No trophy time for players until after they win it
Posted: Monday February 6, 2006 12:43PM; Updated: Monday February 6, 2006 12:43PM
The most offensive thing about last night's Super Bowl broadcast wasn't GoDaddy.com's look-at-us-we're-pushing-boundaries-in-a-very-predictable-way ad. Nor was it Mick Jagger's decision to work blue, and not censor the line in Start Me Up in which he touts a particular woman's ability to tittilate a deceased man (a line Tom Waits wrote years before Mick, by the way). Nor was it ABC's decision to censor Mick.
No, the worst thing about the broadcast was the series of spots in which Steelers and Seahawks players (mostly Steelers) pitched a kind of adolescent woo at the Lombardi Trophy -- whispering sweet nothings its way, telling it how special it is, doing their best to cop a cheap feel on the sly. A far more effective campaign would have been to have the players talk about the trophy when it wasn't in the room, when they'd have to swoon and yearn for it.
There was just something unbecoming about letting guys who hadn't won the trophy take her for a test drive. Until they've earned it, NHL players treat the Stanley Cup with the same kind of reverence that that Indiana Jones showed the Ark -- or, better yet, that J. Lo demands from workers in hotels she stays at. They barely look at it, let alone address it or, egad!, touch it. Once they've won it, though, it's a different story. Then they're free to take it anywhere from their childhood home to a moose petting zoo in Saskatchewan to a strip club in Manhattan. And there's something cool -- not to mention respectful -- about that. It makes the moment at which a player finally gets to lay hands on the trophy that much more meaningful to him -- and, by extension, to us as viewers. Telling players to maintain a chaste relationship with the trophy might not be what they want to hear, but it's better for everyone in the long run. As someone said, You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need.