Everyone is a critic on the day after the big game. Since every armchair quarterback saw the game, watching ever so closely so as to not miss a single commercial, halftime nipple slip, game-changing interception, replay of the Leon Lett fiasco or a classic Deion Sanders neon suit shot. It’s funny to hear non-sports fans discussing who played well or who was the hero or what commercial blew goats. Ladies, it’s not just you. I hear the men talking too. They all think they knew who was going to win. They all could have made that catch or made that pass, despite the mouth full of dip and hands slippery from a beer can’s condensation.
The truth is, even the people who thought the Packers would win were still pretty nervous when that last drive began. After all, Big Ben has done it before, a la 2008 vs. Arizona. As good as it must feel to have confetti stuck to your chin with a Super Bowl hat on your head, it must be inversely painful to lose that game.
We lost an ice hockey state championship when I was a senior in high school. The locker room was so quiet afterward, we could hear the ice melting. Sports requires a winner and a loser. There are no ties in sports. There are no ties in life. You either get the job or not. You either get the girl or not. Your life is like the Super Bowl everyday.
The wins and losses don’t seem as big because there aren’t 100 million people watching. If you wrote a memo to the boss asking to take charge of the new account; depending on what he says and who is rooting for you, some of those 100 million will cheer and some will boo. There are two kinds of people: haters and the hated. Luckily, hopefully, we all get to be both at some point in our lives. A wise man once said, “no matter how good you are, there is always someone better.”
The world needs haters and the world needs people to hate on. Ask Silky Johnson or Buck Nasty, they’ll tell you hating is a way of life. Football provides the fodder for hating and we provide the hate. Enjoy the game, pretend like you know what you’re talking about, eat until gorged, drink a few brewskis, and don’t forget to hate.
This game is America. This game is when we all get together and enjoy Sunday. The playoffs are enormous fun to watch and usually the most stressful. The Super Bowl is when we can all sigh the relief that our team didn’t make it (as long as you’re an Eagles, Falcons, Chargers or Jets fan) and just enjoy the game. The spectacle of the day, the anticipation of the two-week buildup, the beauty of Sunday Funday creates a thunderdome of satisfaction. The Super Bowl is my Christmas. It’s not a holy day, just a day I look forward to enjoying. They do seem similar: I’m with loved ones usually, eat a big meal, watch the TV, and it’s highly commercialized. The difference is, we don’t get Monday off.