A classy (for the most part) Super Bowl

Sarah Rosenberg

After a close and intense win this past Super Bowl Sunday, Giants players kissed and praised the Vince Lombardi trophy (while some enthusiastic onlookers took MySpace-esque photos with it). Ahmad Bradshaw had the most interesting winning touchdown with a seemingly effortless squat-and-roll into the end-zone. Eli Manning demonstrated just how seriously he takes being a quarterback. Oh, and Madonna tried to prove to us all that she can shuffle at the age of 53, and will most likely have more toned abs in her 80s than you or I ever will from here on out.

I’d say she succeeded, and although I can’t bear her inconsistent comments about Lady Gaga, her conceited behavior, or her habit of setting ridiculous trends a la red string bracelets, I’ll admit that she somehow pulled off a show that made sense of a high school football/choir/mythology/disco theme. Cee Lo Green singing a soulful duet of “Like a Prayer” may have confused people, but vocally made Madonna’s classic song all the more popular and canonical. Her dance-off with LMFAO was impressive, but reminded me that Madonna is my mother’s age, and under no circumstances do I want to see my mother “shuffling.” Especially since I don’t even think I know how to shuffle.

However, besides Madonna’s melting pot of a performance, many people may have noticed a televised glitch during MIA’s verse in Madonna’s new single, “Give Me All Your Luvin’.” That was a casual flash of her middle finger during and equally expletive lyric, so reminiscent of Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” during her performance with Justin Timberlake in 2004. Of course, if I were in such an atmosphere, wearing a gladiator outfit and rapping next to a pop icon, I’d probably want to give America the finger, too–because I’d know every one was probably just a little jealous of how high my awesome factor was at the moment. Besides, I honestly believe MIA is one of the most underrated rappers, let alone female rapper, on the music scene. Her 2007 album “Kala” is completely eccentric and original, and I appreciate any air time she receives.

Of course, Nicki Minaj also came out to play with her signature snarl and semi-maniacal head bobbing alongside MIA, and she seems to always be a crowd-pleaser.

Essentially, as some one who understands football according to the most obvious plays and just how loud the people around me are cheering, the Super Bowl has to be a little more enticing than just athletes doing a dance every time they score. Thus, besides the action of the game itself, Madonna’s show encapsulated every sense of the word, and redeemed last year’s performance from the Black Eyed Peas. Watching celebrity appearances by Avicii and Betty White in the infamous commercials kept me on my toes. But, most importantly, country-singing couple Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton’s pre-kickoff duet of “America the Beautiful” made me smile harder than Eli Manning giving his MVP speech. Just kidding.