'SNL' shows why a Super Bowl blackout is a bad thing

Here's a lesson as to why you should never let your electrical relay device spoil your big day, courtesy of "Saturday Night Live."

What can he say now? NBC Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Perhaps like you, I have spent much of the week calling my local power provider to check on its use of electrical relay devices.

Spurred by the difficult happenings at last Sunday's Super Bowl -- reportedly caused by one of these devices functioning with all the perfection of a Boeing 787 -- I didn't want any of my weekend events spoiled by a sudden power outage.

"Saturday Night Live" took it upon itself last night to explain to those who were still doubtful why an electrical relay failure can be a devastating thing. Especially during the Super Bowl.

For it might lead you to having to tolerate an excess of, well, excess.

In the Super Bowl's case, this meant an excess of overworked former NFL players and fellow commentators desperately trying to think of something to say, when they were clean out of words and thoughts.

Here were Shannon Sharpe, Bill Cowher, and Dan Marino grasping for a locution that might be inspired, an insight into a sportsman's mind, or, at least, a story about their own experiences during a blackout at home.

Instead -- at least the "SNL" version -- they could only attempt to pass the ball off as quickly as possible, as if this was one last play as the clock was hitting zero.

"No, back to you."

"No, back to you."

Sadly, time was not running out. So the broadcast team had to devolve to offering anagrams of players' names. (Sample: Colin Kaepernick=Cocaine Kelp Rink.) Oh, and to make wild, unsubstantiated accusations about Baltimore Ravens' linebacker Ray Lewis.

That's the thing about technology; we often focus on the glamorous side of gadgetry. If it's shiny and makes noises, it must be important.

Yet it's the unfamiliar machines, often manned by people who work absurdly long hours with desperately little gratitude tossed their way, who keep the whole thing afloat.

 

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