I’m not a football fan.
I have found that making that simple statement can sometimes cause people to brace for an expected tirade on various perceived evils of that sport and professional sports in general. That isn’t going to come from me, though. My views really are as simple as the statement. I don’t have a dislike or moral objections to the sport. I’m just not that interested in it and generally tend to get bored pretty quickly when watching it.
For me, Super Bowl Sunday has never been that big a deal. To be honest, I pay so little attention to the sport that I often don’t even realize the championship game is coming up until the last minute. There have been a number of years where I didn’t even know who was playing by the time the game started or, occasionally, even until I read about the results.
That isn’t to say that I consciously avoid the game at all. Some years, I have watched all or part of the game, although usually while doing other things and basically paying only a bit of attention to the game. There have even been a couple years that I have gone to Super Bowl parties, but mainly for the socializing rather than the game. If I’m around the house, I’ll often have the game on in the background, although it is pretty rare that I’m at home all afternoon on a Sunday.
Although I don’t always think of it, I also will usually set the DVR (or in the distant past, the VCR) to record the game, just in case something interesting happens. If nothing else, there are usually some neat commercials that air during the game, so it is fun to go back and look at the ones that got some attention. Of course, that is not as big a deal now that they have started making all the commercials available online after the game.
Going into yesterday’s game, I had seen a fair amount of coverage of the Patriots’ undefeated season, so I knew that they were playing and the overall significance of it. I think I had also heard a few references to the other team being the Giants, although it really hadn’t particularly registered. Regionally, neither team really holds much interest to me (I’ve never lived in those areas, nor do I know much of anyone that does), although I the undefeated season did pique my interest a tad.
My wife and I have developed a system where on weekend days that we spend at home, each of us takes a couple hours to ourselves upstairs in the bedroom while the other watches our 4-year-old son. We have a reasonably nice HDTV and HD-DVR up there so that we can sometimes spend that time catching up on prime-time TV shows or on movies. Coincidentally, I took a turn up there right around the time that the game started yesterday, so I ended up watching the first quarter (and a little bit of the second) during that time.
That part of the game was actually fairly eventful, with each team having one possession and moving the ball all the way across the field for a score (field goal for the Giants and a touchdown for the Patriots). While it did somewhat hold my attention (although I was doing some other things as well), it also reminded me that I generally just don’t find football to be an overly telegenic sport. There are long periods where nothing is happening as the teams are planning out plays or working there way into formation. Once a play does happen, the camera isn’t always very good at following the action, meaning that it is often hard to tell what actually happened until they show a replay. It just doesn’t take that long for me to lose interest.
Eventually, I headed back downstairs and we decided to head over to the mall to take care of some needed shopping and then go to the local Mimi’s restaurant for dinner. This trip actually reminded me of one of my favorite aspects of Super Bowl Sunday. The mall was pretty uncrowded and I was able to finish up the shopping that I needed to do quickly and with little trouble. While Mimi’s is one of our favorite places to go to dinner, parking at that particular location is often really difficult on weekends and it isn’t unusual to have a wait for a table. Last night, that parking lot was by far the most empty that I’ve seen it and the restaurant was wonderfully uncrowded.
Just in case something interesting happened during the rest of the game, I did hit "record" on the DVR before leaving. Having heard about the fairly exciting 4th quarter (and particularly Eli Manning’s key play that led to the Giants’ victory), my wife and I did end up making generous use of the fast-forward key to watch the highlights of the game before we went on to sleep. We also took the opportunity to watch a couple commercials that we had heard about and were interested in seeing. All together, I think that took us about 20 minutes or so. At least for me, I think that is the best way to watch the game.