February 3, 2013



Maybe some guy just flipped the wrong switch or tripped over a cable. But “how” didn’t seem to matter. Because when half the lights failed last night at the Super Dome, grinding the Super Bowl to a halt for half-an-hour, Twitter lit up like a Christmas tree about the power grid and infrastructure, about FEMA and Katrina.

If it didn’t last long, the disruption represented a dose of randomness and real-life in the otherwise narcotic effect of the yearly American bacchanal. If the game resumed with announcers papering over the blackout by mining it for adjectives about the “recharged” 49’ers and Beyonce’s “knock out” halftime performance, the effect was unmistakable. The #SuperBowlBlackOut infused last night’s spectacle with a political whiff. If it was barely an eye blink compared to the wallop of Sandy or the horror in this building in ’05, in literally casting a shadow over the stars-and-stripes and our commercial fun-and-games, it called up the precariousness of energy and infrastructure as we root for these issues to take care of themselves.


(photo: SBNation.com caption: Blackout at Super Bowl 2013



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Michael Shaw
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