so, finally ... it's today. after massive -- ok, just 2, but it still felt massive -- weeks of build-up, the packer/steelers craze has reached full tilt here in milwaukeeville. today's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which most days is not what i would call an icon of journalistic excellence despite its coupla Pulitzer prizes for local reporting, could not bring itself to avoid mention of The Game in ANY section. sports, ok-- obviously. even local -- i get it. but the food section featuring a giant 2-page story on green and gold vegetables? seriously, enough already. fortunately, we also get the Chicago Trib (which i think of as the "real" paper) so we could also see the continuing coverage on the mess that is egypt. and curiously, my response to that issue is also "seriously, enough already." i personally am a steelers fan by birth and a packer fan by marriage, so clearly the best option for me would be to spend the next 5 hours under the covers or getting buried in a 6' snowdrift in my front yard. but instead i am blogging about it, which, really, is sort of the same thing.
many of the stories in the paper today quoted people talking about the SuperBowl as a "national celebration," a "break from mid-winter blues," and even "part of America's civil religion." it seems to me these make too much of the thing ... but then again, when 1 out of every 3 US households are watching, i guess it's a pretty big deal. many people would correct me here and comment on how this isn't just a US event -- it is, they would say, a truly global behemoth with quite possibly more than a billion people worldwide tuning in. of course, these same people are sadly misguided in that assessment, given that a truly global behemoth would be just about any World Cup event, with a global audience minimally 30 times that size.
what bugs me most about this is that (and no offense to the sport fan readers, including the one with whom i share my life) the size of the game and the accompanying hoopla drowns out stuff that has the sad misfortune to occur within the swirling vortex of all that is the Super Bowl. for instance, earlier today i asked that same sports fan, "what do you think it would take to get people to focus on something else besides the game?" he looked at me blankly. i pressed on, "what about a terrorist incident? what if another city got attacked?" he said, kidding, "well, it would depend upon when and where it happened, and how close that was to gametime."