For about three quarters of the Superbowl, the poor guy I live with put up with my righteous indignation (translation: continuous raving with a few ten-cent words thrown in) after every beer commercial — but not about the shoddy captioning job.
“Why do all the funny ones have to be for BEER?! What is it about barley and hops that makes their PR people the intelligentsia of testosterone wit?! Gaaawd!”
(And let’s not even go into godaddy.com’s so-called “humorous marketing strategy” in having big-breasted glamazons moan “go daddy, go daddy.” Hubby learns fast. He made a quick exit to escape the resulting wayward vituperative, frenzied signing, and spittle.)
C’mon. For those of us whose teams have long since disappeared from playoff contention, the Superbowl is not only a celebration of a season spent in front of the TV folding laundry between plays or a chance to have a last hoorah before we put our jerseys away until next fall. So while both teams playing may not be ones we particularly care about, the whole thing is still sacred to us, commercials, bad calls, fake benevolence (e.g. here and here) and all.
I say “sacred” with absolute seriousness. There is no way you can extricate American football from American life. Just take, for example, the annoying frequency with which reporters referred to the Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith match-up in racial terms. “And it’s even February, Black History Month,” one commentator on CBS exclaimed. Oh, gag me with a spoon.
If I were ever to make it to the Superbowl, the last thing I’d want to get credit for would be skin I was born in. I’d like to be known as a dang good coach, thank you. But Dungy showed more class than me — when another reporter asked him about it for the umpteenth time post-win, he said something like, “In your heart of hearts, you know I was far from the first with the ability.”
So even as we watch a football game, we’re multitasking as a society, trying to figure out where the happy medium is between battling our own demons and recognizing our successes. We’re also recognizing that we as a group are far more diverse than we really realize – Heck, look at Pam Oliver. Two decades ago, no one would have associated a woman with football outside of a cheerleading uniform, but now she slings it on the sidelines along with Troy Aikman and Joe Buck and the rest of them (even if some idiots haven’t figured it out yet).
Wise up, marketing people. The NFL does not belong to people whose sole crack-ups are displays of cocky chauvinism (thank you, TV gods, for not having that stupid Burger King “I am man” commercial come on while I was watching), beer-drenched stupidity, or objectification of people who happen to be born with a set of ovaries. Sure, that’s American football for you, but only some of it.
Then at the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter, I saw this clip from the NFL (if that doesn’t work, try this link). Set to the Boyz II Men’s “It’s so hard to say goodbye,” fans of various teams dismantle the rituals that make football so sacred – washing off body paint, putting away team logo furniture, sobbing over a foam finger.
Wow. It really got me here. *thumps chest*
And it’s only fitting that the clip is a result of a contest for NFL fans who pitched their ideas for the commercial (Gino Bona of NH and Buffalo Bills loyalty gets credited with the idea). Man. I love my football.
But no worries. I will not — will NOT — be reduced to the same level of patheticalness as that guy in the clip sitting listlessly on the couch in front of the TV amid comforting burgundy and gold memorabilia.
No ma’am. I’m set for the off-season. For one, I’ve discovered a kick-ass ‘skins blog, “War Cry!” For another, we’re proud owners of Madden NFL 07 — and even better, it’s for Wii, which means we actually get to tackle and juke and stiffarm instead of pushing buttons. And I’ve been waiting for the off season to read Hail, Victory! Plus I’m contemplating a women-only fantasy football league, so I have that to look forward to.Â Just imagine, no obnoxious comments from snobbish male commishs.
So I’m good, thanks very much. No need to send sympathy cards. Come next Sunday, when it finally hits me that there’s no game to watch, I won’t need any of your pity or your bootlegged Zoloft. There’ll be no crying here.