Volume 96, Issue 64
Thursday, January 23, 2003

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Super Bowl showoffs

Mark Polishuk
Gazette Staff

The Super Bowl has gone from merely the NFL's championship game to becoming the first TV-inspired national holiday. Of course, it's Sunday anyway, so nobody misses work – unless maybe you're a priest skipping late mass and thus condemning your parishioners to eternal damnation.

TIME: 6:18 p.m., or whenever the pregame ends

PLACE: San Diego, California

NETWORK: ABC, who will get their highest non-Bachelorette rating of the year.

ANNOUNCERS: Al Michaels and John Madden. Both are good broadcasters, but as we've seen all year on Monday Night Football, Michaels doesn't know how to respond to Madden's ramblings. Madden, bless his video game-endorsing heart, is an old-school guy who knows his football, but is also liable to spend an hour discussing a funny sign he sees in the stands. And God help us all if he uses his telestrator to diagram a play. If you locked Madden in a room with that thing, I swear he'd eventually transcribe Hamlet.

PREGAME MUSICAL ACTS: Beyonce, Santana and Michelle Branch.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: The Dixie Chicks. Also, Celine Dion will be singing "God Bless America," since nobody embodies the U.S.A. like Celine Dion.

HALFTIME: Shania Twain and No Doubt share the duties. Both are talented, but the Super Bowl halftime slot is a vortex of cheesiness that can envelope even the most talented performer. U2 almost escaped it last year, but then Bono opened his jacket to reveal an American flag.

POST-GAME: Bon Jovi. God, will it ever end?! (the coverage, not Bon Jovi's career).

POST-SUPER BOWL TIMESLOT: Jimmy Kimmel Live, a new late-night talk show hosted by the star of The Man Show. Kimmel can be funny, but only time will tell if he will be the next Conan O'Brien.

GAME WITHIN THE GAME: Betting which ABC stars are in the stands and get shown on-screen as the announcers plug their shows. Nothing will ever top the World Series, when during a plug for That '70s Show, Ashton Kutcher was shown stuffing his face with nachos like a hog.

WHAT ELSE IS ON: CBS has announced nothing so far, FOX is showing Independence Day and NBC has three hours of Fear Factor, plus a special shortened version of Saturday Night Live with new material during halftime. More Tina Fey? Yay. More 2003-calibre SNL skits? Boo.

AND, OH YEAH, THE GAME: Tampa Bay 28, Oakland 27. You heard it here first, folks.


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