Short circuits at the Super Bowl.

The lights go out at the Super Bowl. Photo: courtesy of the Bangor Daily News.
The lights go out at the Super Bowl. Photo: courtesy of the Bangor Daily News.

   Guinness World Records is bound to have a new entry, thanks to Super Bowl XLVII. Surely a record number of curses were screamed against the darkness when the lights went out in New Orleans. A blue haze of epithets remained long after game’s end.

The restless crowd wanted no part of candles. And, it was not mollified by immediate wild speculation that Beyonce’s “lights out” half-time show was too much for older circuits in the stadium. (Other guesses included “plug-ins” of one too many phone chargers and the fall of a hamster or two from the electricity-producing flywheel. Related thought: If the Saints add Rob Ryan to their coaching staff, more “short-circuitry” seems assured.)

For the next Super Bowl, the NFL should engage Gary Redwine, a maintenance man at Colorado High School in Colorado City, TX. He’s a “do everything” guy. Last fall, a triple-header of 7th, 8th and JV games against Cisco went on as scheduled, despite an electrical box on its last wheeze.


   I’m just saying he faced the problem head-on, despite the advice of others. Nothing in his job description calls for electrical work beyond changing light bulbs. While coaches and fans closed their eyes and looked the other way, he worked his magic. Sure enough, inside of a half-hour, the stadium was bathed in light, albeit somewhat short of the amount needed to work up a lather comparable to the one wrought at the Superdome.

Born and reared in the West Texas community, Redwine knew that little is more important to Texans than football, and by hokies, he was going to see to it that the games went on.

Someone said that atop the tool tangle in his kit were a roll of pennies, aluminum foil, baling wire and duct tape. Do not try this at home or anyplace else. Instead, contact consultant Redwine, who, like Larry the Cable Guy, Gits-R-Done.


   The situation need not have arisen in New Orleans. When there is a finite amount of electricity and/or circuits are too brittle, it shouldn’t be squandered on the half-time show.

I knew a guy – back when rock-‘n-roll hit the scene with amplifiers and boom boxes – who heard his daughter’s plea for a certain band to play at her wedding reception. “You can book any band you want,” he explained, “as long as it don’t ‘plug in’.”

As NFL “big wigs” plan for next year, they should begin half-time auditions RAT NOW—not “rat” like a “mouse,” but RAT NOW—considering only those who don’t “plug-in.”


   Too bad the sound was on when MVP Joe Flacco sputtered his expanded description of “awesome” during post-game bedlam. His “Googles” already open with three different apologies for earlier verbal miscues. Surely a fourth will be added forthwith.

Mikes and cameras are in place, of course, to catch it all, profane or profound. Pity.

If Super Bowls are “family entertainment” worthy of viewing by a billion people worldwide, surely the NFL can require TV and radio networks to initiate ten-second delays. We’d never know the difference, and players/coaches/officials spewing curse words with abandon will appreciate it if their bombs are “bleeped.” (Speaking of officials, when one is “bumped” by a player, an ejection should follow, in exhibition games or Super Bowls.)


   Ads didn’t disappoint. The tribute to American farmers, first voiced by the inimitable Paul Harvey on network radio three decades ago, was classic. Kudos to Ram trucks for this poignant reminder that is as important today as ever. No bells and whistles, just the engaging voice of Harvey and stark photos. Why not something next year featuring Kate Smith’s God Bless America?

Skechers’ ad also engaged. It featured a runner tackling a cheetah just before it inhales a gazelle. Winks between guy and gazelle “nail it.” This reminds me of the fable about morning jungle wake-ups. A gazelle awakens knowing it must run faster than the fastest lion or face death. A few yards away, a lion awakens, knowing it must outrun the slowest gazelle or face starvation. Whether a lion or a gazelle, when the sun comes up, each had better be running—Skechers or not!

Finally, when a Clydesdale remembers his trainer years after “colthood,” hearts are warmed and tears run down cheeks.


Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Metroplex. Speaking inquiries/comments: Phone: 817-447-3872. Twitter: @donnewbury. Web site:

ref=sib_dp_kd-1Humorist Don Newbury is author of the heart-warming collection of real life stories in When The Porch Light’s on. Please click the book cover to read more about the book or purchase a copy on Amazon.

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