Saturday, 1 February 2014

I decided not to write a Super Bowl Rant

Most of my friends have no great fondness for the Super Bowl so I decided not to rant about it.

Instead I drove down to Trader Joe's to purchase good cheese, fine coffee and other comestibles.

En route I wondered whether I should break down and look at preview of one of the super-bowl ads. "Comcast" keeps encouraging me to open what they title "Bud Unveils Adorable Super Bowl Ad"  Nah.  I'll save my adoration for God and for wonderful people.

My journey took me very near to Harry's Sports Bar and Grill.

I resisted the temptation to stop by and look at the 63 (yes 63) large screen T.V.'s they have set up for "the Game".

On my way home I stopped by a 7-11 store to get a couple of small bags of their very good "kettle cooked chips" (crisps).

I tried hard not to think about all the food which is deemed to be essential for Super Bowl Parties:  Chips and Dips, "Wings" ( a poultry industry rip-off if ever there was one), Mac n Cheese etc.;  and of all the food which will be wasted and thrown away.

Late in the morning I decided to make some soup for my lunches for the next few days. To "my not quite horror" my big cooking pot sprang a leak (at the joint where the pot meets the base).  I hurried off to "Target" to purchase a replacement and cheerfully enough paid the 8% sales tax.

Oh my goodness.  I remembered that the National Football League is exempt from taxation. It is treated like a charity and not as business.

Back at home I had another stab at making soup.  There were potatoes to wash and dice into half inch  cubes. .  I thought "well twenty four half inches makes a foot, and three feet make a yard". I learned that when I was a wee lad. Dicing is a bit mindless so my mind wandered and became very British.

"What manner of damn fool game", I thought,  "has to stop every 62 seconds so that yards can be measured.  'Tis all very slow and boring, and more like a dress maker's convention than a game.

By mid afternoon my soup was made.  It was my very first attempt at making leek and potato soup, and damn -  it was very good!  (Thanks in part no doubt to the butter, heavy cream and butter-milk which are part of the recipe).

Doubtless you have been happy to read about my mundane activities this day, and glad that I did not rant about American Football and the Super-Bowl.

As I wind myself down for bed I recall that back in New England I would listen to my "one and only sports programme" on our local NPR radio station.  Hosted by Bill Littlefield it was a good hour of reports about all manner of sport/s.

The radio show was called "It's Only A Game". That was its genius, to recognize that "It's Only A Game".

Is it "only a game"?  I think not.

I think about:

1. The entirely awful College Football system which sucks in young men with the (mostly vain) promise that they will achieve professional status (and wealth) -  but wilfully neglects their education.

2The out of whack salaries paid to top football players (Peyton Manning - $18 million for one season), and to team coaches etc.

3, The utter commercialisation of the Super Bowl - instanced by one up-coming commercial which will cost $4.5 m for a 30 second broadcast - 

and by the relentless "pushing" of the Super Bowl on radio and T.V., in newspapers, and on the net as if it were important.  It's not.

(Can you even imagine a T.V. cooking show which demonstrated how to make "Mac and Cheese Cupcakes"  for the "not to be missed" ultimate Super Bowl party.  I do not need to imagine it - I watched a few minutes of the show.

4. The "gosh and awe" response to the news that opera singer RenĂ©e  Fleming will sing the National Anthem, by men who would not recognize a bit of good opera were their wives to sing it over breakfast.

5. My  understanding that the entire world of sport ( American baseball, hockey, basketball, soccer, ice hockey); National and International Association Football (Soccer);  Tennis;  Golf; The Olympics etc.  is  vast commercial enterprise, and should be enjoyed for what it is - a business. Let's not pretend that it has to with some kind of old fashioned amateur sportsmanship.

Please I beg you (and I mean this sincerely) enjoy the Super-Bowl of that is your thing.

But please also remember that on a world scale it's not that important, and that "It's only a game".

And miss my promised rant!

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