Monday, February 07, 2011

Bowled Over

The last time a Steelers quarterback threw two interceptions and lost the Super Bowl, he was gone before the next season began. That would be the still infamous Neil O'Donnell back in the 90s. That's an unlikely fate for Ben R. since this offense is built around him, but his style means that he gets beat up, and he wasn't 100%, nor was Troy P., again whose style of play invites injury.

But I can't comment much on the Super Bowl since I didn't see it. I saw moments of it, but the first few commercials were so disgusting that I just recorded it, and peeked once in awhile (when I did, something disastrous invariably happened for the Steelers, so I gave up). Now I have no plans to look at the recording. I'm observing myself moving away from the game. I didn't watch even much of the playoffs live, mostly fast-forwarding through the recordings. Part of it is the useless expenditure of emotional energy over a bunch of millionaires, whose victories or defeats affect my life very marginally if at all. Yet there is this history of that emotional identification. I remember actual sleepless nights over fumbles or dropped passes, by players whose names I can barely remember, in those long years between Bowl appearances. And I was supposedly an adult by then. The phenomenon of fan identification has fascinated me for decades, and it's been worth exploring, both within myself and especially outside. But if it leads to such a bloated tawdry spectacle as the Super Bowl, I wonder.

So at this point it's less a deliberate decision to back off than something I seem to be doing, despite my interest in the game. Same thing with basketball. They were a fun way to waste time, and learn a few things. Maybe I've learned those few things, I don't know. It's time's winged chariot, too. As I wrote to someone recently--a line I think I'll keep: there aren't too many more floats in this parade.