No hot chicken wings. No nachos. No hair-on-fire chili will grace my house this weekend. I do admit to cheese, but then there’s ALWAYS cheese. I don’t own one piece of licensed sports apparel and the only yelling at the TV might be knee-jerk reactions to political reporting (which pretty much happens every day.) As both the most un-athletic fan in any room and a self-described renegade, the whole concept of Super Bowl Sunday excites me as much as a Zombie Apocalypse. Sorry, not sorry. Even if I don’t get the hooplah, I’m all for a hallowed sports day – just not here.
Super Bowl Sunday has become one of America’s biggest unofficial holidays. For weeks before the big game, commercials remind us to stock up for the event. Some even throw in a few ads that urge us to buy a spanking new flat-screen to watch the revered game on – just for good measure. Well played. You can’t be too over-the-top for Super Bowl.
The hallowed day is as traditional as Easter Egg hunts but with play by play narration. Did you know Super Bowl Sunday, overflowing with beer and obscene amounts of snacks, is second in consumption only after Thanksgiving? Uh huh. With my lack of Super Bowl enthusiasm, it’s hard to believe I’ve ever gotten an invite to those soirees, but I have and, well the snacks were nice. Sometimes, even when we have no pulse-racing affinity for any team, we still become a fan by extension, like genetic predisposition. We rah-rah the family brand because, God forbid, raising another set of colors (did I say I wasn’t into Football Con?) might be as unwelcome as the opposition political party and there’s more than enough of that. I do wonder, though, knowing my unhealthy love of formaggio, if being a Cheese Head might be acceptable.
For my fellow sports ambivalents, rabid cheering for the team du jour falls into the “I don’t get it” category. I mean why do guys shout instructions to coaches or players on TV anyway? Clearly, the objects of their irritation can’t hear a word of their helpful couch-side coaching diatribes. Yet, overly enthusiastic, grown ass men still yell (or curse) at their industrial size flatscreen, clueless that they are not on the coaching payroll. And when the team wins? What’s with all the chest bumping ‘we’ won anyway? “Who’s ‘WE’, Kemo Sabe?” as Tonto once said to the Long Ranger. I’m pretty sure the team with the Empire State building size trophy is the only one getting the supersized diamond rings, trip to Disneyworld and paycheck bonus you could retire to Monaco on.
To fans of America’s pigskin pastime, the Super Bowl is Oscar Night on steroids. These days, nosebleed seats start at more than $5,000; and prime 50-yard line seating behind the bench upwards of $20,000. I can’t imagine ponying up the price of a small car to sit bundled to my eyeballs for hours, in freezing temps, to watch a ball get kicked back and forth. But then, I doubt I would be missed since my athleticism is a non-starter anyway. My MEH attitude about sports, however, does not include those of my grandkids’ varying sports forays. Yes, I’m THAT gramma paparazzi voicing embarrassingly loud cheers for my munchkins but, then everything is relative. Literally.
“The reason women don’t play football is because eleven of them would never wear the same outfit I public”. Phyllis Diller
I maybe be an oddity of my gender since there are a heck of a lot of women who love football. In fact, 45% of pro-football followers are women. I’m in awe of them, I’m just not one of them. It’s not a Venus and Mars thing; just my thing. I suspect men (and my few sports-savvy women friends) reading this post will A. roll their eyes, B. decide I’m a sports ignorant kook (you may be right) or C. want to teach me the finer points of the game (others have tried).
Pro sports have long been thought a stand-in for warfare, soothing a savage inner beast that goes back to primitive times, tribal competition and the Roman Coliseum. Part of the romance of football may be conquest – it just hasn’t conquered me. Then again, there is something to be said watching those Michelin men in tights, um, spandex. (smiley face emoticon) Maybe envisioning athletes as our hulking, helmeted surrogate warriors, the embodiment of our best genetics protecting the tribe with a lot of testosterone thrown in, might help.
Um, still nope.
Second down. Punt. Field goal. See? I have absorbed some of the lingo, if not the lovefest. Since I’m also a grandma of 5 boys, I’m also aware of the downside of that cheery artificial turf – the very real concern over concussions. No longer a dissed possibility, brain damaging concussions have been frighteningly annotated from HS fields to major football arenas. Boys’ and men’s lives have been forever altered for want of an often violent game. Football increasingly protects the leagues more than the players. That pie-in-the-sky diamond Super Bowl ring seems hardly a fair trade for permanent head injury.
To everyone stocking up on a groaning board of chili and beer this annual Super Bowl Sunday, have at it! Even if your team doesn’t win, your snacks will be awesome! But as for me, I’ll take a hard pass.
See you in the end zone!