Sports Meme Power Rankings: Super Bowl XLV Edition

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel has an amazing beard, a story line unto itself. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

This week's Sports Memes are entirely devoted to the Super Bowl, and feature the Black Eyed Peas hating on handicapped people, Ben Roethlisberger assaulting your ears and Peter King being Peter King.

Sports Memes this week is exclusively devoted to Super Bowl XLV. Rankings were determined by a very complex and important formula which is none of your business.

1. Ben Roethlisberger Only Guity Of The Rape Of Your Ears. You need no formal charges to note that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has already violated the general public in several verifiable ways. Roethilisberger is redemption guilty redemption of redemptioning redemptively. Redempt redemptionarily, redemption.

For redemption:


That's 8115 results under "News" for "Roethlisberger redemption," a wave of redempt-o-memes so intense and relentless they threaten to create their own impossibly dense singularity of memeness. This may collapse on itself and create an inter-dimensional vacuum so powerful it could swallow the entire Super Bowl press corps. Whether or not this is a bad thing or not is up to you, but please tie a bungee cord around Mike Mayock and our own Joel Thorman and let the rest do what they may if you could, please.

Ben's second instance of molestation came in showing up at a Dallas piano bar and singing "Piano Man" while tipping well. This is a push, karmically speaking, because the good tip is canceled out by the insistence on going to a piano karaoke bar and requesting the single most obvious and detestable piano karaoke bar song ever. This only confirms our theory that Billy Joel's music is obvious music for the obvious minded, and that if he and Ben Roethlisberger wrote a song together it would be called "Ben and Billy's Song."*

*This is all based on Billy Joel's entire catalog consisting of songs containing absolutely no imagination whatsoever. He wrote a song about playing the piano in a bar and called it "Piano Man." This is because he was a man at a piano. He wrote a song about pressure once, and decided to call it "Pressure." When he needed album covers, for the most part he put his face on the front because boy, that would be really confusing to have an album that said "Billy Joel" and then have a painting of a tricycle on it or something, because what if they thought Billy Joel was the tricycle?

Then they'd go up to the tricycle on the street and say "Why don't you sing that song about Allentown, Penn.? You know, the one called 'Allentown?'" The tricycle--who I repeat, is NOT the singer and piano player Billy Joel--would then just sit there and say nothing. Then your fans would be mad that you had tricked them, and that's bad for Billy Joel! He might even write a song about it called "The Confusing Tricycle Not Named Billy Joel." It would sell a million copies in 1986, and buy Billy Joel lots of expensive alcohol. This is the most anyone has written about Billy Joel in 10 years, and I apologize for that. 

In short, Ben Roethlisberger, redemption, and a tricycle not named Billy Joel. He's still probably a person few people like, but he does tip well, and that keeps you from the final circle of hell, at least: the one reserved for people who don't tip, and for Hitler.

2. Guhhhh Why Can't Roger Goodell Control The Weather And My Wife's Crazy Credit Card Spending Oh Life ---

Reporters complaining about the Super Bowl site is another tried and true annual rite of Super Bowl coverage. Jacksonville is still mad that Tony Kornheiser accurately depicted the city in a column he submitted in 2005. This was the particularly repugnant line to Jacksonville residents, and the one that at least five outraged citizens of the city would like to brand into Kornheiser's wide canvas of a bald forehead.

Have you ever been to Tampa? It's heaven, if you like Waffle Houses.

Jacksonville makes Tampa look like Paris!

This truly is the writing of someone without serious experience in the city of Tampa. Both were grown from a single packet of sea monkeys like every other city in Florida, and are in fact nearly identical. Jacksonville has three more bridges than Tampa; Tampa has a curious growth on its side called St. Petersburg. Otherwise, the cities are identical.

Dallas has come in for surprisingly little punishment from the largely bi-coastal media crowd despite frigid conditions in Dallas and the other customary complaints common to Super Bowl beat bitching: 

  • "Waaaaah, I have to drive everywhere, which is so hard because I have problems sitting and turning a wheel."
  • "Waaaahhh, this place isn't based on a template of one of three places I've ever lived." 
  • "Waaahhhh, this city isn't officially obeisant enough to my media personage."
  • "Waaahhh, the restaurants here suck."

I'd only like to address one of these: complaints about restaurants. It is your fault and your fault alone if you can't find a decent place in a city, and that's because you didn't do lick one of research. By research, i mean "asking someone you trust who lived there." Every city in America has good food except for one place, and that is Indianapolis, and you would be blameless to be miserable there.

Except for Peter King, who doesn't let the paranoia of predictability stop him from playing right into your hands. THIS IS OFFICIALLY A DEBACLE WHERE IS MY MACCHIATO SOY DOUBLE WHIP LATTEFLOAT?"

I'm telling you: I-30 between Dallas + Fort Worth is a plow-less, snow-windswept moonscape. This is officially a debacle.less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®


(Kornheiser is right about one thing: All football championships should be held in Miami, So Cal or New Orleans, because no one wants to be an adult while spending thousands of dollars, and all of these places frown on responsible behavior, and in fact outlaw certain kinds of it.)

3. James Harrison Is A Tender Lover. 

In the desperate search for manufactured conflict leading up to the Super Bowl, the Steelers' Jamees Harrison has been all too happy to oblige by making comments about his rough tackling style. Many assumed these were sarcastic and aimed at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's habit of fining rough play, but we owe it to the man to take him at his word. James Harrison really would like to lay you down on soft pillows before tackling you. Those would be goose-down pillows, but could be Hollofil if you have a feather allergy, because James Harrison cares about your comfort. Some chamomile tea comes next, followed by a light foot rub given while you enjoy the gentle scent of an aromatherapy candle. I don't know at what point James Harrison became a day spa, but if he is one he sounds like be provides exemplary All-Pro service and comfort. 

4. You Can Have Too Many Hookers.  Hooker is almost a quaint word now, since prostitute sounds technical while "ho" could refer to anything from an actual lady of the night to a woman of casual acquaintance. We like terms of affection and precision, and "hooker" fits the bill quite adequately, since Elizabeth Shue in Leaving Las Vegas is a tragic "prostitute," while  Jamie Lee Curtis in Trading Places is a chipper "hooker."

Anyway, Dallas might be short on both, though recent experience has shown that the demand for sex workers--especially in a recession--isn't exactly booming at big sporting events. The short answer to the deep question is yes, you probably do have enough strippers and prostitutes, and seriously, you can have enough of them. (And if you don't you can call locals who would be more than willing to advise you on the topic.)

5. Poseidon Will Now Take Your Questions. Brett Keisel's beard is the kind of minor detail most reporters would focus on anyways, since the long run-up to the Super Bowl requires so much content manufacturing anyway. Previous examples include:

  • Will Thurman Thomas' Crystal Pepsi habit affect a Coca-Cola sponsored Bills team? (In retrospect, maybe?)
  • Is Tom Brady guilty of wearing a performance enhancing rug?
  • Is God on Kurt Warner's side, or is he like, "Whoa, back off unchill bro, you're giving me a rash?"
  • Is Ray Lewis really dancing, or is he just going through the motions until Julia Stiles opens his heart and teaches him the real meaning of dancing with your heart, not your legs?
  • Are Peyton Manning's bowels functioning properly, or does he play well with the pressure of constipation motivating him?
  • Seriously, what's Trent Dilfer doing here? <----vintage 2001 headline

These can get tiresome, but you may talk all you want about Brett Keisel's beard. He obtained it honestly, but had to give up two dental mirrors and a bottle of expectorant in a swap with a fair-trading Indian. Do you need medical attention?"



6. Madden Predicts the Future, But You Ignored One Key Factor.  Sure, EA might have played it out and predicted a Steeler win, but what was the difficulty level? DId one player play like a jerk and find the three plays that work no matter what defense you call? Did they take inconvenient timeouts that broke the other player's flow? Most importantly, did Greg Jennings put the team on his back, or did the programmers ignore the hardest lawya in the history of Madden in their gameplanning? If they did, this would have been a tragic tactical error, and a definite flaw in the simulations.

7. SIlly Questions! Aaron Rodgers seemed to receive the lion's share of the press's silly questions this week, and the results were not pretty for the Packers quarterback on one very important question. 

Drake or Cee Lo? "Drake."

This is your reminder that athletes, while talented and often attractive and charming people, have no taste. Or if we were to rewrite it like a Drake verse:

Pickin' Drake over Cee-Lo disrespectful 


Drivin' blind through this talk like Stevie


Rogers did recoup some points when he was asked to choose between famous derrieres.

Best butt: Nicki Minaj, J-Lo or Kim Kardashian. Rodgers pondered this but then was given the Beyoncé option. "Beyoncé"

The correct answer is "Jennifer Lopez 1998," but I understand if Rodgers was obeying the current time-frame rule in selection. But seriously, the answer to this question is Jennifer Lopez 1998, and someday wars will be fought between time-traveling robots over its amazing powers. (OR HAVE THEY ALREADY MIND BLOWWWWWN--) 

8. Super Bowl Commercials Are Already Over. Volkswagen just pulled an Andre 3000 on the rest of the competition, dropping the mike and daring anyone else to go after this.

Whimsical, pitch-perfect in tone with the juxtaposition of the tiny kid proportions of a Darth Vader with the grand evil of "The Imperial March," and with the Don Draper-approved hint of heartache for those of us who actually remember really trying to Force-crush things with our hands, VW has ended the competition for the year. Your ad sucks in comparison, but thank you for coming anyway.

It is a flawless ad for all these reasons, but also because they understand just how funny anything with an oversized head is. Oh, and Nick Saban's performance is perfect, too, but that almost goes without saying. 

9. The Black Eyed Peas Hate The Developmentally Differently Abled. This is how hard the media is phoning it in: while trailing Ben Roethlisberger around and complaining gently about the frigid conditions in Dallas, they're missing the most obvious trolleriffic story of the week: the NFL has hired a band for the halftime show that clearly hates the developmentally disabled.

To have The Black Eyed Peas--a band that already has made "a bad as to veer toward evil"--play the Super Bowl halftime, our nation's awkward middle school talent show, is simply an act of hostility towards the mentally handicapped everywhere. That's at least what you should have been writing for the past week if you wanted to really stir up a meaningless controversy in the week leading up to the game, or at least open up a thousand easy jokes about the Black Eyed Peas offending an important element of their core fanbase. 

10. The Ever-Present Brett Favre Orbital PR Death Star/ Country Bear Jamboree.  Rogers did get asked Brett Favre questions, proving that the Land Baron can text himself into games he hasn't been involved in this century, so powerful is his grip over the reporters of our nation. This was really just an excuse, however, to fill the void left by the departure of Keith Olbermann and offer up This Week's Worst Person In The World.

RACINE COUNTY - After ditching his Packer fanhood to follow Brett Favre, Steven Balcer is back in the fold.

The Racine native, who spends most of his time traversing the Midwest as stand-up comedian "Stephano," veered east whenever possible to watch Favre play for the New York Jets in 2008. When the quarterback moved on to the Minnesota Vikings, Balcer switched allegiances again.

This reporter under a camel, bro? Should have been you, Steven Balcer.

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