Super Bowl Bummers

For all the pomp that was Super Bowl XLV in Jerry Jones’ sparkling new Cowboys Stadium – the largest domed stadium in the world – something was bound to go wrong.

Too bad it wasn’t just one thing.

For starters, the 110,000-capacity stadium had a big issue with seating, surprisingly enough. Winter storms in the Arlington, Texas, area threw a wrench into operations when six workers were injured by melting snow and ice that slid off the stadium’s roof Feb. 4. While all went to the hospital, none suffered life-threatening injuries, a representative said.

The incident apparently led to a delay in the installation of six sections of temporary seats for about 850 fans that had purchased tickets to the game. But without enough time to allow for an inspection by the fire marshal, many seats sat empty during the game and many fans were, literally, left out in the cold.

The NFL said in a statement that 850 fans were put into “similar or better” seats and others were offered the opportunity to watch the game from the stadium’s outdoor plazas, standing-room only sections, or from a field-level club behind the Pittsburgh Steelers’ bench.

“This is absolutely ridiculous,” a Steelers fan that flew in from Baltimore said. “That would be fraud anywhere in the world if you sold tickets to an event that you knew you didn’t have. That’s just wrong.”

The NFL is reportedly in the process of refunding the affected fans triple the face value for their tickets, but for those that traveled far distances or scored tickets on the secondary market, the offer may not seem so sweet.

“That’s terrific,” a displaced fan from Cleveland said. “That’s why we fronted five grand for this trip – so we could watch this game in a bar. I didn’t have to take a plane to Texas to watch the game on TV.”

The game’s halftime show proved another bummer, with the Black Eyed Peas expected to rock the event into the future after several years of bland classic rock performances.

While the show featured enough Tron-inspired dancers and flashing visuals to cause any epileptic to break into seizures, it was also marred by sound and lighting issues. Fergie, accompanied by Slash on guitar, provided an off-key rendition of “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” The V in the group’s “LOVE” stage didn’t light up fully. Special guest Usher spent more time in the air than on stage.

Maybe Steve Martin summed it up best when he tweeted following halftime, “I learned so much about love during the halftime show. And then at the end when it said, ‘The Beginning,’ I thought, ‘Wow.’ Just Wow.”

Adam Serwer’s tweet went as follows: “If Mubarak was smart he’d have gotten the Black Eyed Peas to empty out Tahrir Square two weeks ago.”

And before the game even began, there was Christina Aguilera’s bungled performance of the “Star Spangled Banner,” where she subbed “O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming” with the line “What so proudly we watched at the twilight’s last reaming.”

She apologized, explaining that she hoped everyone could feel her “love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through.”