What, exactly, are we supposed to make of “XLIX”? That sounds more like a laxative than the ultimate American sporting event.
Perhaps comparing the Super Bowl to a laxative is fitting this year. Has anyone involved in the game given us a reason to enjoy (as opposed to merely watch) Sunday’s annual paroxysm of excess?
The only team most of us will be rooting for will be the ones whose uniform includes striped shirts. After all, the referees and officials might be the biggest underdogs in the history of sports.
Their task is to keep their eyes on every single, tiny, difficult detail of the game. Are the Patriots’ footballs inflated with enough air to be fair? Are the Seahawks’ egos deflated enough to keep their heads from exploding? Will Bill Belichick find a new way to cheat? Will Richard Sherman’s excess of bluster make the Arizona desert hotter?
What, exactly, are the penalties for boorish behavior, bad sportsmanship or excessive self-centered posturing? Really, we’d like to know because Americans, more than ever, appear to be rewarding these qualities. Disagree? Then explain to us all the attention paid to Donald Trump. Forgive us for digressing from the subject at hand.
Is there anyone on either team who qualifies as likeable?
Think about Marshawn Lynch, who appears to be, well, a jerk. He answered every question in Tuesday’s media session with “I’m here so I won’t get fined.” Not that we’re particularly interested in anything he has to say, but that’s simply bad manners. Perhaps it was better than standing in front of reporters and telling them, with a straight face, ala Belichick and Tom Brady, that you have absolutely no idea how those footballs lost so much air. Insults, at least, are honest.
What reason do we have for watching this Super Bowl?
Maybe it’s just something to glance at between scoops of guacamole, Buffalo wings, slices of pizza and swigs of adult beverages. Yes, there will be a game on the big-screen, but it’s doubtful many people will pay much attention — except to Katy Perry’s halftime concert. There’s all that food, all those number grids, all those commercials and all that imbibing.
And what happens if we over-indulge in such festive fare and find ourselves plopped on the couch suffering from stomach distress? Well, maybe XLIX will be good for something after all.