Super Bowl Sunday is America’s highest holiday. It noses out Jesus’ birthday and resurrection. It dwarfs all the presidents and M.L. King. It rivals Black Friday which now occurs on Thursday night. It far exceeds any other event of the year based upon T.V. viewing audience (approximately 115 million). S.B.S. bails out every pizza joint, salvages the avocado crop and probably moves pre-diabetics into the full-fledged category. We don’t mute the commercials which cost 4 million bucks for half a minute. We eat. We bond. We buy and we bet. What can be more American?
I bet my friend Ralph $50,000 that Seattle would beat Denver. With the score 22-0 at halftime I told him I’d settle for $25,000 if he paid me now. He then haggled me down to $14,000 for paying cash. We agreed so now I am going to receive $1 dollar a year for the next 14,000 years.
Super Bowl Sunday brings out the glutton in us. We gobble with imagined impunity. Any New Year’s resolution we may have made about good nutrition is set aside which is why the event is held so early in the year. Carrot juice and celery sticks are not part of the ritual. We’re talking beer and munchies.
Certain vexing questions are answered this day such as how to eat pizza properly. Those with a college degree and library card eat with a knife and fork while the rest of us pick up a slice, fold it in half, drip a little and it disappears in that orifice below the nose. Since Obama took office and compromise is in the air I understand that the acceptable way is now to start off with utensils in hand and then revert to Neanderthal mode.
The game itself is just something to do while we’re eating. However some men slip into their game-face with paint and fangs. Hormones are tweaked. They growl and sneer at the mercy of their glands particularly if they’ve joined the office pool which can be for total points, number of touchdowns and just about any statistic.
I wonder if Romans got so worked up going to the Coliseum to watch the lions. Sunday’s game was between seahawks and broncos. The four-legged creatures did stand a chance.
Football is a sure sign of American exceptionalism. The rest of world plays and watches soccer and the players don’t end up with nearly as many concussions, stitches, fractures and neurological damage. We alone breed 300 pound plus Goliaths. We love to watch controlled violence just as long as the gladiators turn off the spigot a few seconds after the clocks runs down. Swagger is fine between the lines where Trash is the first language. We pretend it’s all about humility, sportsmanship and Aw Shucks. For us on the couch it’s a spectacle, pass the guacamole. For the players it’s a grunt & grind, show me the money and show me the way to get home without crutches.