Some blog posts are intended to be deep, serious, cathartic, and confessional-a meaty feeding of the soul. This one is a Tic-Tac. Not all the output of the cerebral cortex has to be...well...cerebral. I'm sure even Jesus and His disciples sometimes engaged in regular chit chat, guy talk, not worthy of the canon. I can picture Peter, reclined beside a campfire, his belly happy with roast fish and wine, saying, "Hey, Andy, remember the time I bet that kid from Tiberias a goat I could sail to Capernaum and back before dark?" Today, they might be talkin' football.
Men the world over are beside themselves, pee-in-their-pants anxious for Sundays showdown-at least the men portrayed in beer commercials and big screen TV ads. February 2nd (or whatever the date of The Game in a given year) has become as much an American holiday and excuse for a party as Labor Day and July 4th. Just yesterday my Mom told me she saw somewhere (I don't recall where-one of the news sources she trusts-The View, or Regis and...is it..Kelly?...or the Oprah) that Americans spend more in grocery stores in the days leading up to The Game than before Thanksgiving! But I must confess, I don't really give a hoot. I don't own a jersey of any team of any sport. Don't get me wrong. I'll often watch a game throughout the season-NCAA and NFL, but I'm not really "for" anybody. I sort of like the Colts, mainly because my son does and Peyton (and Tony Dungy) seems less obnoxious than some. And I'll certainly participate in the ritual of watching Sunday's Game. I mean, such a rare oppurtunity to spend hours on end sitting on the sofa, gorging myself on Grandma Utz's, shrimp, ham salad, cheese, and designer crackers, without looks of derision, can't be missed. Sometimes, but not always, The Game itself is actually worth watching. I can not say I enjoy-or even understand-the expert, insider's view, John Maddenesque analysis of each game and every play. "We'll see how their Slant T, double wing, Seam Sealer defense holds up against the Quik Draw, dotted i, plumbers crack offense..." And I doubt the psuedo-omniscience the analysts try to impress us with. "On that last play the left guard, Tony "Bumperhead" Belinski jumped off sides because Arnie "Barnacle Lips" Saskatchewan, the nose tackle, laughed at his earring." I suspect if the players overheard Madden's, and his ilk's, details they'd think it was a different game. I know, of course, there is nuance hidden in the chaotic violence. I actually played football in 8th grade-actually a simplified version for junior highers. We just lined up on the 40, and drove towards the goal line until we were out of downs. I was a tackle. (that's where they put the kids who were slow, didn't understand the game very well, big enough to have wall value, and couldn't catch the ball if it and their hands were covered in Velcro-it's the "right field" of football.) Even then, in the T-Ball version of football, there was a thick playbook we were all supposed to memorize. The plays had names like Red 64 and Blue 23. The names, if you did your homework, would tell you who was getting the ball, what "hole" they were planning to run through, and what role you had in creating that hole. Usually, however, when I played offense, by the time I remembered-do I gap left? pull, run through the center hole? it was too late-I had, by then, been run over by our fullback or their linebacker. I did OK as a defensive tackle though. The playbook for that side of the ball, especially for linemen (the coach, I'm sure, assumed most of the defensive linemen coudn't read by 8th grade) was much simpler, and I didn't have to start from that "3 point stance". I could half stand up and just look ready for attack-like a gorilla-and try to disembowel whoever was holding the ball. That was the year, by the way, of the famous Joe Namath Jets, Earl Morrall Colts game. On the Friday before the game (Jan. 10, 1969) when I arrived at the door of Mrs. Scott's (a.k.a. "Bat") classroom, my homeroom, I had to participate in a poll of Game picks. I took The Jets, mainly because being Namath, in '69, seemed much more appealing than any of the Colts. I bet, the night before the game the Colts all ate raw beef, were in bed by 9, and slept on plywood-cause it makes 'em tough. Namath was probably cruising Miami in a Corvette convertible with 2 models until dawn, drinking Johnny Walker out of the bottle. So, my pick was easy. I got booed by my classmates, and when the 7:55 buzzer signaled the end of the poll, I was the only Jets vote!
Have you noticed I have NOT used the words ''Super" and "Bowl" in succession, if at all. Why? The NFL doesn't allow it. I heard a furniture store ad yesterday-"If a touchdown is scored on the opening kickoff of The Big Game your purchases are free". An area radio station gave away tickets to their Football Party. This use of creative euphemisms piqued my curiosity. It turns out the NFL owns that phrase-the one with "super" and "bowl" capitalized and in that order. They are quite selective about who can use it and how-primarily based on whether you've paid a licensing fee. So, not being able to afford that (unless it's, like, $35) I've cautiously avoided a violation. But what if I were Bemis or American Standard? If I wanted to name my jumbo-sized
toilet The Super B---l, would that be against the rules? Surely, no one will confuse an extra large crapper with a football game. And, why hasn't the NFL, in it's greed for revenue, sold naming rights to this Game? Sara Lee would surely pay big to have the game renamed the Ty-D-Bol, or I think either of the 2 aforementioned plumbing fixture manufacturers would love to underwrite a Toilet Bowl. But they're smarter than I. They must be. They've managed to make coverage of a 3 hour contest last 8 hours or more. They've managed to recruit credible stars for halftime like Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Bono and, in '89, The Diet Coke Be Bop BeDazzled in 3D, featuring Elvis Presto (I didn't make that up-look it up. In fact Mr. Presto's visage is below.) So I'll refrain from infringing on their copyright. SUPER BOWL, SUPER BOWL, SUPER BOWL, SUPER BOWL...sorry, I couldn't hold it any longer.
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