After weeks of incessant hype which became as tedious as political blatherings and debates, the annual American spectacle, the Super Bowl, is finally over.  

For those living under some rock or maybe in Massachusetts, the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots in the forty-sixth edition of the Super Bowl by eking out a 21-17 victory thanks to Tom Coughlin’s coaching, Eli Manning’s unflappability, and Mario Manningham proving he knows where his feet are. 

To Giant fans, those were the highest points of Super Bowl XLVI–the only  association with Roman numerals most of America’s schoolkids ever get–although there were others, including a typically-amazing halftime show concluding with Madonna vaporized in a cloud of smoke. 

Unfortunately, that vaporization was a special effect. 

There were no intentional “wardrobe malfunctions” comparable to Janet Jackson’s nipple display during halftime in 2004 but NBC’s did feature the only low moment of the show when the alleged entertainer M.I.A. showed she has even less class than she has talent. 

SUPERBOWL-MIA  During Madonna’s song “Give Me All Your Luvin,” M.I.A. displayed the middle finger of her left hand and obscenely cursed at either Madonna, at the hundred million children and adults watching the performance, or both. (  

NBC and the NFL quickly offered explanatory defenses.

NBC disingenuously contended, “It was a spontaneous gesture that our delay system caught late [to bleep].”  The network didn’t explain how M.I.A.’s flipping the bird and mouthing an expletive could possibly be interpreted as ”a spontaneous gesture.” 

The NFL’s response that, “The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing, and we apologize to our fans,” as it shuffled the irresponsibility onto NBC and headed for cover was, at least, more honest, though not exculpatory.  

Still, Super Bowl XLVI represented America to the world as an enthusiastic nation united in its enthusiasm, if not its team allegiances, as a nation that has other interests aside from war, as a nation which can put aside its grave fears to celebrate a national passtime. 

The liberal mayor of New York City may agree with all that but he has skewed  priorities.     

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office announced immediately after the Giants’ victory that a ticker tape parade will be held on Tuesday down New York City’s Canyon of Heroes for the Jersey Boys, a parade similar to the one the mayor’s  office previously announced would not be held for Iraq war heroes because the city couldn’t afford it. 

Speaking from the point of view of a Giants’ fan, the New York Giants are a great team and their Super Bowl XLVI conquest of the New England Patriots should be applauded and feted–and M.I.A.’s classlessness should be ignored for what she and it is. 

I contend our brave military forces are much greater, have far more class, and should be accorded more recognition than any sports team.