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Monday, February 2, 2015

Why I Don't Watch the Super Bowl


Super Bowl 49 is over, and the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 on an interception in the final seconds. I know this, not from watching the game, but from reading this morning’s news reports, which are dwelling more on the controversy of the Seahawks’ Coach’s final play call than the game itself. Oh, and I also read somewhere that the half-time show was, as usual, a subject of tons of comment – plus and minus.
But, I saw none of this. I am among what is no doubt only a handful of American males born in the state of Texas who wasn't glued to the idiot box yesterday evening watching the Super Bowl live.
In fact, I’m having trouble remembering the last time I watched a Super Bowl game. Now as a former Texan, I know that means I’ll never be welcomed back home, considering that in Texas, football and openly carrying firearms is akin to a religion. I’m opposed to the latter, and not impressed by the former, so I’m an apostate of the first rank.
Oh, I like the game of football well enough. I played in in college, and when I was in the army, I was on the flag football team of almost every unit to which I was assigned. It’s just the Super Bowl that doesn’t get my juices flowing.
I guess I should explain this, though, for those who are shaking their heads at this point, and wondering if this is some kind of joke. It’s not. When I was a youngster, I watched the Super Bowl – like most Texans, religiously. Then, some time after 1963, my work (first in the army, and then after 1982, in the Foreign Service) had me serving in faraway places where the time zone difference meant that in order to watch the Super Bowl live I had to be up at three or four in the morning. Ain't gonna happen. And, watching a recording of the game, when I’d already learned the score, didn't impress me either. So, over time, I got used to not watching the Super Bowl.

If the inconvenience of widely displaced time zones was bad, the direction the game began taking some years ago was worse. Pre-game publicity is often more about which ads will be good or bad than the game, and this year’s deflated balls brouhaha was sickening. Whatever happened to talking about the game itself? Then, there’s the post-game finger pointing, etc. Remember Janice Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction? That got more press than the game itself. I haven’t seen much about Katy Perry’s(?) performance this year – it was Katy Perry, right? But, I’m sure it’s out there – I’m just not interested enough to look for it. I did see the angst over Seattle coach Pete Carroll’s decision to go for a pass play instead of a run from inside the red zone with just seconds to play. Mistakes get made – in football and in war. At least, no one got killed.
As I scanned this morning’s news stories, I had a hard time finding one that talked about the game, per se. There was the thing about the call, some stuff on a brawl that happened after the interception. I guess I’ll stop looking.

Anyway, that’s why I don’t watch the Super Bowl any more. I might never be able to go back to Texas, but given where my home state’s politics is going these days, I can live with that.