Thank goodness that's finally over.
By that I mean "the big game,"or what most of us who aren't worried about trademark infringement call "Super Bowl Sunday." This year, an estimated 111 million humans sat in front of large rectangles for four hours and observed roughly eleven minutes of actual on-the-field activity. The New York Giants emerged victorious for the fourth time, instilling excitement and pride in the five boroughs and leaving the rest of the country wondering whether this was all worth avoiding a lockout.
Let's face it, for at least 50 percent of the aforementioned humans, Super Bowl Sunday is about entertainment. Advertisers see the big game as one of the few times this generation of control freaks will actually view a commercial, so they spend tons of money to get a time slot and even more to produce tweet-worthy content. Whoa, GE helps make beer? Celebrities endorse cars with political messages? Sex sells? My Facebook stream during the game was like the judge's table for the new Bravo TV show "Top Commercial."
Urban legend claims that municipalities worry about the impact of everyone flushing their toilet precisely after the "big game" concluded. Now, I bet more people are watching the commercials than the football itself. Count me as one of those.
I'm not sure how I missed the sports gene. Fine, playing on the field was never exactly a strength for me, but through marching bands and pep bands, I surely cheered on enough football and basketball teams. Heck, I played for Bobby Knight at Indiana University, surely that one time that coach conducted the pep band during a TV time-out should have been enough to make me a lifelong fan of movement offense. Yet once removed from stadiums and homecomings, the thought of spending a few hours watching enormous men smash into each other carrying an oblong object has completely lost its appeal.
The over-commercialization of the game hasn't helped my attitude. In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, my friends from Boston and New York relentlessly jawed at each other online. Each time I popped over to Facebook, "Bob and 57 others have posted about the Super Bowl." Every local business I follow had their angle. "Big game takeout special - 20 percent off mediocre pizza if you order before the coin toss!" or "Our bar will be selling watered-down beverages at jacked up prices if you want to sit in our uncomfortable stool and watch the big game without sound surrounded by strangers!"
Had I been home, I would at least have been excited to see Madonna and LMFAO. Then again, that book she put out twenty years ago let me see everything I ever wanted to about Madonna, so the iTunes tracks will do just fine as a substitute. Instead, without hesitation I scheduled a red-eye flight to Europe game night, leaving without even knowing who won. My friends in New York made sure I knew anyway.
Esquire Magazine's February issue contains the suggestion that the Monday after the Super Bowl will eventually be declared a national holiday. If it is, I'm moving to Canada to observe something more sensible--like the "Boxing Day" that doesn't involve a sport.