I will admit to having no interest in American football. Neither do I delight in the bombardment of corporate advertising aimed at me via the US TV media. Consequently, I guess I’m something of a non-starter where matters relating to this year’s Super Bowl are concerned.
Normally, this strangely hallowed event would pass unnoticed in the Adam’s household, replaced by some suitable feature film or previously recorded documentary, or ignored, as music or computer served to provide more suitable entertainment.
Last night, however, it was the Green Bay Packers.
On arriving in America eight years ago, this name kept cropping up. I assumed Green Bay to be some industrial town employing an unusually high number of factory hands in the shipping department.
Eventually, I was informed of my mistake by my wife – a long-standing ‘Packers’ fan. She had developed a liking for the team while watching games on TV with her young son, and even though he’s now grown to manhood, the pair will still exchange ‘Packers’ titbits whenever they get together.
Consequently, last night the Super Bowl could not be casually tossed from memory in favor of a bit of Beethoven or a selection of latest blog postings. It was there; it was real; it was ‘The Packers’, so it had to be watched.
Let me make it quite clear from the start, my wife is not the sort of person to demand my attendance at the TV screen just because she expects my company. Not at all. For the first three ‘quarters’ (I believe that’s the terminology) I retired to my den, dabbled on the guitar, and wrote a post for Sparrow Chat.
It’s not that I’m against sport. It just doesn’t interest me. Also, any game that is composed of four, fifteen minute quarters, yet lasts four hours, is highly suspicious to my mind.
I’ve watched football games in Europe, what Americans laughingly call ‘soccer’, and they last ninety minutes, plus a fifteen minute break at half-time. Just occasionally, if there’s no decider, an extra thirty minutes will be added, but that’s fine; it’s in the rules.
So far as I’m aware there’s nothing in the American Football rules to say a game must last four hours. Especially as, for half of that time, there’s no game, only adverts. God alone knows what the players do during the advertising breaks that seem to occur every two or three minutes, and last for five. According to my wife, who knows about these things, they probably “huddle and talk tactics”.
Out of a four hour game the actual time spent ‘in action’ is probably less than twenty minutes, so two hours of tactic talking in between the ‘action’ seems somewhat excessive in the circumstances. Not so much a game as a board meeting.
After three hours, or so, I was getting a bit lonely in my den so wandered into the living room to inquire after the score. Apparently, it was very exciting as the ‘Packers’ were in the lead and it was the last quarter, with under ten minutes to go.
I decided I could probably suffer ten minutes of lumbering Michelin men so settled down on the couch. Half an hour later, I was becoming more and more frustrated as the game kept interrupting the advertising, which was infinitely more interesting than the sport.
I began to mentally record the number of advertisers who relied on violence to get their products across. Soon, I wished I hadn’t bothered. I’m usually adept at mental arithmetic, but the numbers became too great.
By the end, while everyone else was jumping up and down celebrating the Packers’ triumph, I was still wondering what on earth America was inflicting on its kids, most of whom would have been up watching the great game.
And, finally, who was that God-awful yodeler who murdered the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’? Never mind that she fluffed the words, it would have been adequate had she sung in tune.
Why didn’t they employ a professional?
Filed under: Not-so-Super Bowl