"Let life enchant you again." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Thoughts
February 2, 2009

OK, That Was A Good Game

I used to love watching the Super Bowl. It was a simple please. But times are changing and so are my habits.

As a kid, I loved American Football and especially loved the SuperBowl. As a teenager I got into the habit of inviting friends around and having a SuperBowl party. By early adulthood, that had grown into a serious social event, complete with Hot Dogs, American beer and far too many corn chips.

However, in recent years my enthusiasm for the game has dwindled. I could wear the hat of cultural critic and talk about commercialisation of sport and the way these events are covered in the American media. But, the real reason is far less prosaic than that. Living in the UK, then India, meant being a fan forced you into a life of sleep-deprivation. I still tune into the big games, but not much more.

This year I’ve seen little of the NFL coverage (and little sport in general). But I made the time to watch today’s SuperBowl and I’m glad I did. It was a great contest, a one stage looking like it was all over before a fantastic finale. I love sports when it’s like this.

One thing that was interesting this year was tracking the internet comments of those who were not going to watch the game. I get that sports sometimes gets too much attention in the popular media – you don’t have to live in the US to see that. I also get that it can be a smart move to not get sucked into watching anything you don’t really have a passion for.

But, there’s a fine line between making a countercultural move and succumbing to countercultural hubris. Loving sports doesn’t make you a better person and neither does boasting about how you are not into sports. If this game, or any other event is not really a big thing, then should we act like not tuning in is such a big thing?

As for me, I’ll probably watch the SuperBowl next year – it’s sort a tradition. But, this might change in the future. Who knows?

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roy donkin 15 years ago

I grew up in Pittsburgh and am a Steelers fan… which isn’t the same thing as being a football fan. I only watch games on television when the Steelers are playing or when it is a critical game for them. It is next to impossible to live in Pittsburgh without becoming a Steelers fan. And they really are a metaphor for the city’s historical self-image, a hard scrapping, never give up, blue collar town. So I donned my Steelers jersey and cheered.

One piece of interesting trivia – the Steelers are one of the only teams in the NFL without cheerleaders (the others are the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, and Detroit Lions). You go to a Steelers game to watch football, not women shaking their anythings.

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