, they didn’t even call it the Super Bowl until the third one, when Joe Namath and the Jets beat the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in 1969, the first two years they simply called it the AFL–NFL World Championship Game.” But in the New York Times’ front page writeup about the Lombardi-led Packers 35-10 win over Kansas City on January 15, 1967 in that first game, the final paragraph reads:
Of course, the Times may have retroactively changed the article all these years later, just as the Honolulu newspapers later magically inserted the “birth” announcement of Barack Obama into their archives long after 1961:
Meanwhile, back to Super Bowl Sunday back in 1967 and that NY Times front page, which also featured this piece:
It’s what they do. It’s who Republicans are. Nothing much has changed, but hostility to President Johnson, who, by then was the embattled Vietnam president, knew no domestic bounds even on our striving to land on the moon before the Soviet Union. From the article, check out this 1967 variation on Hillary Clinton’s famous “what difference does it make?” remark to the Benghazi committee:
Everett Dirksen is considered to be a highly thought-of senator. His flippancy about not caring when we finally might make it to the moon was, if anything, consistent. Dirksen is famous for having said, on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money.”
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Mr. Trump did a pretty good job himself in 2015 making the entire world a verbal free-fire zone, where your mouth operates unencumbered by your brain, simple decency, or financial considerations either personal or political. Each step plowed ground that would have eliminated anyone else in politics or gotten a normal person fired from their job. Acting as unrestrained as a 4-year-old child or the Clint Eastwood Gran Torino guy, his initial opening-statement slur against Mexicans… trashing John McCain’s service… attributing Megyn Kelly’s questioning him to menstruation… his ignorant, phony embrace of the Bible… irrationally attacking and mimicking a disabled reporter… lying about seeing Muslims in American on tv celebrating 9/11 then suggesting in various ways they be tracked, spied upon, rounded up and excluded from America…. those are just some A-list infractions that so far, at least, perversely strengthen a Freddy Krueger candidacy within the confines of the Republican Primary Dreamworld.
Late in December, Mr. Trump, after a moment of deep, deep, self reflection: “If I don’t win, I’ll consider this a total and complete waste of time.” Want to know what a real waste of time is , Donald? Any broadcast of one of your early-evening, repetitive, self-absorbed, bragging about your polls, everyone else is a loser, hate-rallies around the country… “I saw love in that room. I see love everywhere I go….“This is great, I love it. I love it. I’ll tell you—you know, I missed—heh, heh. Thank you. Thank you.” … that will eventually end in disappointment for you and your followers. The only question remaining….are you and your minions willing to accept the inevitable?
Behold the insufferable sights and sounds of factless, free-association Trump boring into the worst instincts of racist, redneck, economically pissed and scared America under the guise of not being politically correct. As if that solves all. According to North Carolina journalist/blog guy Gary Pierce, “…those are the code words often used by Donald Trump’s supporters. Meaning what? Judging from what Trump says, it must mean, “We like it when he says things that offend people, like women, the handicapped, the poor, Hispanics, Muslims and anybody else we don’t like.” They long for the good old days before “political correctness,” when they could freely insult, belittle and make fun of anybody not like them. They fell in love when Trump claimed that President Obama wasn’t born in America. Which may be the most ignorant and bigoted strain in American politics today. Every age has its bigoted, know-nothing demagogues. George Wallace was the last to run for President. But even Wallace cloaked his bigotry as a fight against a too-powerful federal government. Trump’s ignorance and bigotry come raw. And his supporters like it raw.”
As the year ended and before the first real vote was cast anywhere, Trump declared himself the winner of the Republican nomination. This freed him up to not have to “waste his time” so much on small fry like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, enabling him to begin his general election campaign against Hillary Clinton. Threatening virtual proxy political assassination of Hillary via Bill, Trump made one of his very rare (sic) appearances on outside-the-beltway-favorite Fox & Friends December 28, declaring, “If Hillary thinks she can unleash her husband, with his terrible record of women abuse, while playing the women’s card on me, she’s wrong!” He then cleverly inoculated himself from criticism when he responded this way to being asked if his affairs would be fair game: “Yes, they would be,” he said in response to a question about his personal “indiscretions” while speaking to reporters aboard his personal plane before a rally in Iowa….Trump didn’t go into specifics, and reporters didn’t follow up on the question,” reports CNN. How does that work? Trump brings up the past of a guy who isn’t even on the ballot as a legitimate character issue of the person actually running, but the chicken-s— press will be afraid to go there with him about his affairs, irrespective of his saying that would be ok, for fear of a Trumper Tantrum?
Can you see where this could all lead in 2016?
If the current trend holds, Trump will be out there brandishing, with pride, this famous tabloid cover from 1990….. gaining him 3 more points in the polls…. and maybe a promise to keep on producing future White House babies into his seventies, like this list of old celebrities whose sperm still gets it done.
1990… that’s before anyone ever heard of Bill and Hill around the country. In response to Trump playing I Love The Nineties, should we prepare for an update of the Clintons’ 1992 famous “60 Minutes” segment that addressed allegations that Bill had engaged in a 12-year extramarital affair with Gennifer Flowers? “I’m not sitting here some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette,” Hillary famously told Steve Kroft. “I’m sitting here because I love him and I respect him.”
Which brings us to the beginning of the new year and, so far, the biggest and best cheap shot on this subject Trump can hurl. He hasn’t done it as of December 31, but there’s plenty of time to get this one in: “Oh my God, did you see this thing with Bill Cosby? The women, the drugs, the arrest… the lying…. how can that wife of his hang around?…. probably the money… could be the sex!” (not even the slightest hint of irony there, of course)… “they should be locking this guy up for a thousand years, maybe two thousand…. but I gotta tell the truth….. don’t you think, when all is said and done, that they’ve gone after the wrong Bill C?… You’re smart…. you know what I’m sayin!” I don’t know what’s worse…. the idea that Trump really could say those things…. or that I’m thinking that way, too!