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The Column

They Call it Super for a Reason

From 6:00 until 9:00 on Super Bowl Sunday, you really ought to be watching the Super Bowl. Or at least be standing in a room where other people are.

For many of you, this is preaching to the choir. Which I always thought was a funny expression. That's supposed to mean that you're telling something to people who already know it. But the choir is good at singing, and not all singers are good listeners. Maybe the choir doesn't already know what you're saying because they weren't listening, what with all the time they have to concentrate on singing. So maybe this isn't preaching to the choir.

For many of you, this is preaching to the people who already know what the preacher is going to say. But rumor has it that some of you do not watch the Super Bowl. I know, that's crazy talk. But it's true. There are people left in America, however few, that do not watch the Super Bowl. Or (gasp) the Super Bowl commercials.

The main argument against the Super Bowl is that some people just aren't sports fans. This would be a valid argument if the Super Bowl had anything at all to do with sports. The team I've been pulling for in the game has lost four of the last five years. One of those teams was my favorite – the New York Giants (they have not been a football team since). But I had a great time watching the game. Because no one watching the game actually cares about the game.

I have watched many World Series, Stanley Cup, and NBA Finals games by myself. I have never watched a Super Bowl with fewer than 15 people. Well, I did when I was a kid, but I always wanted my parents to change that. The Super Bowl is such a community event, I was even willing to hang out with my parents friends for the game.

The Super Bowl is about togetherness. And nachos. Lots of nachos. They go together with nacho toppings. See? Togetherness. And soda and beer and pizza and wings and all kinds of food that is unhealthy for you because no matter what you eat you'll be smaller than a lineman.

The Super Bowl is about togetherness. And commercials. Lots of commercials. Commercials so good or bad that you discuss them together with your friends. See? Togetherness. I'm still laughing at the E-Trade commercial with the dancing monkey from three years ago. I have never needed to trade online, but if I did, I would use E-Trade because they have a dancing monkey.

The Super Bowl is about togetherness. And gambling. Lots of gambling. Together with other people at the party that you may or may not know. See? Togetherness. My favorite is the grid pool, where I arbitrarily put down a dollar to bet on the final digits of the score. I have never won a grid pool. But I always play it because it's fun and I don't know when enough is enough.

I actually am a football fan and I try to watch every down (play, for those of you not in the choir). But I am more of a fan of how much fun watching a game can be with a ton of people. I am a fan of anything that can bring that ton of people together for nachos, commercials, and gambling. I guess that also makes me a fan of the midnight buffet on a cruise ship, but if that's wrong, I don't want to be right.

It's true that some togetherness can be bad. A widely circulated statistic is that Super Bowl Sunday sees more domestic violence than any other day. That's true. But it is not the Super Bowl's fault. On Christmas a few year's back, a baseball player named Bobby Chouinard held his wife at gun point because she didn't want to go out and get more beer. Is that Christmas' fault? No, that's Bobby Chouinard's fault. He'd be a jerk without Christmas. He'd be a jerk without the Super Bowl. He'd be a jerk without marriage, too, just to someone else.

Comedian Marc Maron recently called the Super Bowl a free day, where non-Super Bowl people can roam the earth unencumbered by Super Bowl trappings. And as often as I usually agree with him, I don't here. See, I really love nachos.

As a Jew, I used to think Christmas was my free day. I used it to walk around empty streets and movie theatres and Chinese restaurants. But this year I went to a Christmas party. I didn't celebrate the holiday at all, I just went to a party. And I had a GREAT time. Because I was together with some friends and that's what mattered. Also, they had nachos. I was thinking that if only they could add commercials and a grid pool to Christmas, I'd be there every year.

I'm not asking anyone to be a football fan. Or even care that the Patriots are going to win by four or so points. I'm just asking people to go to a friend's house and watch a bunch of silly men run around while you are surrounded by people you enjoy.

But don't watch the half time show because that usually sucks.

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