Monday, February 6, 2017

Go home, NFL, and take your commercials with you.

In the late '1970's, early 1980's, I was a big Atlanta Falcons fan. Then, in the early 1990's, I was a big Atlanta Braves fan.
Note the use of the word 'big.' I had been a regular fan of the Atlanta Braves since they moved to Atlanta in 1966, and a regular fan of the Atlanta Falcons since the franchise started, also in 1966. But for years (and years and years and years) both teams didn't do well, as a rule. But I was still a fan.
The Falcons got quite a few lucky breaks (and had the talent to take advantage of them) in 1978 - 82, and made the playoffs a few times. The Braves collected some astounding pitchers and a few stellar hitters, and essentially owned the 1990s as a dominant franchise. And that was when I was a BIG fan.
I lived for the scores. I knew who played each position; I suffered when someone got injured, and when the ump / ref blew a call.

I had to give it up. It had actually gotten to the point that I felt as if  -I-  had lost something personally when the Braves dropped a game. Since they were always championship contenders, all of their games felt important to me. They won the World Series in 1995, and it looked like that wasn't going to change. And I had to hear the scores!

Sometime in 1996, I realized:  I had entirely too much of myself invested in the games. I found myself dragging at work, for no reason; at least, until I processed it, and realized that I was feeling that way because the Braves had dropped a game. That was it for me; I was allowing myself to be emotionally affected to a great degree by something I had absolutely no control over. No matter how much I tried, even if I went to the game and cheered like crazy (which I did, from time to time), I could not impact the outcome of the game one bit. So, I gave it up, cold turkey. I stopped buying the paper so I could read the sports section. I stopped listening to games on the radio, or watching them on TV.  A dear friend (who had GREAT seats!) took me to a couple of Braves games and a Falcons game, but I enjoyed the camaraderie, and didn't give a fig for the game outcome.

It's been a good decision.

A couple of  weeks ago, I found out the Atlanta Falcons were going to the Super Bowl for the second time. I didn't care. I didn't even know who they were playing until Saturday, because it was on the front page of the newspaper I looked at by accident (more or less). And when my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA asked me if I planned on watching the game yesterday, I told her I'd rather take a nap. And so that's what we did.

The cat woke us up at some point; she may have been watching the game, because it turned out to be half-time, and she wanted something to eat.

Half-time: I care nothing about the half-time show, but I have enjoyed the commercials. So, we found out how to stream the broadcast on the laptop (no TV in the bedroom), and discovered Lady Gaga singing. I am not familiar with this young person, or with her work, but she seemed energetic enough, and had a powerful voice. So, we watched a bit. Then I heard the words : "I was born this way," or words to that effect.

Umm, lost me right there. I reject all labeling based on birth, in favor of those attributes and character we acquire based on our choices and efforts. So, I endured her high - energy performance, because SURELY they were going to show me commercials, weren't they? Turns out they weren't,  at least on that particular internet stream. So, Vanessa surfs around, and finds a Youtube channel, that had, we believe, the Superbowl commercials.

And I was glad that I no longer drank beer, because the Budweiser commercial wasn't those wonderful frogs, it wasn't even the furry-footed horses. It was a politically charged commercial about how immigration is good, thereby implicitly criticizing the immigration ban imposed by Trump against selected Muslim countries. Hey, Anheiser-Busch: those guys aren't going to drink your beer. Their religion forbids it.

There were other commercials, and frankly, I don't remember any of them except for the young man throwing Skittles through a window. Some of the commercials were straight-up selling a product; others were thinly disguised political statements. So, I gave up on the stinking commercials, too.

Hey, decision makers at companies with the political slant: who are you trying to please? Isn't football a Joe Sixpack sport? What's with all this elitist crap? 

I haven't looked to see if there has been any reaction to either the half-time show, the commercials, or even the game (and I live in metro Atlanta, so I may be surrounded by hung-over depressed people). But personally, I think this is win for me, in that it severed the very last reason I had to watch ANY sports event.

Yeah. That's my answer to "who won the Super Bowl?"

I did.

1 comment:

  1. The commercials were a dismal failure. There were 2 I enjoyed, and that's ridiculous. I KNEW that this would be a politically charged show, and I am so sick of hearing everyone's opinion everywhere I look. If I want to find out how you feel about feminism, or immigration, or really, ANYTHING, guess what. I'll ask. I'm done with it being shoved down my throat. It's only making me angry at this point.
    The Lady Gaga song "Born This Way" is more about being accepted (AND ACCEPTING) for who you are, that you shouldn't have to change your personality to make other people like you, if they don't like you, cool, move on. "Don't be a drag, just be a queen."
    It was a good game, the first overtime game in Superbowl history. Very exciting, even if the Falcons decided they were done playing in the second half. You don't care.
    Since I'm NOT an NFL fan, nor do I drink at the moment, I am not hungover, depressed at the loss, or angry at the outcome. I'm just in a general bad mood because I'm 8 months pregnant and no longer able to sleep. Or walk. Or stay out of the bathroom for more than 15 minutes. And I want my baby. Rawr.

    Congratulations on winning the Super Bowl. I hope you also win the Super Duper Bowl. Of ice cream. Ice cream would be good.