Super Bowl Sunday. Love or loathe it, but it’s hard to ignore. I’m not a football fan, although everyone else in my family is, some to the point of lunacy. So I grew up with it as a background note, even being dragged to the occasional Eagles game by my parents. But now that I’m an adult I never watch football. Except for that one Sunday, when like bazillions of other people I’m sucked into a vortex of canny programming, uber-patriotism, stunning talent, and even more stunning idiocy.
Even if you don’t like football, there’s something for everyone. Such as some truly spectacular men like the Packer’s Aaron Rodgers. Sue Grimshaw, the romance buyer at Borders, rightly pointed out that Rodgers is hunky enough and cool enough to be a hero in his own romance novel.
But even if the game or the athletes leave you cold there are the commercials, which have become a sport unto themselves. This year saw the usual group of winners, losers, and just plain bizarre entries – yes, I’m looking at you, Groupon.
The most popular choice so far seems to be Volkswagen’s Star Wars take-off. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to get a chuckle out of that one. I’m also a sucker for anything to do with dogs, so the Doritos Pug Attack and the Bud Light party commercial both gave me a laugh.
Then there’s the idiocy part, which was Christina Aguilera mangling the national anthem. And the halftime show by the Black Eyed Peas was pretty wretched, too, another example of spectacle overwhelming the performers.
But my favorite part of the entire evening happened before the game with the reading of the Declaration of Independence by current and former NFL stars, joined by military personnel and by people from local communities. Yep, I know how corny it’s supposed to be, and I’ve also read the criticism about it. But I found it pretty darn moving, and I also liked that it showcased the men and women in the armed forces who risk their lives every day.
I gotta say, though, by the end of the looonggg evening with way too much food and alcohol, I was happy – very happy – to turn off the TV. Super Bowl Sunday is a lot of fun, but I’m grateful it only happens once a year.