Over the years, we have had epic football games that have
led to the greatest of nicknames. There was the Ice Bowl, the Blunder Bowland
the Miracle Bowl, just to name a few. We’ve had the Bears Super Bowl Shuffling,
we’ve had the Titans coming up one yard short and we’ve had the Browns… well…
uh… Hey, we will always have 1964, right?
As the length of time between the game and the end of the
season has grown to a full two weeks of hype, we have seen more and more
chances for the media to get excited about something stupid as hell. There was
Broadway Joe’s guaranteeand there was Hollywood Henderson explaining that
Terry Bradshaw was so stupid, he couldn’t spell “cat” if you spotted him the C
and the A.
Most of the time where we see everyone tripping over their
dicks is when they have to deal with something controversial.
In the case of the most repeated and yet most likely
apocryphal story ever, it was race that became the issue. Doug Williams won the
MVP in Super Bowl XXII, but it was the fact he was the first black guy to start
at QB in the big game that garnered the pre-game attention. Someone either
asked or didn’t ask him in a news conference “So how long have you been a black
quarterback?” to which Williams either did or didn’t respond, “I’ve been a
quarterback since high school. I’ve been black all my life.”
This year is no exception, with Joe Flacco calling the idea
of playing the Super Bowl in New Jersey next year “retarded.” This was both
controversial and stupid because a) saying something is “retarded” is as
socially acceptable as calling someone a “negro” and b) Flacco somehow managed
to forget he plays a sport that happens in the winter and was actually played
outside for generations (and in some cases, still is).
Not to be outdone, as Adrastos pointed out earlier, 49er
cornerback Chris Culliver came out (pun intended) and explained that he “don’t
do the gay guys” and that he “can’t be with that sweet stuff.”This immediately
prompted outrage from people who have more than 15 percent of a working
brain, many of those people demanding Culliver be suspended, fined or required
to hang out at John Waters’ house for a few days. It also had people asking
themselves a) will pro sports ever have a truly inclusive and tolerant society
and b) who the fuck is Chris Culliver?
Compounding this issue, several 49er
players who had done a “It Gets Better” video backpedaled faster than Culliver
when asked about it. They denied being part of it, were then shown the video
and came up with a “uh, isn’t that just an anti-bullying thing?” response. Right, because if
you just come out against the ant-gay stuff, it’s clear you’re a nob-muncher
and you’re likely to be doing gay porn films titled, “Wide Receivers and Tight
Making this even worse, the most important thing about the
game (the commercials) has become sullied by the claims of racism.If you haven’t seen the VW commercial
featuring Minnesota Dave, the state’s official Rastafarian, well, you’re
missing exactly nothing. Still, the idea that a white guy from Minnesota would
be using the wrong stupid accent to sell cars has enraged the people who were
looking for something to be enraged about.
(Volkswagen has been relatively quiet on this issue, relying
on its long history of being founded by Nazi tradeworkers to speak
Look, I get it. Unless you’re a fan of one of the teams, you
probably don’t give a shit about the Super Bowl. Thus, if you’re going to be
surrounded by Super Bowl bullshit, you need something to keep you entertained
or outraged, or both in the case of people for whom there is no real
Still, can we let some of this shit go?
Column after column after column has tried to get me to be
angry with Culliver for not being OK with gay people and then REALLY trying to
get me to be angry about his apology. Even more people have been angry about
the VW commercial, which is getting so much free media play right now, it’s
likely to replace Faith Hill’s number as the intro to next year’s Sunday Night
Maybe if you combined a couple of these things, I’d care
more. If Joe Flacco called Culliver a “retard” while using a Jamaican accent, I
could get a little more worked up, but as it stands, not so much.
Every now and again, I get behind a car that sports a “If
you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention” bumper sticker. I guess there’s
a good career in outrage, but it’s just so damned exhausting.
Even if we can’t all coexist or get along or whatever, could
we at least learn to shrug more? Instead of worrying which football player
might say something stupid or which media guy might ask the next “it” question,
can we just kick back, relax, drink a beer and not give a fuck for a while?