I consider myself a sports fan, but not a fanatic. If you want to know what a fanatic is-tune in to any sports talk radio show and listen to these callers: they have an astonishing ability to spew out endless sports related minutia.Needless to say the past two weeks leading to this weekend's Superbowl is filled with so much meaningless verbal vomit it makes me wonder about this 24/7 world media we live in, and I work in the cable TV business. On TV, the radio, print or the internet- every freaking aspect of this game is covered-ad nauseam.
The first shot of absurd blitzkrieg coverage began just as the last championship game ended with the Seattle Seahawk's victory. The team's cornerback, Richard Sherman went into some over the top tirade about how great he is. So what? A professional football player bragging? What's so newsy about that? These same guys always partake in some insipid dance every time they make a touchdown. I'm not sure when that gimmick began, but it must have been around the same era when pro tennis players started making loud grunting noises every time they hit the ball. I've heard countless interviews with players, coaches, owners and other sports broadcasters who ask the lamest of questions. The other day on the CBS morning show, a question was asked about why it was so important to a city that it's team win.What kind of BS is that? What person in their right mind wouldn't want their home town team to win? I'm from Cincinnati, and our team has just begun the era where we make it to the first round of the playoffs. That will be as good as it gets for quite some time for the Bengals, a team that has yet to win a Superbowl. Go back an look at their record from about 1999 on for the next 12 years. They were once considered one of the worst sports franchises in history, so getting to the playoffs is a big deal.At least when the Bengals finally get booted out of the season-it's the last gasp you'll hear of that moronic war-chant the hillbillies of Cincinnati love to shout-over and over again, "Who Dey" (as in "who they think gonna beat them Bengals"?). Unfortunately, there's always a team somewhere who will take up that taunt, and beat "dem" Bengals.
Now we move into the last hours of media overkill and we will see clips of the over-hyped TV commercials which have taken on a life of their own. They should get some hype as I think they may cost about $30 million a minute. We will see, I'm sure some lovable but funny kids, animals, sport's fans and players who will somehow convince Americans to buy a product or service based on a lovable or funny moment in time.I think seeing Richard Sherman doing a song and dance along with some gang members from Los Angeles might add some humor to all the thug attacks he's been getting since his rant went global.They could even super impose a graphic of Fred Astaire and have them dance to a classic like Bauble, Bangles, and Beads (ala bling). When big media's involved-anything's possible-especially at $30 million a minute.
I'll be watching like everyone else, and just maybe, with enough wine in me, I too will laugh when a horse and a puppy sip a Budweiser together, or whatever. Penguins are always funny, and have been in lately so maybe they'll pop up. Having a team of Penguins super-imposed in Atlanta traffic would have been a good laugh, but that may have been too recent a story to mock in a commercial so soon.All I know is that Monday morning, all media everywhere-worldwide will be talking about the Superbowl, down to each quarter, each snap, and each commercial. It will be stripped down, and gone into deeper than an autopsy of a young-dead celebrity. The commercials will be voted on during the lame early hours of those wacky morning radio shows where everybody laughs, but nothing funny is said. There will be insane coverage about the weather, but it won't be the story it could have been had there been a lot of snow tomorrow night-something predicted NOT to occur. Too bad because it would have been fun to see a snow storm at the Superbowl. I don't even know who is scheduled to be doing the half time show, so I have the feeling the entertainment will be average at best. I hope it's not Rap or Hip Hop, and I don't like Heavy Metal either, but I'm sure that's not going to happen.
In the end, all I want is a damn good football game. There's no guarantee of that, but I also hope this big event gets started as close to 6:30pm as possible. If there's one thing I've learned not to enjoy, it is the big games that start at 8;30 at night: by the time these games get anywhere near an end, it's usually the next day, and for an aging baby boomer-that's just way past my bedtime. Since I'm not a fanatic, I never really got into the favorite ritual at football games-the tail-gating parties. These wild freaks begin drinking in the morning before the game-at the game itself, and after the game somewhere. I have to hand it to the American sports fanatic on one level though- anybody who can literally drink alcohol from morning until night-straight through-can handle his or her liquor. It's too bad there's not an Olympic event for that because we Americans would win hands down every time (not too sure if we can beat the Russians though-all that straight vodka!).