Ah, one of my favorite days.
While the rest of the world is sweating with Super Bowl fever, I always feel refreshingly clear-headed on this day. I relish the chance to navigate a world that seems calm and quiet. Ever been in Times Square at 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning? Or the dog park on a windy, rainy day? That’s what this day means to me: a chance to break away from the pack.
Even though the game doesn’t start until 3:30 p.m., most people are tethered to their TV sets (and the guacamole dip) long before. It’s the perfect day to go to a museum. Do your grocery shopping in peace. See a movie without getting jostled by crowds.
Ignorance can indeed be bliss. As I sit down to write this column, 72 hours before the biggest game of the year, I can tell you I only know one of the teams playing in the Super Bowl: the Patriots.
It is the Patriots, right?
And the only reason I know that is because I have passively absorbed into my news stream — like a plant soaking up carbon dioxide — something about a ball that was either 1) overinflated; 2) underinflated; 3) filled with frosting; or 4) equipped with some sort of noxious poison designed to kill the opposing quarterback.
I’m being completely honest about my ignorance here: Even though I could glance over at today’s paper splayed out on my desk just an arm’s length away, with the sports section coincidentally on top, and easily glean the identity of the other team, I simply don’t know it at this moment in time. You could offer me a thousand bucks, or a trip to China, or a brand new 500-seat state-of-the-art theater for Fresno, and I’d fail the test.
I don’t think I’ll be getting any last-minute invites to Super Bowl parties.
Instead, I’ll do what I always do on this day: stay as far away from a football as I can get.
Granted, it’s not always easy to find an alternate event to attend. Other than theater companies with regularly scheduled performances — such as “Crazy for You” at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater and “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” at the 2nd Space Theatre — most performing arts groups stay away from Super Bowl Sunday like it’s the Grim Reaper come to mow down their audiences.
I was momentarily startled last week when I opened an email press release telling me that the Fresno Choral Artists had done the ultimate in counter-programming by scheduling a concert today at the Fresno Art Museum — with a start time of 3:30 p.m., no less. What courage, I thought. What a way to stand out from the crowd!
Then I found the follow-up email confirming a date change: the concert has been moved to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, at the museum. Basses, tenors, altos and sopranos gotta get their football fix, too.
With the help of our industrious Bee calendar coordinator, Candice Torres, I did track down one non-Super event for you: the Sun Maid Kennel Club All-Breed Dog Show at the Big Fresno Fairgrounds, which runs 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Having raised my poodle, Tillie, to be profoundly ambivalent about professional sports, I can confirm that dogs do not care one lick about missing the beginning of the big game.
A great place to go on Super Bowl Sunday is a museum. It would be a perfect afternoon to catch the new round of winter/spring exhibitions at the Fresno Art Museum.
As for me, I’ve trekked to Los Angeles this weekend and hope to make it to the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Probably at about the beginning of the second quarter, I’ll be on the road back to Fresno. Forget about traffic — I’m hoping for a straight shot home.
And may the Patriots and whoever they’re playing have a grand day as well.