I love the Super Bowl, love all of its excesses, its pomp and its artificiality. Only in America could a people pump up an event far larger than its real importance. But I love it anyway. I love that coverage starts on Super Bowl sunday at 8 o'clock in the morning, fully eight hours before the game actually begins. I don't watch it all anymore, like I did in my younger days….I find other things to do… but it's nice to know that it's there if I want to watch. And it's good background noise as I'm reading the Sunday paper and doing my Sunday chores.
And, come Sunday, I'll have all the gooey "excess" treats available in nearly all American households on the special day. I'll have the pot of chili simmering in the crock pot. I'll have the French Onion dip and a variety of chips, I'll have Tostitos and a jalapeno Velveeta dip and even a few cold beers on hand, one of the few days that I partake of a beer. Like Thanksgivings, we are all forgiven for eating to excess….it's almost a sin if you don't.
And I love Super Bowl Week! For a whole week the media tries to incite some feud between the two teams…they'll goad some dim wit player to say something nasty about the other team…something that can be posted in the locker room to charge up the opposition. And then there is the "thug factor". Every team has a few thugs…they are somewhat "lowlife" who spend their off season frequenting strip bars, ingesting drugs, drinking profusely, getting involved in a violent melee in a late night sports bar and beating up their girl friends. When these thugs get exposed in the Media Week spotlight you normally seeing them hanging around the fringes, wearing dark glasses, and pretending to be aloof to it all. It's kinda like when you stayed that time with Aunt Mabel and you got up in the middle of the night, turned on the kitchen light and an army of cockroaches are crawling up the walls, then freeze as you turn on the light. These thugs react the same way when the media spotlight shines upon them on Media Day.
And the media will always draw up a couple of "legacy stories", drawing players from the two teams and assigning them some heroic role….it might be the aging ball player trying to win a Super Bowl in the fading glory at the end of his career. Or it might be the aging quarterback against the young buck, or it might be the brave, valiant comeback from career ending injury..al la Manning…or it may be two opponents who hate each other and vow to destroy one or the other during the game.
And what would the Super Bowl be without 72,000 idiotic fans willing to pay three thousand dollars for a single ticket, pay $500 bucks for a night at a Motel Six, and sit there in the bitter cold and cheer like banshees for their favorite team! i will tell you right now that, if Peyton Manning showed up at my door to give me free Super Bowl tickets I'd tell him to take them elsewhere. I much prefer the luxury of sitting in my own recliner, a cold beer and chip and dip on hand and watch the game on my big screen monster TV…replete with all the slow motion replays and a bathroom ten steps away.
I remember missing the Super Bowl only once since its inception. It was 1984, the year the 49ers played Miami Dolphins…Montana vs Marino. Somehow I allowed my wife into convincing me that some social event was "must go" and it was agreed that I would tape the Superbowl, then watch it later…with firm promises that no telephone calls would be answered, lest someone reveal the score.
So off we went to an event so unimportant I can't remember it, then I returned home and the wife went off somewhere else. I sat down with my beer and chip and dip to watch a game already played. After too short a time the wife and kids swept through the door and the wife jubilantly asked how I liked the outcome of the game, furnishing me with the final score, even as I watching it "in tape time" in the first quarter. Need I tell you I did a little cussing? I vowed at that moment never to miss another Super Bowl "live and in person!"
So I'm ready for the big day! I'm looking forward to all the commercials; ads that will make me laugh, make me cry, with some making me wonder why they spent $2 million dollars for that 30 seconds of stupidity…but that's what's wonderful about SB day…like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get!
So, dear readers, here's hoping your Super Bowl day is as wonderful as the one I hope to have. Barring a last minute funeral I'll be right here, eating and drinking to excess while I watch two teams leaving it all on the field for that gaudy Super Bowl ring, bragging rights for a year, and fame that will last a lifetime.