Sunday, February 3, 2013

Super Bowl Commercial Blues

Inappropriate Super Bowl commercials force parental screening It is Super Bowl Sunday, and this mama is excited for the big game!  I am an avid fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, which my husband, not a sports fan at all, tolerates well.  Our living room is filled with Steelers gear - a blanket commemorating their sixth Super Bowl win, a clock, several framed paintings, and even a gnome dressed in Steelers overalls and balancing on a steel beam.  To say that I am obsessed would be an understatement.

This year, I will be watching the Super Bowl at home with just Oliver and Stella, our two dogs.  Jesse got called away on a business trip and is currently running around Europe trying to keep several different parties happy, which means he is going to miss the Super Bowl, a circumstance that I found devastating and he found irrelevant.

I was particularly looking forward to our yearly tradition of plunking ourselves in front of the television, me with eyes and ears focused and him with a book or laptop or something to entertain him through the game.  Because this is our last childless Super Bowl, I mentioned a few weeks ago how sad it is that we will soon have to begin leaving the room when the commercials come on during the game.  Jesse initially dismissed this idea on the grounds that Super Bowl commercials really "aren't that bad."  So, like any good wife, instead of insisting on my position, I directed him to a few choice specimens of debauchery, told him to take a few minutes to watch them, and if he still thought it was appropriate for a child's eyes (or mine for that matter), I would defer to his decision.

Needless to say, it didn't take long for him to come around to my way of thinking.

The whole situation just makes me so angry.  My whole life I have looked forward to introducing my children to football and spending hours together over the years, teaching them and watching with them, just like my dad did with me.  It irritates me no end to think that I will have to turn the channel or move my child away from the television every time a commercial comes on during what is probably the biggest sports event of the year.

Families all across the country sit down on Super Bowl Sunday and watch the game together.  It comes on early enough that most kids are up for at least the first half, maybe a little longer.  I am a firm believer in sticking to a routine, but even I plan to allow my children to stay up for the whole game if the Steelers are in there.  There are so many reasons that the commercials should be held to a higher standard during the game.

Now, believe me, I am a firm supporter of freedom of speech and expression, and I do not think it - or anything else, for that matter - should be over-regulated by the government.  As a Christian woman, I believe that it is my duty to help others see what I see in being a Christian and help them come to know Jesus.  In time, people will make the right decisions for the right reasons.  Forcing their hands is never a long-term solution.

However, something really needs to be done about the blatant sexual nature of so many of the Super Bowl commercials.  Every year, it gets worse.  Ironically, the biggest outcry over a Super Bowl commercial came from the Tim Tebow/Focus on the Family commercial a few years ago.  Where is the outcry over Danica Patrick doing a striptease?

Sure, it is my responsibility as a parent to see that my child is protected from such things.  This, however, should be a reason to keep my little ones from watching HBO or Showtime, not the Super Bowl on network television.

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