Who Are You?

You know I am not a football fan, but I did sit in front of the TV last night with a book and look up during commercials.  I also watched the halftime show, about which I mostly agree with Rod and others: clearly, The Who was not in its prime last night.  I was disappointed at their choice of a medley; for a band that excels at dynamic, nail-biting musical interludes, they could easily have rocked the house with one or two full tracks.  Their choice was predictable, too (we had guessed every one but the few bars of "See Me, Feel Me,") which was a little disappointing.  The only song on our list that we didn't hear, fittingly: "My Generation," with its eerily applicable line, "I hope I die before I get old."

I'm glad they didn't, and I can forgive this display of mediocrity, but only because I know better.  Rob and I saw The Who live in 2002, a month after the original bassist died from a cocaine overdose.  (At 57.  These guys party hard.)  Daltrey's voice was a little thinner than on their records, but the range was still there -- he could perform most, if not all, of the vocal acrobatics for which he was known.  Townshend was as strong as ever, and both exuded an energy that sustained the crowd for a show that lasted more than two hours, with no breaks, and included every single hit we could remember.

The fun part: we brought my dad, who claims that at no time did "Who's Next" ever cease to play on the record player in his college dormitory suite.  He knew all the songs by heart, of course, but was shocked that we did, too.  It was a little weird to be belting out power ballads (and occasionally smelling pot) with your dad, but my dad is comfortable with just about any crowd, so we all just enjoyed ourselves.  The memory of that concert is a lot bigger than the few pitiful minutes onscreen in Miami.

Unrelated rant about why else I hate football: at the end of the game, the Saints' QB had his little baby on the field.  The child looked utterly bewildered and was wearing noise-canceling headphones, so undoubtedly missed this gem: one of the announcers said something like, "This is it.  This is THE most important and precious moment a father could possibly share with his son."  Gales of laughter erupted from our living room at this, but I'm sure there were plenty of fans out there nodding in tearful agreement.  The same fans, I'm sure, who were touched by the earlier commercial in which the NFL thanked them for watching with open mouths and painted faces all season long.  People, please.  IT'S A GAME.