Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

February 8, 2013

The truth about the blackout

By Rebecca Todd

— It's the biggest sporting event of the year, watched by more than 108 million viewers. Advertisers spend as much as $4 million dollars for a 30-second commercial. Attendees pay around $1,200 for a ticket. It's definitely a marketing conspiracy.

I could go into details about the big company advertising budgets and the way that consumers are paying the bill for all those whacky commercials that frankly, could not even keep me awake this year.

But nobody wants to hear about all of that. It's old news. What everyone can't stop talking about this year is the infamous 35-minute blackout because that was obviously a conspiracy, or so many believe. Various groups are getting the blame for the blackout including Republicans, the San Francisco 49ers, Beyonce, the illusive third Harbaugh brother, Buffalo Wild Wings, Obama, evil marketers, ghosts, and the Chinese.

Those who were actually claiming responsibility were even better. Budweiser claimed they did it to promote their new Black Crown Beer. Terrorist groups lined up to take responsibility.

The truth is any of these things could be true, because nobody actually knows for sure what happened. A spokesperson for electric utility Entergy was quoted as saying that a piece of equipment "sensed an abnormality in the system causing power to be partially cut to the Superdome in order to isolate the issue." In other words, he didn't have a clue.

I like to think that all of the conspiracy people were working together. Here's what I think really happened:

Kevin Harbaugh, an embittered accountant who inherited none of his brothers' athletic prowess, fell in league with a group of evil marketers who were determined to prolong their advertising time during the Super Bowl. They conspired with the Chinese who were angry with the NFL because most of the NFL knock-off products are produced in Taiwan. The fast-talking marketers easily convinced Beyonce to heighten her half-time show with a few extra pieces of equipment and lighting.

In the 49ers locker room during half time, Colin Kaepernick became possessed by the Superdome ghosts. Slowly he rose and headed out to do their bidding.

Meanwhile, Obama was watching the game at a nearby Buffalo Wild Wings. He became agitated by a large group of Republicans who, excited by the game, were waving guns. Because sure, that's what Republicans do. He wanted to put a stop to it. He headed back to talk to the bartender.

After the half time show, the power grid was overwhelmed by Beyonce's show and everything came to a head. The group of Chinese terrorists and evil marketers, led by Kevin, were racing toward the grid to finally bring it down while Colin ambled toward it in a slow trance. They converged at the same time and wrestled with the switch. Meanwhile, Obama was arguing with the bartender commanding him to "throw the switch!"

Suddenly the power in the Superdome went out.

The Chinese, marketers, Kevin, Colin, Obama, the bartender, and the Republicans all fell silent.

A solitary figure stood at the switch with a wicked grin.

It was Kanye West. He didn't want Beyonce to be outdone by a silly football game because he thought she put on the BEST. SHOW. EVER.

And that's what really happened.

- Rebecca Todd is a freelance writer and the author of the book "What's the Point?" available at booklocker.com. Contact her at btodd@tds.net.