Sunday, February 07, 2016

Super Bowl Sunday Comin’ Down

In which we observe 50 years of eating greasy food, drinkin’ and hollerin’ with friends and family at the TV

For God’s sake, don’t let the derps get you down
this time, Peyton. Stay focused.
Today, the NFL championship game celebrates a half-century of imposed tradition on the American scene. It’s been a lumpy gravy of a history, with years of bad matchups in which the outcome was all but predetermined. At least the Powers That Be fixed that, although it looks as if we might see the ghost of that concept as old, creaky Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos is sacrificed to the youth and energy of the Carolina Panthers tonight. If the Broncos win, it will be considered quite the upset, especially with the WWF-style narrative being sold of Old versus Young, etc.

Aside from the usual annoyance of having a narrative foisted upon us, we face an egregious breach in Super Bowl tradition. Despite 30 seconds of commercial time costing five million dollars this year, we can expect to see more Eat Your Vegetables, You Degenerate Football-Watching Man-Child nag spots in the fabled Super Bowl commercial breaks. These “let’s use this festive time as an opportunity to contemplate depressing irrelevancies” segments were widely mocked and derided when these turds were dropped in America’s punchbowl last year, yet some faceless gang of neo-Puritan buzzkills insists we “need” the issues of domestic violence, etc., brought to our attention in between plays—and during a time that, for 48 years anyway, was used to entertain the people at the party who aren’t all that much into the game.

At first I was angry and ready to swear of the Super Bowl forever after watching tonight’s landmark game, but I realized a new tradition is likely being born along with the pre-chewed Anti-Fun poison pills slipped into the commercials: people are simply going to go back to using commercial breaks as bathroom breaks, or as an opportunity to go outside for a smoke and talk loudly about the game. In a twisted way, it works out for the best, because it’s never a bad thing to get away from the television—especially when it’s puking prissy-pantsed propaganda into your bean dip. 

As for the good stuff, the outrageously funny commercials, the warm fuzzies with the puppies and horses and beer, the spectacular movie trailers—people will watch those Greatest Hits later on their phones as the 21st century digital gods intended. With the halftime show already surrendered to the womenfolk—all the better to keep them preoccupied while you talk about the game with your fellows—those nag spots insisting on “starting a conversation” will do just that. Except people will be conversing about what they want, away from the nags on the TV. 

And, God have mercy on us all, someone will laugh. Someone will laugh, loudly, and at something oh-so-dreadfully “problematic” the Anti-Fun Inquisition has forbidden us to laugh at. The thought of these prigs seething and squealing in frustration at this makes me smile. After all, it’s not merely our freedom that these cultural terrorists hate us for. It’s our very capacity for joy.

So here’s wishing everyone on all sides good food, fellowship, and loud, inappropriate laughter. As for me, GO BRONCOS. Aside from my usual inclination towards favoring the underdogs, between the White Christmases and legal marijuana, Colorado has earned this Carolina boy’s loyalty.
How can I not love this state?