Men like football. Gay men love Madonna. Super Bowl night in Wilton Manors seemed to support these statements. The bars were bumping with buff dudes who looked shiny and ready to watch the throwing of pigskin and, of course, to sing along with Madge.
We popped a squat with sports-lovers and (mostly) Madonna-lovers at queer hotspot Bill's Filling Station to watch "the game," otherwise known as "the halftime show."
Bill's wasn't packed to the brim, but these guys were taking the game seriously. No funny business, except when a few bears took their tees off, exposing fur and flesh. Still, these weren't sexy topless moments. But maybe that's because I was there with my woman eyes.
Thankfully, my male friend joined me on this adventure. The only other lady not working behind the bar sat next to the only female impersonator. This resulted in generally being ignored, except when the bartender gave me the gift of a tiny T-shirt. It seems no small-chested women had been in there in a while. Wilton Manors is a place for men. Men who love Madonna.
The game seemed boring, though I have no idea whether it was or not. Hailing from a Pats-centric family, I assumed that Tom Brady would garner cheers and whomping from the crowd, but no one made a peep when the television displayed the hunky New Englander. It was a Giants crowd. Which makes sense: New York, gays, Florida. But still, Tom Brady was the one I assumed would bring the two sides together in gaydom.
The highlight was Madonna. Halftime began with cheers. The cheers were more for the muscle men in ancient Greek gear than for the diva. One crowd member yelled out, "Louder!" He was ignored.
"Vogue" was the perfect song with which to start. It was a brief taste of the good Madonna. Some of us sang along. At one point, it was hard not to note, "Is she riding a human?" Indeed, Madonna pulled a few quirky moves onscreen.
But overall, the old broad kept it classy. With "Music," she brought out a bit of sexiness and b-boys. Getting acrobatic, she did some move where she flipped her body over with her head lodged between a guy's thighs. Pretty impressive for a 53-year-old or anyone whose neck isn't made of steel.
Then our stomachs turned. LMFAO came out singing one of their inane songs. It was like they were trying to upstage Madonna. She did that stupid gerbil dance with them. It was sad. She should have stuck with the "Vogue" and called it a day.
With her new song "Give Me All Your Luvin'" came pom-poms (no one's mistaking you for a high schooler, Esther), Nicky Minaj, and MIA. Every party needs a pooper. Apparently, MIA, ever classy, flashed a middle finger. Talk about begging for attention. It must be hard to sing onstage with someone so much more well-loved than you.
Finally, they returned to classics with "Open Your Heart" and Cee Lo. The accompanying drum line was an odd choice, but innocent enough. Some superquick costume change left Cee Lo looking like Missy Elliott in "The Rain." Can't hate on "Like a Prayer," which was how the thing wound down.
The words "World Peace" punctuated the spectacle. Surprisingly, under the cheers from the Bill's crowd we heard a few boos. Madonna can't win every time, even with her target audience. The place emptied out after the halftime show. Some stayed till the end of the game, sucking down beer and wings.
Things were quiet after that until the end of the game when there was jumping and yelling. The one break from the near silence was in response to the commercial for The Voice. It featured Betty White talking dirty in a robe. The room erupted in glee. Everyone loves Betty. Maybe Betty White's the new Madonna.
Liz has her master’s degree in religion from Florida State University. She has since written for publications and outlets such as Miami New Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Ocean Drive, the Huffington Post, NBC Miami, Time Out Miami, Insomniac, the Daily Dot, and the Atlantic. Liz spent three years as New Times Broward-Palm Beach’s music editor, was the weekend news editor at Inverse, and is currently the managing editor at Tom Tom Magazine.