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<i>Fortune</i>'s Stanley Bing

Fortune's Stanley Bing

Posted: February 1, 2008 06:30 PM

On Not Going to the Super Bowl


Getting there. It's horrible. There are no tickets. The planes are filled with crazy people on the way to be defenestrated.

Arriving at the airport. Bedlam. Woodstock without the drugs.

The hotel. It's okay. A little disappointing. But hey. You're not gonna be in your room for the weekend, right? Still... that airshaft was not exactly the view of the Arizona sunrise you were expecting.

In the lobby. Oh Christ. There's Bob Enema, yes, and the fact that that's his real name is proof that there is a God. Always hated the guy. Big friggin blowhard. Now he's surrounded by an entourage. Bob Enema with an entourage. That's what the Super Bowl is all about.

Gotta go out and party. Party party party. Party hearty. Drinking and drinking and drinking and drinking, but you can't get drunk. Too many professional obligations. That's why you're here. Work the Super Bowl. Biggest sales opportunity of the year. Party hearty.

Which parties are you invited to? That's a lot of it, too. You may not be invited to the Commissioner's Party. On the other hand, if you are, you may not be invited to the VIP area. You may have to stand outside the empty VIP area and realize that you are prostrated by the fact that you can't get into a place that real VIPs don't want to go to.

Eating and drinking and meeting and eating at meetings and drinking after meetings and then there's no way to get back to your hotel. Six hours in stinking traffic, stuck in the limo with Ernest and Juanita from Pittsburgh. Who are they? Are they connected to Sales or some other part of the organization? Are they vendors? Did they win a ticket? Who the frig are they?

Where are you seated in the stadium. Can you get on the field? There's Waffinger, he's junior to you and he's on the field! How did he get there?

Look at all those tiny little guys out there on the modular turf. Go... one of the teams. Neither of them come from my home town, so it's weird. I think I like the guys who are losing. I always root for the team that's behind. Go team that's behind!

Beautiful here. Gigantic crowd, everybody happy. Super Bowl is nice. I'm lucky to be here. Look at the lights over the stadium, cutting through the desert night. God bless America.

That was a good game. Wow... I had a lot of beer.

Now look at this. A miasma of humanity. A sea of flesh. Pushing. Everybody pushing. Can't move. Trapped by this gigantic, writhing mass of people. Where's my car? Gate what? Walking now. Walking and walking and walking. Ah, there's Andre.

Sitting now. Sitting in the car and waiting. An hour. Two. Ah, we're out of the parking lot at last.

Anyhow, all in all, I figure I don't mind one bit that I'm not going to the Super Bowl. Been there. Done that.

Also, you know... I don't have a ticket. Anybody got one?

Stanley Bing is a columnist for FORTUNE Magazine and may also be read on a daily basis at stanleybing.com