Speed Read: Tucson Gets Porn Climax To SB XLIII

If you thought Super Bowl XLIII was exciting on its own, you should have seen it in Tucson.

club jenna tv network

(Hey! That’s not Larry Fitzgerald!)

According to the ARIZONA DAILY STAR, viewers in Tucson, right in the heart of Cardinals country, had the climactic moments of Sunday’s Super Bowl extravaganza co-opted by a cable porn network called CLUB JENNA, the pay-per-view TV station started by porn star Jenna Jameson. But wait, there’s more: The 30-second clip that ran over Pittsburgh’s fourth-quarter heroics showcased a woman unzipping a man’s pants and then, you know, some very athletic moves of a different sort.

“I just figured it was another commercial until I looked up,” said Cora King of Marana. “Then he did his little dance with everything hanging out.”

“I was in a state of shock,” said Jeanene Piek, who was watching the game with her granddaughter. “I am totally disgusted.”

Before you think this was a freak cable-crossing that only hit a few homes, check out the Comcast data. The overlay affected all viewers in the cable provider’s reach that were watching the game on its regular definition feed (the HD version wasn’t effected, perhaps as another incentive to go buy a better set). Comcast provides cable to at least 80,000 homes in the Tuscon area, so it’s safe to say that some 40,000 Super Bowl parties got an pretty unhappy ending, both on the screen and then on the field.

club jenna 2

(Yup. Still Jenna Jameson. Not Fitzgerald. Thought we’d check.)

Not surprisingly, Comcast has already dispatched customer service reps to handle a huge influx of calls. And what’s the company line right now?

The company had “no idea” at the time it happened how the porn may have gotten into its feed, said Kelle Maslyn, a Comcast spokeswoman.

Might want to get on that, Kelle. The word is out, and Comcast is about to have some explaining — and probably some firing — to do.

For the rest of the country, there was no porny ending to overshadow a terrific game. And for the second-straight year, the Super Bowl was an instant classic, handing the lucky American public a game will be remembered for an unbelievable, final-minute catch by a wide receiver.

A year after Plaxico Burress easily pulled down a game-winning grab moments after David Tyree pulled in the catch heard ’round the world, Santonio Holmes did his best Tyree impression, grabbing a fading ball in the corner of the end zone for the game-winner, capping Pittsburgh’s NFL record sixth title.

santonio holmes catch

It was an amazing catch, yet even if he’d dropped it, a catch still would have defined Super Bowl XLIII. As Adam pointed out last night, Larry Fitzgerald Jr.’s heroics will likely be overlooked 50 years from now, thanks in part to a questionable call on the game’s final play. That doesn’t mean his fourth quarter was anything short of transcendent. That he and schmoopy-with-Jesus quarterback Kurt Warner stuck to their crossing pattern guns all game and eventually got the result they wanted and expected is a testament to them and their game plan (Editor’s note: Where were all the trick plays? What happened to that story line?).

Put it all together, and there’s a fascinating trend developing. Maybe, rather than hyping quarterbacks forever in the playoffs, we should really be focusing on wide receivers. Sure, qb’s have to get them the ball, but it’s no coincidence that the Giants, the league’s best team throughout most of ‘08, collapsed after their star pass catcher shot himself in the leg. It’s no surprise that the Cardinals really emerged when Fitzgerald became a world beater after an embarrassing loss in New England. It’s no surprise that the biggest factor in the Steelers’ Super Bowl win — for the second straight Pittsburgh Super Bowl, at that — was an overlooked wide receiver.

larry fitzgerald jr.

So, while there will be plenty of attention lavished on Holmes in the aftermath of Super Bowl XLIII, it’s important to reflect back on the ante-game, a time when people hardly talked about Santonio Holmes being a key receiver full stop. Maybe next year we can all look a little harder at the wide out depth charts when diagnosing what’s really going down.

Of course, the game is always only half the story with the Super Bowl. In fact, sometimes it’s the lesser half. If the game gone the way it looked like halftime, with Pittsburgh rolling to a rout, we might be spending a lot more time right now bemoaning the lack of decent commercials. Because as good as the game was, that’s how bad the record-setting expensive — $3 million for a 30-second spot — ads actually were. There was one pretty clever ad, the punching koala bit for CAREERBUILDER.com, but that would have been a mid-tier commercial in a funnier year. At best.

So what’s happened with advertisers? That’s a good question. It’s always possible that many have cut back on their creative budget, opting to save the money for one or two Super Bowl commercials rather than cleverly crafting their campaigns. Other firms, like Gatorade, launched their new ad campaigns earlier, targeting the BCS as a start date rather than the Super Bowl.

Nonetheless, something needs to be done to make the ads a heck of a lot more watchable. Where are the clever creators of cat wrangling when you need them? Where’s this year’s “Wassssuuuuuuuuup!” The answer, dear friends, is nowhere to be found.

bruce springsteen  halftime

In fact, this year’s ads were nowhere near as interesting or cool as the halftime show. For once, a performance lived up to the hype, with Bruce Springsteen attacking a miniature four-jam set with much of the gusto and zest that he’s been known for throughout his career. You could feel it coming from the moment our fearless leader leaked the Boss’s set list earlier in the day and there was no “Born in the U.S.A” to be found on it. Clearly, this was the act Springsteen wanted to do. He was going to rock the Super Bowl, but he was going to rock it on his terms.

The lesson, as always, is to trust in Bruce. Not only was Springsteen so captivating that you couldn’t take your eyes off him, he transmitted the energy from his live shows over to TV. That’s quite a trick. And nothing can top his half-stage power slide right into a cameraman, a move which decked an unsuspecting film crew member without slowing Bruce for a second.

Now for the bad news: That’s probably the last we’ll see of Bruce in a Super Bowl. The NFL had begged him to steal the league’s biggest halftime stage for years, and he took a solid decade to accept the pulpit, and only grabbed it then (in all likelihood) to pimp his new album. You know what? With Bruce, we’ll take it. Still, with the E Street Band rapidly reaching their golden Metamucil era, it’s unlikely Springsteen and co. will be willing to take such public jaunts in the spotlight in the future, which just means everyone should try to commit as much about yesterday’s halftime to memory as humanly possible. Hey, we know that we will.

Now that the Steelers are champions — again — which team is the most likely Super Bowl XLIV champ?

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