On The Super Bowl


Although Jews replace Christmas Day with Chinese Food and Movies Day, I would imagine they still feel an absence come December 25th – a ghost, not to be confused with the Ghost of Christmas’ Past, hovers over your moo shu reminding you what you are missing: fat, bearded men in red, opening presents under a dead tree, and ham.

This lonely sentiment – FOMO of irreplaceable and un-recreatable holiday joy – never resonated with me, a Jew who celebrates Christmas as a result of decades of family tradition. Instead, it’s come in waves ever since I’ve taken flight from the nest. And, as I’m sure you can imagine, the FOMO I feel for my family on Super Bowl Sunday is as large as the sun-shaped nipple accessory Janet Jackson adorned her exposed breast with at Super Bowl XXXVIII.

Like most people, males and females included, I love the Super Bowl for the tradition and the vibe, for lack of a better word. I love it for the guac that does not cost extra. If you were to take a Super Bowl game from the future, cut out all indicators it being the Super Bowl (like exposed breasts and confetti), and played it for an avid football fan, he or she would realistically not be able to tell if it were a Super Bowl game or not. Football is football, and while it’s exciting to watch the “best” two teams in the country face off against each other, at the end of the day, all the Super Bowl really is is a well-matched game. So if the football is good but just exciting as any other well-matched game of the season is, then we must love it for its other attributes.

The Super Bowl makes you forget that Sunday is Sunday. The Super Bowl is bewilderingly American, which makes my family-FOMO worse because how shitty must it be to be an American but to not participate in what is considered to be the most American thing of the year? And, of course, the Super Bowl is all about the food, which is why I have more than once found myself typing both on my laptop and on my iPhone “Super Bowel” instead of “Super Bowl.” We call that a Freudian slip.

Tonight, unlike last year, I will be participating in the Super Bowl minus my boisterous family and family friends. I’m happy to be doing this but also forcing myself too because I have only experienced the Jew-on-Christmas feeling enough times to count on one hand and would like to keep it that way if possible.

I have high expectations for this Super Bowl. I am also aware that many of my expectations will not be met. And, further, I’m aware that most of my expectations are more like “dreams.” Here are a few examples:

Expectation: Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen will reprise their roles as Candace and Toni, feminist bookstore owners, from Portlandia during the halftime show. Suddenly, everyone in the audience will start talking about how much they love podcasts and matcha tea.
Reality: Katy Perry performs, she will look like a human version of the board game Candy Land, and we will see no nip.

Expectation: The Puppy Bowl is after the Super Bowl, and it’s the only thing that drives millions of Super Bowl viewers to sit through the whole thing.
Reality: Today I found out that the Puppy Bowl happens before the Super Bowl every year, and I am thoroughly disappointed.

Expectation: To not eat a full bag of chips with guac and three slices of pizza at the Super Bowl party.
Reality: To put guac on the three slices of pizza.

Expectation: Katy Perry will be accompanied by Juicy J, the rap master of tomfoolery.
Reality: Katy Perry will be accompanied by Juicy J, the rap master of tomfoolery, and I will be unimpressed.

Expectation: After acclimating to balls that can be easily squeezed, the Pats will have a much more difficult time getting lucky tonight. (Wink wink.)
Reality: According to my brother Jonah, the Seahawks are probably going to win anyway. Regardless of how good the Pats get at figuring out how to squeeze balls of all inflation levels.

Expectation: If the Seahawks win, Marshawn Lynch will say, “I just won the Super Bowl and the first thing I’m gonna do is go to Disney World!!!!!!!!”
Reality: If the Seahawks win, Marshawn Lynch will say, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”

Happy Super Bowl, and Merry Christmas.

Image via