Superbowl Sunday 2/7/21

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

Full disclosure, this is not a sports post. Honestly, I’m not a sports fan. Growing up, when my father was watching Sunday football, I was watching movies on the “Football Hater’s Matinee” on one of the local television stations, before, in fact, cable. Back then, television came through the air in “rabbit ear” antennas. We had three channels, plus the public television channel. Yup, four channels, that was it.

The rabbit ear antennae were a source of great joy for our parakeet. Sunny used to fly and land on the antenna near the base and walk out towards the end until his weight caused the antenna to begin going down, and he’d just ride that ride!

My hypothesis is that I’m not a fan of sports because I was never close with my father. This might sound odd, but I think that most boys “bond” with their fathers over sports. My father rarely played “catch” with me or made me feel particularly welcome when he was watching sports or took me to games. Lacking these happy memories, I’m guessing that I’ve never developed the love for the game that so many men seem to have.

To be honest, when it comes to football, I usually lose interest around the fifth inning.

Now, to be fair, I do enjoy the commercials, or at least I used to. Of course, I always looked for the humorous ones. Not too long ago, a thirty second spot cost a million dollars, so the companies that advertised on the Superbowl would go all out in producing commercials with production value and an actual story line. Seems like these clever funny commercials are becoming rare as companies are starting to turn to “tearjerker” commercials. Ugh, terrible decision.

I wonder how long until companies start putting together pot product commercials.

When I was in high school, I did try out for football, but there are right reasons and wrong reasons to try to play. Melissa was the wrong reason. She never even knew I was alive anyway. Come the summer, I realized I would rather sleep than vomit, so that was the end of that adventure.

This is the time of year when I’m reminded every year that I’m older than the Superbowl.

In much of the world, they appropriately point out that the way we play it the game barely involves feet, and the “ball” is not even a proper spherical ball. Football usually refers to what we call “soccer” in the rest of the world, but let’s throw a little criticism back their way. See, I understand their argument, and I even agree with it, but they show a true lack of creativity when they simply refer to our game as “American Football” instead of coming up with a clever new name. Like “Ellipsoid Ball”. Although, honestly, I don’t think most Americans would understand this name, so I guess “American Football” is fine.

My plans for Superbowl Sunday is to help my friend to pick up a piece of furniture he purchased for his daughter. And shovel. Yes, I have to shovel snow. You know, I understand people who say, “I love snow”. Yes, it’s very pretty, and as a chemist, believe me, I truly appreciate the tetrahedral crystalline structure of the snowflakes, but it’s so cold, and so heavy and I have to shovel it. No, I don’t like snow. The irony is that I moved south from where I was living, and my friends up north have had sunny beautiful days as the snow accumulated here. It’s just not fair.

I also get to do work for my class like grading and preparing another homework assignment. Yuck. I guess every job has some component that is not fun, and for me, as much as I love teaching, grading has to be it. But that’s something I can do while watching the Superbowl.

I told my friends that if my team wins the Superbowl I will be paying to take them all to a celebratory luau in Hawaii. Of course, my team is Cincinnati, so they’re not even in the Superbowl. One of my favorite things to say is, “This is the year the Bengals will take the World Series.” Then I wait for somebody to point out that the Bengals are a football team, and the Superbowl is baseball. Then I reply, “Yes, but they have a better chance of taking the World Series than they do the Superbowl.” Yes, you can use that joke if you want to.

I heard that the previous president purchased a gold toilet. Now THAT sounds like a super bowl!

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