Monday, February 05, 2007


Is it me, or was that the most boring Super Bowl ever? I had such high hopes in the first quarter, but by the beginning of the fourth quarter, I was asleep on my hosts' couch. Luckily I spent the afternoon with good friends, and Prince put on a helluva halftime show, so it wasn't a total loss. I wasn't rooting for a particular team, but had hoped it would be a tense, close game. Not so much, and I was annoyed. I'm of the mind that professional athletes are overpaid, overexposed and don't give enough back to society, so they'd damn well better entertain.

The best Super Bowls I've ever seen were XXXVI (Pats/Rams) and XXV (Giants/Bills). I went to college deep in Bills territory from '90-'94; during my college career, I watched the Bills go to the Super Bowl four years in a row - and lose four years in a row. It became like a running joke, but the Bills fans that I lived with didn't think it was funny. In fact, they'd get visibly upset, because I was a "downstater" who was dissing their team. The Bills are a full-fledged religion in western New York. Apart from Red Sox fans, I've never (personally) seen such slavish devotion to a team. After every loss, the entire campus would be in mourning. When the Giants met the Bills in SB XXXVI, the animosity between the "upstaters" and "downstaters" got ugly. My door was vandalized; I was called a "bandwagon" Giants fan. I heard that there were (alcohol-fueled) fisticuffs elsewhere in my dorm. Those of us who didn't even care about football started rooting for the Giants, just to piss off the Bills fans who whined that their beloved team should win because "they had more heart." Heart doesn't win a game, people; goals do. When Norwood missed that field goal with seconds left, the unified screams of shellshocked Bills fans reverberated throughout the dorm in one cacaphonous boom straight out of Dante's Inferno. Great game, because it was a nailbiter; also, Whitney Houston (pre-crack whore) rocked the Star Spangled Banner.

After the Bills' fourth loss in '94, signs popped up on campus that said "Strive for Five." Oh, it was a little pathetic, but I've always admired tenacity. The Bills have always had better fans than players.

SB XXXVI is my personal favorite, though. Played as close as you can get, and one of the biggest upsets in sports history. I was living in Boston at the time; when Vinateri squeezed out that final field goal just as time expired, I think the entire state went nuts. I drove home to Brighton from Charlestown, and got caught in Kenmore Square for an hour; the square was teeming with about 7,000 fans screaming, hanging from lightposts, and crying on each other.

The commercials are generally the most entertaining part of the Super Bowl, but even they were lackluster this year. I saw a lot of commercials that had already aired, and it felt like CBS had snatched most of the airtime to promote its shows. Bo-ring. I did like this commercial, though, just for its absurdity. It reminded me of this SNL skit with Will Ferrell. This one was also pretty funny (and impressive), since a college student came up with it as part of a contest sponsored by Chevy.

Finally, crabs! This one is my personal favorite.


Blogger Linnaeus said...

Agreed. Terrible Super Bowl...and just when I thought they were starting to get better.

I can't make fun of the Bills because they at least got to the Super Bowl. Hell, they got into the playoffs. I grew up a Lions fan, and that's a hard, hard team to be a fan of.

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