Come To My Anti-Super Bowl Party
For one brief but ugly moment last week I deserted the cynic inside me. I left the comfort of cynicism intoxicated by the sweet poison of hope. Don't worry. I'm back in full vigor now. No more rose-colored glasses for me. There is comfort in cynicism. I have my blankie back. I am my old cynical self again.
This Sunday is "Super Bowl Sunday". I notice that restaurants and some stores in my little town are closing early because of it. I find it odd that Bob Evans, which closed at 8:00PM on Christmas Eve, is closing at 7:00PM on Super Bowl Sunday. The sign on the door says "We will be closing at 7:00PM on Sunday, February 1, 2009 for the Super Bowl." The store where I buy my daily newspaper also has a sign on its door. The sign reads: "We will be closing at 8:00PM on Sunday, February 1, 2009 for the Super Bowl." That store closed at 10:00PM on Christmas Eve. You have to love this.
The USA is tumbling headlong into a full-fledged Depression (capital "D" indeed) yet every grocery store I've visited has aisles full of chips, beer, pop and snacks all presented in a gala "Super Bowl Party" settings. Festive banners and ribbons and streamers abound. No one would ever guess the USA was in deep economic hot water or fighting in two wars. Unemployment is skyrocketing; financial markets are collapsing; people are being tossed out of their foreclosed homes in record numbers; factories and businesses are closing. "What me worry?"
Restaurants in my town are closing early, because it seems they think that everyone will be home eating pizza rolls, pizza, sandwiches, and drinking beer? What about me? Or are the using the Super Bowel as an excuse to send employees home early and save a few bucks on those outrageous minimum wage salaries? I am not going to watch the Super Bowl. I might want to go out to eat after 7PM or buy a newspaper after 8PM. I have no choice but to sit home and brood. One thing for sure I will not watch the Super Bowl or care what the score is -- or who won.
Whatever network is carrying the game is off the air from 12:00 noon until 12:00 midnight as far as I'm concerned. Did you hear that coverage of the game starts at 12:00 noon Eastern Time? Guess when kickoff is? Kickoff is at 6:28PM. Guess when the game will end? I'm guessing somewhere around 10:30PM. You know they have a lot of high-dollar commercials to squeeze in. Lots of "TV timeouts". The last time I watched a football game on TV, my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes versus The Texas Longhorns in the "Fiesta Bowl", the commercials were so long I almost forgot what was going on in the game. The Buckeyes didn't prevail though. They lost but I digress.
All this hoopla over a football game between two teams from the same league who've played before? The Arizona Cardinals versus The Pittsburgh Steelers, that's who's playing, right? And this is a big game; why?
People are paying hundreds of dollars, even thousands of dollars, for tickets to the Super Bowl. In case you want to go, you can't --it's sold out. Companies are paying tens of millions of dollars to advertise during the Super Bowl. People are spending their last dollars on junk food, beer, and soda pop for their "Super Bowl Parties" yet we're on the cusp of a Depression? We must look like fools to the rest of the world. We have become a bunch of infantile whiners who complain about losing our jobs and our homes while we spend money we supposedly don't have on potato chips, Fritos, Pepsi, chip dip, Miller Lite, Bud Lite, and other nutritious foods that build strong bellies twelve ways. It's important to have a Super Bowl Party and sit a around a 52" plasma TV - it's only $88.00 a month - and guzzle alcohol while unabashedly engaging in gluttonous revelry. All because why? Becuase the Pittsburgh Steelers are playing the Arizona Cardinals? It doesn't seem very fair, does it? A city against a whole state? Tomorrow those same revelers will be complaining they don't have they money to pay their mortgages or buy gas for the SUVs. Will you feel sorry for them?
One more thing, if you're one of those people who don't care about football but are going to watch it for the commercials, let me tell you something. Those commercials cost millions of dollars per minute. Do you think Budweiser, PepsiCo, and the other advertisers are actually paying for those? Really? They're not, you know. You're paying for those. Every dollar they spend gets figured into their cost of doing business and when the cost gets too high and their profits get too low they'll raise the price of their products and you'll end up paying that price. So laugh at the commercials if you want. Just remember, in the end, those companies are going to stick it to you and they'll have the last laugh. Take a look at how much PepsiCo paid in bonuses to their executives last year. Still laughing? If you really want to laugh and save time, just visit www.youtube.com the day after the game. You can watch all the commercials there without sitting through 3 1/2 hours of football. You can even watch YouTube videos while you chomp on chips and swill beer. I know. I've done it.
If there is anyone else out there who isn't taken in by all the hyperbole -- you folks in Pittsburgh are excused --- you're welcome to come to my Anti-Super Bowl Party. It starts at 7:00PM. At 8:00PM I'm going to insert a DVD movie into my old DVD-player and watch "Ground Hog Day". I'm having snacks too. You can have your choice of salad or you can choose one of my Lean Cuisine frozen dinners. If you get the munchies, I have pretzel rods. And, I have beer and I think there is some wine left over from Christmas - you can have your choice. I didn't buy any extra food, munchies or beverages for my Anti-Super Bowl Party. I will eat the stuff I already have. If I run out, you'll just have to settle for the movie on my little 25" LCD TV. No 52" plasma TV here. I have plenty of coffee and water though. So if you get thirsty and the beer and wine are gone, you can have your choice between coffee or water. You won't go thirsty at my Anti-Super Bowl Party. I might have a few jelly donuts too. Don't complain though - when they're gone, they're gone. But---don't come early just for the jelly donuts. I will not answer the door before 7:00PM. I probably won't be dressed properly until then.
The movie should be over by 9:45, so you'll get home in plenty of time to get some sleep so you can get up for work the next morning. We don't have any "post movie" interviews scheduled. We don't have any camera crews in the locker room of the ground hog. When the movie is over, you'll be expected to leave without delay. By 10:00PM I'll be ready for bed - bleary eyed and sleepy. You can only come to my Anti-Super Bowl party if you promise to leave right after the movie is over. We're not going to sit around and talk or pretend to enjoy each other's company. I'll be hospitable as long as you're quiet during the movie and don't complain about the food. You can have all you want to drink but if I run out, you'll either have to leave or go without. It's the best I can do. We're on the verge of a Depression here, and I am not going out to buy a bunch of junk just because you're coming to my Anti-Super Bowl Party. If my party sounds like a great evening to you, you're my kind of person.
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