Not So Super


Sunday February 3rd, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   The Super Bowl without the Green Bay Packers in it is about as interesting to me as an electric guitar is to an Amish musician. I couldn’t care less who wins or loses, and if it were up to me I’d just as soon there be some kind of unplanned power outage or something to get everyone talking.

Oh wait – that’s exactly what happened. I wasn’t going to watch even one play of the game this year until I received an invite from Mark Gumbinger to attend a party at his house and I said yes. He’s got the ultimate man cave in his basement complete with a state of the art sound system and one of the biggest screen TVs of all time, so that was a no brainer. I was flattered to be invited.

We hung out and watched the game, even though none of us had any vested interest in it. None of us had any money bet, and we didn’t do squares or anything like that. Some people I know are not able to watch any sporting event without betting something, but that demon never found me.

One thing I couldn’t help noticing was the pageantry of it all. It’s a manufactured holiday and is now ingrained in the American culture like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Right or wrong, that’s how big it is and we all got to talking about that when the power went out during the game. We’d first thought there was a terrorist incident, and I’m sure we weren’t the only ones guessing that.

Maybe there’s a bigger story behind it, or maybe it was just some minimum wager that pushed a wrong button at the wrong time. Either way it ended up affecting an event hundreds of millions of people were watching and betting on all over the globe and it is now etched in sports history.

Years from now sports fans will bring up “The Power Outage” Super Bowl and it will be a part of the common knowledge between us just as “The Immaculate Reception” in Pittsburgh or “The Ice Bowl” in Green Bay now is. Participants in this game will be interviewed to share memories.

What overwhelming astronomical odds it was also that the coaches were brothers. What are the chances of that happening? It’s ridiculously rare for anybody to make it to the big leagues in any sport much less brothers, and then to have brothers meet as Super Bowl coaches is off the charts.

Life itself is about overcoming tremendous odds. ONE sperm cell makes it out of billions that try, and nobody remembers the others. Nobody remembers the losers of any Super Bowls either, except for that team’s players and fans. People in San Francisco are bumming today, but nobody else really cares. I had no emotion watching the game whatsoever, except not liking Ray Lewis.

I find that guy absolutely reprehensible, both of his belief that ‘God is on his side’ and also for the incident he was implicated in where a double murder happened in his presence. He makes me nauseous whenever he comes on TV, and it seems so wrong that he gets two Super Bowl rings.

But what does it mean what I think? Not a lot. I bet less than .0001 of China’s billions couldn’t care less about Ray Lewis much less pronounce his name correctly. Wars are still going on in too many places and millions are still starving. That should put things into perspective, but it doesn’t.

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