Sunday, January 26, 2014

This (Non) Sporting Life#4

Hi there! Dave-El here and welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, the blog that throws the flag down on the field that is the internet.

Or something.

Today is #4 of my weekly blog post about a guy (me!) who knows little about sports writing about sports.

There is this idea that there is something in the American male DNA that automatically makes us all like sports and have a supernatural ability to remembers stats and players covering over a half-century. It is that same DNA that makes ALL men capable of building things from wood, fixing automobiles, grilling meat outside and shooting things. 

Except I missed out on all that. There is nothing more embarrassing that looking under the hood of a car trying to figure out why its not running and having another guy tell me, "Well, first of all, this is the trunk." 

My thinking on outdoor grilling is I have access to a perfectly effective kitchen that is not infested with insects and exposed to the elements. 

You know how in World War II movies, American soldiers would check to see if a someone was an American or a German spy by asking sports related questions like, "Who was the pitcher for the New York Yankees in Game 2 in the 1938 World Series?"* Yeah, I would be so completely screwed. 

*"Hallo, kerl Amerikaner! Ich glaube es war Lefty Gomez!"
"OK, he's clean. Let 'im through." 

I do know some sports stuff. For example, there's a Super Bowl coming week, right? 

Above is the trophy awarded to the winner of the Super Bowl.
It's called the Guy Lombardo Trophy after the famous big band leader
who apparently was a big football fan or something, I guess.
Excuse me, that's the Vince Lombardi Trophy
although why it's named after the music composer of the
Charlie Brown Christmas Special, I have no idea.

I know the Denver Broncos are in it and Peyton Manning is their quarterback. Apparently, Peyton is like 87 years old and part cyborg and can still play like a sonuvabitch. Really, my best knowledge of Peyton's skills have less to do with football and more to do with his comedic talents. For an example of that, click here for a bit Peyton did for Saturday Night Live

I know the Seattle Seahawks are playing against the Broncos (or as we MEN like to call them, "the Broncs") and I've heard that they are a very good team assuming Richard Sherman hasn't eaten them all in a cannibalistic fury. I think he's capable of that based on his now-infamous rant after the end of last weeks game when the Seahawks (or as we MEN like to call them,  "the Seas") clinched the NBC, NFC? Sorry, NFC championship against the San Francisco 49ers (so named because they have 49 people on the team). It seems some guy named Crabtree stole Richard's pet kitten or took the last Klondike bar or some damn thing so when an unsuspecting Erin Andrews of ESPN decided to put a mike in his face and ask how he was feeling, Richard took the opportunity to express his displeasure with the offending Mr. Crabtree. Richard Sherman may have also declared war on the Federation on behalf of the Klingon Empire

So every idiot with a blog or some other online forum decides to run with this for their own pathetic amusement. (For example, check out this moron's hopping aboard the Richard Sherman Rant Train.)  

Thankfully for Richard Sherman, future "Whatever happened to...?" pop star Justin Bieber was in Miami Beach FL pursuing his favorite sport, "How effectively can I kill my career?" This has helped take the heat off of Sherman a bit as comedians and pontificators moved their sights to shooting the fish in the barrel that is the Bieb's douchebaggery. 

So now the focus of the Super Bowl has turned to where it truly belongs. No, not the game, the commercials. 

My daughter is dumbfounded by this whole Super Bowl thing. Her dad who would normally prefer to watch How I Met Your Mother or Doctor Who to watching a football game suddenly has a passion for watching THIS game. Why? Because its one of the few things left in America that is still a nationally shared experience. We all see the game, whether its awesome or it sucks. We all see the commercials whether they are funny or just plan weird. We all see the half time show, whether it rocked or "My God! Did you see Janet Jackson's nipple?**" There's something cool about being part of a national experience. 

**No, dammit, I didn't. The infamous nipple incident was during a performance by Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson where HE rips part of her top off but somehow it's HER fault. By the way, MTV Productions which produced the Super Bowl halftime show in 2004 was permanently banned by the NFL from producing the show again. To counteract the shenanigans at the 2004 show, Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones performed in 2005 and 2006 despite the Super Bowl being well past their bed times.

My daughter, however, only has one thing she likes about the Super Bowl: the Puppy Bowl over on the Animal Planet channel. 

Before I close this out, a true story. In December 1997, the film Titanic came out and my wife like so many women the world over wanted to see this deeply romantic film about the greatest ship disaster in history. We actually had difficulty seeing Titanic because it was frequently sold out. (For reals!) In fact, we did not get to see James Cameron's epic telling of Leonardo DiCaprio sketching a naked Kate Winslet until January 25th, 1998. Game day for Super Bowl XXXII (32 for you non-Romans out there.) Oh, that explains why the theater was remarkably empty.  Yep, I really didn't realize this was on Super Bowl Sunday

But you know, I don't care. Maybe I'm not like most other men in America. I think spending quality time with my wife and making her happy is way more important that some silly football game where I don't care who played or who won***. 

***Denver Broncos vs. Green Bay Packers. The Broncs over Green Bay, 31-24. The game was a close one. The Broncos converted two turnovers to take a 17–7 lead in the second quarter before the Packers cut the score to 17–14 at halftime. Green Bay kept pace with Denver in the second half before tying the game with 13:32 remaining; then the Broncos scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:45 left.+

+Thank you, Wikipedia. 

But I pay attention to these things now and I hope to happily ensconced on the living room couch with a deli tray and an alcoholic beverage and for a few hours, reclaiming my status as an American male.****

****Given that the beverage in question is less likely to be a beer and more likely some kind of orange juice/white zinfandel mash-up, I won't be reclaiming my American maleness for very long. 

Until next time, be good to one another. 

And go Broncos!

Carl Kasell

I was saddened to hear of the death of Carl Kasell, a distinctive voice on NPR’s "Morning Edition" and "Wait, Wait ... Don...