Two worlds threatening to collide for a while finally have smacked into each other, and the fallout isn't pretty.
Professional football has gone Hollywood.
Worse yet, it's gone Hollywood in the most disgusting and plastic way possible, by teaming up with Ryan Seacrest, of all people.
Seacrest -- he of the überobnoxious Fox television show "American Idol" -- will be the master of ceremonies at next year's Super Bowl. He'll cover the arrival of celebs along the red carpet (now, I love a good red carpet, but at a football game? I told you this wasn't pretty), host the pregame entertainment and emcee the halftime show.
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Did I mention the Super Bowl will be on Fox next year? Yes, that faint sound coming off the page is, indeed, gagging. And, yes, it's me. Sorry.
These are two worlds, football and celebrity, that do not belong together. I love football and I love celebrities (OK, making fun of celebrities -- it still counts), but they are mutually exclusive pastimes.
Football is all grit and dirt and tackles and that shockingly loud smack when helmet meets helmet.
Unnecessary roughness. Fifteen yards. Ouch.
Celebrities, especially along the Seacrest vein, are all fake and shiny and poseurs and, well, kinda stupid.
Sure, sure, I can handle the occasional romantic hook-up between player and actress. That just goes with the sports-star territory. But this? This is going too far.
Glitterati being chased by paparazzi do not belong outside any dome anywhere. Beyoncé's look-look-I-have-pretty-armpits pose has no place before kickoff. And if Paris Hilton shows up, all respect for this glorious, gutsy and, yes, brutal game might be forever lost.
The sport could find itself in a hideous mire of breast implants, dental veneers and hair extensions. I don't want to see that at a football game. Heck, I haven't even made my peace with artificial turf.
Leave it to the fakerazzi at Fox to taint a perfectly good sport.
Yes, come kickoff next month, I'll be rooting as my beloved Niners deliver rocking hits to the Arizona Cardinals while I'm surrounded by the fall fashion layouts from the September issue of InStyle. I just happen to be a girlie-girl who can hang with the guys.
It doesn't mean I'd don a smart little cocktail dress and 4-inch heels and then start head-butting concertgoers outside the Gallo Center. That would be a bad combination. Just like it's a bad combination to have Ryan Seacrest -- oops, sorry, there's that gagging sound again -- interviewing Lindsay Lohan outside a football game. Even a decidedly entertainment-laden game like the Super Bowl. (No, I've never actually head-butted anyone in my life, but you get the analogy).
Fox Sports spokesman Dan Bell told The Washington Post that his network "wanted to have a big emphasis" on celebrities this season.
"This year, we're making a big push to try and work with the NFL to make sure we know when (celebrities) are coming and to just make it much more of a bigger portion of pregame coverage," Bell said. "In the past, we had dipped into this area, but this is probably the first time it'll be a more conscious effort to cover the celebrity scene and the parties -- much more so than in the past."
Reading that just makes me shudder.
Because Prince singing "Purple Rain" amid a flurry of lights and confetti during the halftime show barely manages to sneak under the cool umbrella. Game-time camera-panning to Britney Spears in gold lamé short-shorts and a see-through top, waving to her fans from the VIP box, so does not.
Scene editor Pat Clark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.