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Like many people, Susan and I watched the Super Bowl to see what all the excitement was about, and to judge whether the commercials were worth the price of admission.

The Coinbase screensaver and the Zaxby’s guy on a buffalo wing were definitely not.

The football game turned out to be rather exciting, even though we didn’t care at all who won.

The commercials and the halftime show together convinced me that there is an unmet need just waiting for some enterprising and tech-savvy person: closed captioning for the culturally impaired.

In my case, the condition is compounded by an inherent aversion to the whole idea of celebrity culture, of being famous for being famous. I have an allergic reaction when I see or hear the name “Kardashian,” for example. Some things I just don’t want to know.

But, by remaining ignorant, I miss a lot of inside jokes or would-be surprises.

Back to that unmet need: I don’t hear that well, so we commonly have closed captioning turned on, and it’s especially helpful when interpreting English accents so we can look up the Britishisms we don’t know.

But closed captioning just reports (often with creative spelling) on what is being said: it doesn’t identify who’s speaking, or who else is in the picture, and that’s where the problem lies.

There was a Toyota commercial, for example, that featured Nick Jonas trying to keep up with three people named Jones who were chasing each other in pickup trucks.

I didn’t recognize any of them by name (not even Tommy Lee Jones, who’s older than I am), so I had to resort to the internet to find out who they all were.

When I watched the ad again, I realized that I’d missed the joke at the end – Tommy Lee Jones didn’t know who Nick Jonas was.

Then I didn’t feel so bad.

I managed to recognize 90-year-old William Shatner, who showed up briefly in a Planet Fitness ad with Lindsay Lohan (It helped that the narrator said, “What’s gotten into Lindsay?”).

Even without his Ted Lasso mustache, we knew it was Jason Sudeikis wandering through the TurboTax ad.

It took a while to recognize Arnold Schwarzenegger beneath his “Zeus” beard, but he came through. And even I can’t miss Guy Fieri or Eli and Peyton Manning.

I had no idea who the guy in the balloon for Salesforce was, but I figured he must be famous, so Google told me it was Matthew McConaughey, who must be a movie star. The commercial left me unclear as to what Salesforce does, though I think Good Faith Media uses it.

I also needed help to identify Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd in the Lay’s commercial. Apparently, they’ve done movies together that I either haven’t watched, or have forgotten.

I had heard of all the hip hop artists in the halftime show, but I couldn’t have named them if their identities hadn’t been publicized: I didn’t know any of their songs.

Here’s where that app would come in handy: I could have appreciated the show more if a caption on the screen had said, at one point, “The guy singing while hanging upside down is surprise guest star 50 Cent!”

I didn’t know that until I read about it later, so I missed the surprise. Maybe the big gold “50” necklace should have been a clue, but when he was hanging upside down it looked like “20.”

So, here’s an idea for the next would-be tech billionaire who’s also immersed in popular culture: develop a celebrity-identifying app for troglodytes, use Facebook to create a following (we’re not on TikTok), and sell the technology to the networks.

Then, if someone who’s supposed to be famous appears on screen, we’ll know their names and what they’re known for. We may not care, but at least we’ll know.

For a moment I thought it might also be helpful to suggest a similar app, possibly developed by a non-profit, that could analyze people’s actions and identify people who love Jesus when you met them – but should we really need an app for that?

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