Monday, February 6, 2012

A Reggie Review: Super Bowl XLVI

Last evening Boy and I decided to watch this year's Super Bowl.

Yes, Dear Reader, you read that correctly.

Although neither of us is what I would call a football fan, we are both appreciators of popular culture, and since one in three Americans watches the Super Bowl, we decided to get off our high horses this year and join the fray (for the first time in many years) and see what it was all about.

Here are my observations:

(1) Not one of the professional ball players or coaches appeared to actually know the words to the National Anthem, and at best mumbled along to it, slack-jawed, if they even bothered to make any pretense of singing it at all.

Kelly Clarkson sang a rousing rendition of the National Anthem

This is an outrage!  If I were the coach of a football team (the very concept of which is so alien to me that I can't believe I'm even writing a sentence that begins with such words), I would order my players to learn the words to the anthem by heart (as every American should), and I would demand that they sing it loudly and with fervor at the opening of every game.  No exceptions!  Are you too cool to sing the National Anthem with feeling and reverence?  Then get off my team, Buster!

(2) The coaches were shockingly under-dressed.

If I were a coach I wouldn't even consider not dressing appropriately and respectfully for the Super Bowl, the pinnacle of the football season, and for me that means—at minimum—wearing a jacket and a tie, if not a suit and a tie.  And if I were one of the owners of a team playing in the Super Bowl, then you can believe me that I would require my coaching staff—from the head coach on down to the water boy—to, at the very least, wear jackets and ties.

The Patriot's Head Coach—I've seen people better dressed at airports!

The hoodies and nylon parkas I saw worn by the 50+ and 60+ year old head coaches during yesterday's Super Bowl, not to mention their constant spitting of phlegm during the game, was appalling.  You have an image to keep up, Gentlemen, and you have an example to set.  Show some respect!

At least the Giants' Head Coach was wearing a parka with a collar

(3) The game itself was dull and over-televised with too many cuts between camera takes, making the action (what little there was of it) difficult to follow.  As far as I could tell, it was little more than too many multiple instant replays of boring, incomplete maneuvers.  The game appeared to be mostly spent devoted to time-outs focused on fellows bumbling and milling about separated by further time-outs, at a rate of one every six to twelve seconds.  Yes, there were some interesting moments in the game, but they were few and far between.

"Can we talk about this, again?"

(4) I have to hand it to Madonna. She really rocked the stadium at half time and was a lot better than I expected.  She put on a fantastic show.  Thank god it wasn't something awful, like Mötley Crüe.


What a spectacle!  Miss Ciccone may not be quite as young or limber as she once was (and who is?), but she's a real hoofer and did some remarkable moves that people half her age would find daunting.  My hat goes off to her.


(5) The ads, which are often the highlight of the Super Bowl for many, were mostly clever-ish, but nothing to write home about as these things go.  I did like the Budweiser ad that showed the time warp of celebrations from the end of Prohibition to Brooklyn raves, which was fun and rather sexy.  Otherwise, would the Agencies responsible for coming up with Super Bowl ads please lose the focus groups, who are sucking most of the originally out of them?

A scene from the Budweiser ad that I liked

(6) Thank Goodness we taped Downton Abbey to watch afterwards.  So delicious and gorgeous to look at—even though it is devolving into soap-opera territory.  What a civilized alternative it was to the rather dull four hours we spent trapped in the relative purgatory of Super Bowl Sunday beforehand.


Tell me, Dear Reader, did you watch the Super Bowl, and if so what did you make of it?

All images taken from Google Images

65 comments:

  1. Friend: I hear you on the jacket/tie argument. However, the league requires them to wear branded merchandise as part of the official supplier/sponsor arrangement.

    Google: 49ers/Nolan

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    1. Perhaps they could have their ties embroidred with the logo, or the crest on the breast pocket? Or their blazer buttons?

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  2. I love your observations, agree on all fronts! Madonna much better than anticipated, digital effects during her performance added a lot to the performance.

    About to watch my recording of Dowton Abbey now, hope the war ends soon, so grey, need the pretty colors and costumes back.

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    1. I've become so innured to digital enhancement, I almost didn't notive it!

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  3. Didn't watch it. We get no channels at home in the city. I checked the score twice online, though.

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    1. Sounds like you have rabbit ears versus cable TV. Very civilized, indeed!

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  4. As my husband tried for the FIRST time in 25 years of marriage, to explain the rules and regulations....I just waited for M. Seeing her homage to La Liz as Cleopatra...VOGUE with Givenchy...the rest was a blur!

    Your right, the sideway stares off into the distance on Downton Abbey...so sudsy, but love Matthew and Lady Mary! Of course, the facial and verbal ballet from Maggie Smith makes ALL worth the viewing aside from the architectural delights.

    Hope you enjoyed the Jade Bar!

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    1. The rules of fottball have been explained to me so many times that my teaxhers are blue in he fave. "What's a 'down' again?" I'm hopeless with it.

      Oh, and Jade bar was very glam!

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  5. I agree with your review, Reggie, but I cannot comment on the commercials as I saw little more than the National Anthem and the Halftime Show. Madonna was entertaining, but her voice seemed over-manipulated and unnatural; maybe that is no different from what it has always been, but it just did not seem like a "live" performance. She looked good though.

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    1. I figured she was lip-synking, but figured that came with the territory. On the other hand her dancing pyrotechnics coudn't be faked...Not bad for the 50+ set...

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  6. I did watch the superbowl, and was also disappointed (but not surprised) in the wardrobe choices made by the coaching staff, Belichick (Patriots) in particular.

    It's one thing to dress like that for practice, but I couldn't sleep at night if I were dressed that way before a third of the country.

    Moving on...I thought the game was good. I think the choppy action that you describe is just the nature of the beast.

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    1. You call that a wardrobe choice for Belichick? I call that a disgrace!

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  7. Watched it and hated the outcome...as a Philadelphia fan...hard to stomach seeing the Giants win.
    Yes, Belicheck and his ratty sweatshort are a disgrace...he needs a page from Tom Landry's book...jacket,tie,hat...a look of class that is absent from the sidelines.

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  8. ".... their constant spitting of phlegm during the game, was appalling." I wonder what possesses them to get into this awful habit? Surely, it isn't to clear their throat. I've gone days, weeks, months, years without ever spitting on the ground. Do they really believe it creates a more macho image? I guess they do.

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  9. I didn't watch it, I chose Downton instead.

    However, I agree with everything you wrote except number 1. I don't care if they know the words to the anthem, I only care that the recognize the tune and stand respectfully. I do not want to hear most people try to sing the national anthem. It's not the easiest song to sing, and those of us with less than decent voices should not attempt it.

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    1. I learned to sing it as a child, and continue to sing it today. It's not that hard, particularly if you take it down a key or two...

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  10. So well said Reggie, thank you. Why do the head coaches dress in such an undignified way? Why is the anthem not hollered out by the players and coaches? I also find these things very discouraging.
    I found the whole event quite dismal and a bit of a grind to watch, quite frankly. I have enjoyed other games this season much more. I tend to watch every Sunday as MrBP is a massive fan and it is an opportunity to spend time together relaxing. Of course I usually read the NY Times while I'm watching as I don't find football compelling enough to hold my attention for very long!

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    1. DaniP: Very wise to have something absorbing to read, I think. I still get annoyed at the lack of respect for the NA. Drives me nuts!

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  11. Reggie, I watched until after Madonna's Show and then switched over to Downton Abbey (which I do hope is on the air a very long time).

    I agree with everything you mentioned and also liked the Budweiser commercial you have imaged above.

    The Patriot's coach looked like he just woke up and threw on whatever was laying on the chair from the day before. The coaches really do need to set an example and be respectable!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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    1. That coach should look in the mirror more often...

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  12. Michele from BostonFebruary 6, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    We watched, but I have to agree with most of your comments, Reggie. I mentally noted that the Giants coach was the only one with hat in hand over his heart during the singing of the anthem. Madonna's voice seemed overly auto-tuned or whatever they do these days. The performance was visually stunning, especially from above, except I learned M.I.A. gave the finger and mouthed a curse during her portion - why? Nicky Minaj was barely tolerable. I was arguing with my husband that the coaches in Italian football wear custom-tailored blazers with ties with the team logo on them and they're groomed to perfection. He just laughed and let me know that Bill was wearing his lucky "whatever that was". I seem to have gravitated to the Super Bowl commercials featuring dogs as the best ones. Oh, well. We lost again. There's always next year!

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  13. If you look at photos a few decades old, coaches at least looked respectable. As authority figures that have to be trusted by the players and by the public, your suggestion that they return to higher sartorial standards is a good one, especially as every day we seem to read some new scandal involving a famous coach.

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    1. Indeed, while researhing this piece I trolled through Super Bowls past. Not only did the coaches wear jackets and ties, but in some cases topcats and respectable hats, too. And I'm YOUNGER than the two coaches at yesteday's game. They should know better!

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  14. We taped Downton Abbey and watched it after as well. And I remember "The Good Old Days" of football and was thinking the same as you -- what were the coaches thinking? It looked like they were at a practice -- not THE game of the whole year! Where was the sport jacket and tie? I liked it better when the coaches "dressed for success" -- sigh -- but I suppose it will never go back to that.

    I remember the KC Chiefs and Hank Stram and how dapper he always looked on the sidelines not only with coat and tie but with hat as well -- but then in those days, too, people dressed to fly! Sigh!

    I felt that the commercials were not as clever as in years past and I was disappointed in most of Budweisers -- but new owner new ad agency perhaps?

    All in all, the best part of the evening was watching Downton Abbey!

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    1. I don't understand why the coaches don't dress anymore. I suppose a whole-sale collapse of morals and manners. And on Downton Abbey, the choice was between evening dress or a dinner jacket!

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  15. I didn't watch it but your comments made me laugh. The head coach looked bad didn't he? You would think that his kids would have said, "You aren't going out in that are you?" I realize that I am a dino who went to college in the 80's, but I remember when everyone on the teams wore suits to the games. Obviously the players changed out of them (now THAT would be an interesting football game, had they not) but the coaches didn't, and managed to look distinguished even when they were on the verge of embarrassing themselves with red-faced insults to the refs.

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  16. Thank you for mentioning the lack of singing!!! I thought I was the only who was aware of it, but did you watch the last debates only Romney said the pledge of allegiance the others stayed mum. I am a new citizen and am amazed that the born ones really dont bother...
    As you said the commercials were mediocre (my opinion)

    Love reading your blog

    Annie v.

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  17. Well put. I agree, by the end of the first half I couldn't take it any longer. Downton Abby, as you say, is great to look at but this season is not living up to its first season. Downton Abby will not rise to the level of Waughs "Brideshead Revisited" exploring the same thesis. It is beautiful, though.

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  18. Back in the days when the stars were properly aligned in the Heavens and the Colts were from BALTIMORE, as has been mentioned above, Tom Landry was indeed the standard. While I am a huge football fan, having now learned to love our Ravens, I find college basketball like watching paint dry. However, all college coaches are nicely turned out in coat and tie...suits for that matter. They look great. I understand NFL regs on having to wear branded clothing, they certainly could wear ties with logos and maybe blazers with a logo on the breast pocket......

    As to "Downtown Abbey" as we have dubbed it....it's fun and gorgeous, but Julian Fellowes is now just going a bit beyond the pale...nonetheless we are huge fans.....

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  19. While you may not be an affionado of gridiron theatrics, I think you got much of it right. First of all when you have all these micro-corporations (that is what a pro football player is) standing on a field earning more money in one season than most Americans earn in a life time, one would want to stand tall and proud during the national anthem of that generous nation that gave them the opportunity to become silly rich for being able to run, kick and throw an oblong orb. My friend Debbie Lundsburger speaks of the "slobbification" of America. Professional coaches are part of the 1% ers. Indeed they should take pride in their appearance. They could learn a thing or two from professional basketball coaches. That said, though, this was a pretty good game. One of the top 5% I have witnessed over the years. And yes.....the commercial for Budweiser was very good indeed. Thanks for your thoughts.

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  20. I watched and agree with some of your opinions and disagree with some. I thought it to be a very exciting game - especially the last few minutes, I thought Madonna looked fantastic and put on a heck of a show, I am with you wholeheartedly on the coach's attire - could they have looked any more slouchy at what is probably the most important day of their careers? AND I found most of the commercials to be mediocre at best considering the millions of dollars paid to air them. Long story short - it was one of the first games in years I've watched in entirety and I have to say I'm glad I tuned in. Like the rest of the country, I DVR'd Downton Abbey because I love it!

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  21. Well, this is America--at least part of it. Regarding the clothing: a lot of people in sports have lucky items they wear, no matter how awful they look. Regarding players singing the national anthem: I'm sure they know the words, but the guys have ants in their pants waiting for the biggest game of the year to start. They're a bit preoccupied.
    Of course I love Madonna, but feel the only other performer with her last night should have been CeeLo.
    As for the ads, I thought the Doritos spot with the Great Dane was hysterical. It was shot on a $20 budget and bought for over a million.

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  22. No, darling Reggie, I did not watch the Super Bowl, and I am in full agreement with your commentary. From the photos displayed, I must say I've seen better outfits on Skid Row than those coaches were wearing. Egads! How atrocious!

    We all watched Downton Abbey here. Hooked. All of us. Every last one. But this week's show was dull compared to the other episodes. Can't wait till things heat up more. I cheated and watched spoilers.

    Elizabeth

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  23. I guess I am in the minority because I thought the half time show was an indication that The End Times are actually nigh. I did not watch the game and am so happy the war has finally ended on Downton Abbey.
    xox
    Camilla

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    1. I found Madonna's performance dismaying.

      When the male dancers flipped her over in a cartwheel motion, it was as if they were hoisting an old lady.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyfdoZldrS4

      I expected an accident with each step.

      But I've never seen another Madonna show so perhaps she hasn't gotten much worse than in her younger days.

      The football coaches do, indeed, look awful. At least basketball coaches still generally look decent for the televised games.

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    2. I do agree that one was a bit apprehensive when Madonna was flipping back and forth by the dancers, as she was--as you indicate--showing her age. However, she made it without an accident (Good Girl!), so I was able to let the breath I was holding while she did attempted them, exhale with relief!

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  24. Superbowl? I've heard of it. It has something to do with that game where guys old enough to know better keep running into each other while wearing helmets and get paid absolutely ludicrous sums of money doing it, right? Or is that basketball? No, wait, basketball is the one with the stick that one swings trying to get the ball through a hoop. I just have so much trouble keeping these things straight. Much like myself.

    As for Downton Abbey, don't even get me started. As I've already mentioned to a correspondent, After 40+ years of watching lush British productions about Country houses, crotchety dukes, headstrong heiresses, and their legions of unnaturally happy servants, I've kinda reached saturation levels---and Downton is not, contrary to the hype, even close to the best of genre (as other sage commenters above have noted.) Forgive me Maggie Smith--it's nothing personal.

    My dirty little secret? After each episode of Downton, I watch an episode of Shameless, about a deeply dysfunctional English family on welfare, living on a council estate called Chatsworth, outside Manchester. Its a bracing tonic after all the treacle being served by the overly prozac'd servants up at the Abbey.

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    1. Thank you DED, must try "Shameless" -- wasn't aware of it until reading about it in your comment.

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  25. A while back, when Jose Murinho used to coach the Chelsea football (soccer) team here in London, he too had a lucky piece of clothing. Only in his case, it was a full length wool Armani winter coat.....It finally ended up being sold at auction and raised almost $900,000 for Tsunami relief and other charities.
    Slightly more dignified than the Patriot head coach's cut-off hoodie/sweatshirt thing!
    As for Downton Abbey, the second series was written in a hurry, the first being an unexpected hit, and unfortunately it shows. However, after a few false starts, it improves. Enough so that one looks forward to a third series!

    Regards from the other side of the pond!

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    1. The hoodie is revolting, and it is unfathomable that anyone would pay anything for it. As for DA, you make an interesting point. Thank you.

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  26. Agree with most of what you said. However, I thought a lot of the ads were mean-spirited and cruel. That made me a little ill. Is that who we are?

    And I thought Madonna looked sort of listless during her dances. She seemed sluggish.

    And don't even get me started on that Pat's coach. It's shocking that the man dresses like a homeless person. I don't care if it IS his lucky jersey. I sure hope it gets a good scrub every so often. {shudder}

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    1. Dear PD: I agree with you. Upon reflection many of the ads were mean-spirited, and certainly were less than flattering in their depiction of women. Not sure if Madonna looked sluggish, though -- I think she was giving her all for it, but at 53 she doesn't have the stamina of the 30 year old she seeks to portray.

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  27. I miss the games of fifty years ago -- back before astroturf and modern stadiums. Back when they'd be slogging through mud and snow. Of course, back in those golden days, players would also do things like deliberately break an opponent's leg, or bite off an ear. (Big shout-out to Alex Karras!) On the other hand, the coaches were all impeccably dressed in the height of Fifties fashion -- tweed jackets and a hat for every head.

    But what I really want to know is this:

    When did Madonna -- that once edgy, slightly fleshy club girl -- take over The Cher Slot in American culture?

    I didn't get the memo.

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    1. Ancient, what a pleasure it is to hear from you again. And yes, I wondered the same thing -- when DID Madonna transmogrify into Cher? Excellent point (as always)!

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  28. How brave you were! I watched seconds here and there......all I saw was "Slobbovia" You are so correct. Clothes and hats and demeanor I was totally ashamed of.

    Revolting, really.

    Madonna did a great job. Otherwise; (what my Granny said: the whole country is going to hell in a hand basket!"

    I am clinging to the positives! We HAVE YOU; and other elegant bloggers who teach people how to live, speak and behave correctly!

    I'm hanging my hat on all of you!

    ps Madonna took over when Cher could not have one more operation on her face; and the filler and botox just made her look like a freak
    (just guessing); sad.

    I hope Madonna will see that as a cautionary tale. Cher is totally scary to look at.
    I saw her a few months ago. It made me want to cry.

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    1. Dearest PB: I relish your comments, and adore what you have to say. "Slobbovia," indeed! Thank you for your support and kind words, m'dear! Watch out Madge, Cher is, indeed, a cautonary tale.

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  29. Perhaps you need to pitch the perfect etiquette guide to a super super bowl party. Surely you have seen the Downton Abbey super mash up party.
    Of utmost urgency, question, my very own dear mr. pve has been invited to a "hunt" on friday and what would you wear.
    Is there a "Ask Reggie" side-bar, Seriously, what would Reggie Darling wear or Boy Fenwick?
    pve

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    1. Dear PVE: It depends on what type of hunt you have been invited to. Is it a fox hunt, or is it a beagleing extravaganza? In most cases, heavy tweeds and courderoy are appropriate for the bystanders.

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  30. Hello! I just found your blog and I think it's AMAZING! The pics are great and I can see that You really like what you do here! I love people with great ideas, like you!
    Your blog is inspiring! I will follow you!
    xoxo

    http://nikandpic.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you Mik for your comment, and welcome!

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  31. I would never have thought you would watch a football game for all the reasons you mentioned. It is NOT a civilized game. Then there is the crowd....

    Madonna is stunning but I wish she would stop trying to be a teenager...so not becoming.

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    1. Even I was surprised to find myself watching it, so I share your astonishment. Stranger things have happened. And yes, Madonna is not playing an age-appropriate game.

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  32. Reggie, Reggie, Reggie, you don't get out into the real world much, do you? This isn't a criticism; I try to avoid it as much as possible too. Don't you think the Super Bowl (and football in general) is an accurate representation of the way most people in America seem to be these days? Ignorant, inappropriate, crude, violent, sloppy, gaudy & tacky.

    People like Madonna & other "celebrities" make me long for the time when men and women dressed and aged approrpriately and gracefully.

    It isn't all bad though. At least the Budweiser p.r. people have the good sense not to get rid of the Clydesdales!

    *sara*

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    1. Hello Sara,
      Reggie often finds himself out and about in the "real" world, as it provides him with confidence and respect for the place he usually spends his time. It aso provides him wth the opportunity to share his "rules," which are a much-needed response/primer for the lack of manners and propriety that run rampant today.

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  33. Dear Reggie

    Very amused by your insightful comments on the greatest show on earth!

    What can I add? Standards just aren't what they were! And yes Madonna was amazing!

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  34. Well, I am a little late commenting here. We watched(mostly) Downton Abbey and truth be told, I was disappointed. Amnesia?
    My husband stole away to peek at the Superbowl. There is a reason I don't watch TV anymore.

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    1. Well, perhaps DA was a bit of a disappointment, but it was so much better than the SB as to defy imagination. I'm looking forward to this Sunday's episode, if anything for the delight of Dame Maggie Smith's tough old trout, which she plays to perfection!

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  35. Ah! What a good point and of course, that is exactly what makes your blog such a delightful distraction from what I usually encounter when I venture out. It's always reassuring to know there are still groups of people who have standards & manners.

    *sara*

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  36. Many, many comments, and I'm sure someone has chimed in with this, but NFL coaches are required to wear that garb. Hard to believe, yes. Coach Nolan of San Francisco wanted to wear a suit and the league said he couldn't. Finally, they agreed that he could wear a suit, but it MUST be made by the league's sponsor, which I believe was Adidas, but I could be wrong on that. Sad, sad state.

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  37. The game of choice at our house is NCAA basketball. And the coaches are always in suits and ties.

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