Are you ready for some football? That's the usual ABC question kicking off "Monday Night Football," but this year, ABC and the NFL should have first asked, "Are you ready for some lip-synching ex-teen queen in black and white leather?"
Real pro-football junkies were probably taking in Rush Limbaugh and the other pre-game analysts on ESPN. But I'm sure there were many young men who found a new dream job: being one of the two male assistants who removed Britney's pants in the middle of a song on national TV. The concert was ostensibly held to honor the sacrifices of our fighting men and women, but the Spears segment of the broadcast wasn't about patriotic tributes. It wasn't even about music. It was only about the spectacle of Britney, prancing around with the Capitol in the background doing her best butt-shake.
This is what ABC considers appropriate material for the family hour: a pop-culture icon getting jiggy with a set of dancers copying her undulating moves.
Now that Britney's turned 21, she's legally become America's official symbol of slutty sex appeal. Not only did the NFL plaster her image everywhere to kick off their season, but ABC's "Monday Night Football" is now mingling saucy video clips of her mouthing lame, nasal vocals into the show's generic glitzy opening. Apparently, Hank Williams Jr. just isn't entertaining enough to carry the ball by himself anymore.
Britney's attempt to dominate the smutty spotlight can also be found on the cover of the new Rolling Stone magazine. Pressed up against a wall, she's wearing nothing but a leering grin and some white underwear, described by the E! cable network as "Britney puts out for the cover" and "she looks more like a Playmate than a pop princess." A photo for inside the magazine has the scantily clad pop star tugging down on her underwear for the camera. Her agent has no doubt heard from Hugh Hefner and Larry Flynt. If the new album she describes as "sexual" and "sensual" fizzles in November, there's always a temporary career in porno centerfolds.
Four years ago, it was controversial for Britney to appear on Rolling Stone's cover in a black bra and polka-dotted panties. The cover promised a look "Inside the Heart, Mind and Bedroom of a Teen Dream." Now, it's just another half-naked day at the office for Britney.