SUPER SUNDAY

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Once again Super Bowl Sunday arrives. The NFL deserves congratulations for taking a football game that usually isn’t very exciting and turning it into the biggest day in sports. Millions, if not billions, of people who probably can’t tell you who is playing will be glued to their TVs around the world to watch a spectacle that gets more amazing every year.

Super Bowl XXXIX (or 39 for those of you who are Roman numerically challenged) is being played in Jackonsville Florida and pits the Philadelphia Eagles against the New England Patriots. The Pats are widely favored to beat the Eagles and pigskin prognosticators see a possible blowout. A blowout makes for bad football and the Super Bowl is famous for delivering some real stinkers. So why do so many people watch this thing?

The first reason is the commercials. Advertisers pay millions to capture eyeballs and if there’s one thing they know, humor sells. Back in the dot.com boom, we had 30 second spots that involved cat herders and performing monkeys. The problem is, half the time you have no real idea what they’re trying to sell. The other problem here in Canada is that the local networks override the US feed to subject us to uniformly horrible local ads. Whether they’re pushing some sitcom that needs a lot of help or it’s the Canadian Tire guy and his annoying family trying to sell us the latest product that is going to make our lives so much easier, the commercials bite, blow and suck. No problem, tomorrow morning all the million dollar US ads will be on the internet.

The second reason to watch the Super Bowl and its hours of pre-game blather is to glory in the excess that is US entertainment. Just when you think that they must have run out of angles, background stories and self-serving flag waving, they manage to pull out something else that just makes you say “Wow!”. I’m confident in speculating that we’ll see some tearjerking piece about one of the players who has a family member serving in Iraq and is the bravest person ever to serve in the best fighting force the world has ever seen. Not that this family member would ever fire a shot in anger – heaven forbid.

After about 6 hours of this crap, we’ll finally get to the big game. The gladiators will keep us occupied while we wait for the next ad and the HALF TIME SHOW. Paul McCartney is the headliner this year so I guess we won’t have any repeat of last year’s “wardrobe malfunction” that caused the whole world to go crazy and probably signalled the fall of modern civilization. At least that’s what the FCC told us.

I’m not immune to the hype and have no plans to sit at home reading a weighty volume extolling the virtues of macro economics with a smug look on my face. Hell no, I’ll be at Jake’s Boathouse smoking cigars, swilling Heinekens and laughing along with everyone else while the Budweiser Clydesdales play hockey or something equally ridiculous.

If we’re really lucky, a decent football game might actually find a way to sneak its way into the proceedings.

GO PATS!!