February is a major pop culture time in the United States with both the Superbowl and The Oscars taking place in the month. I’m not a huge football fan but I do love the Superbowl. I love the commercials and the halftime show. This is is time for which social media was made. You get to watch these events and participate in a large conversation. Sometimes I’m rooting for a team, usually the underdog or the one with a good story. Other times, I’m compelled to watch for other reasons.
This year, I didn’t go in rooting for a specific team. Although, I did live in San Francisco at one point in my life. And, having lived approximately nine years in California makes me a New Yorker with California sensibilities. I’m basically a sunny, optmistic curmudgeon.
I watched the game not rooting for a team but to feel a range of emotions. I love sappy commercials. I love aspirational commercials. I love hearing the National Anthem sung with great zest and feeling. And, Demi Lovato did just that.
This year’s Superbowl came on the heels of my mother’s nine year death anniversary. And, that Loretta ad by Google hit home. The ad was narrated by the grandfather of a Google employee who talks about the love of his life Loretta and his memories of her. Specifically, the ad starts off with a man asking Google “how to not forget” so that he can learn how to keep the memory of his late wife alive. All week I have been reminiscing about my mother and reflecting on her death. The ad spoke to me and to millions of others as well.
Further, the halftime show showcased a vibrant Latino culture. Latina pop queens Shakira and Jennifer Lopez brought immense energy and splash to the halftime show. My mother would have loved the show. She would have been bored by the game but she would have watched it with me to hang out and watch some cool women bring it and catch some sob-inducing commercials. Plus, what a comeback we saw in the last few minutes. That’s why we collectively watch the game.