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Oh, dear. Are we now so accepted, so un-newsworthy that we are becoming un-Super Bowl-ad-target-worthy? Where are the homophobic Super Bowl commercials that accompanied so many of the previous Roman numerals? Licking Doritos dust from another man's fingers and an isolated woodsman breaking out in the latest women's fashion: Is that really the best XLV advertisers could muster to stir the watchful ire of LGBT sensibilities?
The biggest hisses for this year's Super Bowl, which between commercials featured some wonderful reasons for cheeseheads to forget What's-His-Name, who used to quarterback the Green Bay Packers before Aaron Rodgers took over, were for Christina Aguilera's botching of the National Anthem. Hey, it may be impossible to sing well, but it's the anthem and folks care if you really screw it up. (Decades after the event, my mother still steams over a botched rendition by Robert Goulet. I think she suspects a Canadian conspiracy.) Aguilera should take a bite out of Roseanne Barr's Snickers.
Hands down the most controversial advertisements this year were the Groupon.com spots, whose exploitation of Tibet, whales, and rainforests was worthy of the Onion. I have to admit I had never heard of Groupon before. From what I gleaned from these ads, it seems to be a place to get deals from the kinds of operations most local governments divest their investments in because of political sensibilities. Now there's a business model.
Perhaps it is the gradual spread of same-sex marriage rights, or the fact that the plug is about to be pulled from "Don't Ask, Don't Tell's" life-support, but this year the Super Bowl marketing mavens decided not to ruffle our feathers with homophobic ads (outside of the Groupon ads, the most offensive thing about them was that they were uniformly boring) but to instead co-opt our sensibilities by invading and upstaging the jock-a-thon with an episode of Glee. An over-produced Chevy ad eerily reminiscent of the milk ad in the Village People's "You Can't Stop the Music" and lead-ins to a post-game Glee episode about getting homophobic football players to join the glee club for a halftime performance of "Thriller" gave Fox Television the perfect counterprogramming to the second-gayest show on television, Starz' Spartacus.
But enough about Glee. Let's talk about sports.
LGBT basketball nights
This month, the Cal women's basketball team will hold its third LGBT night and the Golden State Warriors their second.
The Cal women's LGBT Night is tonight (Thursday, February 10), at Haas Pavilion. The Harvey Milk Civil Right Academy Hip-Hop Club and Cheer SF will perform. Special tickets for the 7:30 p.m. game versus Washington can be ordered from www.calbears.com/tickets, using the special order code "LGBT."
The Golden State Warriors night is on Tuesday, February 15. Before the Warriors play the New Orleans Hornets in a 7:30 p.m. game that evening, recreational players will have the opportunity to play an exhibition game on the Oracle Arena floor. Evening entertainment will include Cheer SF and the East Bay Gay Men's Chorus. Tickets come with commemorative T-shirts and may be purchased by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Warriors held their first LGBT Night last March 11, a rarity in the National Basketball Association. Interbasket.net reports the Philadelphia 76ers held a Gay and Lesbian Community Night in 2004 and the Toronto Raptors held Rainbow Hoops in 2007. The Los Angeles Clippers held their first LGBT Night earlier this month.
Golden Gate Classic bowling
The San Francisco Golden Gate Classic Bowling Tournament ( www.sfggc2011.org) will be held February 18-20 at Serra Bowling in Daly City. Before the team competition on Friday, February 18, the Waddell Cup, the highest honor bestowed by the Federation of Gay Games, will be presented to Sara Waddell Lewinstein, sports director for Gay Games I and II and the bowling co-chair for Gay Games I.