It was very strange. The game was looking like a Ravens blowout, and our group was kind of bored, and then someone said – “Hey are you watching this? The Superdome is dark, and players are just wandering around.”
Suddenly, the year’s biggest sports event was like watching CSPAN waiting for a confirmation hearing to start.
And I have to admit my first thought was what Defense Secretary Panetta warned about last October when he said that foreign computer hackers could take down the power grid.
“An attack that would paralyze and shock the nation and create a new, profound sense of vulnerability,” Panetta had said.
We did briefly flip to the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet, but how long can you watch a bunch of puppies fighting over a chew toy?
And then somebody said – let’s check Twitter. The media vacuum was so intense that a bored nation was forced to turn to each other for entertainment.
And the marketers picked up on it instantly.
PBS tweeted that Downton Abbey would start in six minutes. Major League Baseball tweeted “pitchers and catchers report in 8 days.” Walgreen’s tweeted that they sell light bulbs. Oreo Cookies tweeted You can still dunk in the dark.
Entergy, the power company for New Orleans tweeted that the “power issue at the Super Dome appears to be on the customer’s side.” Just like MY power company says when I call!
The local disaster agency tweeted “power would be coming back on in 15 minutes, we ask you to stay calm.” They always say 15 minutes, just like the airlines, and it never is.
Arianna Huffington tweeted, “Turning the power off — classic little brother move.”
Columnist David Corn tweeted “Finally, America cares about the infrastructure in New Orleans.”
And Steve Martin tweeted “The Chinese again.” My thoughts exactly.