Apparently, people are getting worked up over something called the Super Bowl. I have no idea what it’s all about. From what I’ve been able to tell, it involves large men, donned in heavily padded clothing, who like to run into each other and slap their fellow teammates on the ass, when they’re not busy dislocating their shoulders or otherwise ensuring that their considerable physical prowess will be worthless before the age of 35. There are also lots of exciting commercials, which involve companies giving lots of cash to advertising agencies and flashy directors, and the advertising agencies, in turn, giving lots of cash to television executives.
Cash transfers and lavish time-wasting aren’t limited to the boys in the Ivory Tower. Men (and women) are using this “event” as an excuse to drink lots of beer, roar like wild cougars at the television screen, and gorge upon hideous snacks, many of which are loaded with polysaturated fat, with a sizable chunk of these eaten directly from noisy plastic packaging.
Furthermore, former football stars (referred to as “commentators,” a kind term that implies expertise, but is really about giving the more telegenic ex-quarterbacks a job) will be on hand to offer “analysis.” Said analysis, which does not involve Kant or Kirkegaard, will have these men dressed in gaudy suits that are silly and unflattering, meting out comparisons with previous Super Bowls, remarking upon how some quarterback “looks good this year,” or how “nobody saw that coming,” or how a team, a coach or a player “is in trouble,” and doing all this without poetics or a remotely interesting argument. There will also be something called a “halftime show,” whereby men will urinate en masse, and the reluctant people yawning on the divans with their football-loving significant others will try to justify the three or so tedious hours. They will note how nice this underwhelming display of sensationalism is. When, in fact, they hope the interminable thing will be over and pray to all known gods that the game doesn’t go into overtime. These reluctant types will also try to find artistic merit in the commercials, casually forgetting that the commercials are created, first and foremost, to move products. Ultimately, their feelings will be unvoiced. They will tolerate this Super Bowl thing the same way they do every year. The luckier ones will be get out of the house, or spend the three hours having sex with “an unmanly man,” or go shopping, or have a girls’ afternoon out.
The men (and women) watching the Super Bowl will offer something for these people to talk about around the Monday morning water cooler, though most of the arguments will be mined from the sports pages and the shaky “analysis” of the “commentators.”
Ultimately, lots of time and money will be spent for no apparent purpose. But then what else is new in America?