Perambulating the Bounds

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Sheryl and Lance at Halftime

I’m a big fan of football half-time shows. Part of it is waiting for the fiascos and disasters that occur with regularity, like Janet Jackson flashing the nation or the time a house of cards fell on the Orange Bowl Queen, and she had to kick her way out of them cussing and spitting. Unfortunately, very often the shows go on without a hitch, but even then we can enjoy the weird way they throw together completely unconnected cultural signifiers.

Today was Thanksgiving, big football day, and Sheryl Crow sang at the halftime of the Cowboys game. I like a lot of her songs, and she seems like an actual musician. Of course, being a halftime show, they couldn’t just put her and the band out there – I think that’s a real issue, trying to produce enough visual activity to occupy the large space. So in front of the bandstand were the Cowboys cheerleaders, dancers in “60s” costumes, ballerinas, children with streamers, and guys waving flags. There was an orchestra behind them, completely inaudible on TV, but they seemed to be working hard, and the bandstand shot off fireworks and sparklers. Oh yeah, it was meant to honor the Salvation Army, so they had some big red kettles set up. Obviously none of this made any sense together, and Sheryl Crow’s whole vibe is not exactly Vegas showmanship. She’s going for something more laid back, and at times the cheerleaders were thrashing around frantically at a completely discordant tempo. Maybe it was a tribute to Conlon Nancarrow’s piano rolls.

The strangest thing was that the TV kept cutting away to pictures of Lance Armstrong sitting some place with his kids watching the show. They weren’t in the stands, but clearly had been positioned for the purpose of being in these shots. Of course everyone knows Lance and Sheryl are an item. But think about it. The entertainment isn’t just the performance on stage (and the marginally choreographed mess all around it), but the tabloid-ready celebrity romance. It’s multi-media, with Lance and the kids as part of the act, but they are there to perform the celebrity gossip. And this was in Texas, so the shots also remind you why Sheryl Crow is singing at the Cowboys game. Since she’s going out with Lance, a bona fide Texas icon (unappreciated by the evil French people), that gives her a legitimate connection to the state, and we couldn’t have a singer here who didn’t have anything to do with Texas. In fact, I think the performance was mostly about Lance Armstrong – look, it’s Lance’s girlfriend singing – and it didn’t matter what she sang or what the song had to do with anything, and so it didn’t really matter what tempo they picked for the cheerleaders’ routine or what the ballerinas were doing.

And finally, since this is Thanksgiving, a time for family, and for divorced families that means splitting time somehow between the families. Doesn’t Lance need to get the kids to their mother’s house at some point in the day? Maybe she gets them for Christmas. Unless the publicists need them for another gig.

3 Comments:

  • oh sheryl and lance at halftime
    midst so many home coming queens
    and the fall smoke rises behind
    the stadium like a japanese screen
    oh the days of my youth are past
    and the half back i was now lost
    but the coaches ghost still raises a toast
    to the southland that "went soft"
    yes its football and nostolgia down in
    dixie
    where once my heart found home
    but the world has changed, been re arranged and all those belles
    now wal mart foam

    sheryl and lance at halftime
    seem but the half of it
    yes sammy baugh is long gone
    with the leather helmet
    but still i see his shadow
    there against the locker room wall
    in a world that turned to wal-mart
    he still stands the tallest of the tall
    wl

    By Blogger Agit Spam, at 3:10 PM  

  • oh sheryl and lance at halftime
    midst so many home coming queens
    and the fall smoke rises behind
    the stadium like a japanese screen
    oh the days of my youth are past
    and the half back i was now lost
    but the coaches ghost still raises a toast
    to the southland that "went soft"
    yes its football and nostolgia down in
    dixie
    where once my heart found home
    but the world has changed, been re arranged and all those belles
    now wal mart foam

    sheryl and lance at halftime
    seem but the half of it
    yes sammy baugh is long gone
    with the leather helmet
    but still i see his shadow
    there against the locker room wall
    in a world that turned to wal-mart
    he still stands the tallest of the tall
    wl

    By Blogger Agit Spam, at 3:11 PM  

  • Thanks for all the contributions scattered through.

    By Blogger David Maddox, at 8:53 PM  

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