A Super Bowl made in hell
Posted on January 7th, 2013
don’t know if it’s true or not, but I’m hearing that the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots are going into the post season as favorites to make it to the Super Bowl next month.
Right now you’re thinking, ‘Who cares, Wendy?’ But maybe you’re not. Perhaps you care deeply about one of these two teams or you’re one of those Fantasy Football aficionados (I dated one of those) or you have some kind of gambling problem (I knew one of those) that keeps you listening at some low level to news about any sporting event of any relevance at all.
I’m here to tell you that I care, friends. I care a lot. Because my two sons decided at some point last year that their favorite teams, respectively, were the New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers. And, however arbitrary their choices seemed to me at the time, they have been all kinds of committed to those alliances ever since.
During a Packers game a few weeks ago, a defensive play gone awry prompted Marcel (the Patriots fan) to remark to Roy (the Packers fan) something along the lines of, “Ooooh, the Packers are going to be mad now.”
At which point Roy punched him in the stomach.
So this week, when Roy began to allege that some online outlets were predicting a Packers/Patriots Super Bowl and that the Packers were favored to win it all—this last part hissed under his breath, his eyes checking over his shoulder to see if his brother was listening—I told him what I believed to be true with my whole heart at that moment:
“We’re not watching that game.”
I’ve said it more than once since then, too, because I cannot conceive of an outcome to that scenario—the one where the 11-year-old Pats fan and the 9-year-old (redheaded) Packers fan—sit on the sofa in the shared warmth of friendly competition for four quarters and a Beyonce-helmed Halftime Show. In my limited experience, ‘friendly competition’ is something you grow into, like an appreciation for escargot or, say, your oversized head. It’s an acquired skill, losing gracefully, or just watching someone you’re rooting for lose in your stead. And no amount of onion rings or Buffalo wings or French Onion dip is going to make a loss like that go down any easier.
So my interest in professional sports, altogether nonexistent 18 months ago, has taken on a heretofore unknown keenness. In the days ahead, I will begin asking questions about who is playing when to ascertain how many opportunities remain for one of those two teams to be thrown from contention. Maybe I’m going to have to start caring about ‘disabled lists’ and inclement weather and the state of Tom Brady’s marriage to super model Gisele Bundchen.
Because knowledge is power. And if I can’t lose a playoff game for one of those teams personally, I’m going to make damn sure I have a pretty good guess as to who’s favored to come out on top— the better to separate those brothers by whatever means necessary come game day.∗