It’s just a game
By: By Lisa Smartt
Don’t throw popcorn or Doritos™ at me, please. Avoid the temptation to hit me on the head with your giant foam finger. There are a lot of things about our American way of life that make sense to me. Democracy. Freedom. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But there’s one thing that seems to be a big deal in America that I don’t understand. Super Bowl Sunday. Millions and millions of dollars exchange hands through merchandising, television advertising, not to mention the accelerated sale of Doritos and bean dip. And what’s all the hoopla about? Beats me. As of this writing, the big game has not yet been played. I want to take this opportunity to explain the Super Bowl to anyone unfamiliar with the big day.
Grown men will run out on a field. After slapping each other on the buttocks several times, one man will throw a leather ball to the grown men wearing the same color he is wearing. Men from the opposing team will try to run over the man with the ball. They will chase each other. They will jump on top of each other. They will all try to obtain the leather ball at all cost. When one person runs over a white line while carrying the leather ball, the people in the stands will cheer as though he has invented a cure for diabetes. Eventually, the big digital clock will declare that play time is over. What happens when play time is over? That’s when it gets interesting. One of the grown men will now stand in front of a TV camera carrying a Nike™ shoe and wearing a Cheetos™ baseball cap so that he can make $7 million for insinuating the following: “I’m a big man. I chase a leather ball. I hit other men. I wear Nike shoes and eat Cheetos ... and you should too.” Yep. This man can now buy a 12-bedroom house in Aruba because he hits other men and eats Cheetos (or so he says).
Thousands of grown men and women will pay thousands of dollars to sit in the stands and cheer for the men chasing the leather ball. They will scream until they lose their voices, pay $13 for a lukewarm cola and brag to everyone they know that they watched some grown men chase a leather ball on Sunday. Interesting. OK. I hear you. I hear your cries, your protests, your “My word, woman, you have NO idea what you’re talking about.” Many of you are huge fans and I’m not trying to upset your apple cart. I know that many of these men in the NFL can perform feats that few other men can accomplish. I get that. But I once saw a man on TV stick his tongue out and touch his eyebrows. I do not know one other person on the face of the earth who can stick his tongue out and touch his eyebrows. But here’s what I don’t get. Even though “Eyebrow Man” can do what no other man can do ... he’ll never have a 12-bedroom house in Aruba because he ate Cheetos on national TV. I know. It’s confusing.
Before you think I should move to another country, let me assure you that my family and I will be at a friend’s house for the big Super Bowl party. Football? No. Like a lot of Americans, I’m in it for the bean dip.
Editor’s note: Lisa Smartt’s column appears each Wednesday in the Friends and Neighbors section of The Messenger. Mrs. Smartt is the wife of Philip Smartt, the University of Tennessee at Martin parks and recreation and forestry professor, and is mother to two boys, Stephen and Jonathan. She is a freelance writer and speaker. Her book “The Smartt View: Life, Love, and Cluttered Closets” is available at The Messenger, The University of Tennessee at Martin bookstore or by mail for $10, plus $2 shipping. Send checks to Lisa Smartt, 300 Parrott Road, Dresden TN 38225. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 2.6.08
Lisa Smartt, Smartt View