As ball games go, it was a lively one. The upstart Falcons had their way in the first half and even into the second, befuddling Brady and the Patriots. But the New England machine had too much juice in the fourth quarter, and to top it off they had too much love from the football gods. If I were an Atlanta fan, I’d wonder about that coin toss. We saw the first half at a party, and came home for the second. It was nice to spend time with old friends, but it was nice to be in my recliner, too. I feel for Falcons fans, I’ve seen my beloved ball clubs, over the years, snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the do-or-die moments. It’s part of the drill, and it sucks. But I’m of Massachusetts stock despite my California provenance, so I know the relations are excited (if not a bit spoiled!) and I’m happy for ’em.
The Super Bowl is a lot of things, but what means the most to me is that football is over and baseball can begin. Sure, I know the spring camps don’t open for another week, but that’s how I feel. And sure enough the NFL had to fuck with me and make the damn final game go into overtime. At least it was exciting football, but enough already. I’m just not enough of a gridiron guy, I’ve no energy for sports other than baseball. Being a fan of my dimensions is hard enough work, I can’t be wasting valuable time on stuff I don’t really like.
And what I really don’t like is hype. I’m already tuning in fer chrissakes, stop shoving it down my throat. All sports broadcasts (hell, all of television) are hype-fests, but the Super Bowl is the apotheosis of all that, and it’s wearisome. I could never get into the whole commercials thing, a TV ad is a virus, highly contagious, not fatal but certainly illness-inducing. I believe the poetic spirit is wounded by such viral assaults as our flatscreens provide us and that we must inoculate ourselves. No known vaccine exists, most meds just delay the symptoms, abstinence appears the only safe course.
Our artistic and creative organs are ephemeral things: heart and soul are easily wounded by our material world. I love baseball, for example, but the way it’s packaged for my consumption is increasingly difficult for me to take. Those bastards talk too goddamn much and spend too much time hyping themselves and the industry that employs them. Like I said before I’m already a fan and I don’t need to be cajoled into spending time watching or listening. My favorite way to watch a game anymore is at a bar where the picture’s good but it’s too loud to hear the announcers!
It’s a complaint I suppose few have. But these days I really do feel those goddamn rays coming out of that goddamn box. I actually feel them entering my body and frying my nerve ends, robbing me of my senses, numbing my faculties and dulling my wits. Those are important natural resources and they require conservation and planning for the future. So I’m trying to stick with the reduced commercial-intake diet. Like I said I really enjoyed seeing old friends today at the game party so I could stand the deadly rays for a while, it was worth it.
What I need is one of those radiation badges that’s tuned to TV commercials and starts to darken or change colors when the safe dose levels have been exceeded. Don’t you think that would be a good thing? Don’t you want to know when your life-blood is being sucked out by corporate pimps? Or perhaps a gizmo I can attach to my TV that radiates a mitigating force field, that lessens the impact of the death rays. Or a special helmet, with mentally healthful shock-absorbing inserts. Imagine the advertising they could come up with for that stuff!
I’m a big boy. I know I live in a capitalist society where we have to sell, sell, sell, and buy, buy, buy. That’s how it goes. Produce, produce, produce. Consume, consume, consume. I’m an American, I understand. Ads are part of life, poisonous or not. And it’s the dose that makes the poison, so I’ll just have to watch those doses.