It is Super Bowl Sunday in the USA, the championship game of American professional football. For the first time in more than a decade I’m thinking about tuning in.
The Super Bowl is the most watched, most over-hyped sporting spectacle in America. The game rarely lives up to the anticipation (unlike the Canadian Grey Cup) and the highlights are usually the television commercials, for which the sponsors pay a million dollars or more.
So why am I considering watching this snooze fest? Especially when I don’t care about the game? I want to see the half-time show.
The Super Bowl always brings in big names to entertain the fans. Sometimes they are artists I like, sometimes they are people you couldn’t pay me to watch. From time to time the show generates controversy ( Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction immediately springs to mind).
This year I am expecting controversy. It is after all the first Super Bowl of Donald Trump’s presidency, and he has in his first couple of weeks in office made more than a few controversial moves. Some people are upset with his actions, especially those who are more liberally minded.
Today’s half-time entertainment comes to you courtesy of Lady Gaga. I can take or leave her music, mostly leave. I will admit to not having followed her closely, but the music I have heard seems to me to be more derivative than original. She reminds me of Madonna, but not in a good way.
One thing I am sure of though is that Lady Gaga is a social liberal. Given the biggest audience of her career, a worldwide platform, I don’t see how she will be able to resist the opportunity to challenge the President’s policies. I’m curious to see what form that takes – which is why I am considering tuning in.
There is the possibility she might not stage a musical protest. If the folks who run the National Football League are smart they have included a clause in her contract forbidding political expression. Breach the contract and you don’t get paid. It’s good money for a day’s work; Lady Gaga may decide it isn’t worth the lost income to make a political statement.
After all, we have another four years of President Trump in which she can protest, maybe eight. Although I really don’t think that is likely.
I’ve been suggesting to my friends that Trump will get bored and resign after a couple of years, after having discovered he really can’t do everything he wants. After watching the man work for two weeks. I think I may have to re-evaluate that.
I think now he may not resign from boredom. He’s more likely to be impeached. Whether he will be like Nixon and spare the nation the trial, or defiant like Johnson remains to be seen. But if I was a betting man I’d go with defiance.