Mandatory Super Bowl Post

31 January, 2009

I suppose I might as well do a Superbowl post.  After all, it helps me keep track of how old I am — this is Superbowl XLIII, so I must be XLIII years old.  Which is, um.  Wait.  That’s a ten followed by fifty, so it’s forty -, forty -, uh, forty three.  I just turned 43. Makes life easier.

I cheer for two football teams — the Redskins (Dad was from the DC area) and the Patriots (Mom was from the Boston area).  Since neither one even made the playoffs, I look for teams to cheer against.  The Cowboys and Raiders missed the playoffs (YEAH!).  I will gladly cheer against the Eagles and the Giants (NFC East non-Redskin teams).  Then, if there are no teams to cheer against, I look for either a good story (Cardinals have been losers longer than me) or a classy organization (like the Steelers).  So I’m gonna be real wishy-washy here and say, “I’m gonna cheer for both teams.”  That’s not a cop out.  If I have no compelling reason to cheer against a team, and a compelling reason to cheer for both, I will cheer for both. 

Were I a betting man*, I would put my money on the Cardinals.  I think that the Steelers will win, but by less than the 6.5 points of the line.  And I would also put my money on the under.  No way will this game hit 45 points.  Great defense against excellent offense?  Go with the defense.

Ah, screw it.  I hope it is a really good game.

And I hope that the prayers, pointing at the sky, and other religious tripe are held to a minimum.

*I am not. 

When I was in Basic, we were going through the initial shakedown for contraband and a sergeant asked me, “Private, have you emptied all of your bags?”

“Yes, sergeant,” I answered while staring straight ahead.

“Are you sure, private?”

“Uh, I think so, sergeant.”

“Would you like to bet on that, private?”

“No sergeant.”

“Why not?  Are you one of those born-agains?”

“No sergeant.  I learned long ago that if someone wants me to bet, he knows something I don’t.”

“You are correct on that, private.  On many levels.  Your shaving kit still has something in it.  Empty it.”

“Yes sergeant.”

“Private, if you told me that you could make the Jack of Diamonds rise out of a deck of cards and spit cider in my ear, I would not take that bet.  Because sure as I’m standing here, the Jack of Diamonds would rise up and would spit cider in my ear.”  I smiled.  I couldn’t help it.  “Why are you smiling, private?”

“Senior year of high school we did Guys and Dolls.  Uh, sergeant.”

“Good musical, private.  Now drop, give me twenty, and then empty your kit.”

“Yes, sergeant.  One, sergeant.  Two, sergeant. . . . ”

He moved to the next recruit in line.

That line from Guys and Dolls is one of the good reasons I do not gamble.



  1. No Superbowl for me. Even if I was on that side of the planet I probably still wouldn’t watch it, but since I am not I have a good excuse. Enjoy the praying and ‘thanking god’ for me.

  2. There’s always Puppy Bowl to watch instead.

  3. DB: I’ll do my best to ignore it, but I hope its a good game.

    Philly: Dogs playing football? Is this what the world has come to? Next thing you know it’ll be dogs playing poker. Or pool.

  4. I’m pretty sure none of the puppies will be thanking dog when they score. That alone will probably make it more palatable than the Super Bowl.

  5. True, but I hear that the dogs are grossly underpaid. They are working, literally, for kibble.

  6. As much as I was and still am around horses I wouldn’t bet a penny on a race. We used to take horses to Charlestown, Timonium, and places like that, and I know too much. Sausage, good gov’t and horse racing…

    Ah, yes, basic training. Well, you can really put things in perspective after a dose of basic.

    I went to induction in Richmond, VA, we went to Ft. Jackson, SC for reception (more stressful than combat, and I’ve even been wounded a couple of times, disabled because of it)and went to Basic at Ft. Gordon. This was 1965.

    I remember pulling into the company area in a Trailways bus and being shouted at to grab a duffle bag any bag, move, move, move, seeing guys getting tripped and admonished to not let the bag hit the ground, running into a barracks and standing by a bunk. Luckily, I had all my stuff. The guy two bunks up wasn’t as fortunate. He didn’t have anything.

    A Person In Authority was in his face demanding where the bag was, threatening that unless he had it by morning he’d wind up never leaving the army until he paid for ALL of it, so he better find it or take a strong dose of exlax and SHIT one within the next wo hours.

    The young man being questioned was also being reprimanded for using the word “sir” to the sergeant who was addressing him, and was in tears, probably close to hysteria.

    I remember the sergeant asking him didn’t he like the army, and my colleague blubbering that he did. The sergeant shouted, “You sassin’ me, boah…??!!Stop ya CRYIN’, boah”!!

    And I thought about how lucky I was. I wasn’t the guy two bunks up!

    I met a draftee who so terrified authority that he was removed during the seventh week, and I have no idea what happened to him.

    We had as many as eight draftees who were members of James Brown’s band. They’d been drafted, were older, and they were all going to post bands somewhere stateside. But they really figurd that basic was kind of nice. Outdoors, exercise, they got to sleep and eat right, the cadre weren’t unreasonable (well, they’d been dealing with James Brown, and from what I’ve heard he made the most ferocious DI look tame when he was in top form)and they had no trouble at all. One of them taught me how to shine shoes in a short time and have a polish that couldn’t be beat.

    And quite a few others.

  7. You can’t mention Puppy Bowl without mentioning Kitty Half-Time. I had a friend who recorded it one year and forced me to watch it whenever I got depressed. Which was a lot. Terminal Cuteness. Scary.

  8. Puppy bowl? How do you toss the puppies all the way down the alley to the pins?

  9. Sarge: I was always amazed at how a DI could bawl someone out for ten minutes, not repeat himself, and not swear. Impressive command of the English language.

    Kate: Half-time is the time for rest, right? For cats, the whole day is half-time.

    Dennis: Welcome to my blog. The trick is to use the rounder dogs — pugs, bulldogs, etc. The lithe fast ones wouldn’t work too well.

  10. Mark 16: 16 He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned.


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