Beyoncé stole the whole show

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If you’re one of the hundreds of millions of people that watched Super Bowl 50 this past Sunday, then you saw one of the most physically defensive games in the 50-year history of the championship. It wasn’t just one team physically dominating the other. Both defenses all but crushed their opposing offenses.

Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller of the Denver Broncos (Claudia Gestro)
Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller of the Denver Broncos (Claudia Gestro)

The difference in the game should have been the quarterbacks, specifically the younger, more agile Cam Newton of the Panthers being able to make the big plays that would propel his team to victory in what was a very close game. Cam Newton is a hard QB for any team to contain, just ask Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware. They were integral parts of the Denver defense tasked with the responsibility to slow down Newton and his high-powered offense.

Their one tactic to win the battle between the Carolina offense and the Denver defense: psyops. Get Newton rattled to interfere with his normal thinking and reaction patterns — and it worked. The first touchdown for Denver was scored by the defense when they forced a fumble and scored.

Peyton Manning, the legendary QB for the Denver Broncos, played just well enough to avoid some of the same mistakes as Newton and score a TD with a two-point conversion. He would be the first to tell you Von Miller is most definitely the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl 50.

There was some backlash against Cam Newton, people accusing him of being a sore loser — Newton firing back that yes he is a sore loser because losing that game hurts the very core of his existence. After the game he told the Charlotte Observer, “You show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.” He then quoted the legendary Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi: “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

  • Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (Claudia Gestro)
    Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton
    (Claudia Gestro)

    For those who might not have known, the NFL Championship Trophy is named for that coach — the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The old Packer great set the modern standard for coaching NFL champions.

It’s that “sore loser” trait that will one day push Newton to lead his team to a future Super Bowl victory.

It was brought up because inevitably Newton was compared to his counterpart, Peyton Manning, after the game. In the post-game press conference Newton stormed off, his hoodie pulled over his head. Apparently the cheap as hell NFL put both teams in the same room — with nothing but a curtain between them — for the post-game pressers and Newton overheard Denver’s Chris Harris talking about how they rattled Newton to win that game.

Now, it can be fairly said that Newton should have sucked it up and done the ten minutes before walking out, but he didn’t. Does this make Newton a bad guy? Not in the least. The young man, who grew up in harsh conditions, is one of the league’s best community assets, giving much of his time and resources to helping disadvantaged kids, through his Cam Newton Foundation.

Peyton Manning (Claudia Gestro)
Peyton Manning (Claudia Gestro)

While being interviewed by the Today show, Manning told us what happened at the end of the game “Sure I tell ya, Cam couldn’t have been nicer to me. He was extremely humble. He congratulated me, wished me the best. I told him just congratulations on his outstanding season and just what a great future he has ahead of him. He’ll be back in that game, I can promise ya. So, I’ve been on that side of it. It is tough — it is not an easy pill to swallow. But he was very nice to me and I really appreciated that.”

But that controversy is, for the most part, over. Cam Newton will still be criticized and reviled by many, which doesn’t bother him at all. He’s brash, confident to the point of being cocky — he loves to celebrate every time his team scores a touchdown — and he doesn’t apologize for his behavior.

He also knows society still looks at Black quarterbacks differently that White quarterbacks and he isn’t afraid to comment on that. So he is called a race-baiter and worse. God forbid he should point out reality.

Lighten up haters, he’s still a better man than most of you.

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But it wasn’t Cam Newton that caught the most heat and hatred after Sunday’s game. It wasn’t even a player or coach, although there were a couple of cheap shots thrown by players during the game that were flagged by officials.

Beyoncé (YouTube)
Beyoncé (YouTube)

The one who got the most hate, who is still getting dumped on five days after the game, is Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. She of the halftime show, of megastardom around the world. One of the most influential women — most influential people — in society. Probably her most grievous offense, to those on the right, is that she’s friends with Michelle and Barack Obama. That is just about the last effin’ straw for the extreme haters on the right.

So they bash her for the way she sings about sex with her husband, her longing and love for her husband, and the way she likes to dress sexy for her concerts and music videos. Such a bad influence for young people. Better she cheat on her spouse behind closed doors in brothels, or travel to foreign countries to have affairs, like Republicans have done in the past.

Maybe she should be more like the right’s rock’n’roll darling Ted Nugent, who celebrates his affinity for “Jailbait” and brags about doing under-age groupies while touring on the road. The guy who adopted a 17-year old girl so they could have sex.  VH1 Behind the Music. Right around the 16-minute mark.

But no, Beyoncé is Black and friends with the Obamas so she is a horrible person. She dresses sexy, twerks better than Miley Cyrus — who is pretty good at it too — and puts very sexual images in her lyrics. And she’s married to Jay-Z. You know President Obama quotes Jay-Z — how disgusting is that?

Beyoncé (YouTube)
Beyoncé (YouTube)

So Beyoncé was asked to perform at this year’s Super Bowl 50 halftime show with Coldplay and Bruno Mars. Cool. She did the show a few years ago to wide acclaim.

This year’s theme was looking back at past halftime performers so Beyoncé entered the show with a take off on Michael Jackson’s costume when he did the Super Bowl XXVII Halftime Show, January 31, 1993. Her dancers wore all black as well, in tribute to the Black Panther Party. Beyoncé dedicated the performance to the mother of Mario Woods, the young man who was killed by police officers in San Francisco.

OK, the berets are a Black Panther statement, but the rest of their costumes were … more of a tribute to the Black Panther uniform. Queen Bey’s costume actually looked a lot like Jackson’s Super Bowl costume — except that Jackson wore long pants and Beyoncé didn’t.

Beyoncé’s dancers forming an “X” for Malcolm X (YouTube)
Beyoncé’s dancers forming an “X” for Malcolm X (YouTube)

Then there is the message of her song, “Formation,” which was recently released. Through the video, she tied it to Black Lives Matter, and the racial disparity in America. The video has the graffiti, “Stop shooting us” spray-painted on a wall. It takes place in Louisiana and a majority of the imagery is of the 9th Ward after the levee broke in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It shows kids wearing hoodies. All sorts of radical, Black Power imagery. It does not honor the police department.

For the Super Bowl version, she eliminated the lyrics with the F-bomb, and started the song with the line, “You know you that bitch when you cause all this conversation.” And let’s not forget the “Black Power” salutes.

Beyoncé knew what was coming next — cue Fox News.

“I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive,” bellowed former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to Fox & Friends. he added, “What we should be doing in the African-American community, and all communities, is build up respect for police officers.”

Sure, sounds good in the abstract, but the statistics don’t lie: African-Americans and Latinos are more at risk of being harassed, beaten and killed by law enforcement than their White counterparts, even for the same types of violations — if there even is a violation of the law when the Black kid is killed.

Beyoncé’s dancers lending their voices to the family of Mario Woods, who was killed by police in San Francisco (Twitter)
Beyoncé’s dancers lending their voices to the family of Mario Woods, who was killed by police in San Francisco (Twitter)

There wasn’t when police stormed a Wal-Mart in Ohio and shot John Crawford III, whose only offenses were picking a pellet gun up off the shelf and talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone. The grand jury chose not to indict the police officer that shot Crawford.

Then of course there is the crowd that insists the Super Bowl, an international event that draws hundreds of millions of viewers, is no place for political or social issues. If you don’t know or remember who Michelle Malkin is, lucky you. But she’s a frequent guest on Fox News. She tweeted, “Cuz nothing brings us together better than angry @Beyonce and shouting ‘Negro’ repeatedly. #sb50”

Rush Limbaugh, never one to sit out a collective right-wing rage, said this about Beyoncé’s performance. “And what the halftime show of the Super Bowl is, to me anyway, is representative of the cultural decay and the political decay and the social rot that is befalling our country.”

He had more of a rant, but that was the most colorful part. Well, that and his musing that Beyoncé probably isn’t a football fan because she’s a woman and probably thought the whole thing was about the Black Panthers.

The Gateway Pundit wrote, “Beyonce’s Super Bowl Performance Was a Racist Political Statement In Support of Marxist Cop Killers.”

That’s always been a mystery to me. How is Beyoncé — or many other outspoken African-Americans — racist? What was racist about her performance? The common reaction many right wing people have when they hear left wing Black people point out social and economic injustice is to call the speakers, like Beyoncé, Rev. Al Sharpton and President Obama, racist. Makes you wonder: do they even know the definition of the word? Obviously not.

So the right wing is planning a demonstration in front of NFL headquarters in Manhattan on February 16. Good luck with that. The temperatures should be hovering around 10°f. Anyway, the group organizing the rally said, on the Event Brite page, “Come and let’s stand together. Let’s tell the NFL we don’t want hate speech & racism at the Superbowl ever again!”

Bruno Mars (YouTube)
Bruno Mars (YouTube)

I hate to be nit-picky about spelling and grammar since I often abuse the English language when I want to make a point — or just to be offensive — but “Super Bowl” is two words, not one.

That’s been the tenor of the right wing reaction to Beyoncé’s Super Bowl 50 performance. Most people seemed to like it. But it brings up this question/observation: why no outrage at Bruno Mars? If anyone in that halftime show looked like the Black Panthers, it was Mars and his male dancers. What they really reminded me of was Morris Day and the Time, from back in the day.

There was a little murmur of disapproval about Coldplay, due to the rainbow color scheme of their short set. That’s a gay thing, you know. We can’t be having gay things at a Super Bowl. Most people saw it as a nod to “flower power,” from a group that is from the latter day hippie era (mid 1990s). The tie-dye images of the stage were some of the best visuals of the show.

There’s always been a political message at Super Bowls; they start with a patriotic display that features members of the military as well as a flyover by fighter jets from either the Air Force or Navy. The National Anthem, which this year was wonderfully performed by Lady Gaga.

Part of the Coldplay set (YouTube)
Part of the Coldplay set (YouTube)

There was a time when I refused to even stand during the National Anthem at sporting events. I was called all sorts of names, but never “patriot.” Not even when I showed them my V.A. ID card, which at the time said “U.S.M.C.” They used to put your service branch on your ID cards back then. Now they have the cards with bio info codes so which ever V.A. hospital or facility we go to they can instantly call up our records.

At any rate, the nationalism displayed at the start of the game is most definitely a political statement. I don’t object anymore and if I’m at a game I will stand for the National Anthem, but I still see it as too much, especially considering less than 1 percent of this nation’s population has ever put on the uniform of the military. You want to be gung ho patriotic? Join the military.

That’s it for my rant. I thought the halftime show was one of the best ever. Let’s hope the NFL continues to get provocative performers for the show and make it big, loud and splashy, like they did this year.

 Top photo: Beyoncé, Chris Martin and Bruno Mars during Sunday’s Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show. (YouTube)