Tag Archives: NFL

Too Cool To Watch The Superbowl?

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We understand that you are too cool to watch the Superbowl.

We have seen your posts, tweets and instagrams. Your snarky “Wait, there’s a game on?” quips followed by equally as creative “Sportball!” trolls have not gone unnoticed!

You have proven unequivocally that you are cooler than millions of people worldwide watching this “boring, pointless, empty spectacle.” You are not a sports worshiping, popular culture guzzling cog in the machine; we get it.

You are different.

You are unique.

You are…….. an INDIVIDUAL!

You stand out amidst the masses; you stand above the mindless consumer horde as you post selfies of your most recent Dungeons and Dragons campaign or you posing in oddly suggestive positions with your cats……in your parent’s basement.

It must be soooooooo annoying to see your various social media feeds gummed up with Superbowl references. I understand that the only recourse you have is trolling people online to put the attention on how utterly evolved a person you are.

I am aware that you are going to hate me for saying this: In this country, Football matters.

Lots of people care about it.

Many of those people are intelligent, observant folk who can even appreciate the frivolity of watching millionaires play other millionaires in a game run by billionaires while we all watch and make them richer and richer.

Yet might I state that the Super Bowl is a cultural phenomenon, if you chose to live outside of it you are missing out on a deeper understanding of America, the pulse of culture, popular morality, the Zeitgeist, adverting, politics, economics, narratives and the current perception of the “American Dream” so many of us are chasing. There is much to learn from the spectacle; quite a bit to debate, digest and process. It will help you understand people today far better than any sociology or psychology book you can pick up.

There are heroes and villains on either side (mostly villains in this particular match-up). There are archetypal characters, underdogs and overlords. There are perceptions about the shifting sands of morality in our present cultural climate.

There is a deeply social, communal element to all of this. People gather socially and feast, partaking in merry-making and a respite from the trials of the workplace/reality for a bit. If you are honest with yourself you probably have something like this in your own life.

I saw a post from a young teen that read “Tonight’s game tells me that I was lied to when they say ‘Cheaters Never Win.’”

How can you tell me that this is neither important nor intriguing? This child is wrestling with a common moral standard that has been passed down to him versus the reality he perceives played out on the HD screen in front of him. This may be an existential crisis for him as he processes good, evil, integrity and character. How can these elements be so curtly dismissed?

We are all nerds for something. Bill Belichick is a nerd (an evil, evil one, but a nerd, none the less) for football. LeBron James is a nerd for Basketball. Daniel Day Lewis is a nerd for acting. Stephen King is a nerd for Literature. Kanye is a nerd for music. Kim Kardashian is a nerd for……. celebrity celebration?

Criticize if you like but please don’t believe that football is unimportant. Anything that attracts this much attention is objectively significant whether you agree or not.

You don’t have to like it; just ignore it in peace (people will respect you more).

I promise that I won’t troll your posts with negative rants about your love for 90’s Anime, Live Action Role Playing, breastfeeding techniques, Folk Music or competing Operating Systems.

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Calm Down Steeler Fans! Take a Moment to Cherish What We Have.

I have a ritual.  At the end of every football season directly after the Superbowl ends, I stagger downstairs, open up my media drawer and pull out two battered and worn DVDs.  I peer down at those two black and gold cases and reminisce for a few moments before throwing the first one into the player.  This is how my football season ends each year.  I take a moment to remember how blessed we Steeler fans have been.

I know the Black and Gold have 6 Rings in total (in case you didn’t know that is the most in NFL history) but the Steelers of my generation have two. I don’t forget the dynasty of the 70s but those weren’t my Steelers; these are.  I am like most fans, rabid for another victory.  I remember the chants through the 90’s and 2000’s “One for the Thumb!” Then we got it.  It didn’t take long to hear about “Sixburgh” so that we could pull ahead of the hated Cowboys and cocky 49ers.  Then we got that.  “Stairway to 7?” we are still salivating for that one (thanks Aaron Rodgers…….)

Last night as I watched that game something occurred to me.  We are never happy.  Not just as Steeler fans (but really, we are never happy) yet as human beings.

I think all of this can exemplified in the case of Peyton Manning.

I mean really: they guy is a 5 time MVP, first ballot Hall of Famer, he has already won one Superbowl and is in the conversation for the best Quarterback to play the game (not to mention the fact that he could probably purchase an entire Third World Country on a whim with the amount of much money he has accrued).  Yet that man is undone and destroyed right now because he couldn’t win ANOTHER Superbowl.  He is experiencing a low that a mere mortal like me could probably never know.

It seems that football is the very much so like life.  We want it all and we want it now and we want it again and again, better than the last time for all of eternity.  Often times we are like little kids screaming “Again, Again!”

Do we ever take time to cherish what we have, how we have been blessed?  Have we become so obsessed with stockpiling “victories” and trophies that we miss the special moments, the small things and the true blessings we could be enjoying?

I’m sure this is why I was a subpar/mediocre High School football player.  I just don’t “get it.”  Football is about conquering and taking what you want as if you were a modern day Viking, sailing the seas looking for monasteries to plunder. Being the best.  All of the time.  No matter what.

Amass a bunch of trophies then retire at the point when your body literally cannot work properly and hope that there are no scandals to soil your legacy after they put you 6 feet in the ground.  Maybe there is more to life than that.  Maybe the trophies are meant to be temporary, fleeting and unfulfilling.  Perhaps the only meaning they truly have are the memories shared with the people you love, the relationships that you forge and the lives that you (positively) change.

I root for the Steelers each year. I would love some more Superbowl memories; however it is okay to take a moment to cherish what we have.