Beyonce didn't do it. That's all we need to know.
Keep moving. There's nothing to see, and certainly no need to turn 34 lost minutes on Super Bowl Sunday into hours, much less days, we'll never get back.
The power failure at the Superdome doesn't require any of the watchdog journalism or follow-up scrutiny it has received. The incident won't repeat itself. It won't be forgotten or trivialized, because it embarrassed the right people.
The mayor of New Orleans is defending his city's honor. CBS is at a loss, or should be, because its broadcast crew went dimmer than the stadium. (Did Bill Cowher really say that the 49ers should consider inserting Alex Smith at quarterback in a hurry-up offense when the game resumed?)
So there must be investigations, or a ''root-cause analysis'' and "a full after-action report.'' No doubt, someone will end up on double-secret probation. In the end, there might be real public benefit. But that's not why the digging will be done, and done ostentatiously.
Those 34 minutes stirred up too much emotion. The feelings demand assignment of blame. They require culprits. To satisfy that need, the incident must become a scandal, even though no one got hurt by the poor lighting on Sunday. If we'd paid even half as much attention to the banking industry 10 years ago, our economy might never have crashed.
Instead we have TMZ on the lookout, having fun with Rob Gronkowski, while the sports media refuse to get the joke. Gronkowski danced with his shirt off in Vegas, and it morphed into something resembling news. He did some wrestling moves and ended up on the floor, apparently banging his injured arm. It's hard to discern exactly what happened in the TMZ video, but we can feel free to review it more thoroughly than the Zapruder film.
The injury became the hook for this story, its claim to relevance. But a year ago at this time, Gronkowski did a similar dance, with no bad limb to protect, and outrage was duly summoned anyway. He appeared to be having too much fun for a man who had just lost the Super Bowl.
He couldn't just be an NFL player channeling a Chippendale, becoming a voyeur magnet. Then the voyeurs would have to answer for being voyeurs. They disapprove because, well, that's just not how a football player behaves. Yet these proper souls can't avert their eyes.
Another odd priority of propriety appeared with the latest Forbes list of America's most disliked athletes. Unaccountably, yet not surprisingly, Lance Armstrong and Manti Te'o tied for first with a 15 percent appeal rating. How did 22-year-old Te'o, who may have been duped throughout most of his fake-girlfriend saga, end up on the same level as a 41-year-old bully and con artist who lied aggressively about doping for years?
(The poll results are not thoroughly explained, but past versions have clarified that the appeal rating includes negative data, not just the absence of positive reactions.)
In the same week that the poll came out, Armstrong's old sponsors at the Postal Service announced they were canceling Saturday mail delivery. His team's contract, worth anywhere from $30 million to $40 million, wouldn't begin to cover the deficits forcing the Saturday shutdown. But his multilayered malfeasance, and the hard-currency consequences, should have given him a runaway win on the Forbes list.
Te'o didn't perpetrate a fraud on a quasi-governmental business. He became connected to something that was creepy, macabre, rubber-necking bait. Now he's the same marketing poison as a man who threatened everyone who crossed him by daring to tell the truth.
We might hope that some avant-garde company will find Te'o appealing in the way that, say, And1 cultivated Latrell Sprewell after he choked coach P.J. Carlesimo. But part of the great sin Te'o committed was weakness, pining for a dying young woman who didn't exist. Even if he made it all up himself, rather than being "catfished,'' he seems disturbed, not aggressively hostile. Disturbed doesn't sell.
Armstrong entrenched himself in a genuine scandal, but it's been easily trivialized by the craving for villains vs. heroes. Will anyone ever be able to explore whether he might have triggered his testicular cancer with the use of PEDs? When Eric Gagne released a book last year in French, describing his own experience with the drugs, his estimate that 80 percent of the Dodgers doped in his day drew most of the headlines. No one paid much attention to a comment about the drugs ruining his health. The pseudo-scandal, the percentage that Gagne could only guess, tugs hardest at the emotions and grabs the lead.
The power outage in the Superdome may lose some of its traction in the media, now that the mayor and commissioner have cleared the temptress in thigh-high boots, whose every halftime move screamed of forbidden fruit. Beyonce's show did not shut down the lights, they said, despite what many, including Boomer Esiason, suggested.
"She brought her own generator,'' Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.
Well, what did she know that made her bring the generator? We really cannot let this go.
Based on what I saw Sunday night, there are plenty of men who'd like to know more, and would generously volunteer to interrogate her discreetly, providing a double-secret root-cause analysis.