Archive for Thursday, January 25, 2001

Superbowl about more than the game

January 25, 2001

Another weekend, another global village thing.

Last weekend it was the inauguration that enticed Americans, and I suppose some foreign viewers, to their televisions. This weekend we will be treated to a much more unifying spectacle the Super Bowl.

All the pundits are telling us it will be a boring game dominated by the two defenses. They're the same stripe of talking heads that assured us election night would be dull.

In reality, it doesn't matter how good or competitive the game is. We all know Super Bowl Sunday is only marginally about football. How else can you explain the ever-growing significance of what has became a secular holiday despite a history of one-sided routs.

The day is about community. I've skipped games, but I can't remember ever watching one alone.

The tradition is friends get together, stuff themselves up with chips, chili and beer during the game's long prolog and first half and then listlessly watch as announcers fill up second-half airtime by anointing the winning coach as a genius.

I'm old enough to remember the benighted days before Super Bowl. I even remember the press and the public forced the name on the powers that be, who wanted the call the game, the Championship Game or something equally as uninspired.

Since that time the NFL has embraced the name and stamps distinguishes each year with a Roman numeral.

The use of this antiquated number system suggests the league assumes we should measure time from the game's birth. This is 35 A.S.B. (after Super Bowl).

For those of you too young to remember Super Bowl I, or without access to Classic Sports, the upstart Kansas City Chiefs stayed with the mighty Green Bay Packers for a half before getting blown out.

I remember being totally depressed. My mood was made worse by the fact that my father was a longtime Packers fan. His "what did you expect" attitude in the second half was insufferable.

Chiefs fans got their revenge three years later and in between saw the Raiders manhandled even worse by the Packers. It was all good.

Except for those games with the Chiefs or Raiders, the only games I've had a real rooting interest in was those featuring the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys seem to be the Bill Clinton of the NFL. You either like them or hate them, there's no in between.

No matter how dull the game, we know the commercials will be interesting. It is the one day a year we demand Madison Avenue entertain us.

I friend of mine took the premise that the commercials were more interesting than the game to the extreme. Several months before the Super Bowl, he bet on the winner of the Bud Bowl with a Nevada sports book.

Last year was the year of the dot.coms. The commercials may have lacked humor, but they were necessarily long on high-tech visuals.

Given the fact that the bears trounced the bulls in that particular sector of the market as decisively as Bears won Super Bowl XIX, it's a good bet we won't be treated to dot.coms this year.

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