Not Caring XLII

by wjw on February 4, 2008

Today marks the forty-second continuous year in which I have not given a damn about the Super Bowl.

I’ve never watched one. I’ve never been to a Super Bowl party. I’ve never even been invited to a Super Bowl party.

At a gathering of Wild Card authors last night, I talked for two and a half hours with a group of my cool, talented friends and the words “Super Bowl” never came up.

Kathy and I used to go to the ballet on Super Bowl Sunday, as a kind of protest against the month of nonending hype. In the audience there were me and about 800 women.

Let’s just say I didn’t hate it.

Is the Super Bowl a part of your life, or not? And if either is the case, why?

Oz February 4, 2008 at 2:58 am

Was GRRM there? Can’t imagine him not talking about the game…I’m sure he’s not taking any calls at this moment. I wish I were unaware of the SuperBowl or any football, but alas. I’m not certain I’d be at the ballet, but I sure wouldn’t be watching a game I don’t care about.

Pat February 4, 2008 at 3:19 am

I went to see Gypsy at Popejoy Hall.

dubjay February 4, 2008 at 3:24 am

GRRM was in fact there, and of course he’s a huge football fan, but I never heard him mention the game.

Which he may have, just not when I was listening.

Or maybe he couldn’t find any other football fans to talk to.

slothman February 4, 2008 at 3:35 am

I find it very convenient to know when the Super Bowl is so I can go shopping when there are no crowds.

Phy February 4, 2008 at 3:41 am

What’s not to like? An imposing, odds-on favorite and a determined, likable underdog.

I’ve been saying half the season that the Packers matched up very well with the Pats, and that the Pats looked nearly mortal at least five games. I’ve also said that if the NFC team upset the Pats, it would be the greatest Super Bowl ever.

Well, here we are, only it’s the plucky, Defense-minded Giants instead of the Packers. The NFC underdog walked up and did just that, coming in and punching the arrogant Pats in the mouth and then hanging on for the ride of a lifetime.

What’s not to like? The ‘fins keep their perfect season, the Pats had a heckuva run but came up 29 seconds short, and the upstart Giants won the greatest game ever by deconstructing the fable of immortality with a great running game early, a great passing game late, and a phenomenal defensive game, shutting down the greatest offense the world has ever seen.

Congratulations, Eli Manning and the Giants, and winning the best Super Bowl ever!

Thai McGreivy February 4, 2008 at 3:41 am

It was a really good game!

Agree the whole thing is quite commercial, but what isn’t… is being ‘anti’ superbowl really any better?

And superbowl parties are a lot of fun, they really are… I don’t really care about Loi Krathong, but hey, when in Thailand, why not do as the Thais?

To some degree we make our own world

dubjay February 4, 2008 at 3:56 am

I’m not anti Super Bowl.

I just don’t care.

American football is a game where you have to sit in front of the TV set for three hours, endure commercials and the blather of commentators, and all for a game in which the ball is actually in play for an average of eight minutes.

If I could cut out all the other stuff and get just the eight minutes, I might be more interested.

Thai McGreivy February 4, 2008 at 4:11 am

Never thought about this until now; perhaps that ‘downtime’ is one reason people like to socialize around football– permits conversation without interrupting other’s spectating.

Haven’t you ever noticed how hard it is to talk at basketball games?

Synova February 4, 2008 at 4:21 am

The Superbowl was today?

(Actually, I knew that, but not until 3pm when I picked my son up from work and he said it was slow because of the Superbowl.)

dubjay February 4, 2008 at 4:30 am

That’s a good point, Thai.

Though if I want to get together with my friends and have a good time, I don’t need the excuse of an athletic contest.

I’m not a snob about sports. I would pay a lot more attention to baseball if I had the time. I like live hockey, but I don’t find it interesting on TV. I enjoy soccer. And if I could reconcile myself to the outrageously high pay-per-view costs, I’d watch the UFC.

Thai McGreivy February 4, 2008 at 4:32 am

Don’t get me wrong either, I think it was the second football game I watched this year.

My son can’t get enough however, and I am supposed to be a supportive father

Tarl Neustaedter February 4, 2008 at 4:36 am

Dubjay writes: Today marks the forty-second continuous year in which I have not given a damn about the Super Bowl.

What is it about non-football fans that makes them self-righteous in their dislike? Some of us like the game, some don’t. But why the need to proclaim one’s dislike?

I got a call from my mother as the Superbowl was starting, which she knew because she had been horrified that her husband had turned on the TV and was settling down to watch the game. She proceeded to turn it off and set him to doing housework (he made a plaintive request for the score during that call).

I question her wisdom in doing this, but it doesn’t seem to be an uncommon reaction among those who dislike the game.

Now, if you want to pick on the Stanley Cup, I won’t disagree with you. But Football, that’s sacred. šŸ™‚

captain-button February 4, 2008 at 4:36 am

The only superbowl I ever paid any attention to was the one with the Apple Mac commercial featuring HAL 9000. That was in 1999 or 2000. I turned it off as soon as Iā€™d seen the commercial.

Yes, I really am that much of a geek.

dubjay February 4, 2008 at 5:37 am

What is it about non-football fans that makes them self-righteous in their dislike? Some of us like the game, some don’t. But why the need to proclaim one’s dislike?

I’m not sure anyone here’s being self-righteous, but you don’t see me proclaiming my dislike of any other game in the NFL season.

The Super Bowl isn’t just the one afternoon, it goes on for =weeks.= There are the playoffs, there is the “Countdown to the Super Bowl,” there are all the ads, all the reminders, all the special stuff in the sports section of the paper, all the talking heads, all the blazing lights, all the exploding football helmets.

All the really insultingly stupid questions by the press pool. (My favorite: “Is it your mother who’s blind and your father who’s deaf, or the other way around?”)

(Though =most= questions by the press are insultingly stupid, so I should get used to it.)

I start out indifferent, but at the end of the process I’m ready for some damn’ fine ballet, by God!

S.M. Stirling February 4, 2008 at 7:05 am

The Super Bowl… that’s American Football, right?

Ethan February 4, 2008 at 8:23 am

Heard it was a good game; saw the finish and thought it was darned exciting; but earlier, I burned the hell out of my fingers on an exploding light switch (landlord’s going to hear about that one) and was in a foul mood.

I’d take the Stanley Cup over the Super Bowl any day, though. I blame my childhood spent four miles from the Canadian border. Go Canucks!

In general, I enjoy [American] football in a passing sense, if I’m in the right mood and there’s a good group to watch it on TV with. I despise the thing in person, though. Too much sitting in frigid weather on a concrete bench.

Anonymous February 5, 2008 at 4:55 am

We stupidly made the mistake a few years ago of going to Wal-Mart to try to buy new tires on Super Bowl Sunday. Yes, they were open. Yes, their employees were all football fans. No, putting tires properly on our truck was NOT high on their agenda for the afternoon. The two guys who were supposedly working on our truck spent at least half of their time popping into the waiting room (which was where the television was, of course) and asking us what the score was, and we, being the non-fans that we are, kept gently saying, “So, how about those lug nuts…” That was probably our most memorable Super Bowl experience ever. šŸ™‚
Betty Williamson

S.M. Stirling February 5, 2008 at 8:35 am

I played rugby in the equivalent of High School. American football is like rugby, only duller, as far as I can see… and rugby bored me.

The only sports I’ve enjoyed participating in are martial arts. The only ones I really enjoy watching are those, and gymnastics.

Jeffrey February 6, 2008 at 8:33 pm

I don’t really understand the significants of friends sitting around all night and not talking about the Superbowl. If the subject had come up would everyone have run screaming into the night? I’m sure you didn’t talk about a lot of things like the Dodo or why boys insist on wearing jeans with the ass hanging down around their knees. I watched the Superbowl but as to most events brought a book with me. The ballet is a great idea reminds me of when I took a Jane Austen class in college. Boy was I bummed until I showed up and saw rows and rows of women. Philistine that I am I’d probably bring a good book to the ballet as well. Like most things in this culture if you don’t like it go partake of one of the other 150 channels.

dubjay February 10, 2008 at 4:02 am

It’s not like we ostentatiously avoided talking about the Super Bowl. We just had other things to talk about.

Sure we didn’t talk about the dodo, either, but then the dodo hadn’t been hyped for the last couple months on every sports show in the nation.

RAlf The Dog February 10, 2008 at 7:32 am

The halftime was quite cool. They had some teenage pop star read a passage from freeman dysons Disturbing the Universe. I liked the bit about the difference between green and brown technology.

Afterwards, The sports commentators had a discussion about categorizing technology by aesthetics VS environmental impact. They decided that environmental impact could be quantified (CO2 emissions and such), however the aesthetics of green VS brown could not be.

They also decided that beer should come in a green bottle not brown.

Anonymous February 10, 2008 at 12:26 pm

I LOVE the Super Bowl. During my tour in Korea in the late 1980’s, the entire Second Infantry Division got a day off because of the time difference. (Everybody stayed up late or got up early, I don’t remember which.) I had the entire town of Tongduchon to myself to do a little native culture exploring. No, I didn’t watch the game.
The next Super Bowl I was in the Persian Gulf, and at Camp Eagle II (The base camp of the
101st) there was a TV and VCR set up on some ammo cans. there was a tape of the game which people could watch after duties were taken care of. That was the year Whitney Houston sang the “Star Spangled Banner,” and i noticed something when as I went by several times. When she would sing, every grunt there stood up. Every time they played the tape.

Anonymous February 10, 2008 at 12:29 pm

Hey, it’s Mushroom7b that posted previous comment. I am an infrequent commenter and managed to forget my Blooger password. Have a good one all.

ESSCEE February 10, 2008 at 4:34 pm

Well, I grew up playing football. I started when I was eight and continued through college. As a former WR, I am always interested in what plays the offenses are running and seeing spectacular catches, I guess this comes from spending so much of my time studyng the game. I have also been a lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan. As I have gotten older and had more and more disposable income I have been able to afford to be an even bigger fan. I get direct TV sunday ticket so I never miss a cowboys game. I go to at least one home game in Dallas a year. This year I hosted a SB party and spent over $1000 in the process. All because I love the game of football that has been apart of my life since I was 8. So to me, the Super Bowl is a huge event, even if my team is not playing in it. Yeah, there is a lot of hype and a lot of hard core fans get irritated about it as well as many of the stupid questions asked by reporters who have never covered football. That kind of stuff is aimed at getting more women involved in watching football. Hell, I know several people, myself included, who often times mute the TV because certain annoucers (Joe Theisman) are very annoying. Plus, ESPN has practically ruined Monday Night Football by bringing celebrities into the booth.

Ralf The Dog February 10, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Re: stupid reporters.

I remember after the Columbia accident, NASA was having a press conference. The questions kept getting worse. I think the fox reporter asked something like, “So if the shuttle blew up too high for them to breath, why did they not just hold their breath until they got down?”

This was followed by the CNN question.

CNN: Am I correct that this was the first space shuttle mission in X long that was not to the ISS?

NASA: (Slightly puzzled look) YES.

CNN: As the shuttle was not loaded with a large cargo and not going to a relatively high orbit was the Columbia using one of the older light tanks, or one of the newer super light tanks?

NASA: It was one of the older light tanks.

CNN: how old was the tank?

NASA: About three years.

CNN: how long had it been since the foam had been applied?

NASA: (Pulls out a notebook and writes something down) I don’t know. Very good question. I will find out.

Durring the second gulf war, I had Fox News on. An embedded reporter was in a firefight. The people back at Fox HQ were begging the reporter to put on his flack jacket. He told them it was, “Too hot”. They got him to put it on by threatening to cancel his insurance.

I switched to CNN, and the commander of an Army medical hospital was thanking a CNN reporter. The reporter was a neurosurgeon. No one at the base was qualified to remove a bullet from a soldiers brain, so he did.

That is when I stopped watching Fox.

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