Monday, February 8, 2016

Super Blah

By some miracle, in 32-and-a-half years of living, I have never once done anything for the Super Bowl. I've never once gone to a Super Bowl party; I've never once watched the game at home; I've never once watched it in a bar. I've never watched the Puppy Bowl, nor the Kitten Bowl, nor the ads, nor the halftime show. I've never once watched any of it at all.

This year, though—this was the year my streak ended.

I'd like to say I went out with a bang – much like Peyton Manning is about to do (do you like how I'm working my vast knowledge of football into my prose?) – but alas, my ejection from the non-Super-Bowl-watching elite was sadly anticlimactic – much like the end of the Super Bowl was.

My big turning point was doomed to failure from the beginning. My boyfriend wanted to watch with his best friend Chris, neither of whom had any real interest in the two teams playing. The atmosphere leading up to the game was decidedly apathetic, and – to make it more difficult for me to mentally prepare myself – the plans were not solidified until about an hour before kickoff, .

They were as follows: We would go to Chris's condo, where we would watch the game in relative quiet with him and his girlfriend. Thusly, my initiation into Super Bowl culture would hardly even qualify as a proper party. At the last minute, I learned that Al's 12-year-old nephew was also joining us, effectively nixing any plans I might have had for drinking myself silly and practicing my own special touchdown dances.

The next thing that happened to ratchet down my already negligible enthusiasm was a stomach ache. In retrospect, this would have been the perfect excuse for me to avoid a lukewarm party, skip out on a boring game, and keep my 32-year record intact – and it probably was a subconscious last-ditch effort by my body to do just that – but unfortunately, it was too last-ditch, and the stomach ache didn't hit its stride until we were halfway to DC—too late to turn the car around and dump me back at home. So I instead spent the entire evening in varying degrees of abdominal pain.

On the way there, Al wanted to pick up chicken wings. That proved impossible, as the first place he stopped at was closed early for the game. The second place he stopped at was sold out of wings. He finally settled for pizza and sushi. All the wondering around made us late, so we ended up missing the start of the game. That meant I did not get to witness the national anthem as performed by one of my favorite singers: Lady Gaga—one of very few highlights of the Super Bowl, and I missed out on it! Of course, arriving late also meant less total time spent watching football, so I'm not going to complain too much.

The game itself was everything I could have dreamed—that is to say, completely uninteresting. I spent the first half of it paying no attention, meticulously feeding calzones and salad into my cramping stomach (the eating neither made it better nor worse, but did help to pass the time). Chris' girlfriend and her friend were there, both professing a similar lack of interest in the game, so we made conversation by talking about how quickly the time was passing. 

Perched on a bar stool in a remote area of the living room, I didn't have a great view of the screen, but what I could see of the 6-million-dollar ads – the ones that are supposed to be the saving grace of the Super Bowl for people who don't care about football – were solidly lackluster. I did pay attention to the halftime show, which instilled in me a new appreciation for Coldplay (I didn't actually realize all those songs were theirs until now), and then sat through half of the third quarter, which was dominated by a chat about our upcoming vacation plans.

At this point, Al's nephew suddenly took a rabid interest in getting to bed early for school the next day. I've never seen a kid so eager for school before, and I suspect his passion was more aligned towards getting away from the room full of boring adults and a boring football game (he likes soccer). But who am I to question his motives when they seem so responsible (and so beneficial to me!), so I agreeably packed up and shipped out. In the car ride back to his home, he and Al got into an argument about whether or not we could stop at our apartment first to pick up a ring he had left there. It was turning into quite the riot, so I quashed it with my patent Al's-scary-girlfriend sternness. Then felt guilty about it for the rest of the ride.

After we had finally dropped him off at his house (without his preciousssss) and he had stalked off without a word to his uncle, we headed for home in morose silence. Insert, for the sake of adding some kind of levity to this stretch of the tale, some joke about someone not getting a Super Bowl ring.

We did make it home in time to watch the end of the game, which I did at my boyfriend's urging, and it was everything I could have imagined. See above.

Long story short, Super Bowl 50 ended in a crushing defeat. No, I'm not talking about the Panthers. I'm talking about my 32 years of carefully cultivated disinterest, tossed to the wind in one evening of niggling failures, minor squabbles, and sweeping mediocrity.


Roger G. said...

Great post! So entertaining. I would pay to read more about your experiences watching football.