Even though Super Bowl XLVI turned out to be a pretty darned solid game of football all the way around, I was pretty much, well, meh, about it for most of the day. It’s no one’s fault, really, it’s just that I generally dislike both the Giants and Patriots. Not having an obvious team to root for kind of takes the shine off the game.
Basically what I’m getting to is that we didn’t make any big plans. In my youth, I wouldn’t have let a Super Bowl Sunday slip past without a day-long endurance test to see who could eat the most unhealthy crap, drink the most beer, make it to the end of the game mostly conscious, and still show up for work on time the next morning.
But that was my youth, before I had four kids. Don’t get me wrong, if Hell had frozen over, pigs and/or donkeys flew, and/or the End Times were upon us and the Bengals were playing today…
*pauses for laughter to subside*
*waits some more*
Ahem. Got that out of your system, now?
Ok, anyway, if that were the case, I’d have been all about a game-time shindig to make college frat parties look like high tea. But obviously, we’re safe on that count. So instead of trying to rearrange the school-night schedule for a game that ultimately makes no difference to me, I figured we’d just cool it today, and catch the game but not make a big thing of it.
A fan with a stake it had a day that probably looked something like this:
6:00 AM: Put game time ribs on smoker
10:00 AM: Put on your favorite team jersey and the Sunday underwear you’ve been wearing all season; find lucky football, super-glue it to you hand
12:00 Noon: Buy ALL THE BEERS
1:00 PM: Turn on that awesome pre-game show. Get stoked to learn about your team’s third-string QB’s grandmother’s kidney surgery. Be glad they have time to tell the story right.
2:00 PM: Start drinking ALL THE BEERS
Afternoon: Stuff pie-hole, repeat. Dips (the cream cheese industry lurves the NFL), finger foods, RITZ crackers
6:00 PM: RIIIIIIIBS! (probably some chicken wings too, right?)
8:00 PM: Two words – Alka. Seltzer.
8:05 PM: More BEERS
10:00 PM: Cheer/sadface your team as appropriate
10:30 PM: Face down on the shag carpet, in a a pile of Cheetos
I know, right? Sounds like an awesome day. Well, until you wake up with Cheetos imprinted in your forehead, your brain being squeezed in an industrial press, and a case of cottonmouth that Lake Erie couldn’t comfortably address. But if your team won, at least you’re cool with the aftermath. If they lost, though, well, that sucks double, almost as much as being a Bengal fan.
As a Bengal fan, then, what did I do with my Super Bowl Sunday?
6:00 AM: Barely awake, shuffle outside with the dog on a leash, cursing the sinister Gods of Early Weekend Morning. Grumble that instead of putting hickory on a smoldering fire and seasoned meats in a smoker for tasty consumption later (like some lucky fan with a good team), I’m standing in the cold, bleary-eyed, waiting for my pooch to pop a squat, which she’ll undoubtedly do at the most inconvenient time possible—like when that pair of grannies power-walks by with agonizing slowness, sniffing in disgust.
10:00 AM: Put on go-to-church clothes; go to church. Because the only way the Bengals will ever make it is with help from the Big Guy
12:00 PM: Post-church lunch at the Mexican place in the strip mall. Because you don’t want to eat anything today that might subconsciously support on team or the other. Pizza? Out. Italian? No good. Chowdah, oystahs, seafood of any kind? Oh no. A plate of carnitas, though, is a perfectly safe alternative. Also, Mexican has equivalent heartburn potential to most the foods those other party people are having, so you can play along!
1:00 PM: Check the guide on TV, realize pre-game coverage starts 5 hours before game time. Seriously, what is this nonsense? FIVE hours!? On top of everything from the past two weeks? What could they possible do with all that time? They’ll end up having to interview some player’s best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend who heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night*.
3:00 PM: Drop the dog off at the groomer for a quick bath/brush/nail clipping. Because when a dog stinks, it doesn’t matter what day it is. Oh, and it’s not like you’ve got anything better to do anyway.
Afternoon: Strategically avoid the piles of laundry that are mocking you and your lame, non-Super Bowl, semi-pro NFL football team. Attempt to take a nap. Fail. Instead, internally debate whether Super Bowl Sunday is enough of a holiday to override the recently enacted “No beer on a work night” rule. One additional look at that sarcastic a$$hole pile of laundry and the decision is made. Also, you need the beer to make to chili. Yes, of course you need beer for chili (as both an ingredient and a cooking aid). What kind of heathen are you?
6:00 PM: For the kids, pretend you are at a party, including the ubiquitous chips and dip, a few appetizers, and the obligatory bowl of Super Bowl chili. Seriously, I don’t care who you, but if you’re planning to watch the coin toss without a proper bowl of red (beans optional), you’re either a communist, a terrorist, or a Smurf. Either way, you’re not in my will.
8:00 PM: Two words – Alka. Seltzer. What? Did you not notice the combination of Mexican and chili? As if the gastric irritation isn’t enough, time to process the kids through the standard bath/bedtime ritual, keeping one eye on the game (since it was a good one and all).
8:05 PM: BEERS!
10:00 PM: Sigh wistfully that another NFL season is over and now it’s time for the long, bleak wait for MLB Opening Day.
10:05 PM: MOAR BEERS!
12:00 Midnight: Snoring like a baby…wait, no, that’s the wrong simile. Well, whatever. Sleep tight, NFL fan. Only two months to the draft.
I guess when you look at that way, I’m trading the ribs for not having a hangover. I’d say that’s a pretty worthy exchange.
Perhaps being an unengaged fan isn’t so bad after all.
Besides, the commercials were pretty good, now matter who won.
*A “Ferris Bueller” quote seem appropriate tonight.