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Sports commentary: My favorite performer

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Making it through the Super Blackout

By Mike Forster

  Thanks, Beyonce.

Not that my gratitude means a lot to the sultry songstress.

You may not agree with my reasons for being grateful .  In fact, you may find my gratitude comes from a very selfish place.  

You see, while you might point the finger of fault for Sunday's Super Bowl blackout at Beyonce and her halftime show, I thrust the thumb of thanks her way.

Here's why.

The wife and I went to a Super Bowl gathering.  I'd call it a party, but I'm not certain that a group of four people qualifies for that moniker.

The friends we visited live well over an hour away.  Our plan was to get there very early, visit and catch the first half.

Then, we'd depart at halftime and zip on home.  I'd then take Razor the Dog for his evening constitutional, before settling in for what remained of the game.

By my math, I figured I'd get to see the last couple of minutes, at best.  Since we have neither TiVo nor DVR, I wasn't going to see any of it in near-time playback, either.

All went according to plan.  We came bearing gifts of wings and seasoned oyster crackers.  Rick and Laura were gracious hosts.  We feasted on all sorts of goodies and yukked it up at a couple of the ads.  Razor was left behind where (we hoped) he protected the house with some sense of vigilance.

We left the party just as Beyonce was taking the stage.

As I drove home, the wife tried to find the game on the radio.  Those efforts were futile until we were about a half hour from home.  

Over heavy static, we heard some announcer state that the blackout might soon be over, and the game would resume with just a bit of time gone in the second half.

What's this?  We've driven for nearly an hour and the game is still early in the third quarter?  Can it be true?

The radio announcer verified that it was so.

My heart literally leapt out of my chest with joy.

Actually, that's not accurate.  Had my heart literally done so, the wife would have had a) quite a mess on her hands and b) a useless driver for her (now) deathmobile.

Anyway, we were quite pleased at this turn of events.  And, since we had counted a total of four cars on the road over the course of our trip home, it's safe to assume we were among the very few to find anything positive about the blackout.

We arrived at the homestead (our house, not the fancy place up in Hot Springs) well ahead of time (using game clock time as a measuring device).

Surprisingly, Razor had to be pried from his sleeping mat, oblivious to the fact we'd been gone for over four hours.  The quantity of sleeping drool on that mat told me he'd abandoned his home-protection duties.  He got his walk nonetheless, after which I was able to enjoy the entire fourth quarter.

I use the term "enjoy" loosely.  You see, I was watching with the wife.  A Baltimore native, she found no joy in the Ravens' victory.  Alas, she grew up a fan of the Colts.   Heartbroken by that team's abandonment, the wife found solace in the arms of some disreputable character, with whom she remains to this day.

The wife never warmed to the new team (which, of course, had abandoned Cleveland to head to Crabcake City).  

But, her feelings and sentiments aside, we got to see an exciting fourth quarter, something we'd not have been able to do had Beyonce not pulsed the Superdome's electrical bill past the breaking point.

I wouldn't know this Beyonce from all of those other one-name phenoms:  Shakira, Charo, Lulu, Liberace.  But I am thankful to her for letting us enjoy the game more than we'd planned.

So, is it selfish that my personal Super Bowl experience  was enriched, while that of several hundred million others was negatively affected? 

Yes, I suppose it is.

But, then again, I've never really been a giving person.

*****

One Super Bowl thought for you. 

I feel as though we've all been the victims of the old bait-and-switch when it comes to the Harbaugh brothers.

After two weeks of feel-good nonsense, the brothers sent two teams loaded with attitude-laden, punkish and petulant players onto the New Orleans turf.

Yes, it was neat to have brothers coaching against one another on football's biggest stage.

But let's not portray these guys to be the warm and fuzzy types they most assuredly are not.