Okay, so what's all the fuss about football? Now that we're done with the Rose Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, the Orange Bowl and the Sugar Bowl, we're still waiting for Super Bowl. What happened to the fruit bowl and the salad bowl? I've decided it's all just much ado about turf.
Unless you've been an ostrich in the sand, or a Gingrich in the Crossfire, you cannot possibly have escaped the recent frenzy over football. It's halfback -- and halftime -- hoopla, sometimes known as pigskin pandemonium.
As I see it, and I don't often see it, in football everyone's always falling down. Down. Get it? Ten yards to a first down, it's down and dirty, and, if the coach of the day has a lucky streak, there may be a touchdown.
No one seems to ever get anywhere. They look down, they dress down, they act down, they break down. There's an occasional glorious pass, but mostly it's a lot of fumbling. And which way are they running? It's hard to tell when they're all so busy tackling, blocking, bumping, interfering, avoiding fouls, clocking penalties and, of course, falling down.
It's a lot of oversized, overstuffed men in gargantuan clothes with huge muscles wearing extra large outfits stretched across jumbo joints out-strategizing an opposing team over a small, orange ball.
I'd just about gotten the rules of baseball hammered down when the season pounded to a halt. After months of intensive memorization, pneumonic devices and abbreviated codes, I'd learned all the teams in alphabetical order -- Batting averages, MVP's and RBI's.
With baseball you've got simple rules: nine players to a team, three strikes to an out, four balls to a walk. In football you've got complicated penalties, illegal formations and rigid rules of tackling.
Baseball's like ballet: pitchers plié-ing, batters spinning and runners gliding, even when one slides into the mud and dust of home plate. Football's more like things that go bump in the night, even though it's the middle of the afternoon.
And, in the ultimate irony of football historical trivia, Super Bowl XLVIII's competing Western teams, the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, are heading East. Their two home states, Colorado and Washington, were both forerunners in legalizing marijuana for personal use. Denver vs. Seattle. Rocky Mountain High vs. Space-y Needle.
Both teams are named for animal Americana: Bronco, the powerful American cowboy horse, and seahawk, the powerful American osprey. Seattle vs. Denver. Boeing vs. Halliburton. Starbucks vs. Chipotle. What's more patriotic than Pike Place Market vs. Pike's Peak ? Pink salmon vs. Green chili. Seattle -- City of Clear Salt Water vs. Denver -- landlocked. Seattle's seaport vs. Denver's mile-high mountains. Washington State icons Bing Crosby and Bill Gates vs. Colorado's Jack Dempsey and John Kerry. Hillary Swank vs. Amy Adams.
Yup. Those tough Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos are heading to tougher Jersey City. Washington, the Evergreen state, and Colorado, the Centennial state, are heading to New Jersey, the Garden state.
Amidst the sounds of Springsteen and the streets of Hoboken, New Jersey never really seemed like the athletic state -- more like boardwalks and beauty pageants. Jets and Nets aside, it's still New Jersey: Atlantic City, Miss America and Snooki. Miss America, landfills and the Sopranos. It's Chris Christie turf, not Astroturf. New Jersey: the state of Whitney Houston, Connie Francis, Frank Sinatra, and Bon Jovi.
Back to MetLife Stadium and East Rutherford. I guess it's just an upside-down world, where all I can understand in between passes and quarterbacks is the music. Bruno Mars, I'll be listening.