Let’s face it. The Super Bowl has become as American as apple pie, fried chicken, and XXXL clothing. We all watch it, whether we like football or not, because one of our friends has a party and it’s a good time to socialize. If you’re a fan, you have undoubtedly read every pre- and post-game analysis of this year’s game by now, so this is not one of those articles.
There have been a few years in my life when I actually cared about the game. When I lived in Buffalo and the Bills went to the Super Bowl 4 consecutive times, only to lose each time, I tried to be a loyal fan. But I thought, as the saying goes, that the third time is the charm! I had endured four horrible defeats as if they were my own. Just like the Bills, I was a 4-time loser! Well screw that! I wasn’t going to be hurt again!
I moved to San Diego, and they too were perennial bridesmaids, so it was easy to divorce myself from the game. Until they actually got good and went to the big show in 1995! San Diego Superchargers, I sang with glee! “Is it possible?,” I asked myself. “Should I latch my hopes and dreams onto this team of destiny so I at last can be a winner? ” Yes, I decided, I would trust again! Alas, they were pummeled by the 49ers, and all the bad memories came storming back in. It even got me thinking that any team I loved was cursed, because of me!
From that point on, I realized that the best way to enjoy the Super Bowl is to not give a shit who wins. Like this year’s game. Patrick Mahomes, the wunderkind who snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in 2 playoff games, would be fun to watch! The 49ers, with Jimmy Garoppolo and the dominating defense—what excitement! Did I really know anything about them or the teams? No. Did I watch during the regular season? No. So why watch now? Because there are always great moments. There is the drama of shifting momentum, desperate throws, and one of a kind catches. And if you don’t care who wins, you can appreciate it all! And I did! It was an exciting game with drama and spectacle, and isn’t that all one can ask for?
But, another staple of the Super Bowl, and what probably attracts most of the fair-weather fans, is the halftime show. Sadly, most of the time, it doesn’t live up to the hype. How could it? It takes place on a temporary stage with lip-synching and awkward choreography, surrounded by beer-swizzled fans with nacho drippings on their jerseys yelling for the cotton candy guy. And this year, if I had young kids watching, especially boys, I probably would have shooed them out of the room. Let’s just say that, like me, it was crotch-ity. There was more humping than a herd of camels stampeding across the desert.
Still, the best thing about the Super Bowl is the commercials. They rarely disappoint. This year the Groundhog Day Jeep commercial with Bill Murray was delightful. The Hyundai “Smaht Pahk” Sonata with Chris Evans, Rachel Dratch, and John Krasinski was clever. The “Google remembers” commercial was poignant and sweet. And the Doritos Lil Nas X and Sam Elliott commercial was a cross-generational nod.
In the end, I was happy for Andy Reid, who finally got the monkey off his back to win his first Championship. And I was happy that it was a spirited game rather than a blowout.
But will I continue to watch the Super Bowl? Sure. Since the Chargers went to LA (f&%k them), I have taken a liking to the Green Bay Packers. They’re really America’s team, not Dallas. No, not Dallas. Fortunately I was not yet too invested in the Packers, so the fact that they failed to win the NFC Championship did not faze me. And yet I suspect they will be competitive again next year, so only time will tell. As Michael Corleone said, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”