Super Bowl Time


And so we are back to Roman Numerals again. I can’t wait for Super Bowl 59, which would be written as Super Bowl LIX (pronounced “licks”), as if the game would showcase people taste testing food or would be about shredding awesome guitar solos.

The Super Bowl is just around the corner again and I’m starting to get excited because of course my favorite and one of the most storied teams of this century is in it again: the New England Patriots. They’ve fought through cheating scandals and the four game suspension of Tom Brady to once again prove that nothing will stop them from being successful year after year. Bill Belichick just outsmarts them all with his brilliant gameplans. The Patriots can plug in just about any player (Chris Hogan?) when key ones are down (Gronk) and still manage to win 10+ games

I haven’t been following the season or the playoffs as much as I did in the past but one thing is still certain: the best teams always make it to the Big Game. I was a little skeptical that this Super Bowl would provide the hype and excitement of last year’s big anniversary game or that it would start to feel old and boring but now that the smoke has cleared and the teams have been set, the talk and festivities have started and the real anticipation can start to bubble. I can now fill the spirit rising within again, shaking off that feeling that I was suddenly tired of football, that all of those Thursday night games made it too saturated, but now that I’ve had some time to reflect I feel good again. There is of course a lot more to life than just football, with the recent death of Mary Tyler Moore making headlines today and all of the updates on Donald Trump’s plan to actually build the wall on the Mexico/US border, but it is always there give me that competitive spirit and determination.

I wasn’t at all expecting the Atlanta Falcons to make it the Super Bowl this year but they had one of the best offenses in Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, and Julio Jones. I didn’t even know the name of their head coach until today, Dan Quinn, which tells you how little I’ve been following the team or how little I care. The Falcons finally got the job done this year, after failing so many times in the playoffs, but would they be the most worthy team of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy? I’m not sure. They were only a couple yards away from making it to Super Bowl 47, but lost to the San Francisco 49ers, but after that they seemed to disappear from the playoffs altogether, never making it past the first game. They beat a red hot Green Bay Packers team that just managed to get into the playoffs after such a lousy start to the season filled with injuries.

I expect this game to break all kinds of records again, in television ratings, social media mentions, and money spent on commercials. Last years most amazing commercial in my mind was Puppy Monkey Baby by Mountain Dew, a bizarre combination of sorts that raised some eyebrows. What craziness will the ad geniuses come up with this time?

Lady Gaga’s performing in the halftime show this year. It’s a good choice I guess because I can’t think of anyone else who is as big as her right now as Katy Perry has already performed, and Taylor Swift turned down the opportunity (she would have had some awesome songs to perform now that she’s fully transitioned from a country singer to a rocking pop superstar). Since it’s Lady Gaga, I can expect some out of this world performance with elaborate costumes, exotic stage setups and props, and enough surprises to get the internet buzzing with excitement. Will she come flying in on a winged horse? Many of the die hard football fans could care less about the halftime show and would love to see the game get going as soon as possible again, and I can’t blame them, because sitting through 15 minutes of something that has very little to do with the game being played can be hell.

Super Bowl 50 Sunday

It’s hard to believe it but the Big Game is finally here again. All year long, this game has been advertised as the golden anniversary, with the 50 on all fields being painted gold. Trips down memory lane have been taken. Special books have been released. The Madden simulations have been partaken. The mystery of who the halftime performers would be is over.

Who would have thought that a game inspired by a toy (Super Ball) would be the biggest sports event in the world?

Who would have thought that the biggest thing about this game is not the game itself but the Halftime Show?

There is only one question left:

Carolina or Denver? Who will it be?

Will Peyton Manning finally get his second ring as he knocks on retirement’s door or will the young (and cocky) Cam Newton bring Charlotte it’s first Lombardi trophy?

Okay, there are more questions to be answered:

How many times will the Sheriff say “Omaha!”

How many times will Cam Newton do “Superman”?

Super Bowl chili returns this year though it wasn’t as thoroughly done as the past two years. More of a dump chili this time around though I did take some time to cut up chili peppers, onions, and garlic, and to add my specialty: brown cinnamon.

Okay, so the Broncos got the ball first and the ball didn’t go over Peyton Manning’s head this time. It’s 3-0 Broncos as I write this.

Lady Gaga didn’t screw up the anthem this time.

The Super Bowl commercials are once again a key part of the overall experience. So far, the pug/baby/monkey hybrid is a highlight of the evening. The Aerosmith Skittles commercial also is a great one.

With all the hype surrounding the Super Bowl being over, being able to see the actual game is a refreshment. Everything is magnified in this game, every play an important factor in the outcome of one team’s season.

I know not everyone is a fan of the NFL and many would say this is just another game, but for one day I suppose we can all agree that this 50th game represents history in the making. A crossroads of past, present, and future superstars.

My predictions for the game (based off what has already transpired):

Denver wins by 7.

Final score:

Denver 27

Carolina 20

I’ll most likely be wrong with this, but let’s watch the game and find out for ourselves.

Update: Denver won 24-10, so I was off by 7 points.

Thanks for banging the “Keep Pounding” drum, @StephenCurry30, but today, Manning and co. silence the Panthers thundering season.

Going to the Super Bowl

I am closest to my uncle Jay, without a doubt. He is here all the time, every day of my life, every waking hour. I haven’t been separated from him in nearly 13 years when he moved in with my mom, sisters, and I while looking for a place to stay; he said he was only going to be with us for about a week until he found a job to move into another apartment, but of course that didn’t happen. And now it’s been radios, nicknames, and paper fights ever since across five different homes.

Every Sunday from September to February, Jay and I watch football together, a real great way for us to bond even more. And even if the Lions are a pathetic 1-7, Jay will still tune into them, clinging to hope like millions of other Detroit fans. “Don’t drink the Kool-Aid”, he tells me, talking about how the Lions get our hopes up every year, whether it be in the draft with the addition of a star running back, in preseason when they go 4-0, or during the season when they start off decent (6-2 in 2007, my first year watching NFL football) and then totally bomb out (finishing at 7-9).

In 2008, they went 0-16, and my realization that being a fan of this team was going to involve a lot of heartbreak, embarrassment, and all-around stinkers was soon unearthed.

One of my dreams (and I’m sure Jay’s as well) is to go to a Super Bowl and see the final two teams battle it out for the coveted Lombardi. That would be the ultimate celebration for him. If the Lions were in it, he would be going crazy. If they were about to win, he might have a heart attack.

Where would it be?

The hosting city depends on who gets picked for that year. It would be great if it returned to Detroit so we didn’t have to drive so far, but it’s the luck of the Irish with that. I wouldn’t mind going to Indianapolis either.

The food?

Foil wrapped hotdogs and sub sandwiches with pricey cans of beer. Or if I paid a little more, a smorgasbord buffet of the most scrumptious but unhealthy foods you can get.

The servers?

The great cooks and vendors of whatever city the Bowl happens to be in.

Who’s there?

Preferably the Lions and…the Patriots?

Well, if New England is still relevant by the time my dream Super Bowl celebration comes, this would be an awesome matchup: a former 16-0 against a former 0-16. Legends against the upstarts.

What happens?

Me and Jay have a rollicking great time watching 11 grown men/warriors on either side of the ball run around the field, fighting for a brown oblong ball (BOB), while trying to defend or get into a box about the same size as my house. There might be an interception or fumble here and there, a couple of instant replays, flags galore, and perhaps a game winning touchdown by a toe-tapping receiver. Cheering and roaring with 50,000 + other people in a game that is being watched by the whole United States and more would be memorable. Of course, football is so much funner to watch on TV, but that’s not the point.

And then there’s the halftime show. It would be pitch dark in the stadium as a once in a lifetime extravaganza plays out on the field, which would be more like Cirque du Solei at this point with flashing lights, rotating platforms, digital animations, fireworks, performers doing absurd choreographed moves, and the host of the gig quickly getting into a new outfit while transitioning from song to song. The halftime performer still hasn’t been decided yet and now the big game is about two months away. Whoever is doing the show will have to get all of the creative points worked out, such as if there is going to be a giant metal lion tromping across the field or a giant piano being played by two of the performers.

At the end of the game, no matter who wins or what the score is, one dream will have been checked off both of our bucket lists. The ultimate then would be getting to meet some of the players, getting their autographs and a selfie with them to put on Instagram and get thousands of likes. Of course, that could only happen on a meet-the-players day before the game, or if we had VIP passes into the locker rooms, the former more likely than the latter because VIPs are not just given to the average fan.

All in all, the perfect day would be all of those things happening and then having videos and pictures to look back on. The car ride home would be nothing short of conversational. And Jay would probably ask for something equal or even better next time, for which I would say “please, stop being so needy” – since he’s never begged for anything before.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “RSVP.”

Plan the ultimate celebration for the person you’re closest to, and tell us about it. Where is it? Who’s there? What’s served? What happens?

Crazy Association

So I was going to write a post about football in the NFL starting up again, and it is a crazy association. There is always controversy going around in the league with cheating, murders, marital abuse, rogue officiating, and more but the blood is always cleaned up nicely by Goodell and co. The fact that they let Adrian Peterson back into the league after he brutally beat his four year old son with a tree branch (switch, it was called) last year and the league and fans are cheering for him like he’s a great guy is very awful. It was even worse than Ray Rice hitting his wife in the elevator and he’s still not back in the league. Michael Vick came back after serving a lengthy sentence given to him after his dog fighting scandal (Doggate, I’ll call it, going with the usual naming of scandals with the -gate on the end) and he is still trying to find a team that he can succeed with, his short time with the Eagles putting up question marks in my book. Adrian Peterson served his time, but I’m not going to cheer for him or wear his jersey anytime soon.

Fantasy football is back. Yeah! And I’m most likely going to lose my first game today since my offensive players didn’t do much at all, Sammy Watkins getting a 0.  It sucks losing to a guy who had a player active on his roster that is currently suspended, Le’Veon Bell for the Steelers. My opponent just had a better day than me overall. I’m also playing DraftKings and have put in $25 to play two contests, one being free with my deposit, the other costing $3. I know I don’t have much of a chance against some of the more seasoned veterans of this get rich quick game but I almost had to give into the pressure of playing after seeing the commercials play over and over again on TV during games, conjuring up false hopes of getting rich all around. This is not wasteful money, this is trying money, money I’m putting into trying something new, trying to better my life I guess. I’ll be very careful not to spend more than I can afford and if I do start developing a problem, LOOK OUT, I’ll be heading to Gamblers USA in no time.

My Detroit Lions lost today to the San Diego Chargers. Waah 😦 They had a big lead but the offense stuttered and the defense became very porous, allowing the Chargers to quickly score touchdowns and take the lead for good. The Lions got a quick touchdown from Matt Stafford’s arm with about one minute to go to cut the lead to one score and tried an onside kick (for non-US bloggers, that is when the kicker squib kicks the ball and has it go at least ten yards, trying to get his team on one side to recover it while the team on the other side scrambles for it as well) but failed with it bouncing off a Chargers hand and going out of bounds, ball going to the opposition. My uncle was disappointed, I was disappointed, a whole fanbase of hopeful Lions fans were disappointed, many of them jumping off the bandwagon before the season even gets going. So they’re 0-1 and fans are saying “shades of 0-16” again and getting out the paper bags. Shame on you. The team’s still in it, they just have to clear some things up on defense and not fall apart on offense. Newcomer Ameer Abdullah had a magnificent debut, getting almost 100 total yards of offense with a touchdown and he looks promising if he can stay healthy. The Lions haven’t had a running back since Barry Sanders that has broken out and become a star, and I won’t believe this guy can do that until he can stay in the league for at least 5 years.

American football is a crazy game and has some of the craziest and most loyal fans around. Watching your team every Sunday, and sometimes on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday going to war against another team is a huge event. Every game is like a chapter in a book, a story being written and going all the way to the Super Bowl in February. For some teams, the book ends early and goes on the shelf with the rest of the volumes in the team’s history. For others, there are bonus chapters followed by an epilogue explaining how that team won it all and had the best year of their life.

Super Bowl 50 is this year. I still don’t know who will lead the halftime show but Bruno Mars is rumored to perform again. I guess it wouldn’t be that bad if he performed for the second time in three years, since his last appearance was magnificent and overally charismatic, hitting those drums like a chimpanzee.

I was betting on Taylor Swift to perform this year but maybe negotiations didn’t go through with her and she declined. She’s very particular and probably thought the idea of doing a football halftime show was “cheesy”. That’s what I think, who knows what she was thinking.

So here’s to football, beer, cheerleaders, fantasy football, ups and downs, and everything else in between. It’s going to be a great season. See you in February.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Fun Platform.”

Inspired by JNW topic generator

Super Bowl Sunday

I have a journal I used to write in almost everyday, on and off, but as time went on I got lazy and stopped recording things in it, missing big chunks of time that I went back and recapped as best as I could remember. This journal is over ten years old, me receiving it in 2003 as a Christmas gift, and contains over one hundred entries, short and elaborated, about events in my life, from the most uneventful to the ones that could have enough power to inspire a post of mine. The last time I wrote in this journal, a Jeff Gordon variation, was at the beginning of last year, around February after the Super Bowl had just ended, the Seahawks winning it all. I wrote an entry for the game and all the festivities around it that happened, such as Bruno Mars in the halftime show and the dismantling of the Denver Broncos, getting beat 48-7. Our little party that day consisted of my home made Fusion Chili, dubbed “Super Chili”, carefully crafted with chili peppers, spices, cheeses, tomatoes, onions, and cubed sauteed carrots. It was what I called “real chili” since it didn’t come straight from a can and didn’t just consist of beans and meat. And it wasn’t just throwing ingredients into a pot and making a meal; I actually cooked the vegetables separately, getting them softened up, and made the main chili mixture separately as well, incorporating the two.

Anyways, I find it harder and harder to return to good old fashioned writing by hand, since a computer is now always at my fingertips, always waiting for the next best thing to be written, fueling my thoughts, urging me on through the countless inspirational things I find daily on the Internet. Ever since I started this blog, it hasn’t made much sense to painstakingly write down my thoughts on paper, having to be extra careful to make sure the entry was readable, not in my usual sloppy handwriting form.

It’s going to take some mighty motivation for me to pull my old journal (not diary) off of its high shelf and put the pen or pencil to the page again. There are about twenty pages left in this book, still fresh as the day they were rolled off the paper mill. It is my mission to fill them all up and complete this little book, this condensed biography of my life from the time I was eleven to me now being past twenty and with still a life’s worth of events to come.

My “Super Chili” is coming back this year, though making it as incredible and delicious as it’s debut last year will be tough since a bar has been set now, a standard established. It may be based off of a recipe I found online, but I believe I can incorporate a little bit of my own style into it.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pens and Pencils.”

When was the last time you wrote something substantive — a letter, a story, a journal entry, etc. — by hand? Could you ever imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era?