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January 24, 2006

Super Bowl Obsession

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Latest sports news: Despite defeating the Seattle Seahawks in the final week of regular play, my beloved Green Bay Packers will not play in the Super Bowl. It'll be those darn Hawks. After 30 years' existence, the Seattle Seahawks finally figured how to get to the Super Bowl. But I plan to watch the game anyway, Seattle boy that I am.

Which leads me to confess my obsessive Super Bowl related behavior.

I, uh [clears throat] confess to having watched at least a tiny bit of each and every Super Bowl (on TV).

That's right. All the way from I through XXXIX -- including XII, XXVIII and even XXXIV.

Actually, of late I seldom sit through an entire game. Some years, if have no interest in the teams, I might watch a couple plays just to keep my string alive.

I can't even explain why I keep watching. Maybe the process has become a goal instead of a means to an end. Oh well, sports do make guys kinda nutty sometimes.

My little obsession isn't all-encompassing: I run from the room when the halftime show comes on. Yes, I missed Janet Jackson's "accidental" defense of "free expression" but somehow survived. And college football halftime shows with the band formations and all that strike as being pretty ho-hum. But Super Bowl halftimes, like the televised version of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade (might as well do the thing in a TV studio) have, in my opinion, evolved into pure chick-feed to keep the eyeball-counts up.

Enough ranting. Just one parting comment: Go Seahawks!!!

Now back to our regularly scheduled blogging.



posted by Donald at January 24, 2006


Every year there are news reports on the exhorbitant prices that advertisers will pay for TV commercials during the Super Bowl. I suspect that some people tune in not for the game, but for the commercials.

Posted by: Peter on January 24, 2006 10:33 PM

Yep, I love the commercials. I still get a chuckle over the monkeys and the whoopie cushion. And I did happen to like Paul McCartney last year.

Posted by: josh on January 24, 2006 10:59 PM

Since the Chicago Cubs of the NFL, the Philadelphia Igglets, are not in this year, my interest for the Supe has waned.
SO, I'll follow my usual practice of watching the first 10 minutes because that's when the most interesting commercials are on.
Then, I'll skip watching until there's 10 minutes left in the game.
I'm with you on the half-time show. When you need carbon-dating to check out the age of the performers, well, that's not a good thing. Why they don't have a battle of the marching bands, with some of those great college bands from the south is beyond me. Now, that would be a half-time show worth watching, instead of these past fifty rock 'n rollers. Hadn't they promised to be dead or at least not performing any longer by then?

Posted by: DarkoV on January 25, 2006 8:52 AM

I enjoyed McCartney, although people did point out that at Super Bowl One the Beatles would have been the risky, out-there, "inappropriate" choice, and what a difference a few decades makes, given that McCartney was the "safe" choice after the Janet Jackson debacle!

I used to be a devoted watcher for the Bears and the 49ers in the eighties. But I dunno, when the Cowboys started winning again in the early 90's, I just couldn't get next to that team, and lost interest. I actually missed some good games---the two years the Rams made it to the Super Bowl. And some Patriot wins. It's like I had been numbed by the Buffalo Bills losing by record setting margins every year that I got programmed that the game itself would just be awful, and then missed some good ones.

Posted by: annette on January 25, 2006 10:05 AM

Darling, I wouldn't even bother watching. The Steelers are going to kill the Seahawks... ;)

Posted by: Trix on January 25, 2006 11:17 AM

If you're in show biz, it's best not to be snobbish. The Super Bowl features the best video technology and the best booadcast personnel money can buy. I especially like the new cameras that ride an oval track mounted around both end zones. The shoulder level shots are spectacular.

So, I watch first to see the results of all that technology and spending.

Football watching can get boring, but here's how to limit the boredom: watch the beginning of the game to get the lineups so that you know the names of the players. Return your attention to the game at the two minute warning in the first half. Pay close attention to the game only in the last four minutes.

The History Channel and Discover often have some good programs on, so you can surf around during those dull running plays.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on January 25, 2006 12:00 PM

I love football. I watch all games I can. I watch classic games on ESPN in off season. I dont need to read. I learn about life from football. I know good sports get along better. I know always try hard and suck it up when hurt. That is all I need to know.

Posted by: Bubba on January 25, 2006 12:25 PM

I'm very sorry to post this in your comments section but I like your blog and think you may have a good chance of getting listed at our blog directory, "High Class Blogs."

We have way too many conservative blogs right now (they submit constantly) and we need some different perspectives.

Contact me at if you are interested.

Ethan Potter

Posted by: Ethan Potter on January 25, 2006 12:44 PM

"Pay close attention to the game in the last four minutes"

Four minutes of game time means at least 20 minutes of *real* time!
Sometime I'd like to time a football game with a stopwatch to see how much actual, ball-in-play time elapses during a typical game of about three hours. I suspect it's not much more than a half-hour.

Posted by: Peter on January 25, 2006 12:47 PM

I thought we were all too artsy-fartsy to watch sports.

This "football" is the one that involves tackling, right?

Posted by: Brian on January 25, 2006 1:44 PM

No, not even a half hour of actual play. More like 12 minutes. Check this out.

Posted by: henryj on January 25, 2006 2:38 PM

*Twelve minutes* of actual ball-in-play action during an NFL game? I never would've thought it was that little, but now that I think more about it, it makes sense.

Posted by: Peter on January 25, 2006 3:13 PM

I like football and I love the holiday atmosphere of Superbowl Sunday.

DarkoV - the over fifty rockers are the only ones worth watching. ;-) They need to get Aerosmith back again.

Peter and HenryJ - A football game has four quarters of 15 minutes each. That's exactly 60 minutes (1 hour) of actual play time. That's one of the things I love about football - the timing. It's almost like music.

Posted by: Lynn S on January 26, 2006 8:20 PM

Oh, by the way.... Go Steelers!

I'm a Packers fan too but the Steelers are one of my other teams.

Posted by: Lynn S on January 26, 2006 8:22 PM

Lynn S -
It is true that the game clock runs for 60 minutes in a football game. For much of that time, however, the ball isn't in play. For example, when a ball carrier/receiver is tackled in-bounds, the game clock keeps running after the officials blow the whistle ending the play, and keeps running for however long it takes for the offense to huddle, take their positions, and start another play. The 12 minutes of actual play time refers to the total time of each play, from the snap to the whistle.

Posted by: Peter on January 26, 2006 10:11 PM

You mean, football season isn't over yet?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on January 26, 2006 11:25 PM

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