I was excited to hear that Marlee Matlin would be signing the American National Anthem (“The Star-Spangled Banner”) at Super Bowl XLI, but was disappointed to see her on television only during the phrase “the bombs bursting in air.” Whatever happened to the “signer in the bubble”? I would think they could put an Academy Award-winning deaf actress in a picture-in-picture “bubble” so that her performance of our National Anthem could be enjoyed throughout the duration of the song. Apparently, the director of the televised broadcast underestimated ASL and its many users.
I would like to believe that in the year 2007, accessibility for deaf people and the beauty of ASL would be esteemed by American society. Sadly, the Super Bowl XLI broadcast reminds me that American Sign Language and Deaf Culture are still relegated to a momentary side show.