Where was ASL, Deaf Presence in Super Bowl XLII?

I was hoping that my colleague A Dreamer (yes, that’s his name) would be televised as he interpreted the National Anthem into ASL at the beginning of the big game. Unfortunately, this year’s coverage of the signing of the Star Spangled Banner was even less satisfying than last year’s. Last year, we at least got to watch Marlee Matlin signing “bombs bursting in air” on the big screen. This year, I was only able to see — by watching very carefully — the interpreter signing “flag was still there” (all in one nicely inflected ASL sign, by the way) on the Jumbo Tron behind Jordin Sparks’ head.

And what about that Deaf Pepsi ad that was supposed to air? I never saw it. Did you?

Author: Daniel Greene

I facilitate communication between Deaf and hearing people, and I teach people American Sign Language (ASL) and interpreting. Apart from doing the work I love, my greatest joys are family & friends, entertainment, food, photography, and travel.

14 thoughts on “Where was ASL, Deaf Presence in Super Bowl XLII?”

  1. I saw it jsut before the game started. It was really cool. I don’t care if it is not really “super bowl ads” prior to the game. What’s important is that it aired on tv. period…..

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  2. I was disappointed with the absence of Dreamer’s performance. I did catch a glimpse of him before the Nat’l Anthem started, though. It was exciting knowing that he was there representing the community. Was he shown on the screen at the stadium? I thought I saw him on the big screen. Way to go, Dreamer! love ya, Renee

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  3. Okay, I don’t know what illiteracy has to do with the airing of the “Super Bowl” commercial, but my point is this: even if the commercial was aired on Super Bowl Sunday (during the pre-game show), that doesn’t make it a “Super Bowl ad.” The fact that Pepsi did not air the commercial during the big game takes it out of the national conversation about this year’s Super Bowl ads.* It confirms, to me anyway, that ASL and Deafness are still irrelevant in our culture. That saddens me.

    * Discussions about “the Super Bowl ads” take place “around the water cooler” and in media such as the one repeatedly announced during the Super Bowl itself: MySpace.com – 2008 Superbowl Commercials from Super Bowl XLII: Vote for Favorite Ad Videos. They also take place on Fox Sports on MSN – Super Bowl Ads – Super Bowl XLII Commercials and many other places. But people don’t talk about the ads placed during the pre-game show because they are irrelevant to the conversation. I would like to see ASL and Deafness become relevant to the American conversation. So far, it appears they are not.

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  4. The answer to the “Where was ASL, Deaf Presence in Super Bowl XLII?” question lies in the high illiteracy rate in the deaf community.

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  5. It is confirmed that the Pepsi commercial aired during the pre-game show. I double-checked the DVR recording of the pre-game Superbowl show. The driver happened to be a Deaf employee of Frito Lay here in Phoenix! Also, I managed to catch Dreamer on the Jumbo Tron twice during Jordin Sparks’ singing the anthem. I thought they would shoot Dreamer for a few second, just a glimpse. But not this time! I know Dreamer is so psyched about this anyways! 🙂

    Psst, Daniel!! I tried to email you a couple times!! Let me know how you’re doing! 🙂

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  6. Yes, I saw ASL Pepsi ad between 5:30pm to 5:45pm just before the super bowl game started. Just once! I was hoping it would have put more than one. hmmm that is a question….Have AGBAD threatened?

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