I swear it doesn’t mean I’m any less of a man.
This Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday. But if you’re like me, whether one pirate-themed team triumphs over a second pirate-themed team amounts to mere pieces of eight. My interest in the event’s 37th incarnation is limited to “I wonder if this could somehow preempt ‘The Simpsons.'” Thankfully, my friend TV Guide tells me ABC is broadcasting the bowl, so my beloved block of Sunday night block of FOX attitude – now the only primetime entertainment I can find the time to catch – is safe.
Granted, you’re probably not like me. Your dad’s probably not from a nation in which sheep outnumber humans 11 to one, a fact which effectively robbed my formative years of a true appreciation for gridiron glory while instead instilling a love for BBC feeds of rugby, cricket and sailing. Freakish, I know. But most people in the United States love football. In fact, I think it might be America’s game now. Or maybe that’s basketball. Or “Wheel of Fortune.” In any case, even people who genuinely loathe the sport seem to catch Super Bowl fever. It casts a certain power over the American people that no other televised event can muster. Baseball-haters still manage to keep their distance from the World Series, those who don’t watch movies could give a shit about the Academy Awards, and people not suffering from a crippling brain disorder should have no desire to tune into the new season of “American Idol.”
Being a guy and wholly rejecting the idea of football can be rough though. Just imagine:
“Hey, who do you like: the Raiders or the Bucs?”
“Well, football’s not really my thing.”
“Oh, are you, like, an English major or something?”
“Yeah, actually I am.”
“So do you, like, read books instead?”
Like taking a punt to the nuts, he’s reduced to eunuch status in the eyes of his fellow males. He might as well have said he was attending a special Sunday afternoon floriculture seminar. So what’s the right course of action for a football-phobic guy to take then? Admit to his perceived shortcomings and enjoy membership in some untouchable social class? Or go with the flow, and, like so many others, contrive a new reason to watch the pre-game/game/halftime show/post-game programming block?
A lot of the non-fans who still flock to the Super Bowl say it’s a social occasion. Watching the big game gives folks a chance to head over to their neighbor’s house, hang out and get piss-drunk. Of course, so does the Saturday night before, the Friday night before that and virtually every other quasi-holiday they could get their hands on. By the way, this Sunday is also Australia Day, in case anyone would rather toast to America’s friends down under.
A far worse excuse for joining the annual worship of the Super Bowl is the commonplace “I watch it to see the new ads.” This is a serious breakdown in the order of American society. The point of watching any entertainment should not be the commercials, which by definition are the unpleasant little capitalistic vignettes that pay for the show itself. It’s like buying bottles of medicine to get the cotton swab. Five-part commercial music videos of an already omnipresent pop diva insinuating her image into decades not burdened with her in the first place simply aren’t entertainment.
Sadly, the alternatives to partaking in Sunday’s festivities are decidedly limited. There’s solitude. There’s silent reading. There’s masturbation with the promise of sustained privacy. And, again referring to TV Guide, USA’s broadcast of “Con-Air.”
So I guess with those in mind, enjoy Sunday, whether it be for the climactic end of the football season, that special kind of “me time” or a colorful array of programming alternatives.
Drew Mackie is the Daily Nexus county co-editor. He plans to spend Sunday with his sheep and a little “me time.”