“Looking forward to the Super Bowl?” a male friend asked recently, not with without a little snigger. He’s the kind of guy who finds burping as punctuation to his words to be inordinately funny. I also suspect he’s fond of manscaping. But since we’ve never gone swimming together–I’ll only go in the water if I’m swathed in fabric, much like the saris old women wear while bathing in the Ganges–I’ll never know.
“Yup,” I said. “I think the Super Bowl is the most exciting 15 minutes of the sports year.
“Fifteen minutes?” He looked perplexed, like a dog who turns his head side to side when hearing a strange noise.
I nodded. “The halftime show is the greatest.”
Here he took a wider stance and sucked in his sizable middle-age gut stretching his “Greg Brady 12” T-shirt. I could see I’d challenged his Armchair Jock Privilege on what is the holiest of holy sports days for straight men. I was about to capitulate and let him off the hook when he said it.
Yes, he said it.
“The Super Bowl’s not about all that fluff and feathers. It’s about the ancient mano-a-mano tradition of brute force to win and vanquish.”
Unless my mediocre public education fails me, I don’t recall the Greeks and Spartans ever engaging in a rousing game of toss-the-pigskin.
And fluff and feathers? Fluff and feathers? How dare he! Now he had offended my Hard-Won Gay Fabulosity Privilege.
Didn’t he know how much those halftime shows meant to little boys who secretly practiced the choreography of the Jackson Five and Tony Orlando and Dawn in their basements? And when those same little boys grew up to be gay men and gathered in front of the TV for those precious 15 minutes, quaffing prosecco like it was Budweiser and stuffing their faces with perfectly coiffed deviled eggs, swirls of homemade pâté, and, of course, Nancy Drew Blondies, they felt…included.
Didn’t he understand that every time Katy Perry stands and sings on top of an enormous golden lion, or Lady Gaga flies through the air, or The One’s idol, Diana Ross, tells the crowd, “Here comes my ride!” as she jumps into a helicopter and lifts way, it takes away The Sting?
The sting of having had to slump through hours of inscrutable plays and tortuously long timeouts with bully cousins who kept stuffing your copy of “The Incredible Journey” down their pants so you were forced to watch. The sting of having been the brunt of your gym class’s jokes because you couldn’t catch or throw a football. The sting felt by a slightly plump, particularly impressionable college sophomore, who in 1980 was asked by his secret crush to come over and watch the game together, and who bought a pair of red nylon underwear with a white racing strip, only to discover his crush’s girlfriend lying on the couch. (For the record, the halftime show that year featured Up With People, so all three and a half hours–and the underwear–were a waste. Double sting.)
No, my belching friend, the Super Bowl halftime show isn’t about a bunch of fluff and feathers; it’s one of the best 15-minute house parties ever. And the game, oddly in these divisive times, is possibly the most inclusive in our country. For a few brief shining hours, you and I–gay and straight, Democrat and Republican–come together (metaphorically, for I will never step foot in a man cave) and you get to watch your guys, I get to watch my girls, and we both get to laugh at some of the most hilarious commercials of the year. (The only difference? I’ll probably have one hell of a better spread than you. Just saying.)
So this Sunday, sir, The One and I will once again tune in to catch the last few minutes of the first inning of the Jets and Sharks giving each other lawsuit-grade concussions as they make their way up and down the grillwork–gaining and losing Watership Downs–all the while gunning for those home runs. Then we’ll sit back to enjoy in the climax of the evening: Justin Timberlake.
And the following day, I won’t engage in Monday-morning quarterbacking or even be able to tell you the score. But I’ll be happy to bring sexy back by recreating every move of JT’s halftime choreography. And, as The One knows, that’s a spectacle not to be missed.
Love!!! So many laughs from reading. And sorry to hear of that years past heartbreak…
As the football widow of 2 ex-husbands who loved their pigskin, I’m finally free of Super Bore Sunday. I have a new boyfriend who hates violent sports. So no football for me! The halftime show though–thank goodness for DVR!
Super Bore… I like that enough to replace my current name for The Stupor Bowl. Tee hee. And David… your article… clever and so funny. It’s a perfect example of why gay men are some of the best company around!
Why, thank you, Sue!!!
Kathy, you crack me up! So glad you found a guy who doesn’t like the Super Bore. Makes a world of difference, no?!
Whenever I walk in on people watching football, I immediately ask ‘what inning is it?’
I’m with you, Ruth!!
Although I have to say the half time show is the draw…for me it is the commercials!
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has a spectacular exhibit on the halftime shows (including Left Shark!) and an accompanying Spotify playlist.
They’re second for me. Food is the third. The game is last!
Love your website: the format, recipes, giveaways, and commentaries are the best.
Had to laugh about Mr. Burp. You failed to mention Mr. Fart. Yes, the “bust heads and break bones” crowd revel in the Super Flush as I like to call it. Plus, what large percentage of viewers–non-sports fans–watch so the next day at the water cooler they can say “boy, they kicked a lot of touchdowns in that game”.
We disagree on the halftime slime fest. Rappers who routinely use every profane, racist, bigoted, anti-USA, anti-police, misogynistic, and homophobic word–not to mention blacks who toss out the N-word like popcorn chicken, are “cleaned up” for a few minutes although most viewers know who and what they really are. Remember the “pasties” set up years back, and the black power salute in a country where hundreds of police are murdered every year.
And Messrs. Burp and Fart get their kicks seeing very attractive women wearing very scant clothing…and doing their best to reveal the little they have clad.
Well, enjoy. You’re a good soul and we differ, and so what…makes for an interesting world.
Thanks for that, John. I gotta say I tuned in and out very quickly this year. I’m now going to look up the ads. When I was a copywriter, we called the Super Bowl…um…the Super Bowl of advertising. (duh!)
Great David!!! Now when I watch the Super Bowl, all I will be thinking about is how I missed out on the re-creation!!! Could The One possibly take a video and you could post it on the site????
Oh, Sarah, I fear it will be like looking at the Ark of the Covenant in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Your head will melt!
The perfect way to start my Saturday, laughing away with your beautiful wit, thanks!!
Why, thank you, Jennifer!