Sunday, February 03, 2013
My Super Bowl Sunday Feeling
I didn't plan to write about the Super Bowl. I had originally planned to write about the current War on Women being waged by the mostly white, mostly Republican, and mostly men in the Arkansas legislature. I had also planned to touch on the fact that, should Governor Mike Beebe actually sign this travesty into law, you will now be able to carry a concealed weapon in your particular house of worship, if a) you have a permit and b) if your church allows it.
Now I can't imagine any church that will allow people to pack heat within its sacred walls. Wait. I take that back. I can think of a couple. They are West of me. And they are VERY big. Guess for yourself.
But the prospect of writing about how Arkansas has transported itself back in time to around 1957 after a couple of roll call votes was so depressing that I couldn't bring myself to do it. So, I deleted my first sentence and shifted gears.
I will watch the damn thing with some friends down the road. It is an occasion to eat and drink and see if the actual game is worth watching although some folks watch it for the commercials if for no other reason. And truth of the matter be known, I am less of an NFL fan nowadays than I ever was. And I never was much of one unless the Saints were playing.
Let's face it. Professional football is just too damn dangerous. Even with the recent rule changes designed to eliminate the shot to the head or the blow to the defenseless runner or receiver, the game is a blood sport. And you don't need to have uncovered a bounty system as the Saints were alleged to have run to know that. Just look at the injury reports after each week. Guys don't just get hurt. They get maimed. And given the warrior mentality of the average NFL player, they will play through an injury that would put a baseball player on the shelf for a month.
And the certain knowledge of that has eroded my enjoyment of the sport.
At this point, I would almost argue that boxing is generally safer than pro football. Granted, getting hit in the head is widely considered to be deleterious to the recipient's health and well being. But at least in boxing, as well as wrestling, martial arts and MMA, the contestants are in the same weight class. When you have a 300 pound man that can do a 4.5 forty bearing down on a quarterback who may not be even looking, well, this is what us sportswriters call a mismatch. Or a pulling guard on a sweep. Or a gunner barrelling down on a punter. To paraphrase Bill Clinton at the Democratic Convention, "It's physics." Guys are getting bigger and faster. Someday, somebody is going to get killed out there. Really.
But the game will be worth watching if only for the reason that it will herald the certain retirement of sanctimonious criminal Ray Lewis who has recently been accused by his former trainer of being on a banned substance to speed the rehab of his torn bicep. I believe it. Ray Lewis was at least complicit in an incident in a nightclub in which a man was killed. He pleaded out to a charge of obstruction of justice in exchange for his testimony and he settled with the victim's family.
So any suggestion that a guy with this kind of a history wouldn't dabble in an undetectable banned substance in order to play in another Super Bowl in his final season doesn't pass the laugh test. There is no doubt in my mind that this is true. But who cares? Good riddance Ray. Take your antler powder and hit the bricks.
On a happier note, the two teams are coached by the Harbaugh brothers, Jim and John, who both seem to be genuinely nice guys. This is refreshing when you consider a league that produces assholes like Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick. And their brother-in-law is the head basketball coach at Indiana. How cool is that?
But I could be wrong about the Harbaughs. They could be jerks. God knows we should now be less willing to suspend disbelief about our sports figures in light of the recent revelations that yes, Lance Armstrong really did lie through his goddamn teeth all those years about his use of PEDs and that no, Manti Te'o lied but briefly about his nonexistent dead girlfriend. Nonexistent in that she was never a life-in-being but was rather the altar ego of a love struck gay man back in Hawaii. You can't make this stuff up.
But, mercifully, let's go back to the game. I predict the 49ers by 3. Their offensive line is better and Joe Flacco should thank his lucky stars that he didn't get intercepted on that 4th quarter drive against the Broncos. But who knows?
By the way, next year's Super Bowl will be played in the Meadowlands in New Jersey. I predict that the freezing fans at that game will wonder who among the NFL brass thought playing there was a good idea.
A final thought. Until last week, I didn't even know what a transvaginal probe was. Now it occurs to me that the Super Bowl logo resembles one.
And for that I thank the Arkansas State Legislature for putting such thoughts in my head.