COLUMN: Can't we just get drunk and watch infomercials?

Are you ready for some football?

Better question: are you ready for five hours of pyrotechnics, strange commercials, disappointing musical performances and a neutral-site football game between two teams that have no geographical connection to this area?

If you answered “yes,” Sunday evening was probably a rollicking good time for you.  If you answered “no” or “I really don’t care,” we should hang out together.

I don’t really understand the Super Bowl.

It doesn’t make sense to have a championship game at a neutral site. One of the most thrilling aspects of sports is a raucous home crowd that loves the home team and hates those “away” bastards.

The Super Bowl features a less partisan crowd, and the TV broadcast makes it sound like everyone there is indiscriminately cheering like an idiot from the kickoff to the trophy presentation.

As a hockey fan, I’m used to the Stanley Cup Finals; a best-of-seven series between two teams that had to win 12 games to get there. Like the World Series, there are home and away games with fans who attend out of passion. Fans just go to the Super Bowl to see a very expensive spectacle.

Maybe I’d enjoy the Super Bowl if I watched the rest of the NFL playoffs, but I can’t just pick an arbitrary team and root for them for one game (unless I have a monetary wager.)

Every cheer, fist-pump or high-five would be a lie.

In a small way, I feel like I’d be cheating on the Detroit Lions. I’m not sure why I’d feel badly about that, since the Lions have been horrible enough over the years to create a legion of Packers fans in Michigan, but I never get excited when teams other than the Red Wings score in a hockey game.

But the Super Bowl isn’t really about the football. It’s just an excuse to get together, drink and celebrate American culture (kind of like Thanksgiving).

I’m all for bending the elbow with friends, but I’d rather not pretend I’m celebrating because of a football game.

Can’t we just get drunk and watch infomercials? Or maybe we could get drunk and watch VH1 Classic, so we could see now-geriatric rock stars perform in their prime, instead of watching the reanimated corpses of the Rolling Stones or The Who at halftime. Shoot, we could even watch music videos on MTV (or its equivalent channel that actually plays music), if we have a hankering to see pop-stars lip-synching.

Maybe my attitude will change if the Lions ever make it past the first round of the playoffs. Let’s be honest, though; I’m not going to live that long. But, in my remaining 60 years, I’m not wasting five hours a year on the Super Bowl.


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