Super Bowl coverage is as much about the game as it is the commercials, but one commercial set to premiere on Super Bowl Sunday is offending Christians worldwide.
In it, a pastor is afraid of dwindling church attendance and he’s worried. While he prays in his church pew wondering how to attract more parishioners to his church, he asks for a sign from God, and he gets it in the form of a crunch. Doritos! The commercial then flashes to a filled church with people lined up to receive communion, and instead of the sacred host, they get a Doritos chip.
Cool ranch?” a man asks.
“The other line’” the priest responds and points to the right.
I’m Catholic…but I honestly laughed when I saw this. Despite public outcry from Christian groups, Frito-lay maintains that the commercial has been approved and it will run. To me, it’s really no big deal. My kids who attend Catholic school know the difference between the Holy Communion and a joke. My son, I can tell you right now will probably say he would love if they did this at church for real. Who does it harm? Anyone who is strong in their faith won’t be dissuaded by this commercial.
On the flip side, last year’s Super Bowl commercial, featuring Tim Tebow’s mom that was paid for by the conservative Christian group Focus On The Family had feminists up in arms. In it, she recalled when she was pregnant with Tim back in 1987 and ignored the doctors’ recommendations to terminate the pregnancy. Instead, she gave birth to Tim who became the 2007’s Heisman Trophy winner.
Are they any worse than the racy ads featuring scantily clad women created solely to appeal to the mostly male audience? And let’s not forget Janet Jackson’s supposed wardrobe malfunction in 2004.
Yet what quite possibly sets me off more than either of these two commercials is football coverage itself. Last night, my son was watching a round-up of the upcoming playoffs and trying to understand how the game works. My husband was explaining the first round of playoffs, which team will play which team next until the Super Bowl itself, and how the game progresses. Great, I thought.
Not so great when they pan to Brett Farve and his recent deeds. Two massage therapists are now claiming harassment in addition to the charges brought against him by sideline reporter Jenn Sterger in the form of text messages. Then the station proceeded to run the text messages across the bottom of the screen and comment on what Mrs. Farve must be saying at the dinner table these days. Combine that with last week’s coverage of NY Jets coach Rex Ryan and his wife’s foot fetish videos, plus coach Sal Alosi’s intentional tripping of an opposing player during a game.
Football has opened up a number of discussions this year that I clearly never intended to have with my son. When we watch sports, I don’t necessarily plan to define the words foot fetish or harassment. So honestly, a pastor handing out Doritos doesn’t bother me in the least. Play the commercial, have a good-natured chuckle, and then get back to the game, and leave the language in the locker room please. In the off season, we can only hope the players get back to the basics and back into the news for great plays rather than their bad behavior off the field.