I’m Not Here Looking For Trouble, But A Shuffle Will Occur [TeeCoZee’s Super Bowl XLIV Roundup]

Today marks the start of a terrible era in my life, one that occurs every year. The NFL season ends, usually on a dry note, and I am left with nothing to do with myself. Usually, this period starts with angst, depression, and bitter regret. After being subjected to a game that either I didn’t care about or was disappointed in, I continue to exist in this universe with very little to look forward to. All NFL coverage solely focuses on either the draft or the last game that was played, and after that, it’s a lot of dead space until July. In July, the players go to camp. This is a severely boring process to follow, and doesn’t even get me riled up enough to make an allusion towards blue balls. So basically, it’s a long haul until August. But life doesn’t have to be like this, I can surely find joy in life outside of football. I tell myself this every year, and immediately try to remedy it by doing something new. Problem is, the NFL season ends in the dead of winter. There isn’t shit to do anywhere. After months of being entertained, every NFL fan is thrown out of the car and forced to survive in the bitter February cold. Nothing can be salvaged. There is no going back. There’s no doing anything except futile attempts to jog memories.

And for this reason, and countless others, I have been known to loathe the fucking Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl can hardly be considered an NFL game. NFL fans watch NFL games. Everybody else watches the Super Bowl. It isn’t as much of a gridiron clash as it is a social event. For one day out of the year, everybody including their mothers, fathers, half-uncles and aborted fetuses pretend to know about, enjoy, and understand the sport of football. However, the joke is usually on them, because the Super Bowl has been the host of generally bad games. I have been watching football for 15 years now, and every year the Super Bowl really knows how to disappoint. Allow me to run it down:

Super Bowl XXIX – The 49ers completely stomped the Chargers. It was the first time I ever felt truly depressed. The trend continued for years.

XXX- It was a defensive battle. Who the fuck wants to see that?!??

XXXI- The Patriots proved to America that they did not deserve to be in the Super Bowl. They did the same thing 10 years earlier.

XXXII- Okay, so John Elway finally wins a Super Bowl. It was a decentish game.

XXXIII- Okay, we get the point. John Elway is really good. Can I go home now?

XXXIV- Best. Game. Ever.

XXXV- In a drastic combination of XXX and XXXI, a defensive struggle shows that both teams shouldn’t have made it this far.

XXXVI- The start of the New England dynasty. Shudders all around. This was also the first rigged Super Bowl, showing that 9/11 fucked up more things for America than I will ever understand.

XXXVII- See XXXV. The AFC championship was way better.

XXXVIII- Adam Vinatieri kicks another game winning field goal? Naw, this shit aint rigged at all!

XXXIX- Wait, Adam Vinatieri saves the day again? Maybe football IS rigged…

XL- I was too busy rolling Gyros.

XLI- The opening kickoff was awesome…I don’t remember anything else…

XLII- Apparently this one was good, but I attended a dinner party instead, as I did not expect it to be worth two shits.

XLIII- Same as the year before, except replace going to a dinner party with sitting in my living room with the TV off, reading a vintage issue of Modern Bride. I wasn’t smoking cigs back then either.

Judging from the previous two years, I was convinced that I was due for a Super Bowl watching experience. However there are certain precautions to be made in order to have a fulfilling Super Bowl experience. You have to know where and how to watch it. Let me lay out a few options:

a. Watch it at home, alone, in order to prevent being annoyed by anything other than the shit that gets spewed out of the TV screen. Supplies needed are Cheetos (puffed), 5 cans of Pepsi Throwback (if you can find it), masturbation material for halftime (because who really wants to watch The Who anyway?), and some sort of narcotic (if that’s your bag).

b. Watch it at a bar. If you go alone, try to find someone who is a fan of your team. If you hate both teams in the game, mingle around and spread your hatred everywhere. Supplies needed are cheese fries (hopefully the bar has a kitchen), an attentive waitress or bartender (because why the fuck would you go there if there wasn’t ridiculously low specials?), quarters (in order to hijack the jukebox at halftime), and some sort of narcotic (if that’s your bag).

c. Go to a “Super Bowl Party”. This is usually a good option, considering there will be food and beverage provided. However, I must forewarn that there are some inherent risks in going to one of these shindigs: There is a huge possibility that there will be people there that know nothing about football. The phrase “I’m just watching it for the commercials” may echo around the room during the pre-game festivities. Make sure you know the people you are partying with, and be able to trust their inviting abilities. Supplies needed are boneless wings (Buffalo and Honey, already provided by the host), Miller High Life (Already provided by the host, and you better make damn sure you’re not the poor bastard driving everyone home), earplugs (for when you are forced by numerous fans of The Who to watch the halftime show), and some sort of narcotic (if that’s your bag).

Yesterday, I chose option C, and it worked out decently. I did not bring my halftime earplugs, and I was the designated driver, but everything else was aligned to my likings. It was the most efficient SB party I have yet to attend. There was an even mixture of Saints and Colts fans (and the numbers changed during the course of the game), only a couple of people were actually into The Who. Everything was in place, the bets were made (I had the Saints winning 41-38. I lost a dollar.), the TV was HD, the couch was comfy, and the wings were wingy. I was ready for the Super Bowl.

At this point, I have written over 1000 words of this roundup without actually covering the game. Therefore, let me discuss the game, in highlight format…now:

– During the pregame show, the boys at NFL Network were giving their picks. Everyone went for the Saints. That is, everyone except Steve Mariuchi. In what turned out to be an absolutely sublime moment, Deion Sanders told Rich Eisner to scoot away for a moment, and asked Steve “How does it feel to be in a minority for the first time?”. The camera switches to a wider angle, and it’s revealed that Steve is surrounded by burly African American gentlemen. Only Neon can make racist jokes on national TV and get away with it. Carlos Mencia is spinning in his grave.

– They showed footage of Peyton Manning walking into the stadium, and he had the same strut, posture and facial expression as what I would imagine a real-life Terminator would have.

– This was truly a game of 4 quarters, which seems obvious and vague at the same time. In the first quarter, I felt nothing but despair and sinking feelings in my stomach. After mowing down more wings, the second quarter brought some light onto the situation. In the third, I was on pins and needles, and was viciously annoying all the Colts fans in the room. In the fourth, well, you all know what happened there.

– It’s really strange covering a game of which I know a lot of people watched. I feel like I need to stray away from the obvious.

– I would die a happy man if I never have to hear Phil Simms do color commentary again.

– I attempted on many occasions to keep a live twitter feed going while I was watching the game. This caused me to miss crucial moments, and was quite similar to the one time I got really drunk at a Lions game, and wouldn’t stop texting Joe about how much the game sucked. The feed failed, and I pray nobody read it. I also had the idea of keeping a written log throughout the game, but I had forgotten my notebook, and the combination of food and comfortable seating made me somewhat comatose and uninspired.

– I really wonder how much of a bitch it must’ve been for the dudes that had to assemble and dismantle to elaborate staging setup for the halftime show. I’m sure the workers got paid really well, but that had to have been a bitch, or at least a roadie’s worst nightmare. But then again, so is The Who.

– At some point during the game, a middle aged woman disguised as a Colts fan started making fun of Tracy Porter’s haircut. She eventually ate those words at the end of the game, when he picked off Robomanning to take it back 74 yards for a touchdown. It was also quite humorous that as he was making the pass, I was verbally taunting him. I like to think that he could hear me from a basement thousands of miles away, and he thought to himself “Man, I wish the Coze would stop picking on me”, and in effect, blew the game. I like to think a lot of things.

– The halftime bookends were pretty fantastic if you ask me. With less than a minute left in the 2nd, the Colts had the ball, and it appeared that they were going to just take a knee and call it good. Everyone in the room cleared out to go have a cigarette. I was going to follow, until I saw that the Saints still had timeouts left. They ended up getting the ball back, driving it, and kicking a much needed field goal, while everyone else thought the half was over. The start of the third was a similar scenario, because nobody ever expects something big to happen at the beginning of the half. People were scattered around the house when the Saints decide to do an onside kick…and actually recover it?!?!? It was bizarre to no end, and I felt honored to have the privilege to see both moments. It’s easy to say without thinking to hard that these 2 plays are the reason why the Saints won.

– In reality, the Saints won because they were able to dominate both sides of the ball, which is why any sports team should win a game. One key factor was the 2nd quarter in general. After the Colts dominated the first, it was foreseeable that Robomanning would lay down a slow burn, and the game would dwindle away. However, the Saints were able to defeat Robomanning with their offense. This is a tactic that many teams have tried against the Colts, with mildly positive results. You have to keep the man on ice, and make sure he stays the fuck away from the field. It wasn’t unusual all season to see the Colt’s opponents take over the clock completely, but eventually, Robomanning would have to hit the field. Unlike the other teams, the Saints were ready for this inevitable occurrence, and THAT is why they won the game. Although the Saints didn’t capitalize on the 2nd quarter shakedown with numerous touchdowns, they limited Robomanning to only 6 plays, 4 of which were handed off, 2 of which were incomplete.Now THAT is how you get shit done, son!

-This is a picture of a robot that just fucked up terribly. Notice the look of dismay on his face, the fact that nobody is around him, and inside he feels nothing but tar, circuits, and hatred.

– This is a picture of a human that did not fuck up, but rather gained something out of the cyborg’s fuckupitude. Note the look of glee on his face, as he is being bathed in yellow Gatorade, which is undisputedly the best flavor. I wonder what a Gatorade bath would be like…I’m thirsty.

– Towards the end of the game, after the Colts did their rally to score their last touchdown, the guy sitting next to m said “wait, the Colt’s scored? I was just thinking about the commercials.” This goes to show how boring the Colt’s offense truly is, and exposes the main reason why it took me 19 weeks to actually talk about the team in my roundups.

– During the post-game show, the NFL Network crew gave out their predictions for next season. 4/5 picked the Chargers to be in the Super Bowl next year. This is said on the same week that LT stated that he will not play for them next year. I really wish people would start underestimating San Diego again, so then maybe they can actually do something great for a change. They are the Dallas Cowboys of the AFC, except the Cowboys used to be America’s team, and the Chargers used to be lead by Ryan Leaf, who is an American. And for me? I’m not making any predictions for next year…

…except that there will be Rivers VS Brees Pt. 2 at some point…

– To close everything out, I’m going to quote myself, from a previous roundup (the first one actually):

“It appears at this point that New Orleans is unstoppable, which is something that I felt about them last year, but never actually panned out.” –10/20/09

Well, it looks like they were theoretically unstoppable, and it feels really good to be right. In closing, I would like to thank anyone who took the time to read my ramblings this season, and hopefully we will all be around for the 2010 season.

But until then…we wait…and wait…