Symbol might be ticket to Super Bowl

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

Sunday’s Super Bowl led me to many questions, more so than other Super Bowl games I’ve watched.

I struggled back and forth on whether or not Peyton Manning deserved the MVP award (he did) and whether it was that important to mention the first time two black coaches were in the Super Bowl. It was important when you remember how long it took for Tony Dungy to get a head coaching job in the first place.

The question I needed a little longer to answer, was how I was going to someday be famous enough to be worth featuring in the Super Bowl.

I realized a long time ago that I’d never have the athletic ability to make the National Football League. Since most coaches are former players, that route’s destroyed too.

And unlike Kevin Federline, I’m not popular enough to marry a music star and have my divorce lead to a Super Bowl commercial. I sometimes doubt if I’m popular enough to marry anybody, since I never go over my cell phone minute limit due to people calling me. And the only mail I get comes from companies I owe money to and companies who want me to owe them money.

Without athletic ability or popularity, I thought I had nothing left. But then I watched the Super Bowl Pepsi Power Hour — I mean, the halftime show. Prince was the musical guest, as I’m sure you’re aware.

On the positive side, there was no wardrobe malfunction. On the negative side, it was just OK. I’d heard the stuff before, and it made me and friends long for some of his other stuff (A text message from a friend who wondered: “Is the Bat Dance too much to ask for?”).

If Prince can be famous for this long after recording “When Doves Cry,” I should at least be able to squeeze out a few months of fame. Now, he’s got way more musical talent than I do, but I think it evens out when you consider that I’m way taller than he is. The only thing he has above me, by my calculations, is the nickname.

Anybody who followed music in the early 1990s remembers the time he briefly changed his name to a symbol and was referred to as “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.” You all know the symbol — you couldn’t possibly have missed it since he modeled his stage after it.

The symbol helped keep his popularity going, based on the notion that bad publicity is still publicity. For all of the people making fun of “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince,” that’s an extra second they had to use in acknowledging him. And when he dropped the symbol, and people joked he was, “The Artist Formerly Known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince,” it’s even more publicity.

This is the route I must take for publicity — I need a ridiculously unpronounceable nickname.

I can’t use a common symbol, because people would call me “Ampersand Wilson” instead of “&,” and people would eventually figure out that “@” would make me “Asperand Wilson.” I can’t use the © or the ® because people would be thrown off expecting something to come before those symbols.

I’m still working on it, but someday I’ll have that symbol that you’ll recognize but never be able to pronounce. If you see me at the Super Bowl, you’ll know it worked.

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico. He can be reached at 763-3431, ext. 313, or by e-mail: