...or, as those who in the know refer to it, Hegelian Distract and Conquer Technique MDLXVI. A couple of quick observations before we get to today's lesson:
1) People made a great issue about Wes Welker not catching a wide open pass. It wasn't a great throw, and I think one thing than can be gleaned from the play is that the fact that he dropped the ball, and the fact the Brady didn't put it on target stem from the same issue...the guy is 5'8. This leads us to...
2) Danny Woodhead looks good when he plays, so i've read claims of "racism" in his not playing the whole game; guess what, he's 5'8 (if that) also. This leads us to...
3) Quarterbacks would rather throw the ball to long-armed 6'2 guys, than 5'8 guys, not to mentions have one as the last line of defense between he and a rampaging Terrell Suggs or Jared Allen. Don Wassal, get over it.
4) Eli Manning is really, really good, better than his brother, and I never thought I'd say that.
5) Bill Belechick is he best coach in football. He has taken a team with a sloe-footed QB, the aforementioned munchkins, two slow, washed-up wide receivers, a middle linebacker running five-flat 40s, and a guy with 70 lbs. of gut as his best player on defense to the superbowl; their 5th in a decade.
OK, now for the important stuff: I'll tell y'all a little something about "Truth", he loves his nightlife and has for 30 years now. On Friday night whether I am in Brooklyn or Muskogee, Okla., you can probably get even money odds on catching me in a bar, or club, or someplace where an alcoholic libation will be served. One thing that all of these untold nights on bar stools has taught me (one of many), is that there's a shark-jump period in a bar that tends to happen right about an hour before closing time.
It is at this point in time that the women go from horny and adventurous, to bored, the guys start getting drunk and growing beer muscles, the DJ starts playing old shit you don't want to hear, and/or the band gets too sloshed to perform a passable "Stairway to Heaven." In short, after an hour before closing time, you're not getting laid (I might, you won't), and either of us is more likely to get into a fight, or get a DWI, so you should have left earlier.
Well, RoadSoda denizens, I hate to sound morose, but I think the United States clock now reads 1:01 a.m.
If there is one quintessential event that says "America", it would have to be the Superbowl. To give you a hint, the text editor will not even allow me to write the word without a capital letter without prompting me to correct it with a finger-waving dotty red line. The Superbowl always seemed to say to the rest of the world, in my opinion; "look at all we have, and you suckers are still riding camels and wearing lederhosen!" The literally and metaphorically "bigger than life" athletes, the excess, the pyrotechnics, the million dollar commercials, the feminine-quality-enhanced cheerleaders, the 100,000 spectators, the two weeks of relentless hype; it almost used to make "Truth" want to tell "freedom-fry" jokes on a few occasions, but not this year.
I don't know what it was, but I just didn't feel the "oomph" this year, before, during of after the festivities. I thought that maybe it was just "Truth's" unworthy opinion, so I asked a few others, "does it seem like we're a week...4 days... 2 days, an hour away from the Superbowl?" The unofficial pollees all seemed to agree with me that no, it did not, and that I was not alone. It sort of felt like the season was over following the two excellent conference championship games. I guess sort of ignored it until watching a few minutes of the pantomimed, embarrassing spectacle which occurred a week prior to the game, otherwise know as "The Pro Bowl" (or the who-gives-a-shit-I'm-here-for-a-vacation-and-not-to-get-hurt-and-fuck-up-my-next-contract Bowl),
and the feeling ramped up all week long through the cliched late night segments, the news reports which seemed just a little shorter and less urgent than I remembered, and press clips with embarrassing questions, but the players provided corporate answers. Then the game itself arrived.
The first half was low scoring, yet somehow the defense didn't seem particularly good, and everyone just seemed a little off. Then we were treated to the normal over-produced halftime show, which I will return to later, and to the second half of a tight, well-played game, which somehow still seemed anti-climactic.
I know that you're thinking by now, "so where's the brilliant allegory between my nation, and football", and I think there were two things, that only tangenitally concerned the game itself, the caused me to liken the LXVI to closing time at a bar: The first was the pregame trophy and MVP presentation in which the players seemed to react sort of like multimillionaire banker finding a $5 bill on the street; Eli Manning and the Giants seemed almost as though it was just another practice, the stadium emptied out early, and even the confetti did not appear as thick as it has in the past. The losers didn't even bother to speak to the press until the postgame news conference, they probably needed rehersal time to pretend they cared.
The second, was the halftime show itself.
The "closing-time" feeling dogged me for almost two weeks, but Madonna's halftime performance struck me between the eyes like a 2 by 4. It was, in essence a 53 year old woman, who looks younger on the outside, and will do anything to retain her appearance, dancing slowly and stiffly in comparison to a bunch of backups who are 30 years younger. They gladly accept the check from the old woman now, for the opportunity, but would stab her in the kidney in a second, to be where she is. Sure, Madonna looked great "for her age" and so does our homeland, but like the Pakistani-British rapper she contracted to perform with her, there are lots of other bit players all to happy to throw up the finger.
Madonna did a "capable" job of performing a group of 20 year-old hits everyone knew, but I didn't recognize her new stuff, and wasn't particularly impressed by...what she is doing lately, or what she will be doing in the future. In short, the halftime show, the Superbowl itself, and We, seemed to highlight entities that are over the hill, and will not ever regain their glory, like jazz, film noir, and the Ottoman Empire.
Maybe I'm reading to much into a silly football game, but life seems to work well in allegory if you keep your eyes open. Just think; 2,000 years ago in Rome there was a family of four looking to buy a new chariot going over the options, and a couple of competing vineyards trying to explain to the locals why their drinking their brand would make you sexier and more sought-after then that of the other guys. And the 40,000 Coliseum spectators at the Christians-vs-lions matches were eating it up.