Superbowl LIII will be played (performed? unveiled?) next weekend in Atlanta, which can only mean one thing: it is time for a nice ice storm. The last time Atlanta hosted the Superbowl, in 2000, the city was struck two weekends in a row prior to the event with ice storms. Everyone panicked, but I seem to recall that it all turned out well, except for the two folks who happened to bump into Ray Lewis after the game.
I hate to admit it, but the Superbowl holds no excitement for me. The last one to really get me going was Superbowl III, fifty years ago, when Joe Namath led the New York Jets to a stunning victory over the Baltimore Colts. Since then, I've watched a few Superbowls, but most years I just give it a miss.
Football really isn't my sport. My high school had excellent football teams during my four years there, but I can't say the same for my college. Clayton (NC) High School was usually in the hunt for top honors. Not so Dear Old Wake Forest. Wake Forest University, during my four years there, managed three wins and one tie. Yes, that was for the entire four years. The year without a win was during my senior year. They certainly didn't get better the longer I stayed there.
I've used this as a joke for so many years that I can no longer recall whether it is true, or not. At any rate, I'll throw it out there one more time. It's the only team I've ever known where the punter was the MVP, four years in a row.
As for professional teams, I've lived in two cities with NFL teams, and neither did very well during my tenure in each city. I moved to Maryland in 1978, and to Baltimore in 1979. The year 1978 was the beginning of a nine-year losing streak for the Colts. I moved from Baltimore in 1982. In 1983, the Colts played their final game as the Baltimore Colts. The team relocated to Indianapolis in the middle of the night on March 29, 1984. The name “Bob Irsay” is still reviled in Baltimore.
I moved to the Atlanta area in 1989, and moved out to the countryside in 2005. Let us stipulate that in 1998 the Falcons had a great season, which netted them an appearance in the 1999 Superbowl. They were unable to defeat the Denver Broncos that year, but any year that results in a Superbowl appearance has to be a good year.
But that was the highlight. I am looking at the Wikipedia article on the Falcons, which refuses to give the win-loss record by year. It does give the overall record for the Falcons: 355 wins, 449 losses, for a winning percentage of 44.2%. The post season is similar, percentage wise: they win 45.5% of the time (10-12). I just don't seem to recall the Falcons as a powerhouse team during my tenure in the Atlanta area.
The television commercials associated with the Superbowl are eagerly awaited each year, but I'm really beginning to get my fill of commercials. It seems that so many now are Deadly Earnest, and Politically Correct. I've used a Gillette Sensor Excel razor for many years now, but once I have used up my pack of replacement blades, it is going into the trash. If I had wanted a lecture on toxic masculinity, I would have joined a feminist church. At any rate, I've always wanted to give the straight razor a try. I can't imagine that the commercials this year will be anything but MeToo-isms.
The halftime show is pure Hollywood: overkill to the 98th power. I have seen a few, but prefer to miss them now. That leaves me out in the cold every now and again (I had nothing to add to the water cooler conversation surrounding the 2004 “wardrobe malfunction” of Janet Jackson), but I can live with that.
It seems to me that the major reason for the existence of the Superbowl is to serve as an excuse for Superbowl parties. I've attended a few, and they usually are great fun, especially if they are attended by others like me, ladies and gentlemen who don't even know who is in the Superbowl. But inevitably there will be real football fans present, people with real interests in who wins, and who loses, and the viewing of the game will gradually become filled with tension. That is generally when I leave the party.
Kathy mentioned something this morning about the Superbowl, and I could have sworn I heard the word “party” in the conversation. I think she has been invited to one, but the jury is still out on whether I am allowed to attend. I wonder why?