Sunday marked Super Bowl XLVII, which means it's the 47th time I have not watched the most popular single sporting event in the country. I realize I am somewhat an outcast in this regard but I couldn't care less about football. I was only reminded who was playing the in this years's match-up by watching a comedic Samsung Super Bowl commercial on YouTube (Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd called them the San Francisco 50-minus-1ers versus the Baltimore Black Birds). In years past, when my wife and I went to Super Bowl parties I would often bring along an acoustic guitar and sing James Taylor and Jackson Browne songs to my friends' wives while their husbands watched the game. (It's still a big reason to play acoustic guitar: women love it.)
The national obsession with this three hour on-field battle has long mystified me. I simply don't get it. I care even less about wanting to get it. Thank goodness for the commercials. When I am forced to watch a portion of the game, at least the usually entertaining ads break the monotony of seeing two teams I have not followed during the regular season vying for a championship that doesn't matter to me. (Fortunately, I tuned in prior to Beyonce's sizzling, LIVE halftime performance to catch the Carl's Jr. ad featuring Danish model Nina Agdal) Granted, Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones's history-matching 108-yard kick-off return and the stadium power outage added some excitement to the beginning of the second half, when I tuned out. I respect the sport as a testosterone-fueled challenge to the finish. It's like an Ultimate Fighting Championship but with protective padding and better endorsement deals. I'd hate for my son to tell me he wanted to be a football player. I'd hand him an electric guitar or a calculator as I suspect he'd have a better life as a musician or an engineer.
Many of my boyhood friends not only watch the game, they know each of the players and their stats. Some are even in fantasy football leagues. We all need an outlet, I suppose. I dreamed of being a rock star, so I can't fault them for having their own passions. The nice thing about the game is that it brings families and friends together for a day of food and excitement, even if it is to cheer for players on one team to immobilize players on the other at any cost. If you walk down any residential street or pass by a sports bar on Super Bowl Sunday, stop and listen. You will hear stretches of silence punctuated by roars and screams, signifying a dropped ball, an interception, a completed pass, or maybe even a touchdown. For a few hours, millions of Americans ride a roller coaster of emotions, living vicariously through those gladiators on the field. It's like an afternoon of primal therapy for our nation. I confess that I tuned in again with two minutes left in the fourth when the 49ers were threatening the Ravens' once commanding lead. For just those final seconds, I was a football fan. Go Ravens!