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Super Bowl Ad Offends Christians, But Football Coverage Offends This Parent

By Danielle Sullivan |

Super Bowl 2011, football, super bowl

Will the 2011 Super Bowl be family friendly?

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.

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About Danielle Sullivan

danielle-sullivan

Danielle Sullivan

Danielle Sullivan writes for Babble Pets. She is also an award-winning parenting writer, who authors a monthly column for NY Parenting and ASPCA Parents blog. You can read more of her work at her blog,Some Puppy To Love. Read bio and latest posts → Read Danielle's latest posts →

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5 thoughts on “Super Bowl Ad Offends Christians, But Football Coverage Offends This Parent

  1. JEssica says:

    Football is a violent sport and is not family fare.

  2. John Bender says:

    The Doritos ad is patently offensive. Anyone who doesn’t understand this is either not a Catholic, or is at least an ill-informed one. To publicly display the holiest element of Catholic faith as being nothing more than a casual snack is sacrilegious. The communion wafer is believed to be the mystical embodiment of the Savior’s flesh, and the communion wine His blood. During Mass the priest, empowered by Christ’s example and command, transubstantiates – or Divinely transforms – the wafers and blood. During communion they are no longer mere symbols but rather exist as the metaphysical embodiments of the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ. With their ad Doritos executives are visually replacing Christ on the Cross with their product. It is a disgusting image and based on flagrant disregard of the sublime truth and significance of God sacrificing his Son for the salvation of every human being. But, Catholics will suffer this. We will not rampage. We will not threaten to cut anyone’s head off or blow up any buildings. Jesus told us that he would continually be mocked beyond his death and resurrection, and those who made this commercial and those who run it participate in his on-going crucifixion. But God does not need his children to defend His dignity. A tiny child is not expected to defend or protect it’s mighty Father. God can, and will, see to His own dignity, and the role of the Christian is to never betray it.

  3. Chris Kuechenmeister, Frito-Lay says:

    I work for Frito-Lay and wanted to clarify some points in the above discussion around our Super Bowl ad contest. The above-referenced video is a consumer-created entry in the Crash the Super Bowl contest where consumers were asked to submit ads for Doritos or Pepsi MAX with the chance of airing on the Super Bowl broadcast. The video was not created by Doritos or Pepsi MAX and was one of over 5,600 entries we received. With such a significant number of submissions, you get a pretty wide range of concepts. We apologize if you were upset or offended by this consumer submission.

    We announced the 10 contest finalists on Monday, January 3 and the video in question is not included in the group. This means that it will not air during the Super Bowl and will not be a part of any other Doritos or Pepsi MAX marketing programs in the future.

  4. Danielle Sullivan says:

    Thank you Chris for giving us the scoop on the news surrounding this video. It certainly drew a lot of attention. When will the final commercial be announced?

  5. Chris Kuechenmeister, Frito-Lay says:

    The finalists were announced January 3 and consumers now vote for the ads they want to see aired during the Super Bowl.

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