One Small Gesture Ruins a Super Bowl Performance

I’m not gonna lie when I heard that Madonna was going to be the artist performing at the Super Bowl XLVI I was a little more than disappointed. However, when it came to her actual performance, like many of my peers, I was actually surprised. I have watched the last five Super Bowls at a Lodge, and this was the first year that I can recall that someone did not yell “change the channel” during the halftime show. Her performance was a little weird, but unlike the last several Super Bowl halftime shows, Madonna’s performance actually kept my attention.

Flash forward to Monday morning. I wake up. The Giants have won their second Super Bowl under Eli. Eli has joined the ELIte quaterbacks in the NFL, and apparently Madonna has caught the world by surprise with her halftime performance. So you think the headlines would have great things to say right? Wrong. Instead of waking up to positive headlines, the world woke up to another ‘Super Bowl Malfunction’.

M.I.A. flips middle finger during Super Bowl halftime show

NBC, NFL apologize for obscene gesture

Super Bowl Controversy: M.I.A Middle Finger Blamed on ‘Adrenaline and Nerves,’ Madonna ‘Livid’

All it took was one little flip of the bird from one person to steal the show and ruin a massive performance and a great game. M.I.A’s actions won’t soon be forgotten. Think about it for a second: Five years from now few will remember who won Super Bowl XLVI or how great of game it was. Even fewer will remember that they were actually sort of impressed by Madonna’s performance. Why? Because M.I.A. gave millions of viewers the bird on national television. (if you watch closely you can see M.I.A’s obscene gesture right around 7:53)

A similar incident occurred in Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004: The Janet Jackson Wardrobe Malfunction. Having trouble remembering which two teams played in Super Bowl XXXVIII? It was the Carolina Panthers and the New England Patriots. The Patriots won 32-29. (I’m a Panthers fan, and even I had to look it up). Few remember the game but everyone remembers Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction.

My point is the smallest of gestures can ruin great things. M.I.A’s obscene gesture may have gone unnoticed by many, but, because a few people noticed it, everyone heard about it. Organizations are judged by the individual actions of its members. NBC, the NFL, Madonna, the dancers, and other artists all had to apologize for the actions of one person. One person, out of hundreds of thousands that were involved in the planning and execution of Super Bowl XLVI, tainted glory for everybody.

The same thing can happen in a fraternity because fraternities are judged by the individual actions of its members and pledges. One Brother, pledge, or guest can make a great thing go wrong. As Chi Psis we have to remember that every little action we take is representative of our organization. If one Chi Psi flips the bird, uses profane language, gets too drunk, is disrespectful to a woman, or does ANYTHING that fails to align with our values, it reflects poorly on your Alpha, your Brothers, and Chi Psis across the nation.

As Chi Psis we wear our letters all the time. Every action we take is representative of our organization. Realizing this I challenge you to avoid and prevent those little ‘malfunctions’ and negative behaviors in your Alpha. Make sure your Brothers know what is expected of them. Make sure they understand that as Chi Psis we are expected to live values-congruent lives.

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3 responses to “One Small Gesture Ruins a Super Bowl Performance

  1. Unfortunately, this happening again will have a deep, negative affect on future performances. The networks trust in celebrities is augmented by not only this episode, but the politically and socially outspoken Hollywood talking heads. And, the viewing audience has lost faith in getting clean, entertaining content. What’s worse is that this happened in front of the largest television viewing audience ever to watch a television show; not a Super Bowl. The largest viewing audience (111 million+) to sit in front of the ‘boob’ tube….oh, that was Janet J. a few years ago. But, seriously, nobody (not the network, not the viewing audience, not the NFL, not the FCC) is going to want to be a part of any of this very much longer.

  2. I agree, and I believe the military is very much the same way. It is comprised of individuals who represent an organization and are a direct reflection of its values. So when certain individuals act unaccordingly, the media highlights any negative incidents that quickly overshadow anything positive. Then people forget about the rest of the individuals who wonder every day when and where they will deploy to next and who will hate them for their government’s decisions, but keep their mouths shut and do their part trying to make the world a better place. M.I.A.’s actions were completely irrelevant to the performance and inappropriate for her audience. So the next time you see a soldier acting in an inappropriate manner, please also remind him what he represents.

  3. It’s too bad that she had to do something like this. I imagine it was a publicity stunt, which would make it even worse. At least we can assume that Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction was only an accident.

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