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’.
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.