The Super Bowl is coming up this weekend. I of course will not be watching it, because I find football tedious to begin with, and particularly so when it seems to stretch out for what feels like days. Nonetheless, it's been my tradition for some years to write my own take on the occasion, from the perspective of an unnamed reporter who keeps getting sent on odd assignments- but at least is spared from the wrath of his former editor.
Philadelphia Eagles To Face Kansas City Chiefs In Bloated, Pointless Game
Glendale, Arizona (AP). Once again, it's that time of year. No, not taxes. That would probably take less time and be more interesting. The Super Bowl is being played this week in this southwestern city, part of the greater Phoenix area. After a tumultuous season in the NFL, two teams are left in contention: the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs.
For whatever reason, the event is huge, an annual tradition of ratings numbers, big home parties, high concept advertising, spectacle, and a halftime show that really has nothing to do with anything and tends to get ridiculed after the fact. Oh, and there's also a football game.
This reporter, however, is not a football fan. This reporter would rather have teeth pulled. However, this reporter has people who enjoy his writing, particularly in unpleasant situations, and so this reporter's editor has sent him on assignment to cover the Super Bowl, and to be as snarky as he wishes. This is a good thing, this reporter supposes, and it's a week in Phoenix, a long way from the proverbial icebox back home (editor: so cold... so cold... we're in a Donner Party situation here.) This reporter is also free from his previous editor, who at last word was still confined to St. Bedlam's Home For The Hopelessly Insane.
As mentioned, there's a lot of spectacle, not to mention speculation. Who will win? To be brutally honest- who cares? It's only a game, and a pretty pointless one at that. And what sort of shock value and wardrobe malfunctions will happen in the halftime show? Speaking of which, if this reporter was in charge of the Super Bowl, this reporter would insist on having Lewis Black do the halftime show, if only to have millions of people at home ask why that man is swearing so much.
But this reporter is not in charge. And so instead we get a halftime show featuring Rihanna, who's avoided the NFL for several years, not to mention live performing. Inevitably something will happen that people will be talking about. Perhaps it'll be lip synching. Or wardrobe malfunctions. Or outrageously dumb costumes by back up dancers. Which makes one ask the question- why do these acts need back up dancers (editor: I have no idea.) She's to be the headliner- which means she'll bring along other acts for absolutely no reason. And spend lots of time frowning at everyone.
Meanwhile, there's actual football being played (editor: unfortunately). The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs are playing for the championship. Perhaps in an ideal world, they'd all come out onto the field and simultaneously break their legs, meaning they couldn't play and thus fry the brains of hundreds of millions of viewers upon realizing this would mean there can't be a Super Bowl (editor: great idea, but we don't live in an ideal world.) Much is being made of the drama of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his ankle injury possibly affecting his performance.
"Look, all he has to do is get through the game," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, one of the most hated men alive, said to reporters. "That's it. If he's going to end up crippled for life after that, well, I don't give a **** anyway."
"You realize all of us just recorded your contempt for the health of one of your players, right?" this reporter noted.
Goodell looked confused. "I said what now?"
He was quickly ushered away by aides. A statement from his staff apologized and said that the commissioner had mixed his medication with expired cough syrup and vodka, and he didn't mean that.
Another part of the drama around the game is the retired (again) Tom Brady, who stepped aside (again) after his Tampa Bay Buccaneers faltered. Brady has said he'll be joining the Fox broadcasting team, but not for the Super Bowl. By this time next week he might be coming out of retirement (again) to play for the Rams (editor: apparently he hasn't heard of quitting while he's ahead).
Brady is around in Glendale at the moment, talking to anyone who'll listen. "I don't know what to do with myself. I mean, I'm divorced... probably because I kept playing football after saying I'd retire the first time. And I'm not old enough to coach yet. Football is all I have to live for, you know what I mean? Anyway, that's beside the point. Maybe Kansas City will let me sign a one day contract so I can play in one more Super Bowl. Hey, there's an idea..."
Another unwelcome presence around the pre-game festivities is a one time star of the game way back in the day who became infamous. O.J. Simpson, who got off for the murder of his ex-wife and Ron Goldman, but got tossed in jail for the Las Vegas robbery debacle involving sports memorabilia, has been out of prison since 2017 and apparently a fully free man, citing good behaviour. This reporter would dispute that, because Simpson has repeatedly threatened to kill him during previous interactions.
Simpson was talking to a handful of people at one of the events this week, touting himself as usual. "The thing is, the NFL should just let me back in. I mean sure, they let me keep my pension, which is the only reason I'm not begging on the streets. I mean, those damned lawsuits from those mother****ers took the rest of my money. But the Juice is the best of all time, baby. The best of all ****in' time! Show some respect for the best of all time."
At this point Simpson saw this reporter. Last year Simpson had threatened this reporter in front of witnesses again, and had promptly broken his hip before he could do anything. "You! You're back here?" Simpson yelled, pointing. "You're the mother****ing ***hole who keeps tellin' people I threatened to kill you!"
"Which you have, in front of multiple witnesses," this reporter replied.
"Shut the **** up!!!" Simpson screamed. "Shut the **** up and stop tellin' people I threatened to kill you, mother****er, or I'm gonna ****in' kill you!!!!"
At this point, Simpson started to charge forward through the crowd, but tripped and fell. There was the sound of something snapping, and Simpson screaming. "Oh, ****!!!!! My other hip!!!!!!"
Simpson was removed by ambulance from the scene to be treated for a broken hip. He was also accompanied by police who were going to have him charged for death threats (editor: good).
Another figure present at the moment, even though his team didn't make the playoffs again, is New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Belichick was grumpy when talking to reporters. "What people should be talking about is the supremacy of my team. We're the ones who have been in multiple Super Bowls in the last few years. All because I sold my soul for Super Bowl wins. And yes, we've faltered a bit, but we'll be back. And when we do... I'm going to get even with every single person on my revenge list. Just you wait and see."
Alas, the Super Bowl will be happening, unless that ideal situation happens and each team member breaks their legs at the same time. But that won't happen. And so it is that this reporter will be stuck in Arizona for the next few days, watching a game that he doesn't even like, because his readers enjoy his general snarkiness (editor: think of it this way: you're not the one stuck in -30 before the windchill right now).
Well, when you put it that way... good point.