So, how was your Super Bowl Sunday? My day was spent writing my previous post and staying warm. Yes, it’s still winter, and Wisconsin is at the start of a cold spell. No, this particular weather pattern isn’t as dangerous as what we experienced two years ago, but it does feel the coldest it’s been all winter.
Admittedly, I didn’t get into the big game too much. That’s not to say I didn’t watch. For sure, I did tune in, including and especially during the pre-game features CBS had for tales about the history of Black quarterbacks, and Black players in general, in the National Football League. (Really, click on that link; it’s a must see.) The before-kickoff anthem and poetry(!) performances didn’t go unappreciated on this end either.
Generally, though, I found myself watching the Super Bowl the same way I’ve been watching sports in general since the pandemic began: In a detached state. I kept the TV sound at a low, not-quite-at-mute level. I tweeted my thoughts about it sparingly. I switched to Australian Open tennis when the commercials came on. I finished frosting a cake during halftime (I gotta treat myself somehow)…
…and for the first time I can recall doing by my own volition, I turned off the TV before the Super Bowl ended. It was during a commercial break with about 3 minutes or so left. By that time, the Buccaneers were up by 22, a
streaker tasteless promotional stunt interrupted the game, and I had the urge to just let my mind relax for the remainder of the evening… like I usually do on a Sunday night before a work week begins.
I found myself relating to an opinion column in Variety this afternoon, one in which the writer couldn’t help but think that the Super Bowl was not the escape from unsettling reality that the NFL has always painted its biggest event as being. Thirty thousand cutouts at a stadium, surrounded by actual people wearing masks, and all captured by the widest of TV camera wide shots, can’t make things feel “normal.”
Will things feel different next Super Bowl Sunday? Well, it depends on one’s definition of that word. I imagine some things, but not every thing, that plagues our collective psyche right now may settle come 2022. But one thing is for certain: One little football game, and the hype and glossiness surrounding it, won’t cure things. Truth be told, it never has.