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I have been a fan of the Denver Broncos since I was in high school and let's just say the late 80's was not an easy time to be a Broncos fan. Sure, sure they made it to two Super Bowls in three years (1988, 1990) but they lost decisively in each. (Suppressed sob.) The late 90's was way better- winning 2 back-to-back Super Bowls in 1998 and 1999.
So sufficed to say I have watched more than a few Super Bowl and thought that I would offer a few Pro-Tips for how to enjoy this very American TV event.
I need to say this up front: I LOVE watching the Super Bowl! By admitting this publically it makes me a complete hypocrite any time I say I hate reality TV. The Super Bowl is the Big Daddy of reality TV. It is so cheesy that my fingers are often orange by the end of the show!
The first step to enjoyment is to embrace the Cheese! Roll in it! Savour it on your tongue! You MUST understand that the Super Bowl is not really about football. It is about the business of how Americans want to project themselves to the world and this is done with a 5-day advertising blitz for billions of people. And we all- everyone- flock to it like rats to the Pied Piper.
So take this idea, strip off the Instragram filters that are applied to this spectacle and enjoy it for the mindless entertainment it is meant to be. Here is my advice for how to enjoy the Super Bowl:
- In September of each year pick a team, any team, and make a wager with someone that your team will get to the Big Show. Likely, you will be wrong so be prepared to pick another team in late January of the following year. It happens; best to get over it. Don't take it personally. If, by some odd chance, your team does make it to the end- totally take credit for having helped them along the way.
- My best advice is to not watch anything on TV- at all- for at least 4 days before the Super Bowl. But if you must watch TV avoid NBC, FOX and all American Sports channels. If you do you will drown in your own tears for watching the in-depth soft-focus interviews of everyone even remotely related to the team. Soup to nuts everyone gets their turn- on both teams! There will be 30 minute special on the ferocity required to be a water-boy or towel-girl in the NFL.(Seriously, they are all PhD'd sports therapists ...to carry towels!) There will be a 1 hour special on the cheerleaders, with focus on one special cheerleader who has over come something significant (best guess: an eating disorder or tragic early hair loss) and will speak passionately about how her girls, God, football and the (insert football team name here) have helped her to love herself for who she is today. There will, of course, be interviews from the latest "hero" of the NFL who was last year's bad boy/felon. My favourite is always the 2 hour "documentary" of the aging veteran player (real age 34-38, equivalent football age 75-125) who is either retiring shortly, having his last game or is on a "come back" having never actually left the league!
- Turn on the TV no sooner than 1 hour before the game. With this amount of time you will see the last highlight reel for the season focusing on the two teams playing today. It will be filled with slow-motion captures, miked athletes on-field during clutch plays, crowd shots, and sit-down interviews with coaches and QBs talking about excellence, teamwork and leadership. The producers of the show guarantee you will be inspired. At about this point the entertainment level of the commercials will start to increase.
- 30 minutes 'til game start will get you team introductions, fireworks, coin toss and singing. Still nothing you really need to see but this is where it starts to get interesting. Songs will be sung to glorify the State of the Union and the battle about to be fought. Most singers do a good job but occasionally someone will bungle the words. It will be funny and, generally, overly long. The good commercials start now!
- The game starts. Yada, yada, yada. There will be throwing and catching. Highlights will be replayed to tell you when you should either cheer or boo. Lots of commercials!
- Half time: there will be a very showy half time show of random current and aging pop/rock stars. It will be what people are talking about tomorrow at work- so pay attention. Half of the people in the world will criticize this performance. The other will defend it and call it "artistic albeit slightly off-key". Whatevs- let's get back to the
- Back to the Game:Yada, yada, yada. There will be more throwing and catching. More commercials!
- Last 2 minutes of the game (25 minutes real time). This will last forever, no matter how the game is proceeding.
- Game done! Don't worry there is still another hour of Super Bowl left even once the football is all gone. The winning team will be acting like they just WON THE WORLD! They are GOING TO DISNEYLAND and politely congratulating their opponents for having LOST. We circle back to the speeches on excellence, teamwork, and leadership.
As wool is my witness: Denver Broncos, I will always choose you!
HAPPY SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!
Dad, you owe me $10! Dad I owe you $10.