Superbowl XLVI will be played tonight with a matchup of the New England Patriots versus the New York Giants. It is an important event with last year’s game drawing a viewership of 111,000,000 – and that was just in the United States. That number made it the most watched television program in history. I know, personally, that it holds great importance because our local stores are having a run on nachos, beer and chicken wings. Ticket prices have seen a 15% drop however, with the average ticket going for a measly $3,420. The most expensive seats are located in Section 114, Row 5 and they are $10,589. I don’t know why – maybe they’re closest to the restrooms. By the way, there is still a suite available for $445,000.
Now, for as long as we have known each other, my husband has attempted to explain this game of football to me. For the same amount of time, I have pretended to be listening. I do think that I have learned some things about it, in spite of myself.
First, though, I have to comment on football fashion. Fans of football wear some very interesting outfits. I have seen some of these people place wedges of cheese on their heads, which serves as both a symbol of your team loyalty while also providing a snack. You’re not supposed to bring you own food inside the stadium, so you can smuggle things in by making it appear to be a part of your clothing. The most amazing sight, however, is the men who paint their faces and bare torsos in their team’s colors. I actually watched a game a few years back where this was done at a Patriot’s game, during a blizzard, when the windchill was measured in negative numbers. I understand that those fans could not be removed from their seats until Spring, when they had thawed enough to be taken away without shattering into a million pieces.
The players are also working some odd fashions of their own. Their pants are very form fitting, something that enhances my viewing pleasure. The fit of their jerseys confounds me a little because something is not right with their shoulders. I don’t know what’s going on under there, but their shoulders look about as wide and as natural as Taylor’s lips.
The players all have positions that seem to named after their body parts. There are defensive ends, offensive ends and tight ends – the last one I kind of understand (please refer to my comment above about uniform pants). Then there are players whose positions are obvious references to those oversized shoulder issues I mentioned. These men are running backs, quarter backs, half backs and full backs. I don’t know, they all seem the same to me.
The game itself is not as easy for me to follow. The two rival gangs line up on yard lines, looking pretty angry. One player passes the ball to another by trying to sneak it between his legs, so that no one else knows where it is. I think they should try something different because they’re not fooling anybody any more. Then the ball is thrown and the teams run into each other and crash and fall to the ground, often in massive heaps. Announcers then tell us whether they have had a successful “down”. From where I am sitting, it always looks successful. They have crashed and fallen down. I get it. They do it over and over. Frankly, if I was a player, I would get the message pretty quickly – get knocked down and stay down, because they’re only going to crash into you again. Scores are given during the talent portion. The players who can run the ball the fastest to the goal are given higher scores than the guys who can kick the ball through the goalposts.
Also on the field are the referees. They are there to ensure that the players don’t play too roughly or break the rules. Yea, like that’s working. The refs wear striped shirts to differentiate them from the players so that they are not run over by these human bulldozers. When things go really badly, the referees will throw a flag into the air meaning that they have surrendered and don’t want to get hurt. I don’t blame them, because no one is safe on that field. Sports reporters and cameramen have been flattened by these charging behemoths. Hell, even Janet Jackson didn’t survive unscathed and the only person near her was Justin Timberlake.
These games go on for a very long time. I have learned that there is football time and real time. Football games are played in four quarters with a game clock of one hour. In actuality, a football minute translates into three to four real minutes. Add in a halftime show, commercial breaks and a tie requiring overtime, and you’re into another day.
So there you have it. This is my version of the game of football. I will watch the Superbowl along with everyone else, not that I have any options on any other television station. Marlo and Sheree aren’t even trying to compete. My husband will try, again, to patiently explain what is happening. I will smile and nod and assure him that, yes, it makes complete sense. I don’t think he’s buying my nonsense anymore, but I have to hand it to him for persistence. In the meantime, I will be waiting for what I think is the real rivalry – the E*Trade baby versus the Budweiser Clydesdales.