A columnist of heart and mind

A columnist of heart and mind
Interviewing the animals at Children's Fairyland in Oakland. L-R: Bobo the sheep, Gideon the miniature donkey, me, Tumbleweed Tommy the miniature donkey, Juan the alpaca, Coco the pony

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Stupor Bowl

Super Sunday - the day when more money is wagered, more wives are beaten, and more municipal water systems are put to the test by all those toilets flushing simultaneously during the commercials - is only a few days away, and the suspense is mounting.
Not about who will win the game, of course. After 50 years the hype has gotten so big, the game itself has become almost an afterthought.
No, the real suspense is who will ask the dumbest question on Media Day, when the nation's best sportswriters vie for the honor of making the biggest fools of themselves, such as last year, when they kept asking Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch, who wouldn't talk to them, "Why won't you talk to us?"
Dare I hope that this year a reporter will ask Cam Newton, as someone did to Doug Williams of the Washington Racialslurs in 1988, "How long have you been a black quarterback?"
Will someone top the cluelessness of the sportswriter who asked Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett (whose parents are both disabled) in 1981, "Lemme get this straight, Jim. Is it blind mother, deaf father or the other way around?"
Or the fashionista who asked Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith in 1991, "What are you going to wear in the game?"
And who can top that divine moment in 2000 when a reporter asked Titans defensive end Jevon Kearse about the religious symbol dangling from his neck, "What's the significance of the cross?"
But if the game is usually a letdown, the halftime show is often worse, featuring either geriatric rockers like the Rolling Stones or Madonna, or more recent stars like Katy Perry, who are all show and no substance. Memo to Roger Goodell: If you've heard of them, it's a good bet they're not hip anymore.
 Let's be honest: What's the only halftime show you remember? Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" at Super Bowl XXVIII, of course. And you can bet the NFL won't let that happen again.
I must have been the only person in the country who missed Janet's big moment. As soon as the first half ended and they said the entertainment was going to be her and Justin Timberlake - two people I have less than zero interest in – I started channel surfing and wound up on Bravo, where I saw a show I'd never seen before: "Queer Eye For The Straight Guy."
I was entranced. It was every straight man's ultimate fanatasy: That five gay guys would come into your life and clean up your act so women would finally give you the time of day.
In this episode, the Fab Five convinced a man who was wearing a toupee to own his baldness and burn the wig on the family hibachi. What football game could match that? I stayed glued to the entire episode and the ones that followed, and I didn't find out who won the game until the next day.
But who cares? As Duane Thomas, the Cowboys running back who rushed for XCV yards in Super Bowl VI, when Dallas beat Miami, XXVI to III, said when someone asked him how it feels to play in the ultimate game, “If it’s the ultimate game, how come they’re going to play another one next year?”

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