I believe in the Super Bowl.
I believe that cliché comments about toughness, made by men in make-up with pastel pocket squares, are in no way ironic. It makes sense to me that when you talk about a guy playing football, you need to preface your statement by saying, “when you talk about a guy.” Unnecessary comments are sometimes very necessary. Language like “smash-mouth, hard-nosed, north-to-south, and looking-to-put-points-on-the-board” are useful ways to describe an offense in motion, because they help us differentiate between the team that wants to win, and the team that doesn’t want to win. I believe that people like Ron Jaworski are the authority on weather, sports injuries, other people’s intentions, camera technology, blimp aerodynamics, stadium design, food, and history. I totally get why these topics frequently come up during live commentary. When a Fox sports broadcaster says the word “brave” during the national anthem, (As a high def camera zooms in on a female soldier while A-10’s fly low over the stadium) I believe the shit out of him.
I believe that a loose interpretation of the bible allows ample room for me to get drunk on a Sunday and yell sexual obscenities at Fergie during halftime. I believe in playing a drinking game that revolves around expensive commercials. I believe that the previous two sentences were the confusing recurring nightmare of the first Native American to see a white person rowing towards the beach. In a way, the Super Bowl provides me with a snapshot of what I imagine life was like in the 50s’ – wife in the kitchen, child slightly scared of me, I am drinking. I am Don Draper’s less successful brother. The Super Bowl makes me feel like Ron Draper.
I believe in Pittsburg having a black coach. I believe in this being referenced as part of a contractual obligation in a broadcasting deal. I think coach Tomlin has helped football make “great strides” towards something. It is super comfortable for me when race is brought up in discussions about football, because football is in no way segregated at every position on and off the field. There is absolutely nothing unsettling about a room full of white men on national television describing a young black man as a “beast, horse, animal, or monster” and then describing a white player as a “field-general, blue-collar guy, having heart not just athletics, and heady.” This has nothing to do with race. America’s past is not complicated. I am saddened that I never got to hear Pat Summerall say “swagger.”
I believe that the city of Pittsburg has a historical economic connection to an industry that is loosely associated with strength. Therefore, it is perfectly appropriate to make outlandish statements regarding the character of individual players on the Steelers who were raised in California and Florida. I think that Steelers players are “tougher” and that Packers players “are used to the cold.” The logic behind these assumptions is stalwart. On a similar note, I believe that there is a strong institutional memory within the locker-room of every pro sports team. Super Bowls played well before the birth of current players are relevant, and fair game to be referenced liberally as causal factors. Historical events are always on the minds of players during games, and they affect the outcomes of individual plays.
I believe in animatronic robots on the bottom of my screen. I yearn for the day that a small robot does the “dougie” on my television while Hank Williams Jr. sings in the background. My dream may come true. I am unaware that there is a one-to-one correlation between people who get unnecessarily excited about Super Bowl halftime commercials, and people who get unnecessarily upset with Obama when they have had a bad day. I am very unhealthy. I will need expensive health care in the near future. I will want it to be affordable. I hate Arabs. I love America. I believe in the Super Bowl.
This I believe.