I apologize to the late baseball legend Yogi Berra for borrowing one of his iconic sayings to relate to this game called football. Not to be confused with what the rest of the world generally refers to as football (soccer). No, this is about of OUR football…the NFL, the oblong ball, the helmets, the pads, the game where the players can carry the ball and legally kick other player’s asses into submission. The true contact sport.
Yes, the regular season of NFL football is over, not to say the season season is over by any means. It’s time for the playoffs. And at a time when I can truthfully say that I’ve watched more football this season than the last ten seasons combined…I’m kind of, somewhat interested in the playoff games.
I am not a sports fan by any stretch of the imagination. Basketball? Meh. Baseball? Fair weather fan. Soccer? You jest mon frere! At times I lamely followed the progress, or lack thereof this season, of the San Francisco 49ers. Raised in L.A. in the 50’s and 60’s everyone loved the Rams, the Dodgers, and the UCLA basketball and football dynasties. UCLA stood for University of California at Lou Alcindor (borrowing from an old Bob Hope joke). Living in a big city, I went to games…I was a fan in my teens! But recently, not so much. Why? Too much money involved, too much drama, too much hype, too much whining, too many rules…no more sports heroes to look up to. I saw Roman Gabriel at a Bob Hope USO show in 1972 in the Philippines and looked forward to his appearance more than seeing Joey Heatherton who was in the same show! Who? Roman Gabriel was quarterback of the Los Angeles Rams for eleven seasons from ’62 to ’72. Oh, and for the youngsters, who is Lou Alcindor? Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
So, which NFL teams(s) are still in the race? Couldn’t tell you at the time of this writing (the Monday after the last regular Sunday). There are 12 hopefuls right now. I do know the 49ers are NOT. I think the Seattle Seahawks ARE. I mention the Seahawks because my kids live in Washington and Jen is a fervent fan. Sorry Raiders fans, I am NOT. I will not explain why for fear of being beaten up! ‘Nuff said?
Super Bowl 50 is still 5 weeks away, February 7th in Santa Clara, just 80 miles away. I’m not sure there are any seats still available, probably not…I wouldn’t go anyway. Again, like I said, I’m not a sports fan. Though if someone handed me a ticket to the Super Bowl that included a free ride, I would certainly attend. Again, I’m not a sports fan – being a fan would be a requirement to withstand bay area traffic even to attend that event.
So this leaves me in the same boat as most of the rest of us. We’re Super Bowl party fans. I would drive across my town to attend a Super Bowl party. It’s unlikely that will happen though. I will not explain for fear of losing what friends we do have left…and being beaten up! And that leaves Loretta and I with the usual Super Bowl scenario: hunkered down at home alone watching the game on and off (depending on what teams are in it and how boring the game is). Regarding halftime entertainment – Beyoncé? Coldplay? I’d rather be watching a soccer game (the other football)! The Superbowl commercials – not we’re getting somewhere. These advertising splurges are the highlight of Superbowl now. Some of these are reason enough to watch this most-watched spectacle. The Budweiser Clydesdales/Golden Retriever puppies…sure to make a showing again this time around.
I haven’t started planning my Superbowl-watching snackfest yet. Afterall, it’s still 5 weeks away. Although I am more enthusiastic about what kind of “Superbowl food” we’ll be having than the actual game itself. Something different? Asian Hot Wings? Armenian Meatballs? Shepherds Pie on a Stick? Perhaps just a bowl of my famous chili with Chili Cheese Fritos crumbled on top. Whatever we decide to snack on during Superbowl 50, it promising to be more satisfying that any of the games in recent history. They (the games) have been just plain boring. To quote many play-by-play guys during the last few games this weekend, “What are they (the coaches) thinking? Go for it! Do something exciting, creative, innovative, dangerous! There is no tomorrow! There is no Vince Lombardi trophy for 2nd place!” The Hail Mary pass should be tried early on in these games, not just with 4 seconds left! Go for it!
Today (Monday, January 4th) I plan to actually read a few playoff-related articles. I’m going to “invest” a little in post-regular-season NFL blather attempting to decipher the “if this team does this then that team will have a chance at yada-yada” diatribes. At this point in the festivities it’s pretty much all-or-nothing, right? Win the game or go home? What another team does or doesn’t do won’t affect YOUR team’s future and being in the Superbowl? They gotta win! Right?
Like I said, I am NOT a sports fan. But I am now a post-season interested party. That’s the most enthusiasm I can muster – the most in the last ten years or so anyway!