I Would Chide You for Using Sports to Escape from Your Pathetic Life, but You Know I Do the Same Thing with Reality Television

Filed under a taste for tv, music is my boyfriend, par-tay

I do not care about the Super Bowl. Aside from backyard basketball games involving the word horse, I think sports are pretty stupid. Especially professional ones.

I went to a Super Bowl party last night, though, and I went all the way to Jersey for it. And by “all the way”, I mean that I took a bus 15 minutes to my friend Jeff’s apartment, but I couldn’t use my MetroCard to pay the bus fare, so it seemed like a big deal. I did watch the game, unexpectedly, and I casually cheered for the Colts simply because Indianapolis is much closer to my hometown in Ohio than New Orleans is.

And also because I thought all of the pregame crap about how much a win would mean to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina–which happened five years ago, people–was unnecessarily sentimental and trying to make a story arc where one wasn’t needed. It’s a football game, and its outcome has nothing to rebuilding a city and everything to do with giving the kind of people who stand behind on-air newscasters and scream and show off their replica team jerseys an excuse to get drunk and light things on fire.

Anyway. I found the bidet in Jeff’s roommmate’s bathroom about a hundred times more interesting than most of the Super Bowl commercials, but there was one that really pulled at my heartstrings, and no, it wasn’t the Budweiser one with the Clydesdale and the cow. It was, oddly, a promo for the NFL itself, telling its fans how much better they are than are than NHL and MLS fans:

Funny what a little well-placed Arcade Fire song can do.

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12 Comments

  1. I was happy about the outcome of the Super Bowl (duh), but I was extremely disappointed in the ads this year. Generally speaking, I couldn’t give less of a shit about football, but I LIVE for Super Bowl commercials.

    Google’s was pretty badass, though. It almost – almost! – made me tear up a little. But that was probably just because I ate way too much sugar last night.

    I’m so jealous that you have a friend who has an actual BIDET in his apartment.

    • I was actually going to mention the Google ad . . . and the fact that every single one of my friends in the room expected that the last search would be for a divorce lawyer. Hee!

      I’m pretty jealous of the guy who actually has the bidet. I’m wondering if that’s the sort of thing where you have to know a guy really well before you can just go in his bathroom and use his bidet or if being the friend of his roommate is good enough. I mean, people use those things in public restrooms in other countries, right? I don’t know why it seems so intimate to me.

  2. kimz says:

    I was hoping that you of all people would remark on the sheer volume of nakedness, or near nakedness, that was in what seemed like every other commercial this year. Forget sex, men-without-pants is the new advertising strategy.

    (And there was nothing sexy about any of the near nekkidness. No sir, not one bit.)

    • I saw your tweet about the pantless commercials this morning, and yeah, we were like, “Umm, maybe if you’re going to show multiple commercials with this sort of nastiness going on, could you at least not show them back-to-back?”

      I’d much rather look at men in large, loose underwear than women giving blowjobs to sandwiches and such, though.

  3. Kim says:

    Oh god, I loved the Clydesdale and the cow. And your “NHL or MLS” made me laugh a lot,I am not entirely sure why. Something about the idea of there being MLS fans in existence, I think.

    Bidets freak me right out. Once I held it for so long at this nightclub in Germany I cried. And this from a girl who has offered walking tours of all the non-bathroom places she’s peed on the UNH campus and Nantucket.

    But one time I did view an apartment in Chelsea that had one, and also no closets. I could probably remember where it is if you’d like to move there.

    • The girlfriend of the roommate with the bidet referred to the NFL as the NHL last night, and it made us all laugh for the same reason you think you laughed.

      I would like a photographic tour of the all of the non-bathroom places you’ve peed, thx. Also, as much as I don’t want you peeing discreetly in public places, I recommend the P-Mate for your next trip to Germany.

      My first apartment in Chelsea had no closets. No bidet, either, though. Although I had my boyfriend come in and splash mineral water on my bum when I finished my business, so I made it work.

  4. megan says:

    as a woman who dates a native louisianian and who had about 4 new orleanians in her home last night.. this super bowl is a big deal in the rebuilding of their city/state. the saints fans have ALWAYS been behind that team, even after 43 years of consecutive losses and failures. and to see them come back this year and win the super bowl, it was sort of like their (louisiana’s/new orleans’) much needed unification. they feel like it finally puts new orleans back on the map for something that ISN’T a natural disaster, and that ISN’T all of the devastation that followed. this is their comeback, is how they’re looking at it. so, it’s truly an amazing thing if you see it from that standpoint.

    my boyfriend’s mom lives about 2 hours outside of new orleans and she said last night after their win, everyone in her town went outside and just joined together in the streets chanting, “who dat?” so this truly gives them a chance to put everything behind them and begin to focus on the good.

    (i realize how cheesy this post is.. but i watched every game this season with true lifelong fans, and it was an amazing experience. even for a girl who has always hated sports and everything about them.)

    • Please do not be won over by this “who dat?” nonsense!!

      I get that happiness is good for a city, but as my friend Jack said after reading your comment, when the Giants won the Super Bowl in ’07, we didn’t suddenly feel like 9/11 was forgotten and that we were some big happy family that could accomplish anything here in NYC. Sure, we went to bars together to celebrate with a beer, and sure, we had a parade, but everything was back to normal a week later, as it will be in New Orleans. Oh, wait, except that New Orleans has Mardi Gras. So give it two weeks.

      But hey, I appreciate your optimism, and I hope you’re right.

      • Mark says:

        I have to chime in here.

        The North and South really do have stark cultural differences. Faulkner does a much better job than I could ever do about describing the differences – especially the movement of time. (Imagine I was good enough to supply a quote here.)

        Your comment about the hurricane being five years ago shows that you don’t understand the Southern mentality – kind of like how most people don’t understand how Palestinians and Israelis can squabble over events that occurred more than a thousand years ago. People in New Orleans never stopped talking about Hurricane Betsy (’65) till Katrina hit (’05), and Betsy didn’t do near the damage – flooding 80% of the city, relocating hundreds of thousands. Even 5 years later, the city is still only up to 2/3rds of its pre-hurricane population.

        So many of my childhood friends whom I wouldn’t have guessed would be Saints fans have been posting on Facebook about the Saints all season.

        The Saints are pretty much the only sports I’ve ever really cared to watch. Unlike NYC, who have several different sports teams to choose from with long histories, all New Orleans has is The Saints. Now, we did acquire The Hornets from Charlotte, but I never personally grew attached & haven’t witnessed much attachment in the people I know.

        It’s hard to explain the New Orleanian attachment to The Saints. As a child, all I ever did was play touch football at recess. Every single school day, that’s all we did for a half hour. And then we had these half-days once a month on Fridays in which we’d go over to my friend’s house & play football from noon till the sun went down.

        More compelling for me than the Katrina storyline is The Saints franchise storyline. The Saints have simply had the worse franchise in NFL history. They went 20 years without a winning season & 33 years without winning a playoff game. And after the hurricane, they almost lost the team, but despite having a depleted population, New Orleans sold-out every game.

        My 88-year-old grandpa and 58-year-old dad make a point to watch (or listen to) every Saints’ game since they began in ’67.

        It’s hard to understand how something so seemingly trivial is such a big deal, but it is. I guess the triviality is part of the meaningfulness. Like any other aspect of a culture, when you scrutinize it, it seems pointless. What’s the point of throwing beads, cups, and dubloons from Mardi Gras floats, or putting plastic babies in king cakes, or crawfish boils – it’s all done to celebrate for the sake of celebrating – but in a way that distinguishes your culture from another’s. If everyone else got it as much as people from your hometown get it, it wouldn’t be nearly as fun or as special.

        • Having met you, you might be exactly the last person I’d expect to have been a football player as a kid. But okay.

          I’m into cultural differences, and you’ve made a convincing argument for why people care about The Saints. What I’m not convinced of is their changing anything. A football win may lift spirits, but I’m interested in seeing if it’ll rebuild a city.

  5. Tracey says:

    That particular Arcade Fire song can make ANYTHING seem awesome. Like montages of paint peeling, or of people pooping. Anything.

  6. Kirsten says:

    Totally agree about the hurricane Katrina thing.

    Also,I wish there had been a bidet at the party I was at.. you are so lucky.