First and foremost, how about them Broncos!? More importantly – how about that Peyton Manning!?!? Did he have the game of his life? Maybe not by the numbers, but Peyton brings a certain kind of leadership to the field that inspires anyone who has the privilege of playing on his team. In fact, the only thing I liked about football in high school was partying with the football players – and by college the only things I really liked about football was partying with the football players, and losing money every weekend betting on NFL games. My buddies and I would huddle up all hungover on Sunday mornings, pass the USA Today around and make our picks…then call in to our bookies, place our bets, order some Myle’s pizza and spend the rest of the day in pure bliss just grazing on some good food and watching our bets unfold. I’m just a year younger than the NFL’s storied #18 and I’ll never forget the first time I heard about him. “Peyton Manning? What a perfect name for a star quarterback,” I thought. And the fact that he played for the “Tennessee Volunteers” was just too perfect. We watched some college ball here and there and I’d heard of the “Vols,” but never knew it was short for “Volunteers” and just like Manning’s name…I thought, “Freaking perfect!”
So there’s me: A bit of a party guy who was thoughtful enough with a solid work ethic that had me usually working two jobs while managing school and everything else…not a huge football fan but friends with the players and enjoyed making some bets here and there just to keep it interesting with my buds. Then along comes “Peyton Manning, the starting quarterback for the Tennessee Volunteers” – and I was hooked. It’s hard to describe, but I had a whole new appreciation for every aspect of the game – including the grueling hours put in by all of those players I was friends with who worked so hard for so little recognition, other than their own love of the game. Peyton Manning exceptionalized the game for me, in it’s entirety, and I couldn’t wait to follow him and his career.
A Cleveland boy born and raised, you’re not really allowed to like any player or team outside of Cleveland. So when I graduated college and moved back to Cleveland where I’d start my own career in business…I had to keep my appreciation for Peyton Manning buried. But it was there. I was thrilled that he ended up with the Indianapolis Colts because their team always struck me as a tried-and-true, salt-of-the-earth type of franchise. Something about Indiana in general always seemed very genuine to me. So I loved Manning and followed his career as enthusiastically as I could without being called a sellout by my hometown Cleveland peers, and then I met my wife. She’s Indiana born and raised and while yes lots of women claim to like football but – no offense, ladies – don’t, she was truly a diehard Colts and Peyton Manning fan. We dated seriously for several years but when we got married in 2013 it became official: I had married in to the privilege of being allowed to cheer for her teams as much as my own. That means even when Peyton went to Denver (a real arch nemesis for Cleveland fans), I was still allowed to be a fan. Neither my wife nor I really cared at all about the Broncos, we just loved Peyton and by default any team he ended up on. And that brings us to Sunday, February 7th 2016: Super Bowl 50!
Peyton Manning had been through so much in his career to get to this point. What an incredible leader and example he is. His quiet faith which he prefers to express through his actions rather than his words, resilience in the face of adversity, humility, staunch professionalism and integrity – his simple love for the game and his complex appreciation as a student of it. In every sense of the word or phrase – be it “The Sheriff” or “The Field General” – Peyton Manning is a shining example of all that’s right in football. And Super Bowl 50 was to be, potentially, a great exclamation point on his already historic career.
The Broncos won, led by their outstanding defense which – say what you will – I promise were in some meaningful way inspired over the last several seasons by having Peyton Manning on their team, leading by example even during the tough times. And when it was over and the Broncos emerged victorious, that’s really all I knew about Super Bowl 50. That, and that Cam Newton was getting too much heat for not handling his post-game press conference well enough. (He’s a kid and a competitor, cut him some slack!) I was pretty wrapped up in the game itself, and that’s kind of how it goes with me. During halftime my wife and I were putting finishing touches on some 2nd half snacks, moving between high-fives and fits of anxiety wondering what the 2nd half would bring…
It wasn’t until the dust had settled and Monday came around that I finally heard about Beyonce’s “leadership” as expressed during the halftime show.
I’ve never been a fan of Beyonce. I admittedly grew up on some Eazy E and other less-than-respectable music, but for my part: I started playing the violin at 5 years old, the guitar at 14 and the piano at 18…all self-taught, all by ear, all by passion for the actual music. Never for fame or recognition. Never for bragging rights. There were songs throughout my life that I loved so much that I had to learn to play them. When I was 5 fiddling with the fiddle it was Bach’s Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring. At 14 on the guitar it was – you guessed it – Stairway To Heaven, and a few years later Phish’s Divided Sky that each in their own way led to my amateur mastery of just enough guitar to be dangerous and enjoy the hell out of a good jam session. At 18 on the piano it was Canon In D, which I learned roughly overnight using masking tape, different colored markers and a series of numbers and letters all laid out on my parents’ piano which I never touched before that night/morning. Ten years later and that rough version of Canon in D had become my own 10 minute arrangement and I even now tease a bit of John Lennon’s “Imagine” in the middle because I’d heard it in my mind’s ear for years and finally was able to make it happen.
All my rough edges and lack of acumen or accolades aside, I’m very much a musical person…and when I’d hear Beyonce, even without seeing her, I knew this was the reality: She’s a stripper pretending to be a musical artist. Not a “musician” mind you, but a musical artist. And not actually a “musical artist” mind you, but a stripper pretending to be one. And of course, as all but the stupid and politically correct will attest, I’m 100% right about that.
The Super Bowl is notorious for ruining music with the halftime shows. Even great bands and performers are somewhat “less” by the time they’re ground up in the sausage-making medley that must be churned out for the single most commercialized production on the planet. Let’s put it this way: If great artists like Slash, The Who, Petty and The Stones leave a lot to be desired when hobbled by the confines of Super Bowl halftime degradation…then words elude what comes out the other side when trash like Beyonce is put in.
But this time around, it wasn’t just Beyonce’s music that was trash. As is so often the case with artistic dropouts like her, just being total con artists more than musical artists isn’t enough: They need to over-compensate for their musical failures and evoke some kind of “narrative” to really drive home their uselessness. And for Beyonce, on the world stage at Super Bowl 50, that narrative amounted to this: Black supremacy is terrific.
Dressed like the stripper she is, Beyonce was backed by dancers donned in black leather and berets intended to capture the essence of the racist Black Panther movement. (For more on the Black Panthers today, enjoy this clip of one of their leaders insisting that it’s incumbent on black people to “kill white babies.”) The song that 75 other people wrote and she performed was a nod to the racist “Black Lives Matter” movement which insists – wrongly – that black people are perpetually aggrieved by the police. (I’ve written about the bigoted ills of the left and black lives matter movement many times on this blog. You can read about their aggressive denial of math and statistical science here, their good intentions here, their identity supremacy here and their grievance-induced paralysis here.)
For Beyonce to come out and make the Super Bowl halftime show all about her nod to such a destructive, racist, regressive movement was a real testament to her lack of leadership. I’d be willing to bet Peyton’s Super Bowl win that her wannabe pimp husband, Jay Z, saw a great marketing opportunity in the Black Lives Matter movement and wanted to capture their download dollars with the greatest advertisement anyone could ask for if your target market is halfwits who are highly impressionable: The Super Bowl halftime show. Beyonce doesn’t care one bit about “the struggle” that black people endure, and if she did and did so thoughtfully – then she, like most of us on the right, would tell them that they’re the only ones still judging people based on skin color…and worse, they’re only doing it because historically-consistent Democrats trick them in to thinking that they should and that it’s good. She’d tell them that the reason they experience more run-ins with the police, and greater disparities with income and education, is because they also experience greater disparities with broken homes. Having been raised her whole life by two committed, hard-working, responsible parents – Beyonce doesn’t know anything about that struggle. And whether it would’ve been as a sales professional in the pharmaceutical industry (that’s where hot girls land) or as a world-famous superstar, Beyonce capitalized on the love and support those parents gave her by going on to be a successful and — most importantly — likely happy adult. But crippled by the left’s seductive insistence on endless grievance and the martyrdom it allows for, Beyonce chooses to ignore the obvious even though she herself was blessed by it: When you have two parents who stick together and lead by example, honoring their commitments to each other and inspiring their kids with love, then those kids will have a better shot at life. When you lack any element of that equation, then a young person’s chances of more hopelessness and fewer opportunities go up exponentially. If Beyonce truly cared about the disparities that black people in America endure, then she’d be making that case. But instead, like so many others including Barack and Michelle Obama, she’s out there perpetuating the narrative that America is racist and that’s why black people have such a hard time. It’s not because Democrats promise blacks and others that their lives should be hopeless and thus create a self-fulfilling prophecy fraught with broken homes and disparity of all stripes. That’s not it. It’s because America is racist. It’s because of “whiteness.” It’s because people don’t think black lives matter. It’s because of any number of lies that serve only to make the problems worse by misappropriating the blame.
That is the kind of “leader” Beyonce Knowles chose to be. And what did it inspire? Well, just more racism from her loyal
dolts fans who were on Twitter enjoying “white tears” and celebrating their black supremacy. Just like all the other Democrats who claim to be “helping” black people who do endure very real disparity, Beyonce decided to cash in on their imaginary grievance by dismissing and thereby perpetuating the actual grievance(s). And of course she got the added benefit of express approval from Michelle Obama, who also donned in all black said before the game: “I got dressed for the halftime show,” continuing “I hope Beyonce likes what I’ve got in.”
So the song salutes “Black Lives Matter” while the dancers are dressed like Black Panthers and the routine includes the construction of a human “X” paying homage to the black supremacist and segregationist Malcolm X – and the First Lady of the United States couldn’t be happier, because this debacle of regression and racism inspires her to gleefully “care deeply” about enjoying it.
I can’t help but wish all I knew about Super Bowl 50 was that Peyton Manning, who has led by example tremendously, continued to do so and was graced with a victory to earn him yet more well-deserved, historic records. But unlike Beyonce fans and the joyfully segregated and (metaphorically at a minimum) enslaved supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement – and worse still the outwardly racist Black Panthers – I don’t live my life with blinders on, and so I noticed. The good news is that just as young women are roundly rejecting Hillary’s insistence that they should vote for her just because she’s a woman, I think more and more black and brown people are awaking to the bigoted, regressive tendencies of con artists like Beyonce and Michelle Obama who actually want black people to endure division, disparity and destruction – because it’s ultimately better for their own profit and power margins. Am I right? Only time will tell. But in the interim, Beyonce is earning her scorn while Peyton Manning is earning his praise and I couldn’t be happier about both.
And I’d say #BoycottBeyonce but honestly, I don’t know a single person who actually likes her or has ever spent a penny on the pseudo music she strips to that dozens of other people write on her behalf. Obviously they’re out there. I’m not going to sit here and try to say that she doesn’t actually have fans, because she does. But I don’t know any of them, and I’m very cool with that also. The company you keep…